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The Mobile & Digital Assistant Blog covers the latest in mobile and conversational AI development and engagement

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Digital Assistant / Chatbot Development

TechExchange Quick-Tip: Customizing the Oracle Bots Node.js SDK Component Template

The Oracle Bots Node.js SDK includes a command line utility that you can install globally on your local computer and that lets you easily create new custom component and custom component projects. The custom components created by the Oracle Bots Node.js SDK contain a "hello world" content that contains examples fo the two main function calls: metadata() and invoke(). In addition, the invoke() function implementation shows example code for how to access input parameters ("human" in the example), how to print responses to the bot ("conversation.replay(...)) and how to pass control back to the bot ("done()"). Unless "hello world" is all you need to build, or if this is the first time you use the Oracle Bots Node.js SDK to create custom components, you may be interested to learn how to customize the template to contain e.g. the author name, a use license and more. Especially when working in teams you may want to enforce consistency across custom components that are integrated, which includes a common set of input parameters (e.g. always use "variable" as an input parameter for the reference to the dialog flow variable to update (like system components do). This article explains how to modify the component template in a global Oracle Bots Node.js SDK installation.

The Oracle Bots Node.js SDK includes a command line utility that you can install globally on your local computer and that lets you easily create new custom component and custom component projects. The...

Digital Assistant / Chatbot Development

TechExchange Quick-Tip: Implement Page Ranging for Lists using the Common Response Component

List-of-values, as well a action lists (menus), use buttons for rendering the list's select items. Apart from long lists of values that result in poor usability, some messengers, including Facebook, have a limitation on the number of action items that can be displayed in a list at the same time. The solution to this is pagination, in which bot designers allow users to scroll within a list of values by showing a reduced set of values at a time. There are two components in Oracle Digital Assistant that you can use to build list-of-values that support pagination System.ResolveEntities System.CommonResponse component Both components require the rangeSize for pagination to be defined on the entity itself. The System.ResolveEntities component does not require any configuration than to reference a variable of the entity type from its "variable" property. For the System.CommonResponse component, pagination works with a few settings. Note that the reason that System.CommonResponse requires configuration is that it is a very flexible component that allows bot designers to customize bot responses, which you cannot using the System.ResolveEntities component. This article explains the use of the System.CommonResponse component

List-of-values, as well a action lists (menus), use buttons for rendering the list's select items. Apart from long lists of values that result in poor usability, some messengers, including...

Digital Assistant / Chatbot Development

TechExchange: How-to Use the System.ResolveEntities Component in Oracle Digital Assistant

Put simple, dialog flows are user-bot interaction scripts that a skill in a digital assistant conversation follows to assist users in completing a task using the conversational channel. Though dialog flows are needed, the best dialog flow would be no dialog flow. Using composite bags in Oracle Digital Assistant you can partially achieve this. Composite bag entities are like business domain objects in that they group several entities and variable type items to a single "super" entity that then aligns with a business object like an order, a customer etc. Configurations like prompts, error messages, validation, range size settings and more, that normally you would define on a UI component are contained in the composite bag entity attributes. Attributes of an entity bag item are referred to as bag items and can be of type entity or a variable of a primitive data type. In Oracle Digital Assistant, there are two system components that can be used in combination with composite bag entities to auto-generate bot responses and dialog flows from definitions saved in bag items: System.ResolveEntities is one, System.CommonResponse is the other. In this article I explain how to use the System.ResolveEntities with component with composite bags. Using a System.CommonResponse component with composite bag entities may be a topic for a later TechExchange article. Most of the default settings and behaviors though are identical.

Put simple, dialog flows are user-bot interaction scripts that a skill in a digital assistant conversation follows to assist users in completing a task using the conversational channel. Though dialog...

Digital Assistant / Chatbot Development

TechExchange: Initiating bot conversations from the Oracle Digital Assistant Client SDK for JavaScript web messenger widget on startup

The Oracle Digital Assistant Client SDK for JavaScript provides functionality to communicate with a Oracle Digital Assistant from the web. Part of the Client SDK for JavaScript functionality is a JavaScript based web widget that can be added to your web applications or web sites to launch a message window. In a typical chat conversation, users initiate the conversation by typing a message similar to shown below, assuming the receiving bot has an intent defined so it responds to the request. Hi Hello I would like to make a complaint The bot replies with a text message or rich UI response (e.g. card layouts or a list) that then is understood by the web client and rendered for the user to make a selection or type a next message. A problem reported by users is that the chat window initially is empty leaving the bot users stunning of how to start a conversation. So ideally, the chat windows open with the Oracle Digital Assistant bot to welcome a user with a clear message or menu to choose from. This article explains how to initiate a bot conversation with Oracle Digital Assistant upon launching the web messenger widget on a website or in a web application.

The Oracle Digital Assistant Client SDK for JavaScript provides functionality to communicate with a Oracle Digital Assistant from the web. Part of the Client SDK for JavaScript functionality is...

Digital Assistant / Chatbot Development

TechExchange - Quick-Tip: How to Disconnect a Human Agent Conversation in Oracle Digital Assistant for Users Closing the Browser Window

A very popular use case for chatbots is the integration of the chat window into a website or web application. However, a challenge with this setup is when the user abandons a chat conversation by closing the browser window. In this case, Oracle Digital Assistant stops the Web Channel conversation after a predefined period of time, which usually is not within seconds but mostly within the 10s of minutes. However, what if the user was interacting with a human agent through the bot conversation when deciding to the leave the conversation by closing the browser window? And what is the impact? Oracle Digital Assistant has no way to tell when the user closes the browser window. This leads to the agent integration connection to stay open until the session expires, which however then means that the overall number of connections to the human agent backend system doesn't match the number of active connections until the session expired. Another impact is the situation the agent is in. Because the agent is not aware of he user leaving the conversation, he or she may continue checking if the user s still there and spend time waiting until they eventually decide the user may no longer be online. This article describes a strategy for ending the interaction between a user and an agent when the user leaves the bot conversation by closing the browser window.

A very popular use case for chatbots is the integration of the chat window into a website or web application. However, a challenge with this setup is when the user abandons a chat conversation by...

Digital Assistant / Chatbot Development

7 Sessions (and 2 Demos) You Need to See at Oracle OpenWorld Middle East

Traveling to Dubai next week for Oracle OpenWorld - Middle East, or just happen to be passing through on Monday, February 11th and Tuesday, February 12th?  Curious about how Oracle is innovating for the enterprise with artificial intelligence and conversational interfaces?  Here are six sessions and two demos at next week's conference that should be on your list:   Sessions Oracle Cloud: The Next Big Things February 11th @ 9:30-10:05, Arena 1 (Level 1), Dubai World Trade Centre Learn about the cutting-edge solutions that will accelerate your business. From Machine learning to speech-based analytics, trust fabric, automated application development (leveraging AR and VR), to digital assistants. Experience transformational cloud platform and application solutions that will enhance productivity, lower costs, and accelerate innovation across the enterprise.   Building Next-Gen Cloud Apps with Chatbots, Embedded Intelligence, and Blockchain February 11th @ 9:30am-10:45am, Arena 2 (Level 1), Dubai World Trade Centre The cloud is fundamentally changing how enterprise applications are being built today. Developers are leveraging new services and capabilities up and down the stack to more quickly deliver innovation and provide greater ease of use, management, and integration, while also providing deeper intelligence through these applications. In this session see how digital assistants, AI and ML, and blockchain based cloud infrastructure are enabling these next generations of cloud native apps to be built on Oracle Cloud Platform.   Beyond the Screen: From Chatbots to Your Own Digital Assistant February 11th @ 10:15-10:50, Arena 4 (Level 1), Dubai World Trade Centre In the past two years, AI technologies have transformed the way we interact with systems and devices across channels. Chatbots have become widely adopted, and Oracle has evolved them into digital assistants that can complete complex user tasks. A digital assistant is able to leverage AI to make recommendations, possess many skills, initiate conversations, and use cognitive services to provide an ambient human experience. In this session see how Oracle Digital Assistant can transform enterprises with next-generation conversational AI technologies.   Lessons From Deploying Digital Assistants & Chatbots February 11th @ 10:15-10:50, Forum 6 (The Exchange, Level 1), Dubai World Trade Centre Join Oracle's Ian Wallis and Asser Smidt from Botsupply to hear about Oracle’s real customer experiences in deploying chatbots and digital assistants in the market. These practical lessons will span scope, language, training, supervision and many more topics.   10 Keys to Successful Digital Assistant and Chatbot Implementation for the Enterprise February 11th @ 10:55, Arena 5, Dubai World Trade Centre Chatbots and Digital Assistants are a hot and emerging technology where best practices are still evolving. How will real users interact with a Chatbot? How to identify the top use cases to being your Chatbot journey? How to extract bots conversational design from LOB stakeholders who may never have interacted with Chatbots before? In this session, we will outline keys to a successful Chatbot implementation - how to identify Chatbot use cases, design top-notch conversational flows, target bots functionality for your key users, integrate with back-end system and data sources, and most importantly, pick the right Chatbot platform. Come to this session and hear us sharing the secrets to successful Chatbot implementations and how you can reap real business benefits.   From Zero to Chatbot to Digital Assistant in Under Two Hours February 11th @ 15:15-17:15, Arena 9 (Level 1), Dubai World Trade Centre Chatbots are one of the first widespread uses of artificial intelligence and natural language processing. As chatbots have evolved in enterprise use, so has the emergence of Digital Assistants. In this hands-on-lab (*your own laptop is required*,) you will get your hands dirty with this new technology. You will first “educate” your Digital Assistant with a rich set of available application skills from Oracle, without writing any code. You will then develop and train a new skill defining intents, utterances, and entities. You will then design the conversation flow, connect the skill to a back-end API, and enhance it with QnA functionality. Finally, you will add the new skill to your Digital Assistant and publish it to a chat client.   Enabling Effortless Interactions - How Chatbots and Voice Assistants Change CX Forever February 12th @ 10:15-10:50, Arena 2 (Level 1), Dubai World Trade Centre Join this expert panel session to understand how conversational approaches and innovation around how these interactions can be successfully applied and adopted as part of CX. We will discuss how digital interactions have evolved, why effortless interactions even matter in today’s customer-empowered era, and use cases of human-centric interactions.   Demos Digital Assistants February 11th - February 12th, The Exchange, Dubai World Trade Centre Enabled by artificial intelligence, today's chatbots and virtual assistants are supercharging productivity for sales and service professionals, whether in the office, the contact center, or on the go. Come see how these smart Oracle solutions can work in your business to save precious selling time, reduce inbound service inquiries, and improve the customer service. We'll demonstrate, Virtual Assistant for Service Cloud, and Sales Virtual Assistant, as well as tell you about our platform that lets you develop custom chatbots. Learn about our chatbot integrations with Facebook Messenger and WeChat too.   Oracle Digital Assistant Cloud: Next-Generation Conversational AI for Enterprises February 11th - February 12th, The Exchange, Dubai World Trade Centre Chatbots technology has evolved rapidly during the past two years. When it comes to enterprise requirements, the current chatbot falls short, however. Users now demand bot-initiated conversations, richly interactive conversational interfaces, deep analytics/insights, and the ability to access multiple chatbots from a single interface. Come to this demo to see how Oracle is pushing conversational AI to next-generation digital assistants that overcome chatbots’ shortcomings. You’ll also get an introduction to Oracle Digital Assistant Cloud.   If you can't make it to Dubai next week, you also can learn more about Oracle Digital Assistant, and we'll be hosting additional Cloud Days and OpenWorld events throughout 2019 so come and see what the buzz is all about.

