Top story: IA through AI!

18. June 2024

Intelligent automation (IA) –
the industrial revolution of white collar jobs

In Germany, three out of four employees work in the service sector. In the USA, as many as four out of five jobs are in the white-collar segment. As a result of digitalization and AI, we are currently facing the same upheaval in office work as manufacturing companies did in the 19th century with the introduction of the steam engine.

The book “Intelligent Automation”, published in 2020, is highly recommended reading for technology providers and service providers. It presents the dimensions of IA in a pragmatic and well-founded manner, provides a framework for the implementation of IA and a large number of inspiring application examples.

The authors estimate that IA could save more than 10 million lives and USD 10 trillion in costs every year. Capital that would be available for better education, innovation, environmental protection and social peace.

What are the characteristics of IA?

– IA is universal – across sectors, countries and function
– IA never sleeps – technology is available 24/7
– IA is scalable – once implemented, there are no physical limits
– IA is accessible – interaction with technology is becoming easier and easier
– IA is reliable – regardless of emotions or stress, the results are always stable
– IA pays off – IA increases sales and reduces costs.

And what exactly is IA?

Intelligent automation consists of the interplay of recognition, execution, interaction and learning technologies. Recognition includestext, signal, voice, image and video recognition technologies. Execution includes low-code and workflow platforms as well as RPA (Robotic Process Automation) software. Interaction describes chatbots, mixed reality, sentiment and speech analytics. Learning includes big data, large language models, machine learning and data visualization.

From an entrepreneurial point of view, IA offers the opportunity to provide new products and services or to offer existing products and services more independently of time and location. Examples of this include innovative FinTechs such as TradeRepublic, Scalable Capital or Liquid, which have optimized their processes in such a way that they can offer small investors the service of professional wealth management. On the other hand, IA offers endless opportunities to optimize work processes. The authors call this the Triple-A artifact: Automate, Augment, Abandon. Specific use cases include automated credit and fraud checking processes, improved customer service processes or the complete abolition of processes (e.g. call logs). In Germany in particular, a lot of capital has recently flowed into software companies that offer AI solutions for better customer service processes, such as Parloa or Cognigy.

Incidentally, powerful platforms such as make (from German decacorn Celonis), Zapier etc. are available today for automating processes, which can be used to easily create automated workflows across applications without any programming knowledge. If generative AI tools such as Perplexity or ChatGPT are integrated here, white collar workers are freed from tedious routine tasks and can use this time for creativity and collaboration.

Our appeal: Let’s look for opportunities in change together and, with the much-vaunted creativity and innovative power of the “people of poets and thinkers”, spark a new start-up era and a spirit of optimism in Germany and Europe with the help of IA!

Book tip: Intelligent Automation

About atares

atares is the digital M&A boutique for technology-driven midcap companies in Germany and sees itself as a pioneer for the digitalization of the M&A industry. Founded in 2001, atares has advised more than 200 transactions in more than 20 years. The focus is on transaction volumes between EUR 10 and 100 million of mostly owner-managed companies. Since November 2023, the company formerly known as Proventis Partners, Munich, has been operating under the new company name atares GmbH. Atares has long-standing personal contacts with corporate and Private Equity investors and M&A advisors in Europe, North and South America and Asia. Highly specialized expertise for the market, empathy for people and passion make atares a sought-after M&A partner for the tech champions of tomorrow. More than 20 employees at atares in Munich and Düsseldorf manage their projects via the in-house developed digital M&A dealfloor ( – for value-adding, efficient transactions with the best user experience.

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