Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

Chatbots are Here, and it is Just the Beginning

Chatbots are the next big thing, but there’s always another big thing coming. Prepare for the future with a flexible architecture that’s ready for everything.

Chatbots are growing rapidly in popularity and adoption, but while more and more organizations are beginning to see the potential, far fewer have developed a concrete strategy for them. Major companies are experimenting with the AI behind chatbots though (with varying degrees of success, such as Microsoft’s Tay.ai and Facebook’s recent conversing bots), and it’s easy to find coverage about the promising future of chatbots and enthusiastic statistics such as how 80% of businesses want to use chatbots by 2020. Clearly, it’s an important technology that business leaders need to plan for.

However, there’s a bigger story here, and that’s that the application of the future is fundamentally changing. The screen-based user experience that has been in use for decades will be augmented by experiences that may not even have a graphical interface, something Todd Anglin, our Chief Evangelist, refers to as a NUI, or a Natural User Interface. So how do you prepare for that? Current industry trends towards optimizing for web and mobile are great for now, but you need to extend your definition of multi-channel to include future channels that are on the horizon.

Web and Mobile Are Not Enough

Chatbots are already here, living on Slack and Facebook Messenger, not to mention answering customer service inquiries for many businesses. Our own Darvin.ai chatbot, a product of Progress Labs, is today helping a major hospital automate appointment booking and trim 30% off their contact center’s workload. Even as chatbots grow, AR/VR is being rapidly adopted as well. Today it is largely known for its presence in gaming, but it won’t be long before field service employees are analyzing machinery through goggles rather than by consulting a PDF on a tablet, and when doctors are calling up a 3d rendering of an x-ray on their glasses instead of holding a flat image.

There will be more innovations to come as well. None of this is to say it’s wrong to optimize for web and mobile today, because that remains essential—but don’t think you can stop there and pat yourself on the back. It’s critical to take a long view here by making sure you’re as prepared for tomorrow as you are for today.

Design Your Architecture to Support this Future

Your architecture needs to be ready for anything. Rather than investing in yet another monolithic platform, it’s important to design an architecture that is flexible enough to let you easily plug in the technology you need for a given business initiative. Whether it’s your backend or frontend or something in between, it needs to be easy to update your tech to meet needs that are constantly changing.

For example, you should consider serverless and API-based characteristics for your architecture, allowing you to decouple your developers working on chatbots from your backend team, so each can focus on their area of expertise. And if you need to change technology on one side, or the other, or both, it should all be just as effortless.

Abstraction to Keep Things Simple

We’re in an incredibly distributed era in terms of technology systems in use today. Mobile platforms, AR/VR, voice recognition and more operate across a variety of operating systems and devices. It’s massively costly, if not an impossible task outright, to try and provide a great experience across every existing and emerging channel. Even just within the realm of chatbots, you must design for specific users. Facebook, Kik, WeChat, Line and other platforms all have different audiences and will need to be intelligently customized to be effective.

This architecture principle—abstracting developers from the myriad platforms they must support—is a key part of how we design our technology at Progress. Just like you can use NativeScript to code in JavaScript and develop natively for both iOS and Android, and just like you can use our DataDirect drivers to connect to virtually every database out there, the overall effect is one of simplicity. Your developers should be freed from the complexity of keeping up with individual platforms and allowed to concentrate on addressing the business needs and adding the new features that make your application successful.

Be Ready for the Next Big Thing

Whether chatbots are barely a conversation in your organization or you’ve got a cutting-edge bot out there serving customers, the key is to make sure you’re always prepared for what’s coming next. The transition from an emphasis on today’s multi-channel experience to a virtual one will be transformational for many businesses, and how prepared you are to make this leap will have a huge impact on your operational and business success. In a technology environment that is always changing, working with a partner you can trust and investing in an architecture that lets you compete today and innovate for the future is critical to ensuring long-lasting success.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Progress Blog

Progress offers the leading platform for developing and deploying mission-critical, cognitive-first business applications powered by machine learning and predictive analytics.

Latest Stories
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities – ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups. As a result, many firms employ new business models that place enormous impor...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dasher Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dasher Technologies, Inc. ® is a premier IT solution provider that delivers expert technical resources along with trusted account executives to architect and deliver complete IT solutions and services to help our clients execute their goals, plans and objectives. Since 1999, we'v...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale, a leading provider of systems and services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale has been involved in shaping the computing landscape. They've designed, developed and deployed some of the most important and successful systems and services in the history of the computing industry - internet, Ethernet, operating s...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
Infoblox delivers Actionable Network Intelligence to enterprise, government, and service provider customers around the world. They are the industry leader in DNS, DHCP, and IP address management, the category known as DDI. We empower thousands of organizations to control and secure their networks from the core-enabling them to increase efficiency and visibility, improve customer service, and meet compliance requirements.
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Michael Burley, a Senior Business Development Executive in IT Services at NetApp, will describe how NetApp designed a three-year program of work to migrate 25PB of a major telco's enterprise data to a new STaaS platform, and then secured a long-term contract to manage and operate the platform. This significant program blended the best of NetApp’s solutions and services capabilities to enable this telco’s successful adoption of private cloud storage and launchi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale is the leading provider of Software-Defined Servers that bring flexibility to modern data centers by right-sizing servers on the fly to fit any data set or workload. TidalScale’s award-winning inverse hypervisor technology combines multiple commodity servers (including their ass...
As hybrid cloud becomes the de-facto standard mode of operation for most enterprises, new challenges arise on how to efficiently and economically share data across environments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Dr. Allon Cohen, VP of Product at Elastifile, will explore new techniques and best practices that help enterprise IT benefit from the advantages of hybrid cloud environments by enabling data availability for both legacy enterprise and cloud-native mission critical applications. By rev...
As popularity of the smart home is growing and continues to go mainstream, technological factors play a greater role. The IoT protocol houses the interoperability battery consumption, security, and configuration of a smart home device, and it can be difficult for companies to choose the right kind for their product. For both DIY and professionally installed smart homes, developers need to consider each of these elements for their product to be successful in the market and current smart homes.
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant tha...
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, will lead you through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He'll look at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering ...