Innovate 2019: a celebration of customer experience Keelie Fitzgerald, VP Marketing

September 5, 2019 |

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Odessa kicked off its annual Innovate conference on August 12th where Co-Founder and CEO, Madhu Natarajan, explained how the connected technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution can be harnessed for innovation and customer success. At this premiere conference for asset finance, attendees were treated to a showcase from Odessa’s Innovation Lab by Odessa Co-Founder and CTO, Jay Mehra. Jay continued the keynote program stressing an integrated view of customers, new opportunities for automation and artificial intelligence, and the power of usage-based technology consumption changing the face of leasing.

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Introducing Mobility and APIs

Two new Odessa offerings took center stage along with Jay Mehra, CTO: Odessa Mobility and the re-imagined Odessa APIs. The vision of Odessa Mobility was enforced through a live demo of the Vendor Portal Mobile App on stage. The Vendor Portal Mobile App launches in the App Store and Google Play later this year, and Odessa Mobility is an integrated platform feature available in 2020 for enterprise users to configure or create their own mobile apps. Combined with the development power provided by Odessa Build, with Odessa Mobility companies can now offer a truly dynamic mobile experience to their partners and customers.

Odessa APIs, a newly expanded capability that lets customers bring new levels of automation to their Odessa experience and prepare for future connection to artificial intelligence, was demonstrated by Ravi Pathak, Odessa SVP and Technical Architect. Adding to Odessa’s existing offering of native GET/POST APIs are Scenario and Component APIs.

Also in focus during the keynote were platform features – Build, Test, OCR, Analytics, and Diagnostics.

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“What is the most powerful technology coming? The confluence of all of these things,” Mehra said. “We are advancing to a Platform-as-a-Service offering (PaaS). And the distinction is this – that we want our total platform to be available to you via a more flexible consumption model.”

Attendees who stole the show

The conference participant that received the most cheer may have been – the Philly Phanatic! We borrowed the Phanatic from Philadelphia’s home team – the Phillies – to join us for the opening reception sponsored by Vertex.

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Other featured attendees and speakers included Joe Sebik from Siemens Financial Services, Jeanne Hill from EY, Ryan Steel from DLL Group, Doug Cohen and Mike Maiter from Vertex, and Andrew Smith from Johnson & Johnson Finance Corp.

Dr. Jennifer Golbeck, Director of the Social Intelligence Lab at the University of Maryland, was introduced for the afternoon ‘Innovation Keynote’ to share her view on the future of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Dr. Jen shared that huge power lies in smart algorithms combined with the vast amount of big data generated by sensors, Internet of Things devices, and human behavior – from financial transactions to social interactions to increasingly trackable behavior. But how will AI help people make better decisions? How will it affect or even potentially replace some human tasks altogether? And where do business opportunities lie in leveraging new technological capabilities? The key, according to Dr. Jen, is to focus on the strategic impact of these technologies.

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From dancing to data intelligence

During the action-packed days of learning, members of the Odessa Community learned how to best leverage Odessa’s full platform solutions to better serve their customers and community. Amidst the training, listening and learning, there were some memorable moments. Odessa’s Product team led the annual all-conference ‘Voice of the Customer’ workshop where attendees brainstormed ideas for development and discussion. Attendees sipped their coffee, engaged with peers in the community, and wowed Odessa with an exciting set of potential features and functionality.

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While navigating the flow of traffic between the full session lineup, attendees interacted with the Innovate sponsors that brought their ‘A-game’ with awesome swag and even better business offerings. Vertex, OSG Billing Services, Great American Insurance Group, American Lease Insurance, and Assurant are partners of Odessa and an integral part of pulling off Innovate.

To serve as the proverbial ‘cherry on top’, we beat the rain and conference attendees enjoyed networking and being treated to dinner, drinks and dancing aboard the Moshulu – a historic ship docked in Philadelphia’s Delaware River.

In case you missed it (or just want to watch it again!), members of the Odessa Community can view the entire Odessa and Innovation Keynotes here. And be sure to catch the conference wrap-up here.

And don’t worry, you don’t have to wait until next year to see us again! We’ll be at the ELFA Lease and Finance Accountants Conference and ELFA Operations & Technology Conference in Chicago and the CFLA Conference in Vancouver in September, the ELFA Annual Convention in Washington D.C. in October, and the ALTA LATM Leasing Conference in November.

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