Ten “Smart Starts Here” sessions to give you a jump on Think 2019

IBM’s flagship thought leadership conference, Think, opens its doors from February 12 – 15 in San Francisco. Think offers a look into the technology, training, strategy and services used by IBM clients to set themselves apart, increase productivity, and focus on more interesting work, but if you want to get the most out of the conference, you’ll want to show up right when the doors open.

Throughout the day on Tuesday, February 12, we’re offering a set of special limited-seating sessions and hands-on labs in our Smart Starts Here track. These sessions are an ideal prelude to the Keynote address later that afternoon, which will officially open the main part of the conference. Find out more about how to register for Think here.

Our Smart Starts Here sessions are the perfect way to get a head start on your Think experience and they’re the best way to learn about transformative Watson solutions and get hands-on experience before the main conference begins. These sessions, hosted by clients as well as partners and IBMers, allow you to dig into best practices, industry trends, product roadmaps, case studies and more, and are great opportunities to learn new skills and network with your peers.

Here are a few sessions we think you’ll love, choose the ones you like, then head over to the Think 2019 site to register. Please note all sessions below take place on Tuesday, February 12.

Smart Starts Here sessions: take a deep dive into products and use cases

UBank: Fostering innovation to remove barriers
Session # 5931A
9:30 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.

Ubank started their road to transformation by creating RoboChat, Australia’s first Virtual Assistant, to help users with their home loan applications. After seeing great success, they created RoboBrain, an AI-powered search designed to increase employee productivity. RoboBrain uses Watson Assistant, Watson Discovery and Watson Knowledge Studio, which allows advisors to search using natural language and find answers to customer queries quickly and accurately.

First Data: Learn how First Data created an on-/off-premises call center solution to engage with customers
Session # 4482A
9:30 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.

First Data is now offering customers an opportunity to have technical support conversations via voice or SMS with IBM Watson Assistant. Leveraging a combination of both on- and off-premises environments, First Data is using IBM Watson to engage more and more customers each day, and the solution has proven its worth in the contact center space. Come hear about the solution architecture and the significant benefits First Data is realizing.

ADP: Managing the lifecycle of a Watson Assistant chatbot and the cognitive application: insight from ADP
Session # 4769A
10:30 a.m. – 11:10 a.m.

This talk presents real-world application development techniques alongside live experiences with developing a cognitive application to assist and augment a payroll application. It covers developing the intents, entities and flows required for a production quality chatbot and the integrated orchestration component for ADP. The discussion will provide a view of the process for developing the application, as well as the toolchain and use of IBM Cloud to bring this Watson Assistant based application to production.

Crédit Mutuel: Empowering human beings to build the Bank of Tomorrow
Session # 2072A
11:30 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.

Crédit Mutuel, in a sweeping digital reinvention, partnered with IBM to devise new ways of working to better serve their 12 million customers. Crédit Mutuel selected IBM Cloud, Watson and advanced cybersecurity technologies to fundamentally change how its customer relationships are developed and maintained. Watson has made it possible for customer advisors to find the right answers regarding Crédit Mutuel’s over 200 products 60% faster.

Rio Tinto: Watson Dynamic Scheduling Advisor for Mining Assets
Session # 3235A
2:30 p.m. – 3:10 p.m.

This session will showcase how Rio Tinto has massively improved their mining productivity by using the Watson AI and Data platform to simply use their existing data effectively. Learn about both the business value and technical best practices gained by Rio Tinto in implementing an AI solution that uses Watson Knowledge Studio and Watson Discovery Service.

Technical sessions: learn about the technologies behind game-changing AI

IBM: How Watson Discovery learns, predicts, and presents answers to your customers
Session # 4788B
9:30 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.

This session focuses on the AI technology powering Watson Discovery. Businesses across multiple industries, from insurance to banking, struggle with how to best respond to questions from their customers and employees. A high volume of such queries leads to increasing support costs and customer dissatisfaction. Watson Discovery uses AI-powered search to help users find answers within an enterprise’s entire corpus, and Discovery’s advanced search retrieves only relevant information from within documents. Discovery features relevancy training which learns from user behavior and surfaces answers through a Virtual Assistant interface. Discovery clients report they have reduced support times by up to 30 – 40%.

IBM: Best practices in building a conversational Virtual Assistant
Session # 4199
11:30 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.

Building a bot can be done in 5 minutes but building a conversational Virtual Assistant that interacts with your customers seamlessly takes time and care. This session will cover lessons learned that most customers learn the hard way, through trial and error. Find out the answer to questions like, what makes a good intent? How should you train your entities? Should your bot pretend to be a human? Do you need a voice or a personality? What’s the best way to integrate with back end data sources?

KPMG: Use AI technologies to improve the quality of data extraction and develop a management dashboard
Session # 5238A
2:30 p.m. – 3:10 p.m.

Learn about how Machine Learning based document reading is improving the quality of data extraction within financial loan documents. See how Watson Discovery and Watson Compare and Comply were used in the financial services industry to improve the interpretation of credit files to assess the quality of commercial loans. Speakers will share insights about architecture, results and the steps they took toward building a solution.

IBM: Transform your contact center with Watson powered voice agents
Session # 4548
2:30 p.m. – 3:10 p.m.

Voice is an extremely important channel for any company that wants to offer superior customer support, but companies have found that users do not enjoy navigating through robotic menus offered by traditional IVR systems.

Businesses are now looking to AI to help salvage the original purpose of their IVR — cost savings through agent deflection — while delivering upfront problem resolution and creating a more pleasurable experience for the customer. Learn how businesses can use IBM Watson Assistant and IBM Voice Agent to build AI-powered voice agents to enhance or replace traditional IVR systems.

Hands-on-labs: an immersive learning experience

IBM: Extract Insights using Natural Language Processing
Session # 6588A
12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Natural Language capabilities are table stakes for any enterprise looking to adopt and scale an AI solution. Learn how to extract insights using natural language processing and how common NLP tasks, such as tokenization, sentence segmentation, parts-of-speech tagging, and named entity extraction work to make your NLU solution robust and scalable.

How to register for Smart Starts Here sessions

Smart Starts Here sessions require advanced registration – if you’re registered for Think and would like to add Smart Starts here as a pre-conference activity – all Smart Starts Here sessions take place on Tuesday and have seats reserved for clients and IBM Business Partners. Here’s how to add the Smart Starts Here pre-conference activities to your registration:

1.) Simply go to the Think 2019 registration page and select the third option: “Already registered? Edit registration details”

2.) Sign in and opt-in for Smart Starts Here

3.) Be advised, Think offers several pre-conference activities, including PartnerWorld, and you may not be permitted to enroll in activities that take place at the same time.

Spots in these exclusive sessions are available only on a first-come, first-served enrollment basis. Act fast!

Register for the conference and select Smart Starts Here to sign up for these sessions