Arria NLG PLC (LON:NLG) Chief Strategy Officer Matthew Gould caught up with DirectorsTalk to discuss their new product launch, Recount
Q1: Now, you’ve announced the launch of your Recount product this morning, can you tell us a bit more about it and what it does?
A1: Sure. Recount is an artificial intelligence for any small or medium-sized business so it acts as a virtual financial adviser, a virtual business coach. It writes management reports for a business owner, providing them with insights and recommendations. What a good financial analyst or a good management accountant would do in weeks from studying the business’ books, Recount can literally do in seconds. So we’re pretty excited about it.
Q2: It’s initially being launched in Australia and New Zealand, can you tell us when you expect it to be in other geographies and what accounting systems will it ultimately integrate with?
A2: So the idea of Recount is that it works with, or will eventually work with, any online accounting based system. So the target market for Recount, the total addressable market if you like, is huge. We’re not dependent on people finding Recount and treating it as a standalone app. Whatever system they currently use to run their business, eventually we’ll have our Recount artificial intelligence working upon. We’re starting with Australia and New Zealand. It’s like the telcos who do a lot of set up and trialling of new applications as does Facebook. They’re good markets and keen adopters of new technology. We’re starting with a very growing online accounting, cloud-based package called Xero. It has about 700,000 plus users & growing quickly in Australia and New Zealand and the US. Today we launch with Xero and then we go to Quickbooks. By December you will see Recount launch with Quickbooks and Xero in the US. According to their annual report Quickbooks has over 1.5 million users. We’re looking at Sage, we’re looking at MYOB online and of course Netsuite. Millions of businesses currently using these online systems will be able to have this virtual financial adviser writing up the management reports. In a matter of minutes or seconds Arria NLG will be providing the insights to drive their business forward, a task that once would have taken days or weeks.
Q3: Now can we expect to see further products like this using this Arria NLG technology in the near future and do you see NLG becoming a mainstream technology with multiple applications?
A3: To answer the second question first: yes, absolutely. Think about it, what our natural language generation does is it allows in theory anything that has a processor and is connected to the internet to generate language, to talk. People talk about the Internet of Things, that’s what we’re giving language to. Whether it’s a business or individuals who want information conveyed to them in language, our NLG systems are going to provide it. It might be a car talking to you, it might be your home talking to you, it might be virtual aspects of you wandering around social media, all of those things need NLG at their heart. Recount is a product we’ve designed to voice a virtual financial adviser. Articulator Lite and Articulator Pro are forthcoming products that will provide the tools in our NLG cloud to anyone, developers and non-developers, to automate language, to transform their data into rich content, to allow spreadsheets to explain themselves, to allow weather data to explain itself, to allow medical data to explain itself. While Recount is our first product, plenty more of these SaaS-style solutions built by us and built by others using our tools will be coming out in the years ahead.