Rashad Howard, CRO, Terry Rice, CEO, Danna Nemeth, Senior Solution Architect and Michael Diaz, Chief Architect
“The implementation of techniques such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and robotic process automation (RPA) does not make intelligent applications magically appear,” begins Terry Rice, CEO of Epigen Technology Corp. “The new application, the shiny object that uses these techniques to fix an issue, is not the only thing that we are after here. We are here to help government organizations implement these technologies and solve a multitude of problems they are facing currently. However, the organizations must have a culture of adoption, which is key to understanding, implementing, and leveraging any new technology. Developing a culture of adoption is key to understanding, implementing, and using any new technology. To implement this culture, however, we need to create a framework of education, organization, and demonstration which sets the groundwork needed to realize value,” adds Rice.
Epigen delivers value by helping government agencies focus on outcomes requested by the user and streamline their services accordingly. The company provides a framework that educates all levels of users within the organizations on advanced and emerging technologies. The framework also helps them attain the principles of value-first service delivery. It aids in enhancing productivity, as well.
At the core of Epigen’s engagement strategy is the idea of teaching users how to embed data science and AI as part of their core competency. This will help them bridge the gap between casting a vision and actualizing it with maximum impact and efficiency.
To achieve this feat, agencies need to break away from the shackles of traditional methods. That is precisely why Epigen, in all its client engagements, educates its clients on implementing the emerging technologies. The company’s strategy deals with the three core areas: planning and architecture, emerging technologies, and advanced analytics and implementation through agile management and delivery.
Accelerating Productivity through Artificial Intelligence
Epigen follows an innovative methodology that turns organizational priorities into a shared vision among all the users, from executives to field operations, in an agency. Such a methodology drives citizen services with fewer resources. It also eliminates all the barriers standing in the way of internal communications—between a user and executive—and ensures that any technology decision implemented to support the organization is aligned with the organizational goals and objectives. “We don’t give the agencies a magical black box that solves all their problems. Rather, we educate them about the logical process to get to a solution that drives value,” states Michael Diaz, Chief Architect, Epigen.
At the outset, Epigen initiates conversations with staff on all levels to discover and comprehend what works for them. Understanding their key challenges, goals, vision, mission, and key performance indicators, the team builds realistic objectives aligned with an established strategic vision to find the right technology solution to drive the value of the organization.
“Experience has shown that the implementation of any technology, especially the new ones, must start with the people who will use it every day,” says Rice. “Enabled with the knowledge of emerging technologies, users can directly express their need for mission capabilities to an executive decision-maker while showing direct value to the organization. This is paramount to any project’s success—doubly so when requesting a new technology such as AI,” adds Rice.
And when Epigen gets down to the brass tacks, it focuses on laying a strong foundation for the enterprise that is based on education, defined value, practical application, and good science. Epigen’s approach to solving problems is resilient.
We bring to the government agencies, thought leadership in the areas of emerging and innovative technology best practices, educating them on the practical applications of AI-based technologies in their environment
It solves the problems of today and tomorrow—both from the technological and operational perspective.
As Epigen gets down to problem-solving for its clients, a new mindset and a high level of organizational maturity from the leadership and technology perspective are inseparable. “We are advocates of citizens. As such, we bring to the government agencies, thought leadership in the areas of emerging and innovative technology best practices, educating them on the practical applications of AI-based technologies in their environment.”
Be it choosing a solution for acquisition and contract management, information security, criminal exploitation, or counter terrorism, agencies lack the understanding of intricacies in defining the basic elements while requesting for new technologies. “Moreover, challenges are aplenty when it comes to developing appropriate use cases for these technologies,” informs Rashad Howard, Epigen’s CRO. With knowledge sharing at the core of its engagement strategy, Epigen helps clients compare the available and emerging technologies existing in the market. “We make sure the solution we design aligns with technical and strategic requirements while being cost-effective,” remarks Howard.
