AI and machine learning critical to PepsiCo's e-commerce efforts

AI and machine learning critical to PepsiCo’s e-commerce efforts

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There’s been industry consensus on the impact of emerging technologies: Artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation are the next frontiers in enterprise computing, and we’re seeing that inflection point take hold right now.

PepsiCo Inc. has certainly reaped its fair share of rewards, with AI and ML now powering the company’s e-commerce business.

“I think that every enterprise is going to need more machine learning, more AI or data science,” Russell Lamb (pictured, right), director of the e-commerce data platform at PepsiCo. “And that’s the journey that we’re on right now. We’ve come a long way in the past six years, particularly with our e-commerce division. It’s a really data-rich environment. So, going from brick and mortar and delivering to restaurants, vending machines and stuff, it’s a whole different world.”

Lamb and Stepan Pushkarev (pictured, left), co-founder, chief executive officer and chief technology officer of Provectus IT Inc., spoke with theCUBE industry analyst John Furrier at Amazon re:MARS 2022, during an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. They discussed some pain points around the explosion of enterprise data, as well as how AI and ML are helping solve them. (* Disclosure below.)

The problem statement

Innovations in machine intelligence, as highlighted at this year’s re:MARS event, are proving invaluable to advancements in astronomy and cosmic exploration. But we’re still on earth and have to solve the nagging problems of today’s data-intensive business landscape.

A major step in doing that for PepsiCo was partnering with Provectus, a premier AWS ecosystem company with expertise in machine learning, data and DevOps. Both companies met when Provectus was in its early stages as a startu, and the company believed that e-commerce — powered by the aforementioned tech — would be a boon for a company like PepsiCo as it explored new profit avenues.

“Amazon has the mission to build the most customer-centric company,” Pushkarev said. “A lot of enterprises are being influenced by that success. PepsiCo had a huge belief. We started building just from scratch, figuring out what the business needed.”

Progressing toward AI transformation

The overhaul of operations like logistics and sales were ripe for an AI/ML infusion, even before the pandemic exacerbated that need.

“I think that the supply chain, which is a hot topic right now, was one use case we’ve explored — using real-time data to inform our sales projections and delivery logistics. But also our marketing return on investment,” Lamb explained.

In addition to those areas, the company’s transformation effort has also spanned processing data across countries, markets and product lines — and using those insights to make the most of its marketing budget.

There’s no AI without data,” Lamb stated. “We got all the pipelines to get the data. We quickly bootstrapped the data lakehouse and put all the pipelines and governance in place. Took us three months to get up and running. And we started delivering our first analytical reports.”

Here’s the complete video interview, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the Amazon re:MARS event:

(* Disclosure: Provectus IT Inc. sponsored this segment of theCUBE. Neither Provectus nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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