AI tech consultancy Y.Digital launches an office in Vietnam

22 October 2021 4 min. read

Dutch artificial intelligence consultancy Y.Digital has launched a new office in Da Nang City. Y.Digital CEO Paul van der Hulst reflects on why the firm picked Vietnam as the base for its first international hub and on the regional ambitions.

To start off with: what does Y.Digital exactly do?  

Using automation and artificial intelligence (AI), we scale activities that humans do best. Products we offer are non-linear conversational systems (chat, voice, portal, agents) and intelligent document processing and proofing (CDD, KYC, AML, applications, declarations). 

Our platform uses the human as the blueprint and delivers context-aware, versatile and highly scalable solutions. We work with a range of large companies in the Netherlands, including Achmea, ABN Amro and Tennet.

Why did you pick Asia and in particular Vietnam as the first hub for international expansion?

Asia is developing at a much higher pace than Europe. Unlike Europe, in Asia you don't have to push out old technologies or concepts first – it's a blue ocean.

We explored major cities in Asia since 2019 but found the best fit in Danang due to the talent base (large number of young and well educated people), the local ecosystem and it's geographical location. It is a very attractive city to live in and has a world class international airport that flies you to all major cities directly within 1-2 hours. The perfect place to serve the Southeast Asia region. 

In a press statement you stated that Asia is ahead of Europe in its use of emerging technologies. Can you elaborate?

Yes, this especially in B2C. Having worked and live in Asia I have fist hand experience the impact of mobile and digital on people’s lives and society. Using the smartphone, people manage their bank account and access to all sorts of services (insurance, healthcare, Grab, Gojek) and information for the first time in their life. 

The zero cash society is a reality and in some countries whole generations of solutions have been skipped (e.g. credit cards). The pace of development and adoption of digital services is very impressive.

However, in the B2B space, Asia lags Europe in some regards. Many basic processes – especially in the area of processing transactions and associated paperwork – are still highly dependent on manual labour in Asia. This is where we see an opportunity – to help organisations in the region with increasing their levels of automation.

Can you provide us with some examples of Y.Digital’s work?

We delivered voice driven assistants in healthcare, enabling healthcare professionals to ask for assistance while treating a patient. The benefit is evident: even when practitioners have ‘their hands full’, they can verify medical protocol or patient records. This voice driven assistant is conversational and non-linear (not hard coded and scripted but adaptive and versatile).

We also deliver solutions for chat and omnichannel to banks, insurance companies and public institutions. Our team supports the process from design and build to implementation and learning & development.

The Vietnam team of Y.Digital

What synergies do you expect between the hubs in the Netherlands and Asia?

For a number of our international customers our new hub means that we can now support them in Asia Pacific as well. 

For our company, I expect that both hubs will be able to learn from one another. In Europe, we can learn from advanced concepts in personal assistants, speech-oriented solutions and food safety that are already a reality in Asia in consumer business but also from developments such as smart city and internet of things. Meanwhile in Asia, we will be able to leverage the expertise and track record we’ve built up in Europe.

In addition, having teams in different time-zones means that we will be able to supports our customers around the clock. 

What are the ambitions with the local office in Da Nang City?

We aim to serve customers in the region from our Danang office and obviously we want to grow. We are currently servicing customers in Japan, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam and are expanding our team. 

To realise our growth mission we will do what we have always done – deliver reliable and consistent high quality work. We focus on our primary task and the reward will follow.