VendorSphere: Verint’s Intelligent Virtual Assistant Experience
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I recently attended the Verint Engage event in Sydney, which had over 700 attendees. Conversations on artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics garnered a lot of attention this year. Verint showcased the deployments of intelligent conversational bots used by some of the biggest brands in Asia Pacific. Some of these customers include Spark NZ, Suncorp and AAMI. In 2018, the company acquired Next IT, a provider of conversational AI virtual assistant, to accelerate their move in the automation and analytics space. Verint’s choice of Next IT was driven by the need to provide their customers with a solution that has deep expertise in the contact centre space and to have an automation solution that is deeply integrated into their broad portfolio of solutions.

Last week, Verint announced the launch of AI Blueprint, a conversation analysis system that identifies intelligent virtual assistant (IVA) use cases and accelerates automation. The solution then delivers a “blueprint” of precisely how businesses can get started with AI or continue to grow their AI capabilities.

Verint is no stranger to the contact centre market and has an established presence in areas of quality monitoring, analytics, knowledge management and compliance.

Key Takeaways from Customers on Intelligent Virtual Assistants:

  • Engaging senior stakeholders. For a successful deployment, many organisations had to involve senior management in the discussion. These ranged from CIOs, CDOs and CEOs. The conversation around automation and AI for customer service is no longer contained within the contact centre. Many organisations spoke about having senior management involved in the pre and post launch of the virtual assistant deployment. Getting buy-in and feedback from senior management is key as the AI discussion forms part of a broader digital strategy for the organisation. The global Ecosystm AI study, which is live and ongoing, also finds that senior management is the second highest influencer for AI procurement and implementations.

  • Integrating Knowledge Management to the AI deployment is important. Organisations at the Verint Engage event highlighted that the route to a successful intelligent virtual assistant deployment is to embed knowledge management capabilities into the AI platform. By failing to incorporate knowledge management, the intelligent virtual assistant experience will be poor, leaving customers frustrated.
  • Working with a vendor that understands contact centres is key. Some of the customers at the event had worked with other well-known brands AI in the market prior to working with Verint. They moved to Verint primarily for two reasons.  One was that the cost of deployment was less on the Verint platform and secondly, they wanted to work with a vendor that not only understood AI but that had a deep understanding of the contact centre environment. Compliance, training, speech analytics, coaching and quality monitoring are core capabilities of Verint’s portfolio.  These are important elements in the overall deployment of AI.
  • Striking the right balance between automation and voice. Several of the organisations highlighted the savings realised, when the deployment was done well and fully integrated into knowledge management. Automation will in the long run help reduce contact centre calls and live chat costs. However, it was emphasised that the agent or human element remains important and cannot be ignored.  The seamless hand off to the agent when the query cannot be answered is important.

Ecosystm Comment:

Virtual assistants need to be fed with the right information to make the discussion with the customer engaging.  A solid knowledge management strategy is key to the success of a virtual assistant deployment. Without analytics and knowledge management integrated into AI, the CX will be poor leaving customers feeling frustrated. When deployed well, the virtual assistant can help answer most of the queries due to a structured knowledge bank with detailed FAQ. The ability to have it updated regularly and in real time is critical. It is important for contact centres to not rely on full automation within the contact centre.

Verint is starting to win deals in the AI and virtual assistant space with some of the largest brands in Asia Pacific. Some of the customers include those from the financial services sector. Verint’s success is not just in the intelligent virtual assistant market. It is their ability to deliver an all-encompassing solution across self-service, analytics, knowledge management, quality monitoring and compliance.

 

 

 

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One of the foremost multi-disciplinary analysts in the APAC region, Audrey boasts an eclectic set of expertise, in segments as diverse as enterprise collaboration, unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS), video, contact center, CX, outsourcing as well as artificial intelligence, enterprise mobility and digital transformation. Audrey has a proven track record both as an analyst and a business leader, having spent close to two decades in various analyst roles at Frost & Sullivan, providing counsel to C-level executives on go-to-market strategies – most recently as Head of Research and Senior Fellow at the firm’s ICT practice in Australia and New Zealand. As one of the pioneers of the firm in the region, Audrey played a pivotal role in its regional expansion, including building and mentoring a team of analysts across various markets in Asia-Pacific, including Malaysia, Singapore and Australia. Beyond her involvement as an analyst, Audrey is also a prominent keynote speaker, having delivered over 150 speaking engagements addressing various technology segments. She is regularly quoted in the media for her insights into ongoing technology trends and news. Audrey is an honours graduate from the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administration (ICSA) in the UK. She also holds Diplomas in Management Accounting and Financial Accounting from the London Chamber of Commerce Institute (LCCI). In her free time, she loves to read literary fiction and is a jazz enthusiast.


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Anant Singh

Great insights…Its true that knowledge management is very critical in developing a successful Intelligent Virtual Assistant. With the market for IVA booming and expected to show exceptional growth by 2025, as a report by Grand View Research states, it is truly a peak time for deployment of bots by organizations. Regarding the human element, do you think bots will ever reach close to that level of sophistication?