On Wednesday 1st March 2017, London’s newest and leading AI consultancy Heron, officially announced itself to the world.

The launch party was hosted at IBM’s Client Centre in London where attendees had the opportunity to network with a host of industry experts, champions, investors and clients.

“It was an enjoyable and extremely engaging evening”, Mr Loft said. “We’re very excited to have formally presented Heron to the public alongside some of our existing clients, and to communicate our vision and goals.”

The official launch comes after Herons parent company Rainbird, announced in December last year that it was launching the technology-agnostic consultancy, as a complimentary solutions and thought leadership business.

The move is a response to a loud market voice, emphasising enterprise’s needs for AI solutions that solve today’s biggest business problems, many of which are long standing.

The decision to spin-out Heron was made in part to enable Rainbird to focus on the further development of its cognitive reasoning programme, whilst Heron provides consultancy and build services as one of Rainbird’s growing network of delivery partners. Heron are already working on the successful implementation of several tailored AI projects, many of which have Rainbird at their core.

Heron has tasked itself with working with the most forward-thinking organisations, helping them innovate new AI-powered products and services, and find new levels of operational efficiencies and revenues.

Heron is now part of the Rainbird partner network, and has full access to the Rainbird ecosystem include an extensive learning and support framework. Despite this close affinity with Rainbird, Heron has a clear mandate to operate in a technology-agnostic way, freeing the team to identify and use best-of-breed solutions to meet client needs, ensuring the right outcome for each project.

Commenting on this at the event, Rainbird’s Chairman James Duez said,

“Successful solutions come by blending technologies together. Rainbird’s open architecture enables it to act as the glue that binds other solutions together, including IBM Watson which is why IBM are kind enough to host our event tonight. Not only do we want Heron to be technology agnostic, we want all our partners to be the same.”.

Speaking at the event was Taylor Wessing’s Saleh Abukmeil, who shared his insights on AI and Law following the recent launch of cognitive project he developed with the Rainbird and Heron teams. He spoke highly of the benefits delivered by the project, and the confidence he had in the judgements the Rainbird-powered tool delivered – answers that could previously only be produced by trained and costly human experts.

Additionally, Ben Wilkins from Fluid Motion also gave a talk on how Rainbird is helping to improve services for sufferers of rheumatic and musculoskeletal disorders (MSKD). Ben spoke about the technology has increased the availability and ease of access to support services, by automating assessments.

Although the event marked the formal launch of Heron, the Heron team have been working for several months and already have a number of energised clients, some of whom are already moving onto subsequent projects.

Speaking back in December when Heron was first announced, James Duez commented, “It is great to be able to ‘hit the ground running’ by taking on this fabulous team. We expect Heron to act as a flagship for our partnership model with an ability to deliver compelling consultancy, as well as full project development services, with or without Rainbird being part of that solution.”.

The Chancellor Philip Hammond announced today that he is to set aside £500m for technology, innovation and AI. The launch of Heron therefore comes at a very timely moment, as businesses also demonstrate that they are now ready to realise the potential of this revolutionary technology.

We are seeing an increased feeling of security amongst enterprise, and a realisation that these solutions can add significant value when pragmatically applied. Early adopters will continue to become leaders in their fields.

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