Traveling to Dubai next week for Oracle OpenWorld - Middle East, or just happen to be passing through on Monday, February 11th and Tuesday, February 12th?  Curious about how Oracle is innovating for...

The Oracle Mobile Platform

Announcing: Oracle TechExchange - Oracle Digital Assistant Tutorials and Hands-on

Today, Oracle Digital Assistant product management has launched a new public Website to share tutorials and training materials with bot developers. The new website is hosted on GitHub and can be accessed by anyone. Releasing tutorials and trainings on GitHub also is an invitation to the Oracle Digital Assistant developer community to contribute with their own tutorials on Oracle Digital Assistant. You can access the all new Oracle TechExchange - Oracle Digital Assistant Tutorials and Hands-on site from the link below. http://bit.ly/ODAEnablement Oracle TechExchange was launched as a blog in 2017 (https://blogs.oracle.com/mobile/tech-exchange) and since then provides Oracle chatbot developers with technical information, hints and tips beyond the official product documentation. In an effort to do more, Oracle Digital Assistant product management launched this new web site to share additional hands-on focused content. The plan for the Oracle TechExchange tutorial and training site is to frequently release new tutorials addressing new product features, as well as topics frequently requested by the Oracle Digital Assistant developer community. This new site is in addition to the Oracle TechExchange blog, which remains as an independent blog page and the go-to page for advanced information about Oracle Digital Assistant.

Today, Oracle Digital Assistant product management has launched a new public Website to share tutorials and training materials with bot developers. The new website is hosted on GitHub and can...

Digital Assistant / Chatbot Development

TechExchange Quick-Tip: Optimize Bot Responses for a specific Channel in Oracle Digital Assistant

Messaging channels vary in the richness of their user interface. For example, Facebook supports rich media like images, card layouts, attachments, quick answers, and more. Other channels like WeChat or SMS do not provide the same UI functionality. As a bot designer you need to be able to adapt bot responses to the channel that is used. Voice also is a good example of a channel that does not do well with rich user interface components. When using speech, the bot response should be simple and text-driven. The term adaptive design for bots is not widely used (at least I did not find an article yet taking about it). To create bots that should be accessed from different channels, you as a bot designer should already be aware of this. Oracle Digital Assistant supports adaptive design in BotML, the CommonResponse component, and custom components, which basically means everywhere. Use cases for adaptive design: Show user interfaces that are optimized for a channel Change the behavior of a bot based on a channel. For example, a specific channel might be more trusted than another, in which case you don't allow the same set of actions Change the messages displayed to users. For example, users of the embedded test channel would see error messages in their purest form, while users would see in a less technical term In this article I will show how expressions can be used in BotML to detect the user channel type and the channel name. The channel name is the name you give to a channel configuration in Oracle Digital Assistant.

Messaging channels vary in the richness of their user interface. For example, Facebook supports rich media like images, card layouts, attachments, quick answers, and more. Other channels like WeChat...

Digital Assistant / Chatbot Development

5 Digital Assistant Sessions You Need to Attend at OpenWorld Europe

  Traveling to London next week for Oracle OpenWorld - Europe, or just happen to be in town on Wednesday January 16th and Thursday, January 17th?  Curious about how Oracle is innovating for the enterprise with artificial intelligence and conversational interfaces?  Here are five sessions at next week's conference that you need to attend:   Lessons From Deploying Digital Assistants & Chatbots January 16th @ 9:00-9:35, Forum 2 (Level 0), ExCeL London Join Oracle's Ian Wallis and Asser Smidt from Botsupply to hear about Oracle’s real customer experiences in deploying chatbots and digital assistants in the market. These practical lessons will span scope, language, training, supervision and many more topics.   10 Keys to Successful Digital Assistant & Chatbot Implementation January 16th @ 11:15-12:00, Arena 6 (Level 3), ExCeL London Chatbots and digital assistants are hot and emerging technologies, and best practices are still evolving. How will real users interact with a chatbot? What are the differences between chatbots and digital assistants? How do you identify the top use cases? How do you extract conversational design from LOB stakeholders who may never have interacted with chatbots before? In this session learn how to ensure a successful digital assistant implementation, including how to identify use cases, design top-notch conversational flows, target functionality for your key users, and integrate your digital assistant with your back-end applications. Discover the secrets to successful implementations and how you can reap real business benefits.   Beyond the Screen: From Chatbots to Your Own Digital Assistant January 16th @ 12:10-12:45, Arena 4 (Level 3), ExCeL London In the past two years, AI technologies have transformed the way we interact with systems and devices across channels. Chatbots have become widely adopted, and Oracle has evolved them into digital assistants that can complete complex user tasks. A digital assistant is able to leverage AI to make recommendations, possess many skills, initiate conversations, and use cognitive services to provide an ambient human experience. In this session see how Oracle Digital Assistant can transform enterprises with next-generation conversational AI technologies.   Oracle Cloud: The Next Big Things January 16th @ 12:10-12:45, Arena 1 (Level 3), ExCeL London Learn about the cutting-edge solutions that will accelerate your business. From Machine learning to speech-based analytics, trust fabric, automated application development (leveraging AR and VR), to digital assistants. Experience transformational cloud platform and application solutions that will enhance productivity, lower costs, and accelerate innovation across the enterprise.   From Zero to Chatbot to Digital Assistant in Under Two Hours January 16th @ 15:00-17:00, HOL Summit Room (Level 3), ExCeL London Chatbots are one of the first widespread uses of artificial intelligence and natural language processing. As chatbots have evolved in enterprise use, so has the emergence of Digital Assistants. In this hands-on-lab (*your own laptop is required*,) you will get your hands dirty with this new technology. You will first “educate” your Digital Assistant with a rich set of available application skills from Oracle, without writing any code. You will then develop and train a new skill defining intents, utterances, and entities. You will then design the conversation flow, connect the skill to a back-end API, and enhance it with QnA functionality. Finally, you will add the new skill to your Digital Assistant and publish it to a chat client.   If you can't make it to London next week, we also are hosting Oracle Cloud Days in New York and Atlanta, GA where you also can learn more about Oracle Digital Assistant, and registration is still open!  We'll be hosting additional Cloud Days and OpenWorld events throughout 2019 so come and see what the buzz is all about.

  Traveling to London next week for Oracle OpenWorld - Europe, or just happen to be in town on Wednesday January 16th and Thursday, January 17th?  Curious about how Oracle is innovating for the...

Digital Assistant / Chatbot Development

The Consumerization of AI for the Enterprise

I have three voice activated, virtual assistants at home:  Google Home Max. It’s a pricey and comparatively large and hefty but sounds great Apple HomePod. Also pricey. Beautiful, elegant, and sounds great, but Siri is meh… Three Amazon \ devices, various generations, relatively inexpensive with decent sound            Anecdotally, based on how often my family uses them (wife, 2 young boys, a dog, and a beta fish) Amazon is the winner. I know Google has the depth and breadth to be very smart, but we kept having too many misses and glitches. The Echo/Alexa was being called upon for jokes, stories, timers, information, and more importantly - music, even though the better sounding Google Home Max was in the same room.  Perhaps being creatures of habit, we became accustomed to calling out to Alexa? First mover advantage? But then again, Siri had the first mover advantage on the iPhone, and was always available - but Siri’s abilities are clearly behind both Amazon and Google. It’s unfortunate as I really like the design and sound of the HomePod. I have noticed Siri getting smarter, perhaps since they poached one of the AI experts from Google. But unfortunately for Apple, Siri is still not yet competitive.   So what does any of this have to do with Oracle? This is the continued consumerization of IT. No more AI science lab projects. This is the consumerization of AI for the enterprise. The phrase "consumerization of IT", imho, was primarily driven by the introduction of the iPhone, back in 2007. With the iPhone, consumers fell in love with their smartphones and asked their IT departments to support them. Back then, Blackberries (aka crackberries) ruled the mobile enterprise. I recall my time at Verisign/Symantec, IT resisted iPhones due to security concerns, but eventually relented. From my observation, with executive influence (thanks Enrique S.) owning an iPhone and iPad, well, that’s the way IT rolled.       With all these mobile smartphones and devices, it becomes easy to see how conversational interfaces will work their way into the enterprise. That brings me to specifically call out our chatbot technology, Oracle Digital Assistant. A digital assistant is more than a simple chatbot. For details, check this excellent post by Eric Rogge delving into more depth on newly release features for Oracle Digital Assistant.    With the growing popularity of conversational interfaces (text/voice) in the enterprise, this nascent market is full of new tools and solutions vying for your attention. And as the market matures, most of which will simply go away or be acquired by a larger player. Remember all the internet companies? The e-commerce companies? Mobile companies? It's darwinism at work.     Easy, easy, and...wait for it....     Who survives and flourishes? I’ve alway felt that there are 3 things that make a product successful - inspired by the old real estate adage (location, location, location) - what makes a product successful is: easy, easy, and wait for it…easy!  Remember plug-and-play? Of course, the product still has to get the job done, but he who makes it easy to adopt, easy to use, easy to live with, usually wins. Why do you think UX experts and UI designers are in such high demand?        Oracle Digital Assistant Combining Multiple Skills   For Oracle Digital Assistant, the Oracle SaaS teams are working on easy, by building their own related digital assistant “skills" that plug and play with the Oracle Digital Assistant platform. Imagine a digital assistant skill for ERP, assistant for procurement, assistant for reports, an assistant for supply chain management, an assistant for HR, expense reports, whatever the customer needs are. Now imagine these assistants, readily available in a Skill Store, or Catalog - akin to the Apple AppStore or Google Play, easily available to add to your own Digital Assistant.  Now make them so that they can be customized to your needs, easy. Provide the platform to manage their lifecycle - easy. Provide proven, serious enterprise security skills by default - easy. Given the potential of multiple digital assistants, Oracle Digital Assistant can bring them together under one comprehensive assistant.    TL;DR - Oracle Digital Assistant makes it easy to bring chatbot capabilities to your enterprise applications in a unified platform. Again, a great read is Eric Rogge’s recent blog post on this topic. https://blogs.oracle.com/mobile/oracle-digital-assistant-version-1843-introduces-skill-chatbot-capability    Your next steps: Oracle Cloud Day in New York next week, Jan 15. I’ll be presenting at the “One Bot to Rule them All” session. If you’re there, match this blog, and see me at the event, ping me and I’ll buy you an adult beverage of your choice.   Oracle OpenWorld Europe, Jan 16-17, in London, If you’re across the pond, catch Suhas Uliyar’s must see presentations, Beyond the Screen: From Chatbots to Your Own Digital Assistant, and other related sessions.  OpenWorld Middle East, Feb 11-12, in Dubai OpenWorld Asia, Mar 26-27, in Singapore.     Can’t make any of these? Call you’re Oracle sales rep or partner. I’m sure they’d love to chat.  No more excuses. cloud.oracle.com/digital-assistant    

I have three voice activated, virtual assistants at home:  Google Home Max. It’s a pricey and comparatively large and hefty but sounds great Apple HomePod. Also pricey. Beautiful, elegant, and...

