OpenAI signs 100K PwC workers to ChatGPT’s enterprise tier as PwC becomes its first resale partner

As the debate about whether artificial intelligence would render people jobless continues to rage on, OpenAI has announced the signing of 100,000 workers of PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) unto ChatGPT’s enterprise platform.

Noting that ChatGPT has changed how most people regard and interact with AI and how its tools have been employed widely, OpenAI says it hopes that bringing on board such a major enterprise customer will be a signal of how a similar effect could play out in the world of work.

With the onboarding, PWC has become Open AI’s biggest customer to date. The management consulting giant will also become the leading AI company’s first partner in reselling ChatGPT’s enterprise offerings to other businesses, hopefully, clients they consult for.

Speaking on what the deal means for PwC, Partner and Generative AI Leader, Bret Greenstein said it underscores how the consulting company believes its own business will be evolving. He said it also sees it as the next big growth opportunity for winning new deals for its consulting business.

“This is very important for us,” Greenstein said, adding that the organisation was an early adopter of ChatGPT. Also, as it has been building tools around the product itself, moving up to the enterprise level made sense as the company looks to ramp up its own engagement.

As the technology stack gets better, we can buy versus build more things. We can then focus more on outcomes, transformation, workflow, use cases, and business process, and less on assembling APIs to build an experience for our employees,” Greenstein said.

The generative AI leader also debunked the idea that adopting ChatGPT, or any kind of generative AI assistant, will necessarily threaten jobs. He insisted instead that it might let the company grow business on the employee base that it already has without needing to add more people.

This is, however, somewhat contrary to a survey report by Greenstein’s company which claims 5 per cent of the global workforce will lose their jobs to AI this year. See a report from the survey below:

PWC reselling Open AI’s ChatGPT enterprise

Launched in August 2023, ChatGPT’s enterprise tier is part of a larger plan to monetize Open AI’s generative AI products. This is necessary considering the billions of investment it has accrued and the need to start earning returns on those invesments. The enterprise tier offers faster, unlimited interactions, and is much more flexible for building customized models for different use cases. It also comes with more analytics and other tools. 

But no matter how cool it is, it still needs to be marketed and OpenAI will be looking to convince companies to make the shift from small and occasional use, or pilots, of its generative AI products and think of it as a major IT, business process and workforce investment. OpenAI’s Global Head of Alliances and Partnerships, Richard Hasslacher, said PWC is the first partner they are hoping would come through in this regard.

PWC is the first partner that we are leaning into in this way. PwC becomes our largest customer, but they’re also our first partner who’s going to be reselling ChatGPT enterprise. It is penetration into industry verticals, but also providing an expansive set of services that customers desperately need to take advantage of in a brand new solution category,” he said.

In April, OpenAI disclosed that the enterprise tier had around 600,000 users. According to Hasslacher, this includes 93 per cent of all Fortune 500 companies. While Greenstein on his part refused to say how much generative AI products are being used by employees at PwC, he noted that the education tools the company has built to help train people have received 90 per cent engagement. 

More importantly, generative AI could represent a major new avenue for consulting firms like PwC to pick up new business — that’s part of a bigger pitch it makes around “digital transformation,” which has been a major theme in IT for years.

The 100,000 employees onboarded on the AI platform are in the U.S., U.K. and the Middle East. there are hopes that if the company expands its usage of ChatGPT to the rest of its global operations, an additional 328,000 employees could be onboarded into the enterprise tier.

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