Collaboration Offers Access to AI-powered Virtual Solutions that Improve Chatbot Efficiency and the Customer Experience
7.ai, a leader for intent-driven customer engagement solutions, today announced that it is partnering with Blue Prism (AIM: PRSM) on a new joint offering that allows 7 AIVA customers to use Blue Prism’s Digital Workforce to efficiently automate hard-to-access back and front office systems.
By combining 7.ai AI-powered virtual agents/chatbots with Blue Prism’s Digital Workforce, 7.ai users can automate processes faster, reduce response times and deliver a more satisfying customer experience.
“For enterprise-class chatbots and virtual agents to provide interactions that are truly meaningful, they need access to enterprise IT systems, including CRM data,” said Scott Horn, Chief Marketing Officer of 7.ai. “With this partnership, we’re dramatically reducing the time and cost to deploy the worlds most widely deployed conversational chatbot technology with the market leader in robotic process automation (RPA) software.”
Large enterprises possess a wealth of data on their clients, which holds enormous potential to be used to provide consumers with a better customer experience, however, that data is often difficult to access because it often resides in disparate, legacy systems. Through this partnership, it is now possible for enterprises to access this data and analyze it using artificial intelligence, making it now possible to anticipate consumers’ wants and needs.
The new joint offering enables 7 AIVA users to process a greater range of transactional capabilities, which results in faster resolution of complaints and inquiries, quick escalation to live agents when needed, better customer engagements and a boost to agent productivity.
“Conversational Natural Language engagement is driving customer experiences towards high efficiency and improved transactions. Combining this with our Digital Workforce Platform gives us the opportunity to serve and empower our users, with improved customer experiences by helping them resolve their customer issues faster and with higher degree of accuracy,” said Shail Khiyara, Chief Marketing and Experience Officer at Blue Prism. “As a leader in this space, Blue Prism has created a powerful, best of breed, and the industry’s most sought-after partner ecosystem and we are delighted to be partnering with 7.ai. They share and support our AI vision of giving customers a choice.”
“Our customers demand a Digital Workforce that will efficiently automate work processes and easily integrate with their other best-in-breed AI-enabled multi-channel solutions,” said Shail Khiyara, Chief Marketing and Experience Officer at Blue Prism. “This partnership with 7.ai enables our Digital Workforce to resolve more issues, faster and with less errors, thus improving the overall customer experience.”
With more than 150 patents and patent applications, 7.ai provides companies with the unparalleled ability to know and act on consumer intent in milliseconds. By applying the power of big data and machine learning, the company has developed predictive models that have been tuned by more than one billion annual interactions. 7.ai now serves more than 250 customers across multiple industries including banking, education, financial services, government, healthcare, insurance, retail, services, technology, telecommunications and cable, travel and hospitality, and utilities.
“Advances in AI and its applications in chat and conversational interfaces are making it possible for enterprises to greatly increase digital straight through processing. These are highly complementary technologies to RPA and when combined, the levels of automation can be boosted significantly,” said Sarah Burnett, Research Vice President at Everest Group. “This partnership shows the actual convergence of RPA capabilities with new emerging AI and cognitive services that is taking place now. The use cases and market opportunities are enormous, and every customer service interaction has the potential of being touched. This is the next step in the ongoing automation revolution.”
Blue Prism complements the workplace with an elastic, multi-faceted and multi-talented digital workforce, helping organizations automate and scale business processes via AI, machine learning, intelligent automation and sentiment analysis. This digital workforce eliminates vendor lock-in by providing access to the best of breed AI technologies and Intelligent Automation skills through the Blue Prism Technology Alliance Program (TAP) that transform how organizations can leverage technology to deliver true operational agility.
7.ai is redefining the way companies interact with consumers. Using artificial intelligence and machine learning to understand consumer intent, the company’s technology helps companies create a personalized, predictive and effortless customer experience across all channels. The world’s largest and most recognizable brands are using intent-driven engagement from 7.ai to assist several hundred million visitors annually, through more than 1.5 billion conversations, most of which are automated. The result is an order of magnitude improvement in digital adoption, customer satisfaction, and revenue growth. For more information, visit: http://www.247.ai.
Sunak to use budget to expand apprenticeships in England
LONDON (Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak will announce more funding for apprenticeships in England when he unveils his budget next week, the government said on Friday.
Employers taking part in the Apprenticeship Initiative Scheme will from April 1 receive 3,000 pounds ($4,179) for each apprentice hired, regardless of age – an increase on current grants of between 1,500 and 2,000 pounds depending on age.
The scheme will extended by six months until the end of September, the finance ministry said.
Sunak will also announce an extra 126 million pounds for traineeships for up to 43,000 placements.
Sunak’s March 3 budget will likely include a new round of spending to prop up the economy during what he hopes will be the last phase of lockdown, but he will also probably signal tax rises ahead to plug the huge hole in the public finances.