Digital Assistant / Chatbot Development

TechExchange: Out-of-order Message Handling. How-to Best Handle List or Button Actions That Were Issued from UI Components Displayed in the Messenger Conversation History

It happens in a chatbot interaction that a user scrolls the conversation history displayed in the messenger client and selects a list or button action that is no longer in scope for the current conversation. For example, in a travel booking chatbot, a user may have selected a destination and provided the name to be printed on the tickets When asked to select a free gift voucher, she then scrolls the message history and selects a different destination. Changing a travel destination should not be a problem, you may think, and for most of the time you are right. But changing the travel destination may have an impact to other parts of a conversation. For example, a selected destination may not qualify for a voucher, or in the process of booking the travel, the user selected a local agency for an airport pick-up. Chatbots don't control the messenger and therefore cannot prevent users from selecting out-of-scope actions. So the best thing it can do is to find a solution that doesn't upset the user and also does not mess with the business task at hand. In Oracle Digital Assistant, out-of-scope actions are referred to as an out-of-order messages. While there is a default implementation for how a skill bot handles out-of-order messages, there also is an option for bot designers to customize the behavior, either for the bot as a whole or just for the current state in a conversation. In this article I explain how out-of-order messages are handed in Oracle Digital Assistant and how you can customize the behavior.

It happens in a chatbot interaction that a user scrolls the conversation history displayed in the messenger client and selects a list or button action that is no longer in scope for the...

Digital Assistant / Chatbot Development

Oracle Digital Assistant Version 18.4.3 Introduces Skill Chatbot Capability

We are delighted to announce that the next major release of our AI powered Digital Assistant platform, version 18.4.3, is now generally available. This release represents a major evolution of our chatbot platform; it enables our customers to not only create and deliver multiple chatbots, but they can now organize them as multiple skills that are available via a single digital assistant. Users then access a suite of chatbot capabilities as if they were one composite service. The skill bots can also coordinate together to offer synchronized services. For example, instead of just booking an airplane ticket, a digital assistant built with this new version of our platform could coordinate the flights, rental cars, hotels and restaurants for a business trip. New capabilities of this release include: Create and deploy digital assistants that orchestrate access to multiple skill bots. Create and deploy individual skill chatbots. Coordinate activity routing between multiple chatbots. A skill store for pre-built Oracle SaaS service skill chatbots, e.g. ERP, CX, HCM. Initiate conversations with users proactively. Usage and performance analytics. Digital Assistants With this release, our chatbot platform now supports deployment of digital assistant (DA) chatbots that orchestrate multiple skill bots as a single integrated service. DA bots automate registration of skill bots via one-click selection and assembly from a skill bot store and catalog. Once registered, the DA bot intelligently (via AI and other algorithms) rout user requests to the right skill bots. Requests by users for help or about the DA’s capabilities are handled by built-in services which deliver synopses of each skill chatbot’s capabilities. Figure 1. Digital Assistant and Skill chatbots   With DA bots, users can access multiple services delivered by specialized skill bots from within one conversation. For example, a new employee in need of on-boarding could procure a laptop, register for training courses, set up their health benefits and order business cards. Just as with a human service provider, the DA bot intelligently handles each of these requests in sequence, even if they are all requested at once. More details here. Skill Chatbots Skill chatbots in this release are an evolution of the stand-alone chatbots available in previous versions of our chatbot platform (AMCe). All previous capabilities are carried forward. Skill chatbots can still be deployed stand-alone with this release if needed. New features include: Additional skill chatbots now have a built-in node container in which to execute custom code to support purpose-built logic and for integration with back-end applications, SaaS, databases and other services. Slot filling is now simplified. Only one dialog component, System.ResolveEntities, is required to handle all possible slot filling scenarios for an intent. For example, when ordering a pizza, the one component can handle prompting for crust type, pizza size, toppings and extra cheese. Composite bag entities now support validation logic, multiple random prompting and the ability to prompt for non-entities (strings, attachments, geo coordinates.) Users can now go back to previous list responses in a dialog and re-select list options to direct a dialog in a different direction. With new support for Webviews, a skill chatbot can now call out to an external web application while passing input data to and received output data from that app. Enterprises with existing web apps can now access them from within skill chatbots. AI-driven User Request Routing Along with Digital Assistant and skill chatbots, this release includes an AI-driven user request routing capability that enables a digital assistant to route incoming user requests to the most appropriate skill bots registered with the digital assistant. This capability requires no coding and no specific initial configuration and it’s available OOTB. Not only does it handle initial user requests, but it can also handle non-sequitur (unexpected user statements), allowing the digital assistant to momentarily pause a conversational thread, respond to the user’s non-sequitur, then return to and complete the prior interaction. For example, a new employee could start a conversation to procure a laptop, then realize they forgot their office location. They could then interrupt the procurement conversation with a request for their office location address. The digital assistant would then route the user’s address request to a location skill chatbot, then bring them back to finish the laptop procurement request once they know their office address. Experience designers can also tune and optimize intent routing and non-sequitur handling via a small set of hyper-parameters if needed.   Figure 2. User request routing Skill Store and Catalog Included in this release is a Skill Store from which administrators can add new skill chatbots to digital assistants to improve their capabilities. As new skill chatbots are added to a digital assistant, it gets smarter and more capable. Over the next 12 months and into the future, Oracle will be adding new skill chatbots to the Skill Store that correspond to Oracle’s SaaS service offerings. These skill chatbots will be available to any licensee of the Oracle Digital Assistant. Additionally, a skill catalog will allow customers, partners and others to create and add their own new skill chatbots that can be then versioned and reused across multiple stand-alone and digital assistant use cases. Figure 3. Skill Store and Skill Catalog App-initiated Conversations Digital Assistant and skill chatbot now allow conversations with chat-bot users to be initiated by back-end systems. A back-end system sends an event notice to specific chatbot, which then reaches out to one or more users to start conversations. Events are sent to a chatbot via a RESTful API provided by the Oracle Digital Assistant cloud service. Initiated conversations can optionally receive data from the source of the event or even other sources. For example, with this new feature, a user could be alerted by a procurement bot that the new laptop they ordered is no longer available and then offer alternative equivalent laptops that could be substituted. Currently available via Twilio. Figure 4. App-initiated Conversations Usage and Performance Analytics Delivering a superior conversational experience requires on-going monitoring of user activity to assure all dialog flows result in successful completion. This release of the Oracle Digital Assistant platform now includes Bot Insights which provides analytics to track skill chatbot behavior and performance that can be used to tune performance and head off possible issues. Administrators can monitor conversation trends over time, track execution paths, determine the accuracy of your intent resolutions, and use moderated self-learning to augment bot efficiency. Analytic capabilities include: Overview report: Depicts utilization statistics, conversation trends, engagement channels as well as completed/abandoned conversations and intents, based on the time period, channels, and locale selected. Intents report: Shows the accuracy of intent resolution and identifies areas for improvement. For instance, the number of conversations where an intent was guessed but did not quite meet the threshold of being resolved. Pathing reports: Shows user journeys through the bot. Use this to see where users are abandoning the conversation and the reasons. Conversational debugging: Inspect conversations transcripts to assess conversational efficacy. Retraining capabilities: Use moderated self-learning to improve the bot. Automatically detect outlier phrases and suggest options to tune the bot. Data collection is automatic; reports are populated during bot execution. Fully integrated with the existing Tester UI, so you can generate analytics events during testing. Figure 5. Bot Insights Overview Report Additional information on the Oracle Digital Assistant platform can be found here: Product overview: https://cloud.oracle.com/en_US/digital-assistant Product launch blog: Introducing Oracle Digital Assistant Documentation: https://docs.oracle.com/en/cloud/paas/autonomous-digital-assistant-cloud/index.html Tutorial videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2ux0DjE-RYc5TZhb-20jY4kJQGbqXr_f    

We are delighted to announce that the next major release of our AI powered Digital Assistant platform, version 18.4.3, is now generally available. This release represents a major evolution of our...

Digital Assistant / Chatbot Development

Introducing Oracle Digital Assistant

You've heard it alluded to on this blog for the past several weeks, but today, it's finally here: at Oracle OpenWorld 2018 this morning, Oracle launched Oracle Digital Assistant!  While we've been investing in chatbots for some time now, Oracle Digital Assistant represents the next generation of conversational AI for the enterprise that will allow employees to work smarter and more productively! While simple chatbots can engage users by understanding the intent of the conversation and help them with one specific task, one Oracle Digital Assistant can be trained to support chatbot "skills" from multiple backend knowledge domains (e.g. CRM and HCM applications, as opposed to one or the other) and allow end users to engage with these domains simultaneously in a conversational manner.  This allows users access all the data they need in one conversation without having to engage multiple chatbots, and also allows users to switch topics mid-conversation (as people often do when chatting with each other) without having to worry that the assistant fail to understand the context of their questions. Many current chatbots also engage only when they are spoken to, placing the responsibility of accessing timely information squarely on the user.  Oracle Digital Assistant changes this by proactively initiating conversations with the user based on previously scheduled events such as alerts or appointments.  “This is the next evolution of chatbots and a major milestone in delivering a smart digital assistant for the enterprise,” said Suhas Uliyar, Vice President of AI, Bots, Mobile, Product Management, Oracle. “Oracle Digital Assistant has the power to transform organizations, helping our customers achieve greater productivity and enriched user experiences.” You can read the full press release from Oracle here, and for additional media coverage, check out these articles here and here. To learn more about Oracle Digital Assistant, visit oracle.com/da and to sign up for a free trial, go to cloud.oracle.com/digital-assistant.

You've heard it alluded to on this blog for the past several weeks, but today, it's finally here: at Oracle OpenWorld 2018 this morning, Oracle launched Oracle Digital Assistant!  While we've been...

