The Talonic Origin Story
Nikolas built his family fashion business over a decade and while doing so, he tried to create sustainable supply chains. Working with Machine Learning for forecasting since 2019 showed that efficient data processing could already help in improving logistic processes for less environmental footprint -- but this was not enough to call something sustainable.
There is more to it. So when he did his MBA dissertation at Warwick, he conducted a study on "Information Technology as Key Driver for Sustainable Supply Chain Management" and interviewed dozens of top level supply chain managers. And while doing so, he identified something critical: Excel is still managing all the data for operations. Instead of relying on modern IT and data analytics, an overwhelming amount of professionals tediously collect data from multiple systems, copy and paste the data into Excel spreadsheets and run their individual formula analytics to empower their decision making and operations.
This leads to significant quality loss and costs for businesses, like errors in data collection, insufficient analytics and data security breaches. Spreadsheets are stunningly great, but it appeals inadequate to single-handedly inform decision-making in today's complex environment by the same technology that was introduced in the 80's.
But why is that? Why do professionals prefer Excel over IT in their daily work?
Because IT does not do the job sufficiently. We believe that businesses and people in them are more individualistic than we give them credit for. Off-the-shelf software, on the other hand, is not: it's commoditized. Customization of software to businesses' individual needs is expensive and hence, often not done. Customization to meet the requirements of individuals within a company? That would exceed every budget.
Until now. AI is the technological advancement that for the first time enables individual customization at scale. We understand that people use Excel because they can shape every spreadsheet exactly the way they need it to be for their own requirements. They have all their data in exactly the boxes they want it to be in. Instead of changing this solution, we want to bring it to the 21st century. Instead of manual collecting data, a process prone to error, for building spreadsheets, we let handle AI the data consolidation and spreadsheet generation. Professionals will not miss out on important findings and statistical outliers in their data if AI analytics are provided with each generation out of the box. Letting AI handle the formulas and references is just the cherry-on-top.
Nikolas and Holger have been working together for over a decade and decided that they could solve the challenge. After talking to lots of potential users to validate the idea, they reached out for supporters and started building.
After relocation to Berlin, the prestigious Humboldt University of Berlin decided to support Talonic as academic partner, through their computer science department and through Humboldt Innovations, their dedicated start-up ecosystem. Talonic was fortunate enough to win the support of the German government and European Union in form of generous funding to make the idea of automating and enhancing spreadsheet workflows reality.
Talon was the mythological first robot and was created by Hḗphaistos, the Greek god of the artisans, to protect his work and do all the redious tasks for him. Talon was called an Automaton and thousands of years later, inspired our company name.