News Briefs


News Briefs

By TMC  |  July 06, 2017

Kia Adds Fuel to Chatbot Trend

Facebook (News - Alert) introduced the Messenger platform a few months ago. Since then, we’ve several big brands leverage it to launch chatbots. Kia Motors is one example of this. The company recently launched its NiroBot, which was developed by Interpublic Group’s Ansible. It provides interested parties with details on Kia vehicles and allows them to schedule test drives.

Workato Lets Loose New Chatbot

Workbot for Microsoft Teams from Workato is a chat-based workspace that brings together people and content for collaboration. Users need only to search for Workbot in the Teams toolbar, or type @workbot in a channel to find it and begin chatting. Workbot for Microsoft Teams runs with Assist technology, a learning engine that understands the way users interact with it, as well as the context of the interaction. It will proactively provide the information a user is looking for and can suggest next steps.

Chatbots Can Sell Stuff Too

A company called ReplyYes that enables e-commerce over mobile messaging has raised $6.5 million in a Series A round. Already the company’s AI chatbot platform has been used to sell $1 million worth of vinyl records. It has landed Universal Music Group as a customer. And it has launched a comic book store called Origin Bound. The company also has its sights set on supporting messaging-based transactions for apps and games, events, lifestyle brands, other media, and wine and other consumables.

Want Your Own Chatbot?

LiveWorld has a new Facebook Messenger program for brands that want to leverage the messaging platform. The LiveWorld program offers strategy development, enterprise conversation management software, chatbot development, and integration with human agents. LiveWorld also offers services to monitor and engage customers. "Messaging apps enable companies to instantly connect with customers, providing better real-time experience and service,” said Peter Friedman, Chairman and CEO, LiveWorld. “Our turnkey yet modular software and services combination empowers brands to go to market quickly with great results."

Forecasts for AI in CX

By 2025, AI will power 95 percent of all customer interactions, including live telephone and online conversations, according to Servion Global Solutions. And Gartner believes that by 2020 customers will manage 85 percent of their relationship with the enterprise without interacting with humans.

Amazon Takes Flight

You’ve already heard about drones. Heck, you may even own one. But have you hear that Amazon is talking about not just delivering packages by drone, but to establish entire flying warehouses that can serve as the home bases to fleets of drones? The company now has a patent for such as airborne fulfillment center.

Big Blue Names First-Ever CMO

IBM has hired its first CMO in 105 years. Big Blue installed Michelle Peluso as CMO in September. She was formerly CEO of flash-sale website Gilt.

Nimble Garners $9M

Social sales and marketing solutions provider Nimble has raised $9 million in a Series A round. Imagen Capital Partners led the funding. Google Ventures; Indicator Ventures; Mark Cuban’s Radical Investments; and a consortium including Jason Calacanis, Don Doge, and Howard Lindzon also participated. Nimble bills its solution as a new kind of CRM for small and medium businesses. The cloud-based offering brings together calendar, contact, and email, Nimble CEO Jon Ferrera said. That way workers don’t have to spend a lot of time gathering background on people by doing Google searches and the like, he said, it just presents contact information whether the user is in their email program or the web via their computer or smartphone. And the Nimble solution is layered on to the Google G Suite and Microsoft Office 365 platforms for ease of use. Ferrara, who also co-founded successful CRM company GoldMine Software Corp., released Nimble’s first paid product back in 2013. With this new funding, he and the rest of the Nimble team plan to do more digital marketing, including influencer marketing, and bring in more engineering and sales resources to take Nimble to the next level.

New InsideView Improves CRM

InsideView for SAP (News - Alert) Hybris Sales Cloud now allows users to sync customer and prospect data to their CRM records in real time directly from InsideView’s global company and contact database. This solution cleans and updates inaccurate data, and enriches account data with new company and contact information to help ensure that sales and marketing personnel have the most up-to-date data in their CRM.

Analytics Firm Raises $9M

Conversion Logic has secured $9 million in Series A round. That brings Conversion Logic’s total funding to $14.1 million. The company’s SaaS (News - Alert) analytics service delivers cross-channel attribution and insights across the customer journey. It plans to use the new funds to expand its sales and marketing, data science, and engineering efforts.

Gartner Identifies Talent Management Suite Leaders

Cornerstone OnDemand, SAP SuccessFactors, and Oracle (News - Alert) were the companies in the leaders box in the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant report for Talent Management Suites. Technomedia was listed as the sole niche player. The challengers quadrant was empty. And visionaries include Halogen Software, Haule, Saba, Skillsoft, and Talentsoft. Gartner explains that Talent Management Suites include capabilities for learning management, performance management, succession planning, compensation management, and recruiting management.

New Business for SAP

SAP recently announced that Bentley Systems, Pacific Coast Building Products Inc., and Watco Companies have signed on to use its SuccessFactors human capital management solutions.

Zenefits Founder Launches Rippling

Parker Conrad of Zenefits fame is at it again. The man who led the former Silicon Valley darling that specializes in human resources software has created Rippling, a new company that helps companies onboard new employees and assigns them the hardware and services they’ll need to do their jobs. After founding Zenefits in 2013, Conrad famously built up the company in an entity that at one point in 2015 had a valuation of $4.5 billion. But last year resigned as the leader of Zenefits amid a cloud of investigations and, as BloombergBusiness described it, “epic HR problems.” 

Former eBay Leader Heads Up ServiceNow

ServiceNow has named former eBay leader John Donahoe as its president and CEO. He was formerly president and CEO at eBay. ServiceNow’s leader up until this point had been Frank Slootman. Although he’s stepping down as president and CEO, Slootman will continue as chairman. ServiceNow provides service management for every department in the enterprise, including facilities, field service, human resources, IT, and more.

Confirmit (News - Alert) Delivers Mobile App

AskMe is a new mobile survey app from Confirmit. It is suitable for voice of the customer, voice of the employee, and other feedback efforts. Multimedia feedback can be captured and stored offline, and then synchronized when connectivity improves.

New Hub Addresses Customer Engagement

The new RedPoint Customer Engagement Hub enables brands to continuously connect with customers in a highly relevant way and ubiquitously deliver the promise of the brand across all touchpoints. It  optimizes customer engagement by providing intelligent and timely orchestration of customer interactions underpinned by a dynamic, unified customer profile, along with a flexible and scalable real-time decisioning capability.

NewVoiceMedia Updates Contact Center, Sales Solution

Spring has sprung at NewVoiceMedia. The cloud contact center and inside sales solutions provider has come out with its Spring ’17 release. This latest refresh of ContactWorld provides businesses with enhanced APIs and the ability to send SMS messages. ContactWorld also now does dynamic call routing, offers a broader toolkit for sales and service teams, and allows self-service IVRs to update existing Salesforce data. The Insights APIs provide businesses with greater access to contact center data and statistics through tighter integrations with other tools. That includes off-platform tools like workforce management ones that do staffing and related forecasting and optimization. 

Edited by Alicia Young
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