It is extremely user-friendly for business professionals, as it allows them to generate relevant data analysis results by simply asking questions through voice or entering keywords in the search box. This reduces the dependence on data analysts/scientists.
36Kr has learned that business intelligence software provider "Synergies Synergies Intelligent Systems" (referred to as Synergies Intelligent Systems hereafter) has announced the completion of a Series A+ financing round, led by NGP Capital, with tens of millions of dollars in funding. Northbound Capital served as the exclusive financial advisor for this round. According to the information, the funds from this round will mainly be used for market expansion and team development.
Business Intelligence (BI) has been developing in China for over 20 years. However, for most enterprises, BI is primarily used for its data analysis functions and as a tool for front-end displays. But in fact, the value of BI goes far beyond that. As early as 1996, Gartner defined BI as a technology and its applications aimed at helping enterprises make decisions, consisting of components such as data warehousing (or data marts), query and reporting, data analysis, data mining, data backup, and recovery. In other words, the full potential of BI as a complete system has yet to be fully realized.
Before 2013, traditional BI was the mainstream in the market. However, with the acceleration of digital transformation, the shortcomings of traditional BI gradually became apparent. After business departments made requests to the data analysis department, they required processes such as data extraction, cleansing, analysis, and modeling, which were time-consuming and labor-intensive. Over time and with changing demands, the effectiveness of data analysis conclusions gradually diminished. This resulted in many enterprises' BI systems failing to effectively assist in decision-making. The fundamental reason for this is that data analysts/scientists understand the technology but not the application scenarios, while business professionals are the opposite. The ideal model should be business professionals independently drawing conclusions through data analysis when there is a need and promptly adjusting the next implementation strategy.
Therefore, self-service BI primarily targeting business professionals emerged and began to rapidly develop around 2014. According to the latest data from IDC China, the Chinese business intelligence software market is expected to show rapid growth in 2021, with an estimated market size of $760 million, representing a year-on-year growth of 26.5%. By 2025, the market size of the Chinese business intelligence software market is expected to reach $1.6 billion, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.6% over the next five years.
In recent years, with the widespread adoption of AI, big data, and cloud computing, coupled with advancements in technologies like natural language processing and machine learning, intelligent BI (Business Intelligence) has become another major trend. BI providers, both domestically and internationally, are launching intelligent BI products. Examples include Microsoft's Power BI, Tableau, QlikView, and domestic companies like FineReport, Yonghong Tech, and Yixin Huachen.
Intelligent BI, also known as ABI (Augmented Business Intelligence), refers to a series of user-friendly functions for business professionals, including data preparation, visual exploration, insight generation, and self-service analysis. Users can easily generate relevant data analysis results by asking questions through voice or entering keywords in the search box. This simplicity, speed, and efficiency reduce the dependence on data analysts/scientists.
Synergies Intelligent Systems, introduced in this article, is one of the companies in the field of intelligent BI that 36Kr has reported on multiple times. Founded in late 2016, Synergies Intelligent Systems is headquartered in Shanghai and has branches in Taipei, Singapore, and Boston. Its core product is a universal SaaS (Software as a Service) AI-driven decision platform called Jarvix developed based on augmented analytics technology. It connects systems such as ERP, MES, and YMS to help employees in various business departments, including manufacturing, quality control, operations, and finance, conduct data analysis, and create industrial apps without the need for programming skills. JarviX also provides a complete set of analytical methodologies and dozens of industry best practice templates, allowing business professionals to quickly import and apply data in various business scenarios.
For business professionals, the specific steps involve three main stages: identifying problems, finding causes, and obtaining answers:
1. Use natural language processing (NLP) to ask questions, and the system automatically retrieves data to build visual "war rooms" and other applications.
2. Automatically invoke built-in AI algorithms such as root cause analysis, clustering, anomaly detection, and association through NLP to analyze data.
3. Make predictions and optimizations for business using technologies like AutoML and simulators.
JarviX's product application modules include a data management center, natural language data exploration, AutoML algorithm platform, dynamic monitoring war room, and no-code application creation. These modules cover various standardized scenario applications such as intelligent production scheduling, smart supply chain, yield root cause analysis, AI parameter optimization for equipment, common material optimization, quote analysis and forecasting, intelligent financial analysis, predictive maintenance, tolerance analysis matching, AI intelligent risk control, and wealth management.
Currently, JarviX primarily serves large enterprises in the manufacturing industry with an annual turnover of over 500 million RMB and medium-sized enterprises with a turnover of 100 million to 500 million RMB. It has nearly a hundred cooperative clients, including Apple's supply chain companies, such as Foxconn and Green Point; Tesla's supply chain companies such as Fuyao Glass and Chen Xin; and major outdoor shoe supply chain companies like Yuqi. Large and medium-sized clients account for roughly equal proportions, with the majority in the fields of electronic manufacturing and automotive components.
The reason for focusing on this industry lies in both the founder Zhang Zongyao's personal experience and market opportunities. Zhang Zongyao, who graduated from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) with a doctorate in electrical engineering and computer science, has a research background covering optics, machine learning, computer vision, and big data platforms. During his tenure as a research and development manager at Foxconn, he used data analysis to help the Shenzhen factory improve its yield, saving nearly $20 million.
Additionally, Zhang Zongyao believes there are several key reasons why they chose to focus on the industrial sector:
1. The industrial sector presents a significant market opportunity. In China alone, the GDP in 2020 was approximately 100 trillion RMB, with industrial GDP accounting for roughly 33 trillion RMB. The transformation of production methods and rising labor costs have made it imperative for industrial enterprises to adopt refined and data-driven management.
2. AI can deliver maximum value in the industrial sector at the current stage. Industrial manufacturing data is primarily first-party data, meaning it is almost unaffected by external factors. In this environment, augmented analytics can be most effective and achieve the best optimization results.
3. In terms of team background, Synergies Intelligent Systems can be considered one of the companies that best understands both the industrial and AI/data analysis fields. As technology advances, augmented analytics will also play a greater role in other industries.
According to official information, Synergies Intelligent Systems' core team comes from renowned enterprises and universities such as IBM, Jabil, Cisco, MIT, Cornell University, Tsinghua University, and the National University of Singapore, combining technical development capabilities with industrial manufacturing backgrounds. The current team consists of more than 80 members.
While this business model is favorable, it still faces several unavoidable challenges:
1. The model dictates that Synergies Intelligent Systems primarily collaborates with medium to large enterprises with a high degree of informatization and significant data resources. However, these enterprises often have custom systems, which means there is a lack of unified standards across systems, and the quantity and quality of data can vary. This inadvertently increases the difficulty of later delivery.
2. Various technologies involved in augmented analytics, such as
Currently, Synergies Intelligent Systems' revenue model includes both annual and monthly subscription plans. The main difference lies in the subscription period and whether additional fees for manual services are purchased. The average order value for medium-sized clients is around 500,000 RMB, while for large clients, it varies in the millions. In 2021, the client retention rate was 90%, and the annual revenue more than doubled compared to the previous year, driven by both new customers and upselling to existing ones.
In terms of customer acquisition, apart from direct sales channels, Synergies Intelligent Systems also places significant emphasis on collaborations with equipment vendors, consulting firms, and system integrators.
In the next phase, Synergies Intelligent Systems will partner with Nokia to develop private 5G communication intelligent solutions for global manufacturing factories. This collaboration aims to address the challenges of traditional factory data communication and application, facilitating further business partnerships.