Cory Factor on the Future of AI at Sportsdigita

Cory Factor on the Future of AI at Sportsdigita

Sportsdigita’s Content Marketing Manager Naomi Haag recently sat down with Sportsdigita’s President Cory Factor to discuss how AI is advancing the SaaS industry and how it will continue to innovate processes at Sportsdigita. Take a look at Cory’s valuable insights, backed by his decades of experience in the SaaS industry.

Q: Can you share a little about your background in SaaS and how it brought you to your current role as President of Sportsdigita?

A: I’ve been a software engineer since I was 13. I was always interested in the convergence of business and technology, so that was my chosen field. I started my first SaaS company in 1999, which was when SaaS and the cloud was new to the market. I was initially the Chief Technology Officer at that company. And then after about four years, I took over as CEO. We built that up over 8 years and ended up selling that company.

From there, I got into sales and took a position with a company overseas. It was a challenging role, but a valuable lesson to learn what it’s like to be a front line sales person. 

Then, after that, I started another company in 2011. We built that one up and sold it in 2015. That’s when I met Angelina Lawton. She had a couple of engineers who worked with me at my first company. Angelina had an amazing idea and amazing customers but needed some help building out the SaaS platform with custom code. It was a really good partnership because she had a great start. 

She’s the opposite of me in terms of having a marketing, branding, and communications background versus my hard core engineering background. It was a good fit for me where I could add a lot of value.  Beyond just the technology, we were interested in building the company beyond sports exclusively, which is more of my background. So I pushed the non-sports side of the business, and I’ve been going on 9 years now at Sportsdigita.

Q: What are some pain points in the SaaS industry that you’re seeing AI solve already?

A: Certainly generative AI is what most people are familiar with because of ChatGPT and the buzz around it. Generative AI is probably the most popular use case and will be for some amount of time. In the non-tech space, content-generative AI is coming along nicely and it’s got a nice fit there.

The problems I’m more interested in are less mainstream. They have to do with solving really big data problems and helping interpret that data. I’m mostly interested in that area and I’m seeing it solve problems in that area already. We’re just scratching the surface, so the problems we’ll be able to solve in five years will be completely different than the problems we’re solving today.

Q: How are Sportsdigita and DIGIDECK currently leveraging AI?

A: I’m really seeing this in two ways: generative AI and data analysis. 

First, we have generative AI for text generation and modification. The DIGIDECK platform is using it to summarize meeting notes and generate content for follow-up actions.

Secondly, we’re also starting to use AI to interpret our analytics data. Both in what viewers in the platform are viewing and analyzing what the sales people are talking to when they’re presenting. We’re trying to find patterns and differentials between one sales person and the next. Are they all telling the same story? Are they going off track? And ultimately comparing the results of that.

Q: What are your predictions for the future of AI at Sportsdigita?

A: That the most popular use case in the near term will be data analysis. Long term, when we can get some guardrails around generative AI, that it will be useful in generating original content. That’s a little ways out, probably 2-3 years from now. 

Part of our core value proposition is protecting the client’s brand. We’d need AI to have a pretty tight guardrail around that in order to keep that promise to our customers but still innovate with it to generate content.

Q: How do you think the B2B SaaS industry as a whole will continue to adapt with AI?

A: I think that we won’t be talking about generative AI nearly as much in the future. People will use it but it won’t be talked about nearly as much. It will be commoditized— it already is. That’s why it’s so popular, because it got commoditized so quickly.

But I think in the industry as a whole, we will no longer be doing things like running reports. We’ll be asking AI for information. We won’t have data warehouses anymore, we’ll just be asking AI for the information. I think that will be the most transformative thing that people don’t see coming as much. That we’ll no longer go and get data, we’ll go and get answers.

Q: What are you most excited for as Sportsdigita continues to leverage more AI technology?

A: I’m most excited for the hype cycle to flatten out. AI is an incredibly valuable tool, but most of the buzz about it is not as pragmatic as it needs to be to create real business value. I’m excited to start applying AI to solve bigger data problems. Right now it’s neat and cool, when does it become really, really valuable? 

In general, we’ve seen hype cycles about certain technology over the last 30 years of my career. AI doesn’t feel that dissimilar to some of those where you go through this hype cycle and then it just becomes part of our daily life.

The one thing that I think happened with AI faster than the other technology is the accessibility. The accessibility of AI was really rapid, so that’s been exciting to observe. The good news is that it’s so accessible to everybody, so that’s going to create a lot more innovation— and that’s going to happen sooner than everybody thinks.

Thank you to Cory Factor for sharing his insights on AI at Sportsdigita and in the SaaS industry as a whole. Curious to learn more about how DIGIDECK leverages AI? Take a look at information on the AI Assist feature and schedule a free demo to see it in action.

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