June 19, 2024

Advancing Business Journey

Empowering Business Excellence

AI PowerPoint add-in for management consultants

5 min read

Ask any consultant about their favorite companion, and the odds are extremely high they will point to PowerPoint – including their add-in for saving time and charting stunning slide decks. In between the dominance of large Western PowerPoint add-ins, auxi is emerging as a popular homegrown alternative.

Coming out of a true consulting family, Rami Khoury has been hovering around the world of strategy and management consulting for long. “My father and sister are management consultants, and most of my friends work in consulting.”

While his career path took a different turn, Khoury holds degrees in Computer Science and Economics from the American University of Beirut and kickstarted life in the software and entrepreneurial scene, the company he has founded is now disrupting one of the most essential parts of any consulting business: their PowerPoint deliverables.

Meet auxi: AI PowerPoint add-in for management consultants

“Having seen over and over how relatives and friends were using basic tools to build 200+ complex slides a week, I was convinced by the idea that tech-driven change could make a big difference,” Khoury says.

A proud self-taught machine learning engineer, and with several entrepreneurial ventures already under his belt and financial backing, Khoury launched his mission to make slide-building more efficient, effective, and the final result more compelling and eye-catching auxi was born.

Now four years on from the firm’s launch, we sat down with Khoury to find out more about the product’s features and growth.

How has auxi progressed since the early days?

Since its inception, auxi has seen over 350 consulting firms embrace the tool. We are meanwhile very lucky to be working today with 30 colleagues around the world. Our remote first culture allows us to have team members in the US, Lebanon, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, France, and India.

auxi bills itself as the smartest PowerPoint add-in around. What are some of the key features that make the tool so smart?

auxi now has over 140 features, mixing both AI and heavily optimized, but traditional functions. There’s a lot to cover, but some favorites include quick keyboard shortcuts – like pressing ‘A’ + ‘L’ to align shapes to the left, ‘R’ to insert a rectangle, or ‘P’ to add a pentagon. These shortcuts make working in PowerPoint super swift and user-friendly

Then there’s the Smart Bar, a command tool that brings a bunch of features and provides ongoing suggestions to consultants based on what they are doing on their slide. The ability to add rows and columns for example – without messing up the layout which is a well-known frustration for any slide builder. auxi automatically adjusts the alignment, positioning, and size.

The AI-driven recommendations engine helps consultants finish their slide design while making sure it aligns fully with the master template (the company stylesheet for presentations).

And the hottest set of new features we have released are on deck and slide levels. Meaning you can now give auxi an RFP document and it will generate a proposal draft with 100s of slides, all in line with corporate branding and design. This is really a game changer.

Competition is tough. What are consultants themselves saying about the product’s key strengths?

The highlight of my job is watching how people react the first time they use auxi. We often get thank-you emails, which can really brighten our day. It seems people really appreciate our straightforward way of talking, especially now when everything feels more automated and less personal.

Despite being an AI company, we put a lot of value on the human touch in our communication and how we connect with our customers. It doesn’t matter if we’re working with a company with 20,000 consultants or with an independent strategy consultant; we work hard to make sure their experience is smooth, fun, and effective.

AI and Gen AI are taking the consulting by storm. How is auxi tapping into the possibilities?

Gen AI has the potential to take the creation of deliverables such as PowerPoint to the next level. At auxi, we are at the forefront of the developments.

We are rolling out several special AI features for our enterprise clients. For example, consultants can prompt the tool to generate a presentation for them. Prompt something like, “Create a proposal on boosting Munich’s economy with green technology”, and within seconds auxi will generate 100 professional slides, all in the company’s style.

auxi’s AI-driven ability to suggest ideas and automatically complete slides is also a big hit for saving time, whether consultants are starting a slide from scratch or using an existing template.

Fast-forward 5 years: how do you think the world of presentations will have evolve?

We’re obviously living in really exciting times. The next five years are going to bring a lot of changes, but at the same time, many things will stay the same. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to what is already working well and also keep an eye on what’s coming next.

At auxi, our goal is to stay ahead in creating the best technology for making professional slides, but we want to make sure it is easy for everyone to use. The way we all use software is simply flipped today. In the past, we used to tell a computer exactly what to do and expected a specific answer back. If we didn’t get it, something felt wrong.

But now, we’re okay with getting different answers each time we ask something. With ChatGPT for example, if it gives us the same answer twice, it feels a bit disappointing. We think soon all software interfaces will work like this, through chat. It’s hard to say exactly how things will change, but one thing’s for sure: we are lucky to be alive in this era – imagine only having a calculator as a computer after everything we know is possible today.

Finally, what are the ambitions with Auxi?

We have internal KPIs and all that jargon I can sound cool saying. But I really think they don’t matter this much. We have the ship pointed in a good direction and focus every day on making it efficient, faster, and more reliable for our customers and stakeholders.

What is important for us, is to do better today than the day before. Along the way – you might hear someone at an airport asking her colleague: “did you auxi this, or did you do it alone?” and this makes our day.

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