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Carlos Meléndez, Wovenware: “companies often rush to get a solution deployed without thinking if that is the right option”

Our world seems to be digitized as much as it is humanly possible. However, every day new inventions and technologies clear their way to the public.

Never has it been more important to be able to provide versatile and easily adaptable solutions when it comes to AI software. But even more important is to know how all these innovations should be used properly.

For this reason, Cybernews team reached out to Carlos Meléndez, COO of Wovenware, to find out more about software engineering and AI solutions.

What has your journey been like? How did the idea of Wovenware come about?

I founded the company along with CEO Christian Gonzalez back in 2004. Before that, I worked for a major U.S.-based consulting firm, Accenture, before moving back to Puerto Rico and working for several companies on software development projects, including work for a major telecommunications company.

I began working on that project with Christian, and based on our success, we founded Wovenware and quickly added other Puerto Rico-based businesses to our client roster, companies looking to modernize their core software applications and adapt to new web-based technologies.

Today, we represent dozens of clients across the U.S. within government, healthcare, insurance, and other markets and provide custom software engineering, as well as advanced AI solutions.

Can you introduce us to what you do? What are the main challenges you help navigate?

We provide custom software engineering and AI solutions to mid-to-large-sized companies in regulated industries. We essentially help them meet their digital transformation goals, by working with them to identify the business challenge they are trying to meet and designing solutions that will help them address it.

Whether that is a predictive AI solution that can help an insurance firm identify customer churn or a healthcare mobile app that can help visiting nurses provide better patient care while on the go.

Why do you think companies often hesitate to try out new and innovative solutions that would enhance their business operations?

Digital transformation can be a scary proposition for many companies used to doing business in a particular way. It can be disruptive, requiring new processes, skills, and often significant costs. For this reason, we approach every project with service design – we make sure what we are building will be the right thing – before we develop even a single line of code.

How did the recent global events affect your field of work?

As with companies everywhere, the pandemic required adjustments to how our staff of more than 140 employees operates. As a technology company, working remotely may have been an easier transition for us, yet we worked hard to make sure our team continued to collaborate and received the support and reassurances they needed.

Demand for software development services among customers also remained strong as IT quickly became the silent hero of the pandemic.

What are some of the best practices organizations should follow when developing software or applications?

Any software or AI project should begin with the identification of the problem and involve the voices of all stakeholders to acutely understand their needs and frustrations. This is the design thinking stage.

Based on this, solution prototypes should be created to make sure what is being built will meet the needs. Only then, should the software go into production, yet that’s not the end. Especially when it comes to AI solutions, development should be an iterative process of continuous improvement.

What are the most common problems companies run into on their digital transformation journey?

The biggest challenge is often fear of change, and effectively training staff and managing the change so that everyone is on-board with the new solution or way of doing business. Also, companies often rush to get a solution deployed without thinking it through and making sure they are building what is truly needed.

Yet, both time and money can be saved, and the solution is always most successful when it’s well-thought-out and strategically deployed.

In this age of ever-evolving technology, what do you think are the key security measures and practices both businesses and individuals should adopt?

Businesses should make sure they align to proven IT security standards and certifications, such as ISO 27001, for example. By aligning with standards, organizations improve their security measures and practices and make sure they are up to date with current practices. Also, individuals and organizations need to take a trust-but-verify approach to digital communications.

That is, if someone is asking for sensitive information or something out of the ordinary, make sure you first verify this communication is legitimate and that the information is truly required before replying.

What predictions do you have for the future of AI technology?

The implementation of AI solutions will be the main driver of industry growth during the next 10 years. From autonomous cars to intelligent decision-making automation, the use of AI will propel economic growth across industries.

What does the future hold for Wovenware?

As AI takes hold in increasingly more businesses, we’re looking forward to expanding our role as a digital transformation partner to companies around the world, helping them not only deploy the most innovative AI solutions but also determine which are the right AI solutions that need to be built.

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