Decision framework needed for enterprise chatbots and conversational experiences


In speaking with enterprise business leaders in a wide range of organizations, the number one priority has been and still is improving and delivering a better customer experience. This is at the center of all business strategies. In fact, if it is not, I dare to say, you do not have a real people-centric business strategy. So it’s no surprise that we are now witnessing the synergistic rise of artificial intelligence and AI-enabled chatbots to provide conversational experiences for users and customers. Enterprise chatbots have to be implemented with the primary purpose of providing conversational experiences for internal users and customers.

Enterprise chatbots are critical for digital workplace transformation. They can access status and workflow data, perform tasks automatically, respond to text or voice commands, plan and schedule interactions, and contextualize events within internal and external business processes. Business and IT leaders need to act now to optimize how people access and share information for better business outcomes.

It is imperative that enterprises develop strategies around chatbots to remain competitive in the emerging digital landscape or risk falling behind. Chatbots can effectively help enterprises with the critical issues they face around collaboration, information access, customer experience, troubleshooting and support. While chatbots have been growing in popularity in the consumer space, the increasing interest in enterprises is a natural outcome. Companies are looking to develop their own chatbots to improve internal business processes and create better customer interactions and experiences.

Enterprises are also focusing chatbots on better interactions and experiences for partners and B2B customers in the overall ecosystem. It is in these external collaboration scenarios where a federation and integration platform is critical for enabling secure communications with business partners and external constituents. Some providers have come up with unique approaches, directly trying to address aspects of this with offerings such as 8×8 Sameroom and NextPlane nCore.

Now while there is admittedly a lot of hype around chatbots, companies have to focus on the business case and purpose for implementing chatbots in the first place. The specific use cases have to be considered, with a focus on being able to measure the return on investment. The decision framework has to start with the business purpose, considerations around uncertainties and what might be difficult to quantify, costs, benefits and, finally, the measurable business value and outcomes.

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