Forcive: Leveraging Artificial Intelligence and Big Data to Drive Innovation

Gabriel De Dominicis

The most exciting part about going through a digital transformative phase is that it keeps the businesses on their feet. Operating in an on-demand digital world keeps companies in public eyes. But above all the randomness, such variables can be consolidated using Artificial Intelligence and Data Abilities. The AI-driven solutions provide instant and productive outcomes which help a company to perform efficiently in delivering satisfaction to its clients and customers. Forcive is a data arsenal that uses data as the lifeblood to fuel the pulsing heart of a business.

Forcive’s focus is the development of an AI software platform; which aims to sustain large enterprises in overcoming many hurdles they might encounter along their digital transformation pathways when embracing AI-driven solutions. The result of the company’s joint market and R&D efforts is distilled into an innovative product called Forcive. The company’s AI Platform is designed to inspire business users to rapidly create intelligent solutions that can produce insightful outputs and increase the level of automation in any business process. The product concept relies on a combination of AI and the capacity to capture, handle and process enterprise data in real-time.

Despite being a tech company, Forcive is ultimately driven by business customers as it intimately embraces their challenge in adopting AI in a strategic fashion. The company helps businesses through an end-to-end process simplification that can be achieved with its AI platform.


A Glorious Journey

The company venture started with an innovative technology component: a scalable NoSQL database built around the concept of data streaming protocols and processing. Forcive was able to deploy the component across multiple early-adopter customers, during the span 2015-2017 as, with that highly technological intuition, the company was able to easily address problems presented by traditional databases when facing huge data throughput.

This early experiences and successes led the company to understand that, instead of using big data to create useless data lakes, data can and must, in fact, be seen and used by businesses as the propellant to compete better. But how? In Forcive’s opinion, AI plus massively scalable data streaming technologies are a serious response to that question.

Then the company landed to the launch of the new Forcive AI Platform (early 2018): a completely new concept underpinned by a bold strategy shift. Forcive is now focused on the creation of strategic, long-term relationships with key global customers in selected industries, to facilitate the adoption of its new technology.

The company revolutionizes the streaming data processing for AI thanks to a unified user experience, that allows a smooth and iterative deployment of production-ready data solutions into complex organizations. Forcive can capture, prepare and mobilize any data, persist and aggregate, compute and output visualizations both for interactive analysis and feed AI algorithms. It discloses opportunities to get more automation and optimization into operating processes.  It adopts the most advanced AI and data science frameworks within the streaming processing environment, and simplifies the provisioning of the required back-end software, to provide total scalability and manage extremely large datasets and workloads.

Forcive embraces an “open to innovation” philosophy. The company firmly believes there is no real possibility to succeed in Enterprises with AI, without the ability to infuse and mix the outcomes of internal AI and data scientist teams, and be able to inject new algorithms and advancements in AI technology constantly popping up from Academic Institutions, Universities, and open source community.


The Futuristic Leader

Forcive’s CEO and Co-Founder, Gabriel De Dominicis, is well renowned as a leader in the fields of big data analytics, AI and predictive modeling. He has a strong mathematical background, with several academic contributions in the field of commutative algebra and computational commutative algebra. He is also a seasoned executive with over twenty years of experience in technology companies. Some of them, that are now public companies, were technically driven from early stage to pre-IPO stages. Gabriel is a co-founder of Forcive and has led the company through its initial growth phase.


Tackling the ‘Black Box’ Problem of AI

Gabriel believes there is a secret about AI that many of its proponents don’t like to mention: it’s not that smart and, in many cases, beyond immediate human comprehension at the same time. Often when AI produces a decision its end users won’t know how it arrived there. Its functioning is a “black box.” No one can see inside it. That’s not always a problem, but what happens when AI-powered software turns down a mortgage application for reasons that the bank can’t explain? What if AI fags a certain category of an individual at the airport security with no apparent justification? Leaders may not invest in AI if they can’t see evidence of how it makes its decisions. So, AI running on black boxes may meet a wave of distrust that limits its use.

At Forcive the team is focused on providing specific features that help customers to literally pull out AI from the black box, as to say:

Transparency: Understanding of AI model decision making

Explicability: Understanding the reasoning behind each decision

Provability: Mathematical certainty behind decisions


Cohering Relationship Between AI and Innovation

The new technologies are, in different ways, radically changing even the meaning of innovation. And through the reduction of complexities, they are dismantling entrance barriers in markets. “Today whatever “innovation dream” seems achievable and there is a lot of hope for the future as the net effects on the global economy as a whole are starting to be tangible and effective,” said Gabriel.