Digital Assistant / Chatbot Development

The 9 Sessions You Need to Attend at #OOW18

On October 22nd, as you walk into Moscone Center for OpenWorld 2018, you might wonder how you'll be able to choose from all the fantastic sessions that are scheduled this year.  Fortunately, we're here to help! First, check out the Oracle Focus On: Digital Assistants and Mobile web document that lists all of the exciting Digital Assistant and Mobile presentations, hands-on labs, and demos at #OOW18.  This document will be a fantastic reference for you while you're at OpenWorld.  Between sessions, don't forget to stop by our three demo booths located in the "Oracle" area of The Exchange on the lower level of Moscone South, where you'll be able to learn about, and try out, our latest mobile and conversational AI products! Next, check out the nine sessions that you won't want to miss: Monday, Oct. 22nd, 2018 PRM4587: Beyond The Screen: From Chatbots to Your Own Digital Assistant Location: Moscone West – 3020 Time: 3:45pm Speakers/Customers: SRF Limited Get excited: Oracle VP Suhas Uliyar highlights Oracle's AI and Digital Assistant strategy, and then will be joined on stage by Indian diversified manufacturing company SRF, where they will discuss how AI and intelligent, conversational interfaces will transform the enterprise. PRM5766: Oracle's Multichannel Mobile Cloud Strategy & Roadmap Location: Moscone West – 3020 Time: 5:45pm Speakers/Customers: Los Angeles Unified School District Get excited: Learn how Los Angeles schools are using Oracle's Mobile Cloud to digitally transform the education sector in Southern California.   Tuesday, Oct. 23rd, 2018 PRM5775: Oracle Digital Assistant, Chatbots, Conversational AI: Strategy and Roadmap Location: Moscone West – 3020 Time: 11:15am Speakers/Customers: Eric Rogge, Oracle Product Management - Digital Assistant Manish Parekh, Oracle Sr. Director of Software Development Get excited: Learn about all of the exciting new, and upcoming features of Oracle Digital Assistant. Eric and Manish will dive into how Digital Assistant has evolved from Oracle Intelligent Bots, and how it will power the next wave of innovation within the enterprise. CAS4590: Oracle Digital Assistant/Intelligent Bots Customer Panel Location: Moscone West – 3020 Time: 4:45pm Speakers/Customers: Mutua Madrid Open SRF Limited Fishbowl Solutions Get excited: Hear from Oracle customers Mutua Madrid Open and SRF Limited, and from Oracle partner Fishbowl Solutions, as they describe in detail how they used the Oracle Intelligent Bots / Oracle Digital Assistant to solve real-world business problems. CAS3373: Exelon's Best Practices fora 10 Customer Chatbot Implementation Location: Marriott Marquis - Yerba Buena Level, Nob Hill C/D Time: 4:45pm Speakers/Customers: Exelon Get excited: Exelon is the largest electric power utility in North America, with 10 million customers. In this session, learn best practices for how Exelon quickly deployed chatbots from Oracle Cloud Platform across multiple channels, such as Facebook Messenger, Siri, and Alexa. CAS2468: Delivering Modern Customer Experience by Successfully Adopting Chatbots and AI Location: Park Central Hotel – 3rd Floor, Stanford Room Time: 5:45pm Speakers/Customers: Rubicon Red/University of Adelaide Get excited:  Oracle partner Rubicon Red will discuss how Oracle customer University of Adelaide was able to leverage the chatbot feature in Oracle Mobile Cloud to provide a real-time, scalable, and intelligent messaging platform to handle peak call loads and improve customer experience for prospective students.   Wednesday, October 24th, 2018 CAS4588: Oracle Mobile Cloud Customer Panel Location: Moscone West – 3020 Time: 11:15am Speakers/Customers: American Red Cross Exelon eProseed/Connexxion Get excited:   Hear from customers who have used Oracle Mobile Cloud to create compelling mobile applications that have transformed their businesses! KEY3879: Oracle Cloud - Simply Better Location: Moscone North – Hall D Time: 2:00pm Speakers/Customers: Larry Ellison, Executive Chairman & CTO, Oracle Get excited:   Come hear Larry Ellison speak about the benefits of Oracle Cloud, and keep your eyes peeled for a very cool, and relevant, demo! PRM6676: OneBot - A Comprehensive Case Study on Enterprise Digital Assistants Location: Moscone West – 3016 Time: 3:45pm Speakers: CapGemini Get excited:   In this session see a case study on how an enterprise benefits from a digital assistant. OneBot is designed to support and help employees on their daily professional life, be it onboarding, HR queries and activities, IT help, meeting scheduling, or just simply booking their timesheets globally in different languages.   Follow us on Twitter @OracleMobile throughout #OOW18 for the latest updates, and for more information on Oracle Mobile Cloud and Oracle Digital Assistant, don't forget to check out oracle.com/mobile and oracle.com/da.

On October 22nd, as you walk into Moscone Center for OpenWorld 2018, you might wonder how you'll be able to choose from all the fantastic sessions that are scheduled this year.  Fortunately, we're...

Digital Assistant / Chatbot Development

Beyond Chatbots: What's Next For Enterprise Employees?

It seems these days that hardly a week goes by without an interesting announcement surrounding artificial intelligence.  From creating better photos to fighting cancer, AI is continuing to change lives, not only from a consumer standpoint, but also in terms of how businesses, and specifically enterprise businesses, interact with both consumers and their own employees.  Enterprises need to move quickly in order to take advantage of the automation and augmentation benefits that AI has to offer, but in moving quickly, AI can raise just as many questions and can catch enterprises in just as many pitfalls as it can offer transformational business solutions.  So how can a business navigate the ever-expanding world of artificial intelligence in the workplace?  By listening to this podcast, businesses can learn where AI currently is in the enterprise, and how it is likely to evolve, thus preparing them well as they continue their digital transformation journey. In only 15 minutes, Oracle Principal Product Marketing Director Kellsey Ruppel and Oracle Vice President of AI, Bots & Mobile Suhas Uliyar answer: What does the world of AI currently look like in the enterprise space?  Is it a strategic initiative or is it being ignored, and how can enterprises get value out of AI? What's next and exciting in the world of AI and chatbots?  Are chatbots limited in scope and capability? If so, how can employees use chatbots efficiently when a business might have deployed several dozen to serve different functions? How can the concept of a digital assistant help? How secure is using a digital assistant in your enterprise?  How does security work when using a digital assistant? Why should businesses consider (or even listen to) Oracle when it comes to AI, chatbots, and digital assistants? You can listen to the full podcast here, and if you are going to Oracle OpenWorld 2018 in San Francisco, you can check out "Beyond the Screen: From Chatbots to Your Own Digital Assistant" in Moscone West, Room 3020 at 3:45pm on Monday, October 22nd. Don't forget to follow @OracleMobile on Twitter for announcements throughout Oracle OpenWorld.

It seems these days that hardly a week goes by without an interesting announcement surrounding artificial intelligence.  From creating better photos to fighting cancer, AI is continuing to change...

Digital Assistant / Chatbot Development

Conversational Interfaces: From Chatbots to Digital Assistants

Authored by Suhas Uliyar, Oracle Vice President - AI, Bots & Mobile   The meteoric rise of chatbots, and proof in the last year that this rise is not a fad, has given end users a natural way to engage with business via a conversational user interface and has given brands new purpose in providing better customer service. As the brand-customer relationship has grown and has become even more intertwined, enterprises are beginning to see success with the deployment of these bots. For example, Bank of America released Erica – a chatbot for consumer banking in early March, 2018 that had an adoption of 1 million users in the first 3 months of going live.  Mutua Madrid Open, an Oracle customer, became the first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and Premier WTA tournament to incorporate an AI-equipped chatbot to improve communication with tennis fans. Implemented with Oracle Cloud Platform, the chatbot, named “MatchBot,” used AI to maintain natural conversations that provided fans with information on the event, players, and results, as well as details on hospitality services, discounts on merchandise, ticket sales, access, and parking. The University of Adelaide, another Oracle customer, created a chatbot on Oracle’s cloud platform to ease students’ pain during the university application process. On just the first day the bot was live, prospective students conducted an estimated 2,100 unique conversations with the chatbot, which led to a 40 percent reduction in calls to the University’s customer service line – and more impressively, a 47 percent drop in calls during the critical first three hours.  In turn, this reduced the wait time for queries made via telephone – from an average of 40 minutes down to about 90 seconds, and 60% of student users rated their experience as “awesome.”. These are just several such examples of successful business implementations using first generation, AI-powered, conversational interfaces.   So what’s next? The next generation of conversational interaction is Conversational Intelligence. Today’s conversational interactions are either user-initiated conversations or notifications about pre-programed actions (e.g. Alexa notifying you that your order has been delivered or Siri waking you up in the morning because you have pre-set an alarm.) Conversational Intelligence, however, is the ability for an interface to “know” a user, learn and understand their moments, actions, behaviors and preferences, and recommend, predict or act on behalf of the user – essentially functioning as your own digital assistant. To put this in more simple terms, let’s draw an analogy to part of my job, which includes traveling to meet customers. In my role as VP for Product Management, I have the pleasure of meeting our global customers and partners, and that's by far the best part of my travel experience. The reason, of course, is that the logistics associated with business travel can be difficult and time-consuming so any help is good. When my admin started several years ago, she didn’t know any of my travel preferences and I often had to initiate a conversation with her to book my travel. She would ask me my preferred airline, hotel, check on any personal commitments I had, schedule prep calls with local sales teams, make sure I had the correct customer briefing documents, and then would book my travel. On the day I left, I would ask her to book Lyft to the airport and so on. These conversations occurred a few times, but soon enough, she knew what to look for in my emails, which schedules to check (personal and business) and which flights and hotels to book based on my preferences, leaving me only to confirm her choices. As more time passed she did not even need me to confirm her selections as they were pretty perfect. In this example, my admin learned to take actions on my behalf by observing my traits, behaviors, and habits, which she learned first by talking to me, and then by incorporating both her knowledge of our conversations and my validations of her actions into an overall understanding of my preferences that was accurate enough for both of us to trust each other when making travel decisions. Today, end users are having similar conversations with bots that may seem simple, but these conversational interactions are creating important data. Over time the incorporated AI built into these bots will learn from these data-heavy interactions, from aggregated data across, and from outside of, the enterprise will use this accumulated “knowledge” to become a functioning “digital” assistant. This is the future of where AI-powered chatbots are headed; a Digital Assistant for every consumer and every employee of a company. What is needed to have a Digital Assistant for every consumer / employee?   Naturally Conversational: Language is incredibly complex and the assistant needs to understand user goals/intentions in every part of the conversation – real meaning, contextual, personalized & human like. Knowledge, Memory & Reasoning – Users expect the assistant to behave like humans. The assistant’s "brain" needs to have semantic understanding of various knowledge domains, needs to understand events, needs to have long/short term memory, and needs to be able to make decisions and execute/orchestrate actions. The Assistant is for THE User – It needs to know users really well, their roles, behaviors, traits, preferences, their interactions and activities across various apps/channels. The assistant also needs to know how and when it should communicate with the user, and recommend actions based on their real-time needs. Proactive – The assistant should watch out for things the user cares about and either take actions autonomously or communicate with the user. Oracle's platform will provide capabilities to enable an assistant’s skills to be truly intelligent and proactive. Act as True Agents– The assistant should know how to get things done with minimal help – e.g. create a plan dynamically based on current situation/context, reason with data to decide and execute actions. Multi-Channel - The assistant needs to work seamlessly across various channels. This includes the ability to identify the same user in multiple channels, maintain state across channels and have a conversation with a user using multiple channels at the same time (e.g. for voice use cases where the medium itself is limited/constrained.) Digital Assistant Platform for Skills Development – Skill developers are a critical part of the ecosystem to make the assistant successful. We need developers to be able to develop skills that are intelligent, can detect complex situations, retrieve context from the assistant and be proactive in nature.   In my next blog, we will explore in detail how the Oracle Digital Assistant delivers on these requirements.  First however, please go and listen to my podcast on the topic of Digital Assistants, which will be released on Wednesday, October 10th, here.  It's short, easily digestible, and gives further context on Digital Assistants and where AI is going in the Enterprise.

Authored by Suhas Uliyar, Oracle Vice President - AI, Bots & Mobile   The meteoric rise of chatbots, and proof in the last year that this rise is not a fad, has given end users a natural way to engage...

