The Storyteller of WonderBotz – Interview with Amahl Williams
“Every time you tell a story, it changes because you understand it better.”
Amahl Williams has always been a storyteller. Throughout his career, starting with the Verizon management training program and continuing through a decade of sales and marketing leadership, Amahl has always turned to the power of storytelling. His ability to spin a good one at the drop of a hat has helped his organizations succeed. Today, the stories he tells are about digital workers and the future of work. And they are fascinating.
For the past year, Amahl has been sharing the story of WonderBotz. As a horizontal VP, he is responsible for explaining to the C-suite in companies across America how Robotic Process Automation can transform their businesses. For Amahl, the story is simple. Deploying digital workers can free up your employees to do more strategic and complex tasks, provide them with more opportunities to use their soft skills, and return a real work-life balance to their workforce.
Amahl sees three fundamental buyer personas for WonderBotz. “The first are those new to RPA. Those folks come to us; we don't have to chase them. Second, customers who say, ‘Help me scale.’ Our partners bring those folks to us. And then the third persona, which is the most lucrative, is the ‘Rescue My Program’ group.”
Fortunately for Amahl, the business world is recognizing their need for RPA. Digital transformation is happening in HR, finance and accounting, call centers, and other areas of business. Because of the high demand, Amahl focuses on inbound marketing. “I love the channel marketing approach, it's much more effective in this industry because of the customer demand.”
Because of that customer demand, a fundamental, table-stakes level digital marketing approach was powerful enough to attract Disney. To Amahl, that is a clear marker pointing to the health of the RPA industry.
Amahl also relies heavily on tradeshow marketing to reach customers. There, too, he is able to reach top-tier clients both because of the stories he can tell and the excellent work the WonderBotz team does.
“The head of digital transformation for Viacom brought over the head of the Center of Excellence for Bank of America and he's like, ‘I work with these guys, talk to them.’”
Success at tradeshows begins with a strong team and Amahl having the good sense to step out of their way as they prepare for the show. The team spends 90 days planning for events, taking care to connect their solutions and offerings to their key personas.
However, once the show starts, Amahl knows that the story and personal connections are what’s going to make the difference on the floor. “I'm going to go to the show and be in my best mood ever from 7:00 AM to 1:00 AM for three days in a row, every handshake, every high five, every business card. Remembering the customer’s first name and one random element about them. It’s amazing but it’s also exhausting.”
The Head Start for RPA
As adoption and RPA maturity increase over time, businesses have the opportunity to develop and refine their in-house capabilities. Eventually, particularly with larger companies, Amahl sees that the business’ expertise grows to exceed their vendor’s knowledge and capabilities. RPA, as a nascent tool, has pushed open a limited window of opportunity for companies like WonderBotz to really develop and grow their customer base.
Amahl looks at the 34 months it takes for someone to be fully certified in all COE roles for Blue Prism and believes that training time gives incumbents like WonderBotz a strategic advantage from a time-to-market perspective. He predicts it will be six years before corporations are able to fully staff certified developers, architects, and analysts to develop their own internal capabilities. Three years is a long time in RPA and the early adopters will have a competitive advantage when it comes to digital transformation and the future of work. Self-sufficient brands that leverage connected-RPA and Intelligent Process Automation outpace their competitors.
Despite the headlines and hype surrounding artificial intelligence (AI), Amahl is adamant that there is no true commercial application of artificial intelligence on the market today.
“Intelligent chatbots in pilot are not artificial intelligence because they're still beholden to machine learning and natural language processing. Most brands can't even get sentiment analysis right. What kind of chat are you going to have? Go on to an intelligent chat bot and mirror its cadence. If I log into that chat bot, what does it say? Welcome to our site. Can you find everything you're looking for? Canned text that was typed in on the back end. It logically progresses, but if I tell a bot at ABC.com that I’m from ABC.com, it misses it.”
These gaps, between the work that WonderBotz automation solutions can solve for and the soft skills of connecting and human-in-the-loop, are where Amahl sees the best story - freeing up employees to do the work that adds material value to the business instead of the tedious tactical work that lends itself to human error.
Work Life Balance
For Amahl, work-life balance is important both professionally as he evangelizes the value of the digital workforce, and personally as he focuses on his family at home.
“The people who have no work life balance, the people who work so long, never see their family or their kids, they really appreciate what we do. I get to tell them our digital workers will give them back 15-20 hours each week.”
Finding that balance is critical, whether it is through the work of digital workers or finding a company that values and respects your time. Between finding time to go to the gym, picking up his son from school or going out for the evening with his wife Amy, Amahl knows what is most important. He thinks you do too, and he just so happens to have a digital worker that can help.
This is the fourth in our Marketer Spotlight series. Click the Subscribe button on this page and receive this series in your inbox.