“But what is even more amazing is how these ground-breaking digital technologies started with Mobile, Big Data and Cloud and IoT, and now leading to AI (main thanks to Deep Learning and GPUs breakthroughs), even if born to tackle different problems and challenges, are clearly converging into a single picture”.

Forcive believes Artificial Intelligence will dominate the innovation scene of the next coming years. Why? Simply because AI is finally returning practical value to the investments made on the other foundational technology innovations that revolve around big data and the cloud. AI opens up to Enterprises the possibility of running their business more effectively and in a sustainable manner.


Embracing a Culture of Innovation           

What renders Forcive’s innovations revolves around the company’s relentless aspiration to combine and mix different disruptive technologies, around AI (including big data, streaming, data manipulation, provisioning of scalable microservices architectures, cloud and private cloud deployments), around a human-accessible and enjoyable user experience that promotes collaboration and productivity to invent new intelligent solutions. The innovation, hence, doesn’t stem from new proprietary algorithms or from the ownership of specific user datasets to address narrow problems. It rather comes from the aim to transform the way Enterprises need to do deal with AI: into a much more approachable and financially sustainable manner.

A key aspect of Forcive’s innovation strategy is to make this technology mix a real advantage, by avoiding the trap of creating a new pachyderm software stack, with steep learning and adoption curves and introducing other locks-in. For these reasons, the company embraced the motto: Open to Innovation. Forcive’s AI platform is an open playground where different internal specialties and roles around AI, data management and Infrastructure can cooperate to create intelligent applications and support different business needs. AI engineers can work on their algorithm in a more productive manner since all the relevant functions for draining data, creating features, and training algorithms, and deploying the solution into a production-grade environment are provided as services by Forcive.

Forcive’s internal innovation funnel relies on multiple external sources including re-use and contribution to the most advanced platforms from the open source community, active collaboration with Academia and Research and strategic partnerships with global industry leaders.


Current and Futuristic Trends for AI

This big storm spreading new possibilities through AI for businesses is only at its onset, yet the day-by-day news and achievements are incredibly encouraging. The company believes the current fragmented AI industry with its multitude of innovative offerings will gradually converge towards two broad areas of focus: products specialized in addressing specific user needs through complex black-boxed AI solutions and foundational technologies to render the Enterprise efforts in AI more and more sustainable and aligned, through the introduction of standardizations and interoperability of algorithms and pipelines (Forcive is already seeing through deep networks). Forcive knows that soon the biggest challenge will be even more related to compliance and ethical aspects connected with the use of the output generated by the AI, and with the collection and use of sensitive data. Eventually, it is foreseeable that these broad conglomerates will be interconnected in a continuous symbiotic interchange.


Rewarding Gestures and Feedbacks

Forcive has several success cases in Europe, the Middle East and recently in North America, including some very important companies from the Insurance, Financial Services, and Banking sectors. It’s worth mentioning the ongoing worldwide partnership with MasterCard that represents a very bright story of win-win collaboration and shared vision, to market a MasterCard proprietary solution for credit cards management to Banks, using the Forcive Platform. The company is also very proud of having been selected to participate in the PwC Scale I AI program that took place in Autumn 2018 in London.


Becoming Relevant; Defeating Challenges

The company feels one of the biggest challenges is trying to balance the breadth and depth of product capabilities and the time to market. Considering also the complex and long-tailed commercial cycle, mainly due to the early stage of adoption of AI products into Enterprises, that needs to be carefully sustained through continuous enablement, PoCs, consultative selling and development of info-products, the risk is to question the financial sustainability of the initiative especially during the initial stage of the start-up.

“The magic happens when innovators like us are able to individuate the right pace of the product roadmap and releases, keeping up with the financial sustainers’ expectations and with the response times of large customers with their intricate buying processes. That’s why part of our product strategy is to enable customers mitigating AI adoption risks connected to budget evaluation and investment decisions as the Platform supports a rapid experimentation and piloting phase that leads to a risk-free, incremental development cycle,” mentioned Gabriel.


Great Prospective Vision

Commenting on the future roadmap, Gabriel said, “I see a very bright future for our Company in this astonishing industry! We have a vision and concept that fits very well, anticipating the directions of the AI industry as a whole. This is a key aspect of our offer that top global firms are now valuing, very positively, as a differentiating approach for their AI strategy.”

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