Human to Machine (H2M) communication is one of the most transformational developments in the Internet of Things- (IoT-) connected world. The advancements in technology and the revolutionary changes in how humans communicate over the past few years have increased the demand for better H2M communication solutions. Rising to meet this demand by providing cutting-edge, AI-powered solutions is Toby Ruckert (CEO and Founder of UIB). Ruckert is a serial entrepreneur, board director, strategic advisor, mentor, trustee, and notably, a classically-trained pianist.
Initial Steps in the Entrepreneurial Journey
Born and raised in Germany’s automotive invention and innovation hub of Baden-Württemberg, Ruckert was surrounded by the engineering and design talent of Mercedes Benz, Porsche, and a strong Swabian culture of “if you understand a problem well enough, you can invent a solution to fix it.” The seed of being a tech entrepreneur was likely planted in him when he tried out speech to text (voice recognition) in the early nineties while still in school and subsequently started one of the first e-commerce stores at college later that decade.
Being a very young business owner, Ruckert realized that if he could create solutions for his own business’ problems, those solutions would naturally attract other business owners who lacked the ideas, time, or resources to develop a suitable solution. His early fascination with voice recognition led to his venturing into the H2M Communication industry nearly two decades later by establishing UIB in Singapore in 2014.
“It’s incredibly satisfying to look back now and see my question of ‘why can’t we just talk to our things?’ grow into the global, multi-billion-dollar H2M communications industry,” said Ruckert. As industry analysts predict an exponential increase in H2M interactions in the coming years, UIB is set to lead the H2M industry with its multi-patented, award-winning conversational AIoT platform.
Simplifying Human to Machine Communications
Ruckert created UIB’s technology initially to simplify human to machine communications. But the company also offers unique solutions such as Omnichannel messaging APIs for developers who use them to create AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants. It also provides unified chat solutions (including conversational interfaces) for customer service, e-commerce, facilities management, smart home device manufacturers, and many more. The best way to describe UIB is as a “Unified Intelligent Brain” — unified as in a platform working across all communication channels, intelligent as in translating human to machine language and back, and brain as in the future IP of any organization, where data, knowledge, processes and ownership responsibilities can be safely and securely stored in a private cloud or on-premise. After all, brains should be private!
UIB’s customers can use natural language text and voice on over 30 messaging platforms and connect to both IoT devices and software systems. With over two billion users, UIB takes pride in being one of a select number of WhatsApp Business Solution Providers.
Inspire, Invent, and Innovate
Being the CEO of UIB, Ruckert simultaneously serves its customers, team members, resellers, partners, investors, and board. His most important role, however, is attracting and retaining the people the company needs to achieve its ambitious growth objectives. While there may be other classically-trained pianists turned AI company CEOs, Ruckert’s experience of working in close partnerships with his CTO for nearly two decades across multiple businesses to invent what’s next sets him apart from the other leaders in the industry.
Ruckert believes that UIB’s ability to continue to satisfy its customers is based not just on innovation but invention and its human ingenuity to satisfy human curiosity as Ruckert sees curiosity being the driving force allowing us to overcome challenges.
“We are continually reinvesting in R&D to advance how we think about human to machine communications,” he added. Besides inventing, Ruckert also loves to bring ideas that are being pursued in one industry to create results in another and being able to mentor other startups and entrepreneurs.
Meeting the Needs of New Anything-But-Normal
The pandemic has made businesses reassess their strategies and priorities. In these uncertain times, Ruckert and his global team have leveraged UIB’s existing remote collaboration and contactless communications capabilities to help other businesses not just survive but thrive. In the wake of the pandemic, UIB came with a large number of solutions, from using a chatbot to find the nearest Coronavirus testing site with open testing slots to enabling small businesses without mobile apps or e-commerce websites to contactless serve their customers in any language.
The company also combined its conversational AIoT and chat builder platforms with temperature scanner-equipped robots to meet the rapidly changing local requirements, social distancing rules, and even create moments of fun in the stress-filled new normal. Moreover, this new normal has allowed UIB to form new strategic partnerships that would never have come together as quickly. “We have seen many of the industry players struggle and vanish. Only a few true global platform players will remain, and UIB is one of those global platform leaders,” Said Ruckert
Role Model Leadership
“The virus has made all leaders realize that the must-have skill for them today is the ability to collaborate remotely. Whether your people are spread across countries or work in a single office, the ability to work in-person with everyone on your team is not scalable,” asserts Ruckert. With engineers, sales, and staff people at UIB collaborating remotely since its inception, he has received praise for having a forward-looking strategy that ensures business continuity as well as enables the company to be close to its customers. According to Ruckert, humility, self-awareness, and authenticity are some of the other critical qualities today’s leaders must possess. Moreover, he believes managing one’s moods – which was always an important quality – has now become paramount for every leader.
Optimizing the Problem-Solving Ability
Today, the world is confronting more systematic problems than ever – from the coronavirus to climate change. Ruckert, however, believes that as humans, we have a limitless ability to identify problems and harness technology to solve those problems. “It can help us individually and collectively, to look back and remind ourselves how much we have accomplished to inspire us to solve the next ‘impossible’ problem on our list,” he adds.
Ruckert further asserts that the world is entering the golden age of collaboration between human intelligence and artificial intelligence. UIB will be the universal translator, the H2M communication exchange, offering complete H2M interoperability between all connected users and all connected devices.
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