People, AI and the Future of Work: My Takeaways from Laserfiche Empower 2024

future of work - group of people working together

People, AI and the Future of Work: My Takeaways from Laserfiche Empower 2024

I’m just back from the annual Empower Conference, which Laserfiche puts on yearly. The conference usually involves a lot of learning about digital transformation, process automation, and technology. 

The conference had been online for a few years and split between three locations across the United States last year.  This year, it returned to a single location at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The Vegas venue was interesting, especially since I’ve never been to Vegas, but the real highlight was having thousands of people together in one place to pursue innovation.

In addition, the multi-day conference breaks the ordinary daily cycle and injects new people into the equation.  The combination of great learning, dedicated time spent on innovation, and great people creates a compelling environment for growth.

Here are some of my takeaways:

Artificial intelligence (AI) is vast. Like many of us, I was already convinced of this before the conference, but the conference underscored this repeatedly. I’ve been pursuing AI myself and have spent a significant amount of time learning it and speaking on the topic, but I was still impressed again by just how big AI is and the long-term impact it will bring.

The keynote speaker was Michael Keithley, who gave an excellent vision for AI and where we are now. He then provided practical examples of how disruptive AI will be in many areas, highlighting its impact on the creative world and Hollywood. His presentation was compelling as it relates to the revolutionary impact on animation and movie making. This same impact will come in most industry sectors.

In addition to the keynote discussion, Generative AI was prominent in many other classes and meetings.  Laserfiche is weaving it into many of its products with a “what else can we do with it” outlook for the future.  Whatever your role, business, or industry, investing time and energy into an AI strategy tailored to you is wise.

On a separate note, in conversations and talking to people, I was reminded just how important it is to slow down and spend time with people. This may seem insignificant next to a grand topic like AI, but it may be even more important with AI surging.  I am a little too driven sometimes and must remind myself to step away from the tasks on my list and take time with people. I had some of the best conversations by just taking a little time to talk. Or by remembering to stop and tell someone thank you for their help on a project.  Time with people is always worth it; sometimes, that means waiting through some awkwardness to get into a good conversation. A little bit of good food doesn’t hurt either! I had the chance to sit down with some of our team members and customers in Vegas, and it’s great to just take time to eat a meal together. Korean Barbecue, Mexican Filipino Burritos, and Pho were fantastic backdrops for a good time together.

Another technology that rose to the top is moving to the Cloud. You may think this is old news, and in some ways it is.  However, the Laserfiche Cloud was well-architected, and it is maturing.  This is also the case with many other Cloud solutions.  Most of us currently have hybrid Cloud and on-premise, and there is certainly a case for some things being local. However, the real point is that if you have not explored the Cloud recently, it may be time to take another look. The Cloud offers excellent benefits, often related to rapid innovation, expandability, remote access, enhanced failover, and more.

It is great to recognize people for their work. We had the opportunity to recognize a great customer and a project we did with them.  The Millipore Sigma packaging team won Laserfiche Program of the Year for their STARS program.  This program was built in partnership with CTaccess.  It was great to see Robert Emerson and Jim Saint Louis accept this award and to have Tom Wielenbeck from the CTaccess team recognized along with them.  The whole process made me wonder who else in our circles deserves recognition and how we might give them a little honor for their work.

Integration used to be an ugly word. When scoping out a product during the sales process, the word integration would come up, and you could see people hiding their cringe.  Integration once meant many hours, unknowns, huge expenses, and sometimes a kludgy result.

It was evident in the sessions that I sat in that with the new integration style; there are more options than ever for a smooth interface with other products.  Using REST APIs and other techy solutions I won’t bore you with, we can integrate with products both old and new. And the real theme here is that integrating multiple products creates massive payback.  One presenter worked for a regional bank with multiple branches.  He said that the financial people used to laugh at his ROI calculations, and they stopped when he began to show them the payback on integration because it meant hundreds or thousands of hours.

The Laserfiche Empower conference centers on automating what knowledge workers do every day. These are the people who sit behind a computer like you and me.  We have been working with Laserfiche since 1998 and have used AI before it was Generative AI to create fantastic solutions.  The results of automation are HUGE.  If you have not explored it, consider doing a Process Automation Assessment.

My final takeaway is that I need help getting the word out!  We have the tools and an excellent team here at CTaccess. Our customer won the Laserfiche Program of the Year for our work with them.  We would love to have the opportunity to explore what we might do for you or someone you know to help them innovate in a way that impacts their growth and productivity.