Sunak is also expected to announce a “flexi-job” apprenticeship scheme, whereby apprentices can join an agency and work for multiple employers in one sector, the finance ministry said.
“We know there’s more to do and it’s vital this continues throughout the next stage of our recovery, which is why I’m boosting support for these programmes, helping jobseekers and employers alike,” Sunak said in a statement.
(Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by David Milliken)
UK seeks G7 consensus on digital competition after Facebook blackout
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is seeking to build a consensus among G7 nations on how to stop large technology companies exploiting their dominance, warning that there can be no repeat of Facebook’s one-week media blackout in Australia.
Facebook’s row with the Australian government over payment for local news, although now resolved, has increased international focus on the power wielded by tech corporations.
“We will hold these companies to account and bridge the gap between what they say they do and what happens in practice,” Britain’s digital minister Oliver Dowden said on Friday.
“We will prevent these firms from exploiting their dominance to the detriment of people and the businesses that rely on them.”
Dowden said recent events had strengthened his view that digital markets did not currently function properly.
He spoke after a meeting with Facebook’s Vice-President for Global Affairs, Nick Clegg, a former British deputy prime minister.
“I put these concerns to Facebook and set out our interest in levelling the playing field to enable proper commercial relationships to be formed. We must avoid such nuclear options being taken again,” Dowden said in a statement.
Facebook said in a statement that the call had been constructive, and that it had already struck commercial deals with most major publishers in Britain.
“Nick strongly agreed with the Secretary of Stateâ€™s (Dowden’s) assertion that the governmentâ€™s general preference is for companies to enter freely into proper commercial relationships with each other,” a Facebook spokesman said.
Britain will host a meeting of G7 leaders in June.
It is seeking to build consensus there for coordinated action toward “promoting competitive, innovative digital markets while protecting the free speech and journalism that underpin our democracy and precious liberties,” Dowden said.
The G7 comprises the United States, Japan, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Canada, but Australia has also been invited.
Britain is working on a new competition regime aimed at giving consumers more control over their data, and introducing legislation that could regulate social media platforms to prevent the spread of illegal or extremist content and bullying.
(Reporting by William James; Editing by Gareth Jones and John Stonestreet)
Britain to offer fast-track visas to bolster fintechs after Brexit
By Huw Jones
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said on Friday it would offer a fast-track visa scheme for jobs at high-growth companies after a government-backed review warned that financial technology firms will struggle with Brexit and tougher competition for global talent.
Finance minister Rishi Sunak said that now Britain has left the European Union, it wants to make sure its immigration system helps businesses attract the best hires.
“This new fast-track scale-up stream will make it easier for fintech firms to recruit innovators and job creators, who will help them grow,” Sunak said in a statement.
Over 40% of fintech staff in Britain come from overseas, and the new visa scheme, open to migrants with job offers at high-growth firms that are scaling up, will start in March 2022.
Brexit cut fintechs’ access to the EU single market and made it far harder to employ staff from the bloc, leaving Britain less attractive for the industry.
The review published on Friday and headed by Ron Kalifa, former CEO of payments fintech Worldpay, set out a “strategy and delivery model” that also includes a new 1 billion pound ($1.39 billion) start-up fund.
“It’s about underpinning financial services and our place in the world, and bringing innovation into mainstream banking,” Kalifa told Reuters.
Britain has a 10% share of the global fintech market, generating 11 billion pounds ($15.6 billion) in revenue.
The review said Brexit, heavy investment in fintech by Australia, Canada and Singapore, and the need to be nimbler as COVID-19 accelerates digitalisation of finance, all mean the sector’s future in Britain is not assured.
It also recommends more flexible listing rules for fintechs to catch up with New York.
“We recognise the need to make the UK attractive a more attractive location for IPOs,” said Britain’s financial services minister John Glen, adding that a separate review on listings rules would be published shortly.
“Those findings, along with Ron’s report today, should provide an excellent evidence base for further reform.”
Britain pioneered “sandboxes” to allow fintechs to test products on real consumers under supervision, and the review says regulators should move to the next stage and set up “scale-boxes” to help fintechs navigate red tape to grow.
“It’s a question of knowing who to call when there’s a problem,” said Kay Swinburne, vice chair of financial services at consultants KPMG and a contributor to the review.
A UK fintech wanting to serve EU clients would have to open a hub in the bloc, an expensive undertaking for a start-up.
“Leaving the EU and access to the single market going away is a big deal, so the UK has to do something significant to make fintechs stay here,” Swinburne said.
The review seeks to join the dots on fintech policy across government departments and regulators, and marshal private sector efforts under a new Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT).
“There is no framework but bits of individual policies, and nowhere does it come together,” said Rachel Kent, a lawyer at Hogan Lovells and contributor to the review.
($1 = 0.7064 pounds)
(Reporting by Huw Jones; editing by Jane Merriman and John Stonestreet)
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