It's difficult to overstate the volume of buzz around artificial intelligence (AI). Thesetechnologies are finding their way into everything from thesmallest consumer devices to the largest supercomputers—essentiallyinto every corner of enterprise software and the farthest reachesof the cloud. And so journalists, analysts, and corporatedecision-makers are all spending a lot of time writing and readingabout AI, innovating around the concept of artificial intelligence,and integrating it into products.

The hype isn't necessarily overblown. These technologies andtheir various components—like deep learning and machine learningalgorithms and robotic process automation (RPA)—hold promiseto accelerate processes, reduce errors, improve efficiency, andlower costs, particularly for areas of the business that are highlyautomated and data-rich. That would include the complexorder-to-cash cycle, a vital part of any company's operations. It'swhere businesses interact with their customers, orders are made andfulfilled, bills are sent, disputes are resolved, and payments arereceived and processed.

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