Neota Logic Inc.
July 21, 2014 Issue
The Most Powerful Name In Corporate News and Information
Interactive Expert System Software Application Platform
Neota Logic Inc.
Neota Logic is
the creator of a unique expert systems platform combining hybrid reasoning,
document automation and process control in a single system enabling complex
interactive applications to be built, maintained and deployed by people who
are not programmers. Neota Logic applications provide for automated,
scalable outcomes in an operationally useful form to increase efficiency,
reduce risk, ensure compliance and reduce costs.
60 East 42nd
Interview conducted by: Lynn Fosse, Senior
Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – July 21, 2014
CEOCFO: Ms. Braham, what is the vision behind Neota Logic?
Ms. Braham: Neota Logic’s vision is to transform how companies address common issues. We do this by offering an innovative software platform which allows for the creation of interactive expert system software applications. The Neota Logic software platform allows a company to transform expertise into actionable answers, it provides for automated, scalable outcomes to reduce risk, increase efficiency, lower costs and ensure compliance - which results in better business outcomes. Neota is different in that we have built a platform that allows people that are not software programmers to build applications, similar to how people use Microsoft Excel to build spreadsheets. For example, a company can distill regulations governing a specific topic into a set of rules embedded into our software tool. Our clients can fill out a smart form to efficiently collect facts, the embedded logic engine applies the rules to those facts and a document generation tool generates compliant pre-populated documents. The application of expertise or rules results in the delivery of an outcome in an operationally useful form.
CEOCFO: When would a company use the system and how would it work?
Ms. Braham: An expert system application can be built for many things such as law, compliance, risk management, accounting, human resources, claims administration, regulation, medicine and many other fields. For example, we have worked with the world's largest employment and labor law firm, Littler Mendelson, to develop a web-based "pay or play" tool called the Healthcare Reform Advisor, we collaborate with Georgetown University Law Center in which students build applications serving the public interest, and we have partnered with the Australian law firm Plexus on a trade promotion advisor. In addition, Seyfarth Shaw recently launched an application for the crowdfunding industry that assists companies and crowdfunding portals with the legal and financial disclosure required for offerings under the Jumpstart Our Business Startup Act (JOBS) of 2012. The applications adaptable framework guides users step by step through detailed analysis of their businesses and enables fast, accurate, and inexpensive drafting of private placement memoranda and other documents. Seyfarth has estimated that use of the application saves time and costs of up to 80 percent.
CEOCFO: Where there are companies doing it themselves or you are doing it for them, how does one know what needs to be included? What rules or guidelines do they need to set up for the application?
Ms. Braham: We work with our clients to apply a proven methodology that delivers results rapidly and uses the time of experts efficiently. The process starts with working sessions among a client's expert and the person building the application to efficiently capture the experts' knowledge. Key steps in the process are to identify and define the goals and scope of the application, the substantive issues to be addressed, the conclusions to be reached, and other facts, questions, database queries and rules, judgments and reasoning necessary to reach the conclusions so reports, email alerts, database updates and other outputs are delivered. An application can be built in real time with plain-language documentation, which the expert can automatically review and revise during development of the application.
CEOCFO: Do you have a preference?
Ms. Braham: Neota will guide a client to determine which approach is best for them. For clients that plan to incorporate numerous applications into their solutions, we typically train the company’s associates to build applications. Other clients will choose to have Neota build the applications for them. We do not have a preference; our objective is to direct our clients so they apply an approach that results in the best outcome for them.
CEOCFO: Do you find that many companies do not understand the depth and the reach of the offering until they started to use it or started to work with you on creating applications?
Ms. Braham: We have seen that once a client understands how applications meet various business needs, they find more uses, and over time take advantage of the countless capabilities of the platform. For example, we have a client that recently embedded 32 different applications into one of their product offerings - and they have plans to expand and include even more applications. So yes, our clients gain an understanding of the range of solutions they can use the technology for and their understanding increases the more they use the platform.
