Three Questions for Jim Allchin, Docugami’s New Technical Advisor
Docugami announced April 20, 2022, that Jim Allchin, who led Microsoft’s Platform Products and Services Group, including Windows and Windows Server, is now a technical advisor to Docugami. We sat down with Jim Allchin to get his impressions of the company and how document engineering could transform how businesses and organizations of all sectors and sizes operate.
What got you interested in Docugami?
The short answer is Bob Muglia and Jean Paoli. My youngest just went off to college. I’ve been doing a lot of music and I’m still doing code, but I have not gotten involved with any companies or advising until now because I wanted to have freedom for my kids and family. So when Bob suggested that I take a look at Docugami, and introduced me to Docugami’s CEO Jean Paoli, the timing was right.
Jean and I didn’t work together at Microsoft, but I am a huge believer in Jean’s vision for Docugami and I truly enjoy working with him.
Jean’s approach with Docugami is not tied to a particular type of marketplace or document, it’s very broad. I like horizontal things; I don’t like vertical things. I like to use a horizontal platform and then be able to tailor it appropriately and use it on a range of vertical things.
There are a few other companies that are using AI to process documents, but they have very vertical solutions. I’m a platforms guy – I’ll bet on a horizontal platform any day of the week versus a vertical solution.
And beyond the vision, what attracts me to Docugami is the enormous potential impact. I’m into all kinds of technology. I love esoteric stuff, and I also love practical technology that helps people get things done and changes the world. So one thing that really attracted me to Docugami is that it’s very much a practical use of AI.
If you look at where the world’s information is, a lot of the world’s information is locked into documents in unstructured form. So getting that information into a digital form that computers can process – hey, that’s really a big deal. You can then use it, analyze it, build on it – it creates all kinds of possibilities.
How do you think Docugami can change the world?
The opportunities are enormous. Just look at any industry sector and the amount of documents they have is astonishing.
Just in the short amount of time I’ve played with Docugami, it was pretty interesting. I put myself in the shoes of a business user and loaded a bunch of documents, and very shortly after, started creating reports without any development, installation or specialized AI training. Docugami let me see pretty quickly “oh, this particular document is slightly different – and slightly different in a way that could be bad.” So once companies see that benefit, I think they will be interested in the product. Because all it’s going to take is one of those things to cause a problem for their company, especially in this litigious world.
Take the medical field. When I think of medicine and all the written material that exists there, it’s amazing what sort of connections you could make if you could unlock all the information currently trapped in documents.
And the same is true across virtually every sector. Real estate, insurance, pharmaceuticals, legal, professional services, government, intellectual property – just about any sector you can name relies on documents, and so much vital information is trapped in those documents.
If something like Docugami had been around when I was at Microsoft, with all the relationships we had with third parties, it would have been really helpful. To see what the pricing was at a certain point in time, or when that pricing was going to expire. Or to look across all our licensing agreements and be able to see what are the restrictions in terms of how the technology could be used or couldn’t be used.
It's too much for somebody to keep in their head, and it’s enormously expensive and time-consuming and error-prone to try to manually extract all these provisions from hundreds or thousands of individual contracts. Docugami will make it so much easier.
How do you think you can help Docugami, as a technical advisor?
Well, I think it’s yet to be determined IF (laughing) I can help them, and what area would be the best.
Kidding aside, one area I have a lot of experience in is building large, scalable systems. So as Docugami begins to scale up and launch its self-serve service, I can help them think through their architecture and their user interface and user experience.
I can also help them think through the technologies they are using in various parts of their product.
I can also help them think through how they resource key areas like design and development as they grow.
And finally, I’ve spent a lot of time learning what’s possible in AI, so I’m definitely interested in talking with Docugami’s data scientists and seeing if there are any areas where I can be helpful there.