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Forrester Names IBM a Leader in Conversational Computing Platforms Wave

April 12, 2018
Written by Beth Smith

We are pleased to announce that in “The Forrester New Wave™: Conversational Computing Platforms, Q2 2018,”[1] IBM Watson Assistant is named as a Leader in conversational computing. It has become increasingly important for businesses to build engaging interactions that deliver value to their customers, and IBM is proud to offer technologies that help developers and enterprises enhance those experiences.

The report evaluated the most significant conversational computing platforms, diving into each vendor’s current offering and strategy and including customer feedback. IBM was cited for its developer-friendly tools and enterprise expertise requirements, which give developers access to the tools and technologies they need while providing industry and enterprise support for their businesses. Our customers also appreciated IBM’s thorough understanding of enterprise requirements and Watson Assistant’s readiness for integration into a broader architecture.

Conversational technology has come a long way in the past few years, evolving from a tool to create simple chatbots, to one that enables sophisticated solutions that can be scaled across enterprises to solve real business challenges. Voice and chat solutions are now a necessity as customers are looking to find information that they need on their own terms, through the channels that they prefer. It’s essential that businesses deploy solutions that allow them to easily and quickly build conversational experiences without the need for deep technical expertise.

Watson Assistant is a hosted SaaS application, running in the IBM Cloud, that enables organizations to do just that – easily and efficiently build engaging conversational solutions that scale. Watson Assistant makes it simple for enterprises to deliver personalized and engaging experiences for their customers, while giving developers the tools they need to understand how the solution is performing and how it can be improved.

We have worked with enterprises around the world, across a range of different industries to implement conversational AI solutions, including telecommunications, banking and insurance. Autodesk, a global leader in 3D computer-aided design, is a prime example of a company that has used Watson to reach their customers wherever they are, whenever they chose, all while reducing support costs.

Autodesk deals with as many as one million customers and partner contacts per year, and half of these questions are common FAQs that can be easily answered. They were looking for an effective automation solution that could help automate how these interactions were handled and scale for even more inquiries. Autodesk chose Watson Assistant to deliver enhanced support for customers, allowing their employees to handle more complex queries.  After building their virtual agent, Autodesk now:

  • Supports 100,000 conversations per month
  • Recognizes 60 distinct use cases to quickly resolve easy requests
  • Cuts resolution time from 38 hours to just 5.4 minutes for most inquiries
  • Cuts cost per case from $15- $200 to $1

“If we can just understand what customers want, we can route more appropriately, collect more information and create a case so that when it gets to a human agent, they’re not having to do all that work,” says Gregg Spratto, vice president of Operations at Autodesk. “This ultimately leads to quicker resolution and a better customer experience.”

To make implementation simpler for all organizations, we now have domain-specific content available inside of Watson Assistant. These build on, and enhance, the core capabilities of this market-leading technology and allow our customers to add further depth to highly advanced industry-specific solutions. Additionally, to accelerate popular internet of things opportunities, we have solutions built on top of Watson Assistant to help you get a jump start on building a specialized digital assistant:

  • Watson Assistant for Automotive: Enhances in-vehicle experiences, helping the automotive industry to better understand and interact with drivers and passengers.
  • Watson Assistant for Hospitality: Provides a differentiated and personalized experience for hotel guests.

Watson Assistant will enhance your business by giving your developers and business professionals the tools that they need to build and improve an AI assistant for your business. Visit the Watson Assistant service page to understand how it works.

[1] Source: Forrester Research Inc. The Forrester New Wave™: Conversational Computing Platforms, Q2 2018, by Rob Koplowitz and Michael Facemire with Christopher Mines, Sara Sjoblom, Diane Lynch, and Peter Harrison, April 12, 2018.

This story first appeared on the IBM Watson Blog.