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Amelia Executive Interview

Madison Ragozin, Head of Business Analytics and Global Sales Operations, and Brandon Nott, Chief Product Officer, Amelia

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Sheri Greenhaus, Managing Partner CrmXchange had a discussion with Amelia’s Madison Ragozin, Head of Business Analytics and Global Sales Operations, and Brandon Nott, Chief Product Officer.  

Amelia has been around since 1998 and released the first cognitive agent to interact like a human in 2014. Amelia is recognized by top analyst firms, including Gartner and IDC, as a leader in enterprise Conversational AI, offering a robust platform for building intelligent virtual assistants (IVAs) that understand and respond to human language to deliver cost savings and increased revenue.

The platform leverages proprietary Natural Language Processing technology and Generative AI models to enable fluid, multi-turn conversations that feel natural. Amelia empowers advanced developers and business users alike to create personalized conversational experiences with a low-code drag-and-drop interface. This makes it fast and easy for companies to build advanced IVAs that delight users and deliver business value.

Amelia has global operations in 16 countries and impacts the operations of more than 500 of the world’s leading brands including BBVA, Telefónica, SEB, BNP Paribas and NTT.

Sheri Greenhaus: Tell us about Amelia. 

Madison Ragozin: Amelia enables organizations across numerous industries to deliver exceptional customer and employee experiences with IVAs. These IVAs are accessible 24/7 on any channel and in any language and can perform a variety of functions, from answering simple questions to guiding users through complex conversations to automating end-to-end business processes. This drives customer satisfaction and NPS by making it easy for customers to achieve their goals, while also reducing companies’ operational costs.

Sheri Greenhaus: Is Amelia more like a conversation than a chatbot? 

Brandon Nott: Exactly. We’ve all had bad experiences with classic chatbots or interactive voice response systems (IVRs), that were rigid and frustrating. With Amelia, conversations are more natural and adaptive. For instance, if I’m talking to Amelia about booking my travel, then in the middle of booking I ask about a refund on a canceled ticket, Amelia can answer my refund question, and then seamlessly go back to booking my ticket. This multi-threaded approach to solving problems creates a great user experience.

Sheri Greenhaus: How do you start with a new customer? 

Madison Ragozin: We begin by understanding the customer's needs and quantifying the value that our platform can deliver. Then, either our solutions architecture team, or a Partner, reviews the customer’s infrastructure and integration points to understand where Amelia will receive information from and what actions will be taken. Then, we look at the use cases specifically and determine the complexity of what’s needed, if we have pre-built content that can be leveraged and how to best create the experience to achieve the desired business outcomes. This helps estimate the effort required to effectively implement Amelia.

Sheri Greenhaus: How long does it take to go live after the contract signing? 

Madison Ragozin: Implementation time varies based on the complexity of the use case and the nuances of a particular industry or horizontal. For simpler scenarios, like FAQs or simple information retrieval tasks, it can be relatively quick. However, for more complex cases, like multi-turn, contextual conversations that require several business processes to be executed on the backend, implementation takes longer due to the intricacies involved.

Amelia’s Digital Employee Builder expedites implementations by providing a single interface to build solutions. It offers a visual canvas where conversations are outlined and attached to integration points. This drag-and-drop approach speeds up the process, but the total time still depends on the implementation's size.

Sheri Greenhaus: How has the perception of digital solutions changed? 

Madison Ragozin: Initially, convincing people of the value of digital solutions was challenging, as they feared it would lead to poor customer service. But now, there's a shift. Customers increasingly want 24/7 resolutions to complex requests, and Amelia delivers exceptional experiences that exceed customer expectations and alleviate existing fears. As the Amelia Platform lowers the barriers of entry to develop and scale Conversational AI solutions, we’re seeing exponential demand for our Platform.

Sheri Greenhaus: Who builds these conversations?

Brandon Nott: Historically, engineers were needed to build any kind of automation. However, we are passionate about democratizing AI and providing access to these tools to a broader group of people, including business analysts without formal programing training. Of course, there are still areas where engineers are necessary, such as building integrations with third-party systems. In addition, as governance is essential for AI implementations, IT professionals are responsible for the validation and development of solutions in accordance with their policies and procedures.

Sheri Greenhaus: What happens after a solution is deployed?

Brandon Nott: As users interact with Amelia, the platform continuously learns from every conversation. For example, if users ask for something that is outside the scope of what Amelia is programmed to do, Amelia will inform IT that there are unhandled conversations and will suggest how to improve the implementation so that future requests are resolved by the Platform. This idea of constantly learning and improving is an essential component of the Amelia Platform.

Sheri Greenhaus: Where do you see Amelia going in the near future? 

Brandon Nott: We are laser focused on building a platform that will keep up with the rapidly changing business and technology environment that we find ourselves in. We do this by democratizing AI, allowing anyone to create conversational experiences with minimal training. Simultaneously, we blend our proprietary technology with cutting-edge AI innovations, such as Large Language Models (LLMs) like OpenAI’s GPT, to speed up development and deliver experiences that we previously could have only imagined.