Synopsis: In this AI Leadership Insights video interview, Amanda Razani speaks with Seth Catalli, chief revenue officer of Globality, about harnessing generative AI for the enterprise.

Amanda Razani: Hello, I’m Amanda Razani with, and I’m excited to be here with Seth Catalli. He is the Chief Revenue Officer of Globality. How are you doing today?

Seth Catalli: I’m doing great. Hi, Amanda.

Amanda Razani: So glad you could be on our show. Can you share with our audience what is Globality, and what services do you provide?

Seth Catalli: Yeah, sure. Globality is a company that’s been around for about five, six years, building out AI in order to go after, really, the autonomous enterprise era that we’re in, which is automation coming into all different parts of the enterprise. The area that we specifically attacked is around an indirect spend and transforming procurement.

Amanda Razani: Okay. So today, we’re going to talk a little bit about AI and this amazing technology that has just kind of exploded on the market in the last year. Now, AI has actually been around quite a while, but generative AI just seems to have really exploded after ChatGPT, and everyone has been trying to harness this technology and implement it into almost every sector. So from your experience, what are some of the key issues or concerns that business leaders have when they’re trying to harness this technology?

Seth Catalli: Sure, yeah. Yeah, I can talk a little bit about that. I’ve been on a … If I look at the kind of the journey from moving from ERP applications, which in a way, automate workflows and processes to … In my background, I was at Oracle, Workday, SAP, and then moving into automation platforms, which were more general platforms across lots of different types of tasks, and workflows, and automating those, and really, trying to follow not just how the systems work, but in that case, how people interact with the systems and trying to automate the labor there, that is the tedious part, right?
So you say to yourself, you think about anything that you do on a daily basis and you say, “Boy, I wish that part could just be done automatically.” Well, that’s what the automation platforms did for you, and I had the good fortune of working at UiPath and going through their IPO over the last four years, and then just recently, in the last year, I joined Globality, which is taking that even to the next step, so beyond robotic process automation, but truly into taking a function, in this case, autonomous sourcing, and going in and going deep on what the workflows, the automation, and the AI needed to really create a whole solution for business users to interact with suppliers around driving better transparency, driving better cost controls into the sourcing of suppliers. Now, your question was around, “What concerns do people have coming up when you’re using AI and automation?” Number one, people, I think in general, across all automation and AI always want transparency. They want to understand what the AI is doing, how’s it making decisions, what’s the automation doing, and so what you always see is you see the ability to understand in a transparent way the governance around, “How are you going to scale out automation?”
“How are you going to scale out AI?,” and having a strong transparent system, but a strong governance model as well. Those are two things that are always asked. The other thing, really, quite frankly is everyone asks about speed. “How fast can I get this implemented?,” number one, and then, “How fast can it drive a change in my business?,” because the business outcome that they’re ultimately trying to get to is the north star for them, right? So that could be driving better margins, that could be be able to have more revenue with the same employees, and when you think about that, everyone’s trying to drive towards that, and what they want is to use automation and AI in any function across the enterprise as a way to get to that business outcome faster. So speed is another thing that, really, I hear a lot from customers that I speak with.

Amanda Razani: So let’s speak to that a little bit. Can you kind of share, what does that implementation journey look like, and how fast can it be implemented?

Seth Catalli: Yeah, yeah. Well, certainly, it depends on the area that you are going to start, and then where you ultimately want to go, but if I keep to the category that we know, which is here within your sourcing and within your indirect spend, I mean, ultimately, what organizations are dealing with, number one is there has been slow economic growth. So let’s start with the drivers, the value drivers, where there’s been inflation, there’s been workforce reduction. Really, if you think about what CFOs are being rewarded for right now is they’re being rewarded in the market for having strong cost containment programs. They’re being rewarded for having a really strong understanding of the expense envelope, the OPEX envelope they can work within in order to go and invest in innovation, and so when you think about how you capture value in that kind of an environment, the other thing we all know that’s happened is that every one of us in our personal lives has been exposed to ChatGPT, right?
So that means now that at an intuitive place, you just can say, “Oh, AI drives, getting things done faster.” AI drives what we might call efficiency, right? In our personal lives, that’s things like people writing everything from a poem with AI to their wedding vows with an AI, and we see that and we call that generative AI, right? But when you take that generative AI that’s getting so much momentum in our consumer lives into the enterprise, you need the enterprise AI tools that are proven to deliver real value, and capturing the value and the importance of the data becomes really crucial. And so what we’re seeing is, in terms of how you move quickly, is you pick an area that you know you can get real ROI.
People don’t want to just experiment with AI, they want it to drive ROI, and so the area that we would suggest that you start with is if you’re looking at how to drive cost containment and you’re looking at how to use AI, if you look at indirect spend as a first place to start, I think what you’ll find is within weeks and months, you can drive a real ROI that you see both in time, as well as in money. What I mean by that is on the time side, you’ll see efficiency. You’ll see things that used to take six weeks to get done are now taking a half hour to get done, right? I mean, dramatic 80% efficiency gains, and on the money side, you’ll see where you used to scope, let’s say a statement of work with a supplier that was costing, let’s say a million dollars before now it costs 900,000, right? So you’re saving in the 10 to 20% range typically on how you spend money with your suppliers, and some of that comes from just having a very specific scope, and some of that comes from driving a more open and competitive process.

Amanda Razani: So do you sometimes see some hesitation or buck back from company leaders or employees when it comes to this implementation, and how do you handle that, or what do you have to say to business leaders?