TechExchange

TechExchange: Oracle Bots Node.js SDK: Building Webhook Clients for Oracle Intelligent Bots Made Easy

A webhook is a programming interfaces implemented by a system on the web for other programs subscribe and to receive automated notification in case anything of interest happens. One such system is chatbot. Users "register" for a chatbot through a messenger client and by sending messages to the bot. The bot then resolves the request, processes it and returns a response that the original sender receives. Webhook clients are like adapters that dispatch and manage conversation between a user and a remote system. In Oracle Intelligent Bots, channels allow bot designers to expose the bot functionality to a specific type messenger client. Underneath channels are webhooks. Channels, like Facebook, Web, iOS, Android, WeChat (upcoming) and more that are in development, are referred to as "native channels" Native channels are webhook implementations that exist and that you, as the bot designer, don't have to code for. For integrating messengers that Oracle Intelligent Bots doesn't have a native channel for, you use the generic Webhook channel. The Webhook channel in Oracle Intelligent Bots opens up the Oracle bots platform for any messengers client. All you need to do is to write the webhook implementation. In this article, I explain the basic steps of creating a webhook client using the Oracle Bots Node.js SDK available on GitHub and npmjs. In future articles I will use this article as a starting point for explaining how to integrate Oracle Intelligent Bots with Messenger services like Alexa and Google Hangouts.

A webhook is a programming interfaces implemented by a system on the web for other programs subscribe and to receive automated notification in case anything of interest happens. One such system is...

TechExchange

Oracle Bots Node.js SDK: Building Custom Component Services in and for Oracle Autonomous Mobile Cloud Made Easy

(Oracle Autonomous Mobile Cloud version for deployment to Oracle Mobile Cloud) Most, if not all, bots built with Oracle Intelligent Bots uses custom components. Custom components allow developers to integrate custom logic, custom bot user interface responses and remote data (CRUD) to a dialog flow, and therefore to the user-bot conversation. The new Oracle Bots Node.js SDK published on GitHub makes building custom component easy for components to be deployed to Node Express containers or Oracle Autonomous Mobile Cloud. Beside of providing the Oracle Bots custom component SDK, a set of JavaScript classes that enable custom component developers to interact with the message payloads exchanged between the bot and a custom component, the new Oracle Bots Node.js SDK also provides middleware that handles the routing of bot requests and component responses. By example of creating and running a hello world type of component, in this article I explain how to use the new Oracle Bots Node.js SDK available on GitHub (https://github.com/oracle/bots-node-sdk) to build custom component services for deployment to Oracle Autonomous Mobile Cloud. Note: A related article explaining how to deploy Oracle bots custom component to Node.js Express containers like Oracle Application Container Cloud Server (ACCS) is available at the Oracle TechExchange blog.

(Oracle Autonomous Mobile Cloud version for deployment to Oracle Mobile Cloud) Most, if not all, bots built with Oracle Intelligent Bots uses custom components. Custom components allow developers...

TechExchange

Oracle Bots Node.js SDK: Building Custom Component Services with Node Express Made Easy for Any Node Container

(Node express version for any Node container) Most, if not all, bots built with Oracle Intelligent Bots uses custom components. Custom components allow developers to integrate custom logic, custom bot user interface responses and remote data (CRUD) to a dialog flow, and therefore to the user-bot conversation. The new Oracle Bots Node.js SDK published on GitHub makes building custom component easy for components to be deployed to Node Express containers or Oracle Autonomous Mobile Cloud. Beside of providing the Oracle Bots custom component SDK, a set of JavaScript classes that enable custom component developers to interact with the message payloads exchanged between the bot and a custom component, the new Oracle Bots Node.js SDK also provides middleware that handles the routing of bot requests and component responses. By example of creating and running a hello world type of component, in this article I explain how to use the new Oracle Bots Node.js SDK available on GitHub (https://github.com/oracle/bots-node-sdk) to build custom component services for deployment to Node.js Express containers like Oracle Application Container Cloud Service (ACCS). Note: A related article explaining how to develop and deploy Oracle bots custom component for Oracle Autonomous Mobile Cloud is available at the Oracle TechExchange blog.

(Node express version for any Node container) Most, if not all, bots built with Oracle Intelligent Bots uses custom components. Custom components allow developers to integrate custom logic, custom bot...

Oracle Hat-Trick

  A hat-trick in cricket is when a bowler dismisses three batsmen consecutively.  In futbol (aka soccer), as well as hockey, it’s when an individual player scores three goals in a game. Other sports have similar versions, but my point is, a hat-trick is not easily achieved.    I’d like to add my own version, from an Oracle perspective, that our own Mobile and Chatbots product team has garnered its own hat-trick for 2018. Oracle Mobile Cloud is being recognized as a leader for mobile development platforms by well know, highly respected analysts - Ovum, Forrester, and most recently, Gartner. Woot! It is an honor, and I am very proud of the hard work by the team led by Suhas Uliyar, Oracle VP Product Management, for their ongoing efforts.         You can details in the press releases and analysts reports below:   Press releases: Gartner, Forrester and Ovum Download analyst reports: Gartner, Forrester and Ovum     A few teaser excerpts from the releases & report:   “Smartphone adoption continues to grow and mobile apps, while key to engaging customers, are beginning to give way to new technologies like conversational interfaces,” said Suhas Uliyar, vice president, product management, Oracle. “The addition of services like Oracle’s intelligent bots, which can readily build chatbots for customers, will be instrumental for digital transformation as businesses engage with audiences on new and emerging platforms.” Download the Gartner report here.   The author of The Forrester Wave™, Michael Facemire wrote: “Oracle has seen great adoption of its Mobile Cloud Enterprise platform since building it from the ground up in 2014. Oracle has added to this cloud-first platform with front-end tooling around web, chat, and low-code options. A unified programming model has allowed Oracle to build solid tooling (Visual Builder Cloud Service) to expose these components to a larger audience without going down the proprietary path where other vendors have stumbled in the past.” Get the Forrester report here   Ovum: Oracle performed as a worthy leader in the ODM, with above average scoring in all three categories of technology, execution, and market impact.  Get the Ovum report here.     Oracle hat-trick - now you know. You can access all three reports and more at oracle.com/mobile and oracle.com/bots.    Artificial Intelligence (AI) is just the beginning. Mobile is the vehicle for many AI applications that span Oracle's portfolio of products and solutions. Check out CEO Mark Hurd's recent blog on how AI is bringing innovation to HR.  

  A hat-trick in cricket is when a bowler dismisses three batsmen consecutively.  In futbol (aka soccer), as well as hockey, it’s when an individual player scores three goals in a game. Other sports...

Digital Assistant / Chatbot Development

Forrester Wave: Oracle Named a Leader in Digital Experience Development

The Q2 2018 Forrester Wave Report for Digital Experience Development Platforms has been released, and Oracle has been named a leader for both its strong current offering and its strong, forward-looking strategy!  Due to the explosive growth and adoption of emerging, interactive channels such as chatbots, Forrester has changed its evaluating criteria when composing its Wave Report, incorporating these new capabilities under the title of “Digital Experience Development,” as opposed to simply “Mobile App Development.”  With Oracle’s strong mobile and chatbot development capabilities as a part of Oracle Autonomous Mobile Cloud Enterprise, Oracle being named a leader is validation of its position in the marketplace. Below are a few choice quotes from the report: "Oracle has seen great adoption of its Mobile Cloud Enterprise platform since building it from the ground up in 2014." "A unified programming model has allowed Oracle to build solid tooling (Visual Builder Cloud Service) to expose these components to a larger audience without going down the proprietary path where other vendors have stumbled in the past." "Oracle is a good fit for companies invested in any number of the existing Oracle clouds as well as those building net-new applications on any of the emerging technology parts of their digital portfolio, such as chat, voice, and even augmented reality." Download the report here, and sign up free trial at cloud.oracle.com to try out Oracle Autonomous Mobile Cloud Enterprise for yourself.

The Q2 2018 Forrester Wave Report for Digital Experience Development Platforms has been released, and Oracle has been named a leader for both its strong current offering and its...

Building a Chatbot to Handle Your Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Guest Author: Grant Ronald, Director of Product Management, Oracle One of the primary benefits of a chatbot is dealing with the "low-fidelity" interactions from your customers, which helps to free up call center resources to deal with inquiries that need that extra human touch.  Frequently asked questions, by their very nature, are common questions that are simply looking for an answer.  "What are your opening times", "Can I overpay on my mortgage", "Do you serve gluten free pizzas".  The FAQs (or QnAs) often already exist, if you know where to find them, so why not bring them into your bot? You might therefore find the new QnA features in Oracle Intelligent Bots as a welcome addition to your chatbot armory.  This allow you to simply upload your existing QnA into a bot and any user input will automatically be searched within this document.  If the input matches a QnA the user will be presented with a carousel of related articles allowing them to view or browse related topics. If this has peaked your interested, check out the introduction and technical deep dive into the QnA Builder capabilities can help your customers straight away!       For more information on Oracle Intelligent Bots, visit oracle.com/bots. To try Oracle Intelligent Bots, a part of Oracle Autonomous Mobile Cloud Enterprise, go to cloud.oracle.com/mobile and click Try for Free.    

Guest Author: Grant Ronald, Director of Product Management, Oracle One of the primary benefits of a chatbot is dealing with the "low-fidelity" interactions from your customers, which helps to free up...

TechExchange

TechExchange: How to Ensure Valid User Date Entries in Oracle Intelligent Bots using BotML and a Custom Component

Oracle Intelligent Bots provides a DATE entity that bot designers can use to assign and save dates for later use. Though the DATE entity validates dates by their format, it does not check whether the provided date actually exists. For example, February 29th only exists in leap years and February 30th does not exist at all. Assigning a date of February 30th is saved as March 2nd, which from a logical perspective appears to be the right thing to do, but from a business perspective may not be what you want. Given that enforcing valid date entries is important for many businesses, how can you build chatbots that accept date input only if the date really exist? The use of Regular Expression comes to mind, but this is more for detecting valid patterns than a logic that includes leap years and different days in a month. If you cannot use Regular Expressions then the solution obviously needs to be found in JavaScript. A benefit of a JavaScript based solution is hat JavaScript is the programming language of custom components in Oracle Intelligent Bots. In this article I explain how to create a custom bot component that validates date string entries based on a pre-defined date format and the validness of the actual date. If the date input string has passed validation you can then use the System.MatchEntity built-in component to save the date object in a context variable. Once saved in a context variable, using Apache FreeMarker expressions, you can print the date in any format you like. Sounds interesting? Well it is.

Oracle Intelligent Bots provides a DATE entity that bot designers can use to assign and save dates for later use. Though the DATE entity validates dates by their format, it does not check whether the...

