We offer our customers a broad network of skilled local and global partners across a wide range of leading industries. In our “Partner Spotlight” series, some of our most dedicated partners will kindly be sharing their thoughts on Conversational AI.
Please tell us briefly about your professional background and your current role? How long have you been working at your company?
For some time now, I have been responsible for the development of the B2B Voicification & AI portfolio. This is Telekom's term for Conversational AI with a broader scope.
In total, I have more than thirty turbulent and eventful years in leading positions behind me. In addition to innovative research in the field of information and communication technology, I have worked for several key players during the liberalization phase of the German telecommunications market. And now I have been at Deutsche Telekom for more than twenty years and its subsidiaries in various functions, including presales, portfolio, and product management.
What is special about your company?
Telekom strives to be the Leading European Telco and has stood for advancing digitization for years! With a heavy emphasis on Digitize, Digitize, Digitize. We want to be the leader in business customer productivity solutions. Therefore, we are expanding our product portfolio to include software-based services, with the aim of becoming the preferred partner for digitization.
How is your company related to Conversational AI?
Customer contact management solutions are already a major part of Telekom's portfolio and B2B business, especially with our corporate customers and several flagship projects. A modern customer contact management approach sort of automatically leads to Conversational AI solutions. This has been one of our focus topics for more than three years. And this solution is not only on offer to our B2B customers. We also use Conversational AI in our own customer service. Additionally: our own platform “Telekom Voicification Suite” serves both B2B and B2C customer needs, such as Telekom's consumer products “Magenta Speaker” and “Magenta TV”.
What is special about Cognigy and Cognigy.AI? What sets Cognigy apart?
Our portfolio strategy is to work with partners, from the hyperscalers to specialists and local champions. We aim to supplement the partner technologies with value-added services and a special focus on data protection/data privacy, following a “best of breed” path.
Cognigy certainly is a leading partner in Conversational AI solutions, very flexible and precise when dealing with our organization. Together we were able to build an AIC4 certified Conversational AI solution, a “first” in the German market.
What do you think is the main reason why some companies still don´t use smart bots across the board?
Some business customers are reluctant to use Conversational AI solutions because it’s hard for them to anticipate the reaction of their end customers (B2C) to chat bots/voice bots. Excelling at customer service is a major differentiator in the market, but not necessarily something where you want to experiment a lot. To overcome this concern, it’s necessary to start with sweet spots, e.g. 24/7 reachability, where both our business customers and their end customers profit from Conversational AI.
How do you see Conversational.AI evolving in the next three years?
Driven by consumer experience, voice interfaces will be “standard”, and people will be more accustomed to talking to machines. As the quality of natural-language-understanding and text-to-speech improves, the current “strangeness” of conversations with devices and voice bots will vanish and be more – well – natural.
Things to keep in mind are transparency, other ethical implications, and the “uncanny valley effect” of using Conversational AI, though.
On a personal note: Who would you like to meet for a chat and why?
Totally unrelated to business 😉, but it would be a real pleasure to meet Lang Lang. Someone who is most successful as a pianist, but still a person not detached at all and humble in his approach to music and the world. Much in contrast to other “stars”.