Next, Epigen moves into the implementation and delivery stages. Epigen takes a unique approach where it combines Design Thinking, Lean Product, and Agile implementation methodologies, where the team understands the clients’ value objectives and makes sure they remain focused until the goals are achieved. Epigen’s implementation strategy and its unique ability to practically apply a combination of these three major methodologies set it apart from other IT services companies. While others take years to release a solution, Epigen does that in weeks.
“Instead of offering a single purpose-built product that may fix an issue, we use our varied subject matter expertise, creativity, imagination, and diligent approach to implementation to provide a solution of value that solves our customers’ problems,” affirms Diaz. The result: practical AI-based solutions that drive the decision-making capabilities for agencies. In one instance, a government agency approached Epigen in search of a solution to identify and categorize fraud incidents. The client also wanted to prioritize sensitive fraud cases. First, Epigen educated the customer about the technologies that could go into building such a solution. They guided the client in understanding their needs pertaining to anomaly detection and fraudulent behavior analysis of different entities (people, companies, transactions) within their mission purview. The client was then educated on correlating these requirements with text analytics, predictive analytics, deep learning, and machine learning. “In all our client engagements, we don’t just build and demonstrate how the final solution can benefit them.
Rather, we provide them an understanding of the exact value they gain out of it, we also teach the customer how to stand on their own using these techniques so that they can repeat them in other areas of their work,” says Howard.
Unleashing the Power
The specialty of Epigen’s AI-based solutions methodology is that it is not dependent on legacy mentality—an ability to teach customers to think differently in a more outcome-oriented and data-centric way lies at its bedrock. In fact, Epigen takes a data-centered approach to solving every challenge it takes on, no matter the magnitude. “Let the data tell the story. Do not look for a specific answer to pre-determined questions when you can get answers to questions you may have never conceived of asking in the first place,” says Danna Hourani Nemeth, Epigen’s Senior Solutions Architect. Epigen teaches its customers how to let their data speak for itself by helping them move from a deterministic to a non-deterministic mindset. This seems like a daunting task, but Epigen makes it look easy.
A case in point, Epigen developed a scalable AI architecture and machine-learned model that uses anomaly detection, predictive analytics, and natural language processing techniques to help a government agency gain an unbiased view of trends and anomalies in its user base. Their existing deterministic rules-based solution depended on accurate and timely inputs from users to track regulatory policy violations. Moreover, the solution followed a manual and time-intensive process to maintain thousands of rules that change over time, and any changes to the rules required intense scrutiny before implementation. The agency engaged Epigen to test if correlating the data in a non-deterministic way could solve the problem. Using AI-based techniques, Epigen generated a model and predicted the issues and associated rules violations. The model also produced recommendations based on natural language processing to assist agency users in resolving policy issues with its user base. With these new capabilities, the agency was able to increase speed and accuracy in reporting and reduce the number of interactions between users in completing the transactions.
Hands-On Experience and Knowledge
“We make all this possible because we are nerds, high-performance technology mavericks—or in a single word, geniuses,” says Danna. “More importantly, the people at Epigen, regardless of age, citizenship, gender, race, or religion respect the diversity of experiences and actively seek the inclusion of ideas from and in support of each other and our customers.” Epigen’s ultimate goal is to bring success to everyone involved—citizens, customers, industry partners, and also internally to the company and each individual on their team. Epigen is a cohesive group of architects, scientists, and artisans who emphasize success at the executive, program, and mission levels, applying repeatable scientific methods and processes and ensuring that the human element is addressed from inception to results.
Epigen maintains strong partnerships with technology leaders in both the government and industry to stay abreast of the latest and greatest technologies and implementation methodologies available today. While these partnerships help in leading the way in terms of technology knowhow, Epigen stresses education and skill-building to deliver higher value to its clients. “One day in every week is dedicated to self-improvement because we are always knowledge-hungry. We challenge each other on the team, as well as our industry and government partners, and brainstorm ideas that lead to new possibilities in the real world,” Danna concludes.