Seth Catalli: Well, the first thing is just go back to your reaction when you first saw ChatGPT, right? The first reaction is always like, “Wow, that’s pretty amazing.” Right? So when you are in an enterprise world, maybe trying to … Let’s say you and I are deciding that we go, “Hey, Amanda, we need a branding consultant,” and we go out and we say, “Let’s figure out what we really need.”
In the past, we might’ve had to bring in some expertise just to help us understand our needs, right? You might hire a consultant to help you hire a consultant, right? And when you’re interacting with an AI that has expertise in sourcing, now you’re interacting with an AI that’s going to help drive you through to the specific pillars of value that you want to get out of that relationship that you’re trying to source, and so what’s amazing is how well it knows your next move, how well it knows what you want to, in this case, purchase. And so it may know different areas of branding that are important to you and I, and it’s going to ask questions because it’s already done millions of dollars of branding sourcing have gone on this AI, now, we’re interacting with it. It might be something that we do once every two or three years, but of course, the platform overall does it all the time, right?
So it’s learning all the time from all the transactions across the platform, so it helps us move really quickly. And now, the next person that comes into platform might be wanting to buy lighting, right? Something completely different, but it’s going to know how to interact and source that and scope that, and then you instantly see all your suppliers. So the ability to understand your scope and what your needs are really well, and then the ability to completely match suppliers really fast, I mean, that’s the big wow moment that happens. When you say, “What are people’s concerns?,” I think what you see is people saying, “How do I scale this and get this out across the enterprise?”
And so that the ability to kind of change what we were doing before and step back and go, “This is a better way” in that aha moment, it’s like, “How do I get that aha moment across the enterprise, where we have a self-service environment, where people now can use these kinds of AI tools, where before, they might’ve had to depend on someone else doing the work for them?” That work now is more of a self-service environment and the speed, and the speed of innovation is so fast, because what you’re really trying to do when you’re sourcing something is you’re expressing your priorities or your organization through your spend and you’re trying to innovate with your partners. And so what we’re doing, what we see is just people trying to understand, “How can they go faster? How can they go bigger? How can they scale?”

Amanda Razani: Cost efficiency, time efficiency, all things that business leaders are looking at, of course. So do you have a specific use case example or a journey that you could share with us today?

Seth Catalli: Yeah, I mean, we just talked about one that’s a great example, which was in the area of marketing. Let’s turn to maybe the area of IT. So think about the goods and services that a CIO is procuring on an ongoing basis, and what we’re seeing in our customers is that they have the ability out in the IT department, for example, to say, “Hey, we have these different kinds of relationships with suppliers. We have goods that we purchase from some suppliers. We have consulting that we purchase with some suppliers.
We have contract labor, we have statement of work led, we have small consultant boutiques,” and what we’re looking across all of that is a couple things. Number one is, “How do we stay within our expense envelope? How do we drive OPEX savings and cost savings, and really drive to a cost containment program?,” and be able to look across, have insights across all of that is really important. The second thing that we see is that organizations say, “How do we get a more diverse supplier base?” So one of the big use cases is saying, and really, if you kind of look at what Globality was built all around was really the idea that small, local, diverse service providers get their fair share and get to participate in the global economy.
And so what you’re seeing as a use case is when I go to make a purchase, and I may already have a thought in my mind who I’m going to buy from, “Do I get the opportunity to see right next to that vendor on my panel of suppliers I could use, the diverse, the local, the small businesses, and can I make a decision there to say, ‘Could we split the award?’,” for example. “Could I award some here and some partially to this new supplier?,” and then over time, they’ll build up a track record with us and maybe they’ll gain more of our business. So one of the big use cases we’re seeing is for people to drive their D&I initiatives through their sourcing. And again, you express your priorities as an organization through the way you spend your money.

Amanda Razani: Absolutely. So if there was one key takeaway you would want to give our business leaders today, what would that be?

Seth Catalli: Yeah, I think the era of autonomous enterprise is here. The way that work is being divided between people, between AI, between automation is changing over the next 10 years, and this is our opportunity to lead, and our opportunity to say, “Where can we upskill? Where can we move our roles in the future?” So we take advantage of all of this AI and this efficiency that’s just there for the taking to take out the mundane work that we do, the work that keeps us back from being human, and we put AI at work at that, and then we go to work with the things that we’re really good at, for example, interviewing new talent coming in the organization, for example, communicating with your vendor, with your supplier on really hard topics that need to be worked through, and finding common ground, innovating in your organization on what you’re going to do next and over the next three years on having a plan and working back to today. All the hard analytical and collaborative things that we do best as humans, really, when you think about AI and automation, it allows us to be more human and work on what we think is our real differentiation in terms of where we want to go in our careers on an individual basis.
So I think everybody intuitively understands that. That’s a statement that, I think most organizations have completely bought into, which is, “We can do more for our important employees, creating experience for our employees. We can do more for our very important customers and changing our experience with our customers when the mundane work is automated, and we can work …” Speed. The speed of innovation is coming at us so fast.
We want to work with our suppliers and really create a great experience with our suppliers, where we can work on the same speed, and by automating things in the relationships between suppliers and the enterprise that are the mundane work between the organizations. That’s what … So that’s one thing, is automate within your organization, but now, we’re automating some of the relationships between suppliers and the organization so that we can work as one team faster for the business outcome that we’re trying to drive.

Amanda Razani: Absolutely. It will be interesting to see how this technology unfolds and how the enterprise does harness this moving forward, but as you said, that key element is still the human; the human using these as tools – this technology.

Seth Catalli: That’s right. Well said.

Amanda Razani: Thank you for sharing your insights with us today, Seth.

Seth Catalli: Well, thank you, and it was a pleasure talking with you, Amanda.

Amanda Razani: Look forward to speaking with you again soon.