CEOCFO: Are there similar products available today or is this a breakthrough approach?
Ms. Braham: Neota Logic technology is extremely innovative and we are not aware of another platform that operates in the same manner as our product. Our software is streamlined and provides an interactive platform to help automate rules or regulations and provide applicable documentation. While there are components of our technology that other companies have built, nobody has put it together in the same manner we have and our platform is unique in that it allows individuals who are not programmers to build applications. Most other technology is done through traditional software programmers and code is built and maintained by programmers. Neota’s approach is to offer a software platform that provides for applications to be built by any individual in an organization.
CEOCFO: When you are speaking with a potential customer, is there an aha moment when they understand the difference and the value?
Ms. Braham: Fortunately, the benefit of Neota Logic applications is pretty simple—reduced costs, reduced risks, reduced cycle time. The aha moment typically arrives after potential clients have seen one or two working examples – such as, real applications with which business people are getting guidance on legal and policy questions and making better decisions as a result.
CEOCFO: What attracted you to take on the leadership role?
Ms. Braham: First, the people - I knew both John Lord and Michael Mills, two of the co-founders of the company, from when we worked together in e-discovery. John is an entrepreneur and a visionary and Michael has been at the forefront of technology and law for many years. And secondly, the innovative technology. So when there was an opportunity to join both of them and the other experts at Neota to be part of a company that is introducing leading edge technology which provides companies with a transformational tool to make them more effective, I could not pass it up.
CEOCFO: What, if any, objections do you encounter? Where do you find the resistance?
Ms. Braham: Our technology offers a tool that provides a new way of doing business, so it introduces change into an organization. In the future, companies will think about creating a Neota Logic application to address a topic just as they do today with Microsoft Excel. Some of the best opportunities we have are with individuals in organizations that are looking for new technologies to create competitive advantage, or to make them more efficient, or remove risk from a process. When an individual embraces the impact of Neota’s technology, they quickly see the value and benefit of our platform.
CEOCFO: How do you reach out to prospective clients?
Ms. Braham: We have a traditional Business Development organization with sales associates and we attend conferences, sponsor events, and utilize social media - all of the typical ways a company will interface with potential clients. Of course, we are always pleased to introduce the platform to people we have longstanding relationships with and show them the benefits the technology could have on their businesses.
CEOCFO: What is your revenue model?
CEOCFO: What has changed about the application from when it was first developed to when people started using it? What has the company learned along the way?
Ms. Braham: Our software must offer a certain level of simplicity to allow the widest possible community of creators to build useful applications while simultaneously being able to have users develop complex applications. Fortunately, the Neota platform has a flexible architecture and we have wonderful programmers, so we can respond quickly to what our customers tell us. Every design decision continues to examine and re-examine every aspect of the platform from this viewpoint. We ensure the user experience is as simple as possible, for both novices and experts and that every feature is useful, logical, learnable, teachable, complete, and necessary.
CEOCFO: What might be different a year from now at Neota?
Ms. Braham: The company will continue growing, resulting in staff additions, new processes, expanded facilities, and global expansion. And we will continue to enhance the software by adding new features and functions. A lot of productive change will occur which will support the growth of the business.
CEOCFO: What has surprised you in the time that you are there?
Ms. Braham: The company and the product are even more advanced than I anticipated as well as the breadth of solutions which can be addressed using the platform. While I clearly understood the benefits of the technology before joining Neota, I now have an even better appreciation of the many benefits the technology will have for companies once they begin building and using applications in their businesses.
CEOCFO: Why is Neota Logic a company to watch?
exciting times - Neota Logic is gaining momentum, and over the next few
years, we expect to introduce expert systems into many organizations.
Companies will see their business processes transformed with more cost
effective and efficient solutions or with solutions that create competitive
advantages for them. Neota Logic has this great opportunity to introduce
leading edge expert systems technology to companies and provide them with a
transformational tool to make them more effective at a lower cost.
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