I'm a graduate of the University of Kentucky, which, if you aren't aware, is the winning-est college basketball team of all time. Basketball is a religion at U.K. And since there are no professional sports teams in Kentucky, college basketball is everything. So my favorite time of year has always been the first two days of the NCAA basketball tournament. On those days, games start at noon and, depending on the schedule and how many go to overtime, usually go on for 10-12 hours.
Topics: Company Culture
We are constantly working on two things at Talla: 1) Automating away ever more Service and Support tasks, and 2) Working everywhere that you work. In order to fulfill both of these pieces of the Talla vision, we have to continue to integrate with more tools. Today we are excited to announce integrations with HubSpot, Zendesk, and Jira.
This week I'm excited to announce that we are launching 3 new Talla products. Well, technically 2 new products and one major upgrade, but the latter also feels new with all the improvement. Earlier this year we were focused on "customer facing teams," and while we still have customers in Sales and Success, it is clear that the biggest interest in AI automation comes from Customer Service and Support teams. With that in mind we've revamped the Talla Platform into three parts that can be used separately or together, and map more directly to key Service and Support workflows. The three new products are: a knowledge base for support teams, a rep assist tool, and a customer facing self service automation tool. More details will come in future posts, but for now here are the highlights.
Topics: Product Updates
At Talla, we have an automation platform for support teams that automates much of the support process away. It's a combination of a very different knowledge base (although we work with other KBs) and a chatbot. What is unique about our product is that you don't have to script out anything. You don't have to build bot decision trees. The bot learns from your Support documentation like a human would. Then it connects to your other Support systems to take action. Instead of a search engine, it's an action and automation engine that you can control from a web, or chat interface. (Plug: If that sounds cool, get a demo.)
Every time technology shifts, people are caught off guard and there is this phase in the market where the new technologies are being thought of using the old frameworks. That’s where we are with AI today. Buyers are looking at enterprise AI software like it’s one of the SaaS solutions they bought in 2014. It’s not.
For almost a decade now, the "buyer's journey" has been the lens through which B2B marketers view their customer. The general concept is that the typical B2B buyer does a significant amount of research before engaging with a seller, and the framework makes it easier to map content of various types to the stage of buyer research. But artificial intelligence has thrown a wrench into the buyer's journey.
We recently launched an ebook called "Bullshit, Hype, and a Little Bit of Magic: How To Make Sense of It All When Buying A.I. Products." Today I want to take a quick tour of Talla to understand where we stack up against our own analysis.
Today we are very excited to announce our $8.3M Series A round, led by Glasswing Ventures, with participation from new investors PJC, Pillar, and Launch Capital.
The bot space has received mixed press over the past few months, but as a company working actively in the space, we have seen a huge uptick during that same time period in businesses looking at bots to help solve and scale operational problems. I wrote a separate post on Medium about why we chose the investors we chose, and how the round came together. In this post on our own blog I want to focus on what this means for Talla's customer base.
We've now had thousands of companies try Talla, and we have learned a lot from our metrics about how people evaluate bots and conversational interfaces. The most interesting thing so far is that when the Talla trial ends, most enterprises don't make a decision to buy or pass - they email us and ask for a trial extension because they don't feel like they have evaluated it enough. As we dug into this issue, our analysis of the data and discussions with customers in the trial process allowed us to develop a few hypotheses about why this happens. The number 1 issue seems to be that, given the open ended nature of a conversational interface, it is difficult to know when you have said enough things to it to know it works well. With that in mind, here is our recommendation for how you evaluate bots and conversational interfaces in general, and then we will write a follow up post for evaluating Talla specifically.