The Mutua Madrid Open Creates the MatchBot: Artificial Intelligence at the Service of Fans

Authored by Fabian Gradolph, Head of Corporate Communications, Oracle Iberia The Mutua Madrid Open, one of the main tournaments in the world held in Madrid in May of every year, has launched a chatbot equipped with Artificial Intelligence to speed up communication with tennis fans. The chatbot, a computer program that uses artificial intelligence to maintain natural conversations with users, offers information on the development of the event, players, schedules, and results, as well as details on guest services, event access and parking. It is also a channel for ticket sales and discounts on merchandise. The MatchBot, as it has been baptized, is available on the tournament's iOS and Android mobile applications, as well as on the tournament website. It is also possible to exchange information with the chatbot through Facebook Messenger and Twitter if using direct messaging. This innovation makes the Mutua Madrid Open the first ATP Masters 1000 or WTA Premier tournament to incorporate a chatbot, whose purpose is to enrich the user experience and facilitate necessary and relevant information about the event at all times. The decision to use a chatbot to engage with fans is part of the strategy of the tournament's organizers to bet on innovation, youth and technology. Thanks to the recent advances in Machine Learning, chatbots can learn from experiences accumulated from interacting with different users in different situations. In this way, the experience offered to the fans is getting better, providing answers that are more precise and correct. To complete this project, Mutua Madrid Open 2018 relied on Oracle, and Oracle partners Crambo and BPM SOA Solutions (BSS). Thanks to Oracle Intelligent Bots, a part of Oracle Autonomous Mobile Cloud Enterprise, tennis fans will be able to interact with the tournament in a much more agile and natural way.   For more information on Oracle Intelligent Bots, visit oracle.com/bots. To try Oracle Intelligent Bots, a part of Oracle Autonomous Mobile Cloud Enterprise, go to cloud.oracle.com/mobile and click Try for Free.

Authored by Fabian Gradolph, Head of Corporate Communications, Oracle Iberia The Mutua Madrid Open, one of the main tournaments in the world held in Madrid in May of every year, has launched a chatbot...

Digital Assistant / Chatbot Development

Introducing Oracle Autonomous Mobile Cloud Enterprise

If you’ve been reading this blog lately, you know we are in the early innings of artificial intelligence (AI). It’s good to see Oracle at bat, and having an early lead leveraging AI and machine learning (ML) within an enterprise environment.    Following up on the ground breaking release of Oracle Autonomous Database in March and then the first set of Autonomous Cloud Platform Services  that included Analytics Cloud, Integration Cloud and Visual Builder (May 7th), it’s exciting to be part of the next wave of services that includes the Mobile Cloud - which by the way, includes Intelligent Bots!   Do you recall the very first release of Oracle Mobile Cloud Service back in Sept 2013? Since then, the product has garnered market leadership position, customer accolades, and named leader by highly regarded analysts including Gartner, Forrest and Ovum. As Oracle is going all-in with mobile and cloud, it’s only fitting these waves of innovative releases, Oracle is all in on AI.    Lets touch on a couple of cool new features for this release.    QnA Builder - take your standard frequently asked questions document, import it into QnA Builder, and automagically create a chatbot to serve those needs. No more expecting customers to read an FAQ, or wasting valuable staffing resources responding to the same, repetitive questions. Let the chatbot deal with that - 24x7, 365 days a year!     And if the chatbot gets out of its depth of knowledge (we are not yet at the level of singularity - no one is) we’ve built in a bot-to-agent handoff, to better serve your customers, while scaling up operations. Just as machinery made people more efficient, so will AI-driven chatbots.     AI and chatbots are the future, and Oracle is taking that out of the lab and into the enterprise. Just ask Exelon, Bajaj Electricals, or the University of Adelaide and they’ll gladly laude the benefits of chatbots!   Learn more at oracle.com/bots and then try it out at cloud.oracle.com/mobile.     For real-time news, follow us on Twitter @OracleMobile. And don't forget to bookmark this blog. :)

If you’ve been reading this blog lately, you know we are in the early innings of artificial intelligence (AI). It’s good to see Oracle at bat, and having an early lead leveraging AI and...

Mobile Content

Oracle MAF 2.5.1 Released

Paul Johl | Consulting Product Manager Oracle Mobile Application Framework (MAF) release, 2.5.1 This is a minor release containing a number of platform upgrades and enhancements, including the following: This release updates the Cordova engine versions that MAF uses (Android: 7.0.0 and iOS: 4.5.4). On iOS and Android platforms, applications can be suspended or terminated by the operating system if they are not foreground applications or when the device is locked. We have added APIs to wrap background tasks so the application is not suspended while the tasks are in operation. For more information, see Allowing Background Thread Processing on iOS and Android Devices. On the Android platform: You must install Android API Level 27 as described in Setting Up Development Tools for the Android Platform. You can specify the CPU type for deployment, see Deploying a MAF Application to the Android Platform. MAF now declares the default hostname verification process as STRICT. You can override this, as described in How to Update Connection Attributes of a Named Connection at Runtime. MAF now removes all session cookies when a user logs out of a MAF application. You can override this, as described in How to Update Connection Attributes of a Named Connection at Runtime. MAF now provides a new core plugin, Google Geolocation Play Services, as described in Introduction to Using Plugins in MAF Applications. On the Universal Windows Platform, the MAF for Windows deployment profile can now invoke a Select Custom Color dialog for the splash screen. See Deploying a MAF Application to the Universal Windows Platform. Starting with this release, you can specify the languages supported by your MAF application. Only the supported languages you specify for the application are reported on the application stores and upload consoles. For more information, see Specifying Supported Languages for Your Application. This release removes the amx:inputDate component. We recommend that customers use the input type="date" element. MAF now uses a thread pool to manage processing whereas previously it used one static thread per application feature. This change optimizes memory usage by MAF applications. Please refer to the What's New section of the developer guide for detailed information about the changes and how they may affect you. For additional release information, such as release notes and certification matrix, please refer to the MAF documentation on OTN.  We always encourage you to upgrade to this latest MAF release as soon as possible! Paul Johl | Consulting Product Manager

Paul Johl | Consulting Product Manager Oracle Mobile Application Framework (MAF) release, 2.5.1 This is a minor release containing a number of platform upgrades and enhancements, including the...

TechExchange

New Version of Oracle Mobile Cloud is now Available!

We at the Oracle Mobile and Intelligent Bot Platform team are please to announce the availability of a new version of the Oracle Mobile Cloud.  Oracle Autonomous Mobile Cloud Enterprise is now generally available, and are in the process of rolling out to various data centers around the world.  This latest version of the Oracle Mobile Cloud includes the following major features: Adding QnA/FAQs to Your ChatBot without writing any code New entity type called Composite Bag that can group related entities together to simplify conversation flow and enhance user experiences. Auto-generation of Custom API implementations to accelerate API development And perhaps most significant enhancement is in the underlying infrastructure, as Oracle Mobile Cloud is now Autonomous.   This means: Oracle, not you the customer, manages the patching, operations, backup, and maintenance of the environment. One click provisioning of new Mobile Cloud instances Auto scaling and recovery Zero downtime maintenance and patching HA and DR Ready Built on the robust Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) To get your own environment, simply request a free cloud credit trial here. Here is a short video that shows you how easy it is to get your own Autonomous Mobile Cloud Enterprise environment. And if you have any questions and encounter any issues, simply visit our revamped Mobile and Intelligent Bot Forum for community support.  The revamped forum has a new link, so be sure to bookmark this new site. Lastly, just as a reminder, there are a rich set of resources to help you to learn the platform - YouTube Videos and Online Training.

We at the Oracle Mobile and Intelligent Bot Platform team are please to announce the availability of a new version of the Oracle Mobile Cloud.  Oracle Autonomous Mobile Cloud Enterprise is now...

TechExchange

TechExchange: Displaying the Top 3 Runner-Up Intents in case of Unresolved Intent Resolution

In an earlier TechExchange sample from November 2017 titled "Strategy for Handling Unresolved Intent Resolutions So Users Remain Unstuck" we demonstrated a technique to display a list of intents that got resolved with more than 0% confidence in cases where intent resolution did not succeed passing the confidence threshold set on the System.Intent component. With the current version of Oracle Intelligent Bots there exists another option to handle the very same use case. In addition, it turned out that customer usually only want to display a specific set of "runner-up" intents as options in a list. This article is a revised version of the previous publication showcasing an implementation that displays the top-3 intents for an otherwise unresolved intent resolution. If there are no 3 intents to display then the solution shows as many as possible. And if there is no intent that gets resolved to above 0% then a single help item is shown for the user to find the help she may need. The solution uses the Common Response Component (CR component) for displaying the list along with Apache FreeMarker expressions to conditionally render list items and to sort the list of intents so the top three really have the highest confidence scores.

In an earlier TechExchange sample from November 2017 titled "Strategy for Handling Unresolved Intent Resolutions So Users Remain Unstuck" we demonstrated a technique to display a list of intents that...

Digital Assistant / Chatbot Development

Intelligent Chatbots for Retail and CPG

As mobile app fatigue grows and mobile users concentrate their time on their devices to a few applications, among them messaging apps, it's logical that businesses can no longer rely on their own native apps for customer engagement.  Instead, companies must follow customers onto messaging platforms and establish presences there, 24/7, in order to engage effectively. This growth of messaging apps and the need for businesses to always "be on" means that chatbots have become the newest and most critical channel for companies to engage employees and customers. Whether it's responding to a request to return an item at a late hour, or whether an employee needs a real-time update of inventory stock while evaluating a brick-and-mortar location, businesses need solutions that are automated, scalable, and that provide personalized responses to a variety of business questions, in real-time, preferably within the context of a normal conversation.  Artificial intelligence is now at the level where intelligent chatbots can use machine learning and natural language processing to provide these services to businesses, their customers, and their employees.  This breakthrough in technology is especially beneficial for the Retail and CPG industries. To learn how it's beneficial, I invite you to watch these two on-demand webcasts, where I will discuss, and demonstrate, how your organization can create a comprehensive mobile strategy around intelligent bots, followed by a Q&A.  For more details on Oracle's Intelligent Bot solution, please visit oracle.com/bots.   Oracle Webcast: Intelligent Chatbots for the Retail Industry Oracle Webcast: Intelligent Chatbots for the CPG Industry

As mobile app fatigue grows and mobile users concentrate their time on their devices to a few applications, among them messaging apps, it's logical that businesses can no longer rely on their...

Customer Success Stories

The Factory Disrupts The Used Auto Market With Oracle Mobile

According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), there currently are 150,000 brick & mortar car dealerships across United States. In addition to selling new cars, these dealerships also offer used and certified pre-owned cars and trucks, often at reduced prices. While many dealers accept trade-ins and sales from customers, they also often purchase used vehicles from other dealerships, through a complex, auction purchasing system that is invisible to the end-consumer. In fact, in 2015, a massive 9.1 million pre-owned cars were bought and sold in the United States through these auction houses. However, since the auction house process is based on the brick & mortar concept of auto sales and is relatively archaic, the area is ripe for disruption. Enter The Factory. Co-founders Lynn Clark and Jerry Clark, both long term veterans in the automotive dealer industry, realized the limitations of the current system, especially in the age of digitization. They started The Factory as a way build a digital, B2B marketplace for dealerships looking to appraise, buy, and sell pre-owned cars. Though a combination of a mobile app and a web portal, dealers can appraise, list, search and buy vehicles in real-time, 24 hours a day, from anywhere, with added visibility into specific make and model inventory across the country. By transforming the way that dealers buy and sell used cars and trucks, The Factory was able to reduce the importance of the "middlemen," the auction houses, in each transaction and save dealers both time and money.   Using a combination of Oracle Mobile Cloud for its mobile app (and related mobile services such as security, push notifications, etc.), and Oracle Integration Cloud to connect via REST API services to each dealership's proprietary Dealer Management System (DMS), the Factory also was able to save end-customers precious time as each salesperson at every dealership knew exactly every piece of relevant information, in real-time, about each used vehicle. In the future, The Factory plans to integrate intelligent chatbots into its platform to handle customer service requests, and to refer complex questions to live human agents.  For the full story, watch the video below:

According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), there currently are 150,000 brick & mortar car dealerships across United States. In addition to selling new cars, these dealerships also offer...

