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Zoho's customer relationship management system gets AI-powered bot

Named Zia, the bot is a horizontal product that can be used by every industry. While it comes with pre-loaded skills, each industry can write and feed specific skills to the bot's database. Like other bots, it gets better with each conversation, and time.

twitter-logo Goutam Das   New Delhi     Last Updated: March 1, 2018  | 17:59 IST
Zoho’s customer relationship management system gets AI-powered bot
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Zoho, one of India's most successful software as a service (SaaS) companies, with 200,000 customers worldwide, is bringing Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered bots to some of its products. The first product to get a bot is its customer relationship management (CRM) solution, where a sales representative of a real estate firm, for instance, can ask the bot to fetch the number of apartments unsold, or place an order.

It's a voice-based bot that can also do sentiment analysis from e-mails - it can figure out angry mails and tell if something in there is "negative". Named Zia, the bot is a horizontal product that can be used by every industry. While it comes with pre-loaded skills, each industry can write and feed specific skills to the bot's database. Like other bots, it gets better with each conversation, and time.

How is the bot different from other business bots? The bot is interactive, which means it can ask you back a question. Zoho's COO Manikandan Vembu explained how the bot goes about its business.

Once the bot is asked a question, the voice is converted into text by the phone's native voice recognition engine, which could be either Google Voice or Siri.  Zia would then figure out the question's intent and search the database, fed by the enterprise or pre-bundled by Zoho. It would answer in less than a second in voice.

The bot is capable of sending you back a screen to select from options - for instance, colour choices to be made before buying or booking a product. What's coming next after CRM? Vembu says a bot for human resources. An employee, going ahead, would be able to apply for leave in seconds, by speaking to a bot on phone.

 

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