Having conceptualized a new chatbot accelerator solution, Streebo Inc. needed the right technology and support to bring this new tool to market.
Built with Watson and IBM Cloud Pak technology, the new Streebo Digital Experience Accelerator tool makes chatbot development as easy as point and click.
~9x fasterthan comparable coding and development methods, according to internal research
~80% cheaperthan previously used chatbot development processes
<8 weeksto create a minimum viable product for a new chatbot
Business challenge story
We don’t talk like we used to. Outside of immediate family and close friends, conversations rarely happen face-to-face anymore. And rather than call someone on the phone, we’re more likely to fire off a quick text or reach out to them on social media. In many cases even email — one of the communication marvels of the late 20th century — can feel a bit outdated and archaic.
But at the same time, conversation (while dramatically different) remains at the heart of how we connect with each other, with information and with business.
“Nearly every user in the world has a social media handle,” explains Uzaira Memon, Associate Partner at Streebo. “And all of these social media apps are just messaging apps. Facebook is exchanging five trillion messages a day. Instagram and WhatsApp have users in the billions. Not millions — billions. And the average user spends about three hours a day on these platforms.”
And all of this communication led Streebo to some clear conclusions. “People like chatting,” Memon adds. “They like asynchronous communication, and they tend to want to use a chat interface rather than speaking to someone over the phone. We feel that just as every service has a mobile app now, every application will eventually need a voice and chat interface.”
In fact, many of the company’s existing customers had already approached the business, requesting digital transformation apps that included chatbot and messaging functionality. But the process of delivering on these requests was less than ideal.
“Transactional bots are very expensive and very, very hard to build,” notes Memon. “The biggest challenge in creating these solutions is the amount of professional services it takes to build a compelling and intelligent bot. One that is more than an interactive FAQ, that is meaningful for the end customer. But we stumbled across this idea in our research lab — a bot accelerator that could cut the development time and the go-to-market time.”
And to bring this breakthrough accelerator to market, Streebo needed the right technology and the right partner.
Simpler chatbots, smarter conversations
A long-time IBM Business Partner, Streebo chose to incorporate Watson technology into its new chatbot accelerator. The Streebo Digital Experience Accelerator (DXA) offers a low-code, no-code development platform that can create nuanced, robust and intelligent virtual agents without a lengthy training period.
“Rather than writing code, we’ve automated the coding with a drag and drop, point and click tool,” clarifies Memon. “We’re not ‘developing’ a bot. We’re ‘assembling’ it. And we’re making it easy — even someone from the line of business can assemble these enterprise-grade bot solutions.”
IBM Watson Assistant acts as the heart of the solution, with the Streebo accelerator built on top. Users can then choose from a catalog of already developed chatbot templates and widgets to create a customized solution that fits their unique needs. And DXA can also be used with IBM Cloud Pak for Data, allowing deployment of these conversational chat solutions either on premise or in multi-cloud environments.
And for businesses that want to modernize their entire application infrastructure, infusing both their new chatbot and their architecture with AI, Streebo takes advantage of both IBM Cloud Pak for Applications and IBM Cloud Pak for Integration. The business uses IBM Cloud Pak for Applications to facilitate the conversion of integrated applications to microservice architectures and for cloud-native development. While IBM Cloud Pak for Integration helps unify management for both the Watson and third-party APIs that DXA makes available to customize solutions.
For example, DXA uses IBM Watson Language Translator technology to support over 100 languages, while IBM Watson Natural Language Understanding makes it easier for users to communicate with and be understood by the developed bots.
“We can make an app business ready and customer ready,” adds Memon. “We modernize the middleware. We make the apps containerized. We add a chatbot. We take care of everything.”
Almost too easy
With DXA, Streebo has dramatically changed how it brings chatbot solutions to its customers. According to its internal research and after evaluating known use cases, the business estimates that it can build a bot roughly nine times faster than comparable methods. And on average, Streebo anticipates cutting its development costs for a chatbot solution (compared to previously used strategies) by around 80%.
“The research we looked at showed that the initial costs to stand up a proper, intelligent search bot can be around USD 1 million just for professional services,” adds Memon. “To get a pilot working averages around USD 250,000. It takes thousands of lines of code developed by expensive AI engineers. But we’ve made it so simple that we can offer a subscription model that lets you sign up for a bot with zero setup costs.”
The simplified development interface also makes it possible for business managers with little technical skill to easily build out and educate a secure, robust and scalable bot solution in little time.
“We can now build and roll out an MVP [minimum viable product] in less than eight weeks,” notes Memon. “Not a simple FAQ bot — a live transactional bot. By taking advantage of our whole catalog of existing bot solutions, what used to take months and years is now taking days and weeks.”
And Streebo is thoroughly pleased with its choice of Watson to bolster its new DXA solution. “We’ve been an IBM Business Partner for the past 10 years,” adds Memon. “So we knew they’d be the right choice. We see a lot of value-add that Watson is bringing to the table.”
Founded in 2008 as a services company, IBM Business Partner Streebo has transformed into a developer of mobile technology solutions comprised of pre-built, prefabricated components that offer extensive customization. The business is headquartered in Houston, Texas with an additional office in Ahmedabad, India.
Take the Next Step
To learn more about the IBM solutions featured in this story, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner.
To learn more about its technology automation solutions and what Streebo Inc. can do for you, please visit: Streebo