Customer Success Stories

Intelligent Chatbot for Heineken Urban Polo on Facebook Messenger

  Cheers from down under! That’s what I’d imagine the Heineken Urban Polo chatbot might say when you say hello on Facebook Messenger! Heineken has an event where the Heineken Urban Polo attendees can register for a competition through a chatbot on FB Messenger.  Facebooks is super popular and has over 2 billion active members every month. And many people, especially digital natives, are very comfortable chatting thru a messenger app. Sure, mobile apps are still cool, but there's a limit to how many apps someone is going to download and use.  With messaging apps, that's on everyone's smartphone! What a brilliant way to interact with customers. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have a bot handle many of the common requests. And it’s available 24/7, and never gets tired. I believe the Heineken Urban Polo event is in New Zealand, and for those who are lucky enough to attend the event, can register, but you can still check out the bot and see how cool it is via this link. https://www.facebook.com/urbanpolo/ And by the way, the bot was built with the Intelligent Bots capabilities that are part of Oracle Mobile Cloud Enterprise. With Oracle Mobile, you don’t need to be an AI expert or data scientists to build an intelligent bot. And you can do it fast. Check it out for at cloud.oracle.com/mobile and learn more at oracle.com/bots.    And if you're interested in some AI podcasts, check out our recent Practical Path to AI series.   Cheers!  

  Cheers from down under! That’s what I’d imagine the Heineken Urban Polo chatbot might say when you say hello on Facebook Messenger! Heineken has an event where the Heineken Urban Polo attendees can...

Customer Success Stories

AuraPlayer Uses Oracle Mobile Cloud to Support NY MTA's Digital Transformation

It's been a while since we last checked in on the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority.  At the time, they recently had moved their Oracle Forms-based accident reporting system from paper forms and office-based, desktop computers, and onto mobile tablets that employees could bring into, and use in, the field.  Oracle partner AuraPlayer made this advancement possible by wrapping the existing Forms application and exposing it via a set of APIs that could be consumed by Oracle Mobile Cloud, allowing the MTA to access its back-end seamlessly, on any mobile device, without changing one line of code.  MTA employees could file accident reports from the field instantaneously, allowing the agency to asses damage, dispatch crews, clear accidents, and get traffic moving again much more quickly, in some cases in minutes as opposed to hours. With this successful implementation, AuraPlayer and the MTA set their sights on using Oracle Mobile Cloud to improve employee quality of life.  MTA's 75,000 person workforce had been using call centers and other legacy communications channels not only to determine shift schedules, but also to ask questions about everything from benefits to sick days.  Consideration was given to creating new mobile applications that employees could use in order to discover answers to these questions, and also so that they could execute on actions like time card and vacation reporting.  However, with a large, diversified workforce, the training needed to use even the most simple of these apps would have proven cumbersome.  Instead, AuraPlayer and the MTA decided to create an intelligent chatbot that could serve the same function as a mobile app, but that would be able to interact with an MTA employee using natural language and machine learning; essentially an employee could ask the chatbot something in a conversational manner,  through text, and the bot would respond in context, without the need to train an employee on how to use a new mobile UI. With the recent release of Oracle Mobile Cloud Enterprise with Intelligent Bots, AuraPlayer built this intelligent chatbot in three weeks.  To learn more about this story, check out the videos below: AuraPlayer Takes Field Management to the Oracle Cloud: AuraPlayer Helps NYMTA Use AI and Chatbots for Their Digital Transformation:  

It's been a while since we last checked in on the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority.  At the time, they recently had moved their Oracle Forms-based accident reporting system from paper...

Digital Assistant / Chatbot Development

The Nitty Gritty of Oracle Mobile Cloud with Intelligent Bots

We've spent a considerable amount of time over the past several months speaking at a high level about Oracle Mobile Cloud Enterprise (OMCE) with Oracle Intelligent Bots.  We've showed you why the platform is not only beneficial, but crucial to Mobile and AI success within the enterprise.  We've discussed, generally, how the platform that allows you to develop better mobile apps faster, connect any mobile client to any backend system, create intelligent, AI-powered chatbots that can help to scale and personalize customer engagement, understand what your customers are doing across channels with detailed, actionable analytics, and access a variety of these functions without writing one line of code.  And we've detailed how a number of customers from around the world are using Oracle Mobile Cloud Enterprise to engage with customers more easily.  However, we understand that some of you may want more detail on each of OMCE's features!  That's why we created three data sheets; one that highlights the benefits of Oracle Mobile Cloud Enterprise, one that describes the features of Oracle Intelligent Bots, and a third that details what you can measure and analyze with Oracle Mobile Cloud Analytics (hint: it's a lot!)  Check out all three of these data sheets, and if you wish, feel free to share them with your friends and colleagues.  If you have any questions, you can always visit oracle.com/mobile or oracle.com/bots for additional information, and if you'd like to try Oracle Mobile Cloud Enterprise, you can sign up for a free trial at cloud.oracle.com/mobile.   Oracle Mobile Cloud Enterprise Data Sheet   Oracle Intelligent Bots Data Sheet   Oracle Mobile Cloud Analytics Data Sheet

We've spent a considerable amount of time over the past several months speaking at a high level about Oracle Mobile Cloud Enterprise (OMCE) with Oracle Intelligent Bots.  We've showed you why the...

Mobile Content

Oracle MAF 2.5.0 Released

Paul Johl | Consulting Product Manager Oracle Mobile Application Framework (MAF) release, 2.5.0 This is a major release containing a number of platform upgrades and enhancements, including the following: A NEW release of JDeveloper is required.  You need to install the MAF extension in Oracle JDeveloper 12c (12.2.1.3.0).  See Installing Oracle JDeveloper Studio in Installing Oracle JDeveloper and Installing Mobile Application Framework with JDeveloper.   The embedded Cordova platform engines have been updated to the following versions: iOS version 4.5.0 Android version 6.2.3 Universal Windows Platform (UWP) version 5.0.0 We now support iOS 11, iPhone X and Xcode 9. You need Xcode 9.x to build and deploy your MAF applications. Upgrade your installation to Xcode 9.x, as described in Using Xcode 9.x with MAF 2.5.0. We have deprecated 32 bit support for iOS devices.  Please check the Certification Matrix for devices now supported. We now support Android 8, and the Google Pixel C phone. You need Android API Level 26 to build and deploy you MAF applications.  See Deploying a MAF Application to the Android Platform. Please check the Certification Matrix for devices now supported. For faster performance, MAF applications now evaluate EL expressions in the Java VM layer!  Note: There is more error checking as well, such that new errors now may be raised causing code to break if it did not have full error checking in place already. For quick resolution, you can use a legacy mode.  See Evaluating EL Expressions in the Java VM Layer.   The inputDate component has been changed such that tapping the up arrow increases the value and the down arrow decreases the value. To keep the older behavior, there is a new attribute (legacyMode) whose value can be set to true. See How To Use The Input Date Component for more details.   We now support JDeveloper constructs to deploy MAF applications to the Universal Windows Platform, which means that you can deploy your application from the command line Please refer to the What's New section of the developer guide for detailed information about the changes and how they may affect you. For additional release information, such as release notes and certification matrix, please refer to the MAF documentation on OTN.  We always encourage you to upgrade to this latest MAF release as soon as possible! Paul Johl | Consulting Product Manager

Paul Johl | Consulting Product Manager Oracle Mobile Application Framework (MAF) release, 2.5.0 This is a major release containing a number of platform upgrades and enhancements, including the...

Digital Assistant / Chatbot Development

Catching up on Oracle’s Working AI and Chatbot Endeavors

I had a great opportunity to attend our internal Mobile, AI and Chatbot offsite this week.  Really cool stuff. There was plenty of lively discussion, interesting demos and I’m excited about Oracle’s future where AI is top of mind. Note that I’m just looking at a fraction of what’s going on internally. I know, I know… you’re thinking, Oracle and AI?  Not what immediately comes to mind when the topic of AI hits the headlines.  It’s not as sexy a headline like Google’s AlphaGo beating the best Go masters of the world, or perhaps the viral videos like Amazon's Alexa trying to entertain your kids. No, nothing like that. Oracle focuses on what it does best - helping the enterprise operate more efficiently while helping simplify the efforts to adopt new technologes. We’re not talking general purpose AI, we’re talking chatbots that can be easily implemented by mere mortals. AI that is focused on helping your businesses scale. I would like to invite you to check out our upcoming webcast, Conversational AI at your Fingertips, Jan 24, 10AM Pacific, where Oracle’s Suhas Uliyar and Chatbox’s CEO, Phil Gordon, will explore AI, chatbots, messaging apps, and the impact they will have on your business.  We’ll be answering questions live, with real people – no chatbots....at least not yet! This is a follow up to the launch presentation here, so you may want to watch that if you haven't already seen it.  Otherwise, catch up with us what's new on Jan 24, 10AM Pacific.

I had a great opportunity to attend our internal Mobile, AI and Chatbot offsite this week.  Really cool stuff. There was plenty of lively discussion, interesting demos and I’m excited about Oracle’s...

Digital Assistant / Chatbot Development

New Videos for Oracle Mobile Cloud Enterprise & Oracle Intelligent Bots!

We've spent a lot of time over the past several months writing about Oracle Mobile Cloud Enterprise with Oracle Intelligent Bots.  Certainly, it's a complete, open, integrated, and easy-to-use platform that allows you to develop better mobile apps faster, connect any mobile client to any backend system, create intelligent, AI-powered chatbots that can help to scale and personalize customer engagement, understand what your customers are doing across channels with detailed, actionable analytics, and access a variety of these functions without writing one line of code.  However, we realize that not everyone processes information in the same way; some of us are visual learners!  To address this, we've created two new videos; one that highlights the benefits of Oracle Mobile Cloud Enterprise, and the other that describes what you, as a customer, can do with Oracle Intelligent Bots, a part of the Oracle Mobile Cloud Enterprise suite.  Check out both videos below, and if you wish, feel free to share them with your friends and colleagues.  If you have any questions, you can always visit oracle.com/mobile or oracle.com/bots for more information, and if you'd like to try Oracle Mobile Cloud Enterprise, you can sign up for a free trial at cloud.oracle.com/mobile.   Oracle Mobile Cloud Enterprise:   Oracle Intelligent Bots:  

We've spent a lot of time over the past several months writing about Oracle Mobile Cloud Enterprise with Oracle Intelligent Bots.  Certainly, it's a complete, open, integrated, and easy-to-use...

