Think of it as a form of telematics for work – a sensor enabling digital work done at the interface level for all the desktop machines in an office or department.
“Scan… [gives] you the true nature of the work that runs in the company,” explained co-founder and CEO Avinash Misra (pictured). “It’s software that sits on the desktops of people who work, and it watches every action people take to create a very nuanced map of how work is done in that department or company.”
The company’s Skan Process Intelligence platform uses artificial intelligence, computer vision and machine learning to achieve this, creating a tool designed not to interrupt employees while it gathers vital information about work process.
Skan (officially known on its website as Skan AI) was launched in 2018 and launched its initial software a year later. The company currently employs approximately 72 people, with headquarters in Menlo Park, California, and a presence in Seattle, Bangalore, Boston, Ottawa and elsewhere. Misra says it has already developed significant traction for the technology, with “some of the biggest insurance companies and banks in the world” as customers.
Insurance customers include AXA and Cigna, Misra noted.
No integration required
Although it takes time for customers to learn how to use Skan, there is no integration per se into customer systems. There is still a process to follow though, starting with dashboards – visual displays of data.
According to Misra, the company first provides dashboards to interested customers, outlining the types of things that can be made visible with Skan software, including turnaround time, cycle time, contact time. Then there is a brief conversation about how other customers are using the software or what customers can get from the process. However, the main focus is on what is possible with the technology.
“This is a look at the capabilities of some of our software and the ability to see what kind of dashboards or… lighting can be integrated into those business processes. [we] be the process customers choose,” Misra said.
Skan also explores the amount of applications involved in the main business processes that he typically studies, and what the business can gain or lose in conjunction with certain guardrails and what regulatory issues are at stake.
If all of this comes together, then Skan and the client move forward with the software, which constantly monitors work actions in order to optimize or improve processes.
Then, as Misra describes, Skan deploys two individual pieces of software. The first is a small piece of secure software installed on individual workstations, which connects to a server that the customer owns and manages, and to which Skan does not have access. This is where the data generated by Skan’s desktop monitoring resides under the control of the client. Skan sends its algorithms to client servers to help them surface metadata and generate process maps, so clients can view their data and study the results.
Confidentiality is key, Misra said.
“This has been specifically designed with the necessary privacy and security concerns of the organizations we work in, as we are looking at work-related screens [proprietary client data] and we don’t want access to it,” Misra said.
“Our complete separation between our algorithms and their data…is in place for them,” Misra added. “That’s the only setup they have to do. Everything else is automated, the act of capturing flows, bringing out process maps, looking at the data coming out and seeing how things change. This is all built into the software.
From there, customers receive metadata-based process maps and can review potential opportunities to modify their business processes.
Importantly, Skan does not need to integrate its software into client systems.
“We don’t need any integration with any given system to be able to generate the process maps,” Misra said.
In total, the process takes six weeks to two months, from contract to implementation.
So far, Skan has raised approximately $20 million in venture capital, including seed round and Series A funding.
Misra confirmed that the company is “having conversations for a future raise” very soon.
Recruitment is also planned through 2022 and beyond, for sales and marketing, customer relations and product engineering. There is also a new in-house recruiter to help manage hiring in what has been a tough market.
“Based on all projections, we’ll be… well over 100 people by the end of the year,” Misra said.