IBM, Genesys Partner on Watson-Powered Customer Service App

IBM announced a partnership with Genesys to bring the cognitive computing power of Watson to customer experience solutions.

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IBM and Genesys, a provider of customer experience and contact center solutions, have entered into a partnership to empower smarter customer experiences.

Genesys will tap the IBM Watson cognitive computing system to transform the way brands engage clients across customer service, marketing and sales through data-driven insights and automated actions.

As part of the agreement, IBM Watson and Genesys will develop a learning system that combines the Watson Engagement Advisor with the Genesys Customer Experience Platform to transform how organizations engage with their customers across customer experience touch points and channels of communication.

As a learning system, the Watson enabled natural language solution learns, adapts and understands market and organizational data quickly and easily, and gets progressively smarter with use, outcomes and new pieces of information.

The IBM Watson and Genesys solution can help a company's customer service agents provide fast, data-driven answers, or simply sit directly in the hands of consumers via mobile device, chat session or online interaction. In one simple click, the solution's "Ask Watson" feature can quickly help address customers' questions, offer feedback to guide their purchase decisions and troubleshoot their problems.

"This combined solution delivers sophisticated yet simple to manage knowledge capabilities to transform self-service systems and human interactions into positive brand impressions," said Paul Segre, president and CEO of Genesys, in a statement. "With Watson, our new solution provides a transformational customer experience with a natural and informed transition from self service to agent assistance to yield better business outcomes."

Genesys customers will gain the additional value of a Watson cloud-based advisor that thinks, learns and provides expert insights, while combing through millions of pages of data within seconds for customers and the contact center agents who serve them. As a result, Genesys customers can tap into the body of data that Watson understands and puts to work and use that knowledge to deliver more actionable and satisfying responses to customer inquiries in their self-service applications and contact centers.

Today's consumers are a tweet, post, phone call, email or Web chat away from reporting an issue or asking a question, and nearly half expect a response from businesses within a span of minutes, according to Edison Research.

The new IBM Watson and Genesys solution also provides organizations with the ability to identify when a customer needs to speak with a customer experience representative, rather than continuing in a self-service application. This post on the IBM Smarter Planet blog features a video that shows how the Watson-powered Genesys system will work.

"By tapping into IBM Watson's cognitive intelligence, Genesys is infusing a personalized assistant into every customer interaction," said Mike Rhodin, senior vice president of the IBM Watson Group, in a statement. "Customer engagement is a natural fit for Watson, empowering brands with information-driven insights. This is a key example of how a new era of cognitive computing applications will transform industries and professions and revolutionize how decisions are made."

IBM has a somewhat similar deal with Fluid, which Big Blue has invested in. In April, IBM announced it had tapped into its $100 million Watson investment fund to invest in Fluid to help accelerate development of the Fluid Expert Personal Shopper (XPS) app.

Fluid was among the early partners IBM trotted out to showcase how Watson had become available to developers to build apps around. IBM and Fluid are working to accelerate development of Fluid's Expert Personal Shopper (XPS) app, which is described by the companies as the ultimate shopping advisor, made by Watson and poised to transform the consumer shopping experience.

Fluid is creating its cognitive technology in the Watson Developer Cloud, which provides a toolkit and sandbox for building cognitive apps, as well as access to Watson's API.

Together, IBM and Fluid are working to redefine the e-commerce experience by evolving it beyond the traditional criteria of price, convenience and selection, and adding a transformational new factor: the expertise and personalized advice of an in-store sales representative.