IVAs, Chatbots, and CUIs: Making Sense of the Conversational AI Market for Your Enterprise

Verint Team November 14, 2019

In the 2019 Gartner Hype Cycle for Customer Service and Support Technologies, we were pleased to hear a clear message from Gartner:

“Approaching the broader set of customer service and support (CSS) technologies as an integrated ecosystem of functionality rather than a set of compartmentalized and separate decisions and systems enables organizations to deliver a more holistic customer experience.”

The hype cycle separates Virtual Customer Assistants, Chatbots and Conversational User Interfaces (CUIs) into three distinct categories. At Verint, when it comes to natural language technologies, we have long championed an approach that prioritizes integration, interoperability and extensibility.

We think of these three technologies as essential components, or even building blocks, of a larger, unified solution. Unfortunately—as the hype built up in the space over the past couple of years—such a clear and resolute message was competing with a lot of white noise.

Thus, as a recent McKinsey survey points out, customers were left without a clear, long-term strategy to modernize and automate effectively.

The Importance of Integration, Interoperability, and Extensibility

For over two decades, we have told every customer we work with that the best AI is one that can scale across your entire business and effectively integrate into your existing systems. Our conversational AI platform was, in fact, designed, built and launched based—in part—on the premise that point solutions do more harm than good when you’re dealing with artificial intelligence. They exacerbate the integration problems of an already heterogeneous enterprise IT environment while adding data management complexity that plagues too many AI projects.

Today, our platform seamlessly integrates all three technologies that Gartner highlighted. Whether you’re looking to front an existing system with a proven conversational interface, or to deploy an enterprise-grade intelligent virtual assistant, our platform allows us to seamlessly weave together these technologies so that the resulting solution aligns with your business realities and goals.

Moreover, our platform ensures that nobody is forced to choose between solutions that lag behind or outpace your current AI and automation strategy. AI transformation is a journey that requires more than just technology adoption … it asks leaders to reimagine critical facets of their organization.

It’s about people as much as it’s about machines. Any solution needs to be able to evolve and scale as those changes take shape within the enterprise. That’s why our conversational AI platform is built the way it’s built, and that’s why our customers are able to evolve their IVAs over the years—expanding the use cases, endpoints, knowledge, and integrations for our platform as their business changes.

So, to reiterate Gartner’s message: don’t look at the technologies listed on the Hype Cycle as standalone products, and yes, think of them as an ecosystem.Most importantly, don’t think of your business as a static entity. Select technologies that can adapt to your business as it evolves and continues its march through the AI transformation.

Only then will you transcend the hype and develop systems that will serve you through the years.