Customer Success Stories

How AI And Chatbots Are Transforming The Workplace

Many Oracle customers already are exploring the use of AI-powered chatbots to better engage with consumers, from Exelon, to National Pharmacies, to Bajaj Electricals.  But can intelligent, conversational interfaces help companies to improve internal processes and employee productivity, and help employees in everyday business tasks?  Turns out, the answer is "yes!" Take a look at what some of Oracle's own teams currently are doing with the help of artificial intelligence.  In Oracle Sales Cloud, the team has invested in a "virtual sales assistant," which is a AI-powered assistant designed to help Oracle sales personnel increase their daily productivity. Machine learning is used to determine the next best actions for each sales rep (such as recommending when the right time is to follow up with a customer), and natural language processing allows each rep to communicate, and interact, with the assistant in a conversational manner.  As a result, a rep can pull up any CRM record, business intelligence report, or the transaction data of any customer deal simply by asking the intelligent chatbot either through text or through voice, like one might with Siri or Alexa.  The Virtual Sales Assistant can also surface daily calendar information, set and show task reminders, highlight current news about a sales rep's customers or a customer's competitors, schedule meetings, and allow the the rep to enter call reports, all from within the confines of the chatbot messaging conversation.  Check out the full video with Oracle Sales Cloud VP Catherine You:   Oracle HCM Cloud also is incorporating AI and chatbots into its daily routines for talent recruitment.  Oracle Group VP Nagaraj Nadendla is responsible for Oracle's Talent Acquisition Cloud, which helps to find, engage and hire top talent. Nadendla says that his team is focused on using AI in three important areas:  First, to use AI to provide prospective employees with a personalized candidate experience.  Second, to use AI-powered chatbots to help candidates discover relevant information and to answer any questions that they might have as they make a decision as to whether the company in question is the right company for them. Finally, to use machine learning to match potential candidates with open roles that the candidates may excel in and may enjoy, but for which they may initially not have considered applying.  You can watch the full video below: To learn more about Oracle Intelligent Bots, visit oracle.com/bots.

Many Oracle customers already are exploring the use of AI-powered chatbots to better engage with consumers, from Exelon, to National Pharmacies, to Bajaj Electricals.  But can intelligent,...

Customer Success Stories

Bajaj Electricals Uses Chatbots to Illuminate Digital Transformation

If you're a business that usually sells to other businesses, you might not have significant interaction with your product's end users, or consumers.  In fact, the only time you might even hear from an actual consumer is when one calls, emails, or messages you to complain about your product! No company relishes consumer complaints, but they're often manageable and have little impact on brand if a business is far enough removed from the end user.  However, if your company sells both to businesses and consumers, or wants to begin selling to consumers, then engaging customers before they register a complaint is critical to customer satisfaction, customer retention, and brand perception. One might think that Bajaj Electricals Ltd., featured in a new Forbes article, is simply a large electrical utility based in Mumbai, India, but the company has many divisions that directly touch consumers.  In fact, 50% of the company's business is made up of selling consumer products, which include commercial and home lighting products, as well as home appliances.  When the power goes out, people often grumble, but an electricity provider's brand (and revenue) often doesn't take a hit due to limited competition in the industry.  However, when a light bulb burns out well before its expected life, or when a fan or microwave breaks, you can bet that a company like Bajaj Electricals is going to hear directly from dissatisfied customers, who may even threaten to turn to a competitor for their next purchase.  This is why Bajaj Electricals decided that it needed to strengthen its consumer presence and engagement as part of a larger digital transformation that is currently taking place at the company. Many in India receive electricity from the government, but according to the Forbes article, an estimated 500 million consumers either have never purchased a household appliance, or are purchasing an appliance for the first time.  What's more, there is a culture of repairing things as opposed to throwing them out and buying new ones. "At any given time we have 20 million products under warranty... and nearly 2 billion products in use," says Anant Bajaj, Joint Managing Director for Bajaj Electricals.  When a first-time purchaser buys a new appliance, or when a customer wants to repair a fan, they need an easy way to schedule product demos and service/repair calls, or find out more about the product in question.  That's where Bajaj Electricals believes intelligent chatbots can play a crucial role. The company has built a pilot chatbot using Oracle Intelligent Bots, a part of Oracle Mobile Cloud Enterprise.  Automating, scaling, and personalizing consumer engagement, Bajaj Electricals' customer service chatbot reportedly will let users report broken appliances, schedule installation appointments, and request demos from service technicians to learn how to use new products.  "We need more user-friendly ways to engage consumers.  For the first time, we began reacting to the happy customer, not just the customer in pain," says Bajaj.  The chatbot is currently available through SMS text message, and eventually there are plans to roll it out on popular social messaging platforms.  Thanks to the AI capabilities within the Oracle Intelligent Bots platform, this chatbot has the ability to continuously learn from consumer questions and interactions, which could eventually lead to an expansion in functionality, from controlling appliances, to interacting with voice assistants like Amazon's Alexa, to assisting Bajaj Electricals employees in everyday tasks. There's also hope that the chatbot will help to reduce costs.  Pratap Gharge, Executive President and CIO, elaborates: "“We are trying to train our chatbot to be as intelligent as possible so that it can also help to reduce our call center load.  If the chatbot is able to understand customer problems using natural language processing and machine learning without help from a human, some consumer questions can be resolved by the bot itself. This will allow our call center agents to focus on more pressing customer issues.” You can read the full Bajaj Electricals story in Forbes here, and you can learn more about chatbots here.

If you're a business that usually sells to other businesses, you might not have significant interaction with your product's end users, or consumers.  In fact, the only time you might even hear from an...

Digital Assistant / Chatbot Development

Six Pitfalls to Avoid When Engaging Your Customers With Chatbots

Chatbots can engage with customers in a normal, personalized conversation by using a combination of natural language processing and machine learning. As more consumers become used to engaging with an AI-powered interface (usually in a messaging channel like Facebook Messenger) and receiving personalized, accurate responses to questions almost instantaneously, chatbots have the potential to become the next “web browser.” Yet with their exploding popularity, chatbots do create pitfalls for companies that are unprepared for this new engagement medium. In a new Wall Street Journal article, author Chris Murphy speaks with Oracle Vice President of Product Management - Mobile, Bots & AI, Suhas Uliyar, to learn how companies can avoid these pitfalls and to understand what businesses must do in order to engage customers successfully when using chatbots. These best practices include: 1.  Being ready to engage customers across multiple digital channels: Every customer has his or her favorite digital channel; some may prefer engaging through WeChat while others prefer using Alexa or Google Assistant.  In addition, different channels are popular in different countries / regions of the world, and some channels may even be banned in certain areas.  As a business, it's important not only to recognize this, but also to be able to adapt and serve your customers in the channel they prefer. 2.  Having real conversations with your customers: First, businesses shouldn't trick their customers into believing that they are speaking with a human when, in fact, they are speaking with a chatbot; it's not cool.  Second, and equally as important, companies need to take advantage of improved natural language processing capabilities so that their customers can communicate in a normal way with chatbots.  As a business, you wouldn't want your customers to have to remember specific code phrases or use awkward grammatical syntax in order to ask a the chatbot a question; that would be a poor user experience. 3.  Using machine learning: If your chatbot can't understand that "What's my balance?" and "How much money do I have?" are two variations of the same question, you're going to end up with a lot of frustrated customers.  Using machine learning algorithms to allow chatbots to learn and get smarter over time is critical to providing customers with the best engagement experience.  4.  Integrating with your company's back-end systems and data: A chatbot is only as intelligent as the data and the systems that it can access.  If a customer wants to book a flight through a chatbot, but the chatbot can't access real-time flight inventory due to limited integration with the seller's systems, then how intelligent/helpful is the chatbot?  Not intelligent or helpful at all! 5.  Using "instant apps" for data-heavy customer requests: Intelligent chatbots have become very good at engaging with people in a natural, conversational manner. However, in situations where customers need to input a lot of data, such as when providing shipping/billing information, or filling out the reasons for returning a purchase, a chatbot might ask for each piece of information separately, which can become cumbersome.  Instead, businesses should consider using "instant apps," which are pre-built mobile/web apps with UIs designed to capture structured information that chatbots can surface, and then and process for customers, directly from within the conversation flow.      6.  Knowing a chatbot's limitations: Companies should remember that chatbots can't handle every situation and should train their bots to hand off certain requests to live, human agents.  Similarly, companies should also train their employees to hand off repetitive, easily-automated tasks to chatbots. Fortunately, Uliyar reveals that Oracle Mobile Cloud Enterprise with Intelligent Bots can address all of these potential pitfalls.  To read the full article in the Wall Street Journal, click here, and to learn more about Oracle Intelligent Bots, visit oracle.com/bots.

Chatbots can engage with customers in a normal, personalized conversation by using a combination of natural language processing and machine learning. As more consumers become used to engaging with an...

Customer Success Stories

National Pharmacies Keeps Customers Front-And-Center with Digital Innovation

You probably would think that a chain of Australian pharmacies and vision centers wouldn't be at the forefront of digital customer engagement, but you'd be wrong.  National Pharmacies, a large chain claiming over 350,000 members, which is based in Adelaide and has locations throughout South Australia, Victoria, and New South Wales, is pioneering new digital technologies that could allow customers to live healthier lives.  At the very least, National Pharmacies hopes that these technologies will increase customer engagement, allowing the company to serve its user base in a quicker and more accurate manner. Ryan Klose, who leads technology and innovation at National Pharmacies, says one goal is to create a "wow" experience for pharmacy members.  Many members, especially digital natives, have been conditioned to expect a seamless digital experience as the result of using consumer mobile apps for years.  "You have to live in the world of consumer tech to be relevant," states Klose.  Yet, a slick UI isn't the only key to success.  While design is important, relevancy and customization are crucial in increasing customer engagement, and Klose understands that personalizing each member's experience and encouraging improvements to their overall health can be more productive than forming a simple transnational relationship. "We're trying to connect with empathy," says Klose. How is National Pharmacies achieving this? By using the latest digital engagement technologies.  The company recently began testing a chatbot built with Oracle's Intelligent Bots platform on Oracle Mobile Cloud Enterprise that allows customers to take their blood pressure and check their weight before submitting that data via the bot. While Klose was initially skeptical of AI-based communication channels, this new breed of chatbot with natural language processing and machine learning algorithms convinced him that these types of automated interactions actually might improve the customer experience.  In addition, National Pharmacies recently added a "count-down timer" to its Oracle-built mobile app, which alerts members to how long it will be until the company sends them a personalized coupon based on their pharmacy shopping habits. This gamified, and personalized, experience by itself led to an almost 10% increase in app downloads. Along with significant customer innovation, National Pharmacies also has upgraded its processes and planning systems.  Using Oracle Process Cloud Service (PCS), the pharmacy chain has been able to create a library of standard procedures and practices, including a standard procedure for ordering a product for a customer.  This will help National Pharmacies to improve back-end efficiency.  In addition, the company recently upgraded its ERP system to Oracle's JD Edwards in the Cloud. Yet, instead of using the traditional JD Edwards interface, Klose and his team created a separate mobile/tablet app for in-store employees to use, and then connected this app with APIs to both the back-end JD Edwards system and to Oracle PCS.  In doing this, store employees and customers are using the same app (with different privileges), which means that employees experience the same digital joys, and understand the same digital pains, of the customers who they are trying to serve. To learn more about National Pharmacies, and about Oracle Mobile Cloud Enterprise, you can read the full Forbes article here. 

You probably would think that a chain of Australian pharmacies and vision centers wouldn't be at the forefront of digital customer engagement, but you'd be wrong.  National Pharmacies, a large chain...