Senseforth, which builds intelligent bots for enterprises, believes that artificial intelligence (AI) will help people focus on more strategic work rather than invest time in routine tasks. In a conversation with BusinessLine, Senseforth's Chief Executive Sridhar Marri said chatbots would be the future interface of enterprise
The chatbot market, though relatively nascent, has seen explosive growth since 2015. In fact, 2016-17 was declared the "year of chatbots". The banking and financial services industry have been early adopters of bots. A recent study has revealed that banks would automate up to 90 per cent of their interactions through chatbots by 2022.
Chatbots have transformed the way people seek information. "Imagine dialling a call-centre for information and waiting for the process and systems to revert...it could take a while and at times, you may not be able to get the information you sought. Chatbots not only help in retrieving the information in a millisecond, but the experience can also be very exciting."
"The current wave of automation, unlike the earlier ones, is more intelligent and exciting. The human-like conversation platform, powered by Artificial Intelligence, can help customers get quick access to the information sought, address queries, resolve issues, perform tasks and even help the user shop."
"One of our bots handled over 6.5 million queries in the last nine months. If one were to engage agents to handle this volume, it would have proved to be lot more expensive. This goes to prove that bots can no longer be a choice but are a compulsion for enterprises," he added. The start-up, founded in 2013, has a range of bots in its stores across verticals such as the fintech industry, hospitality, telecom and real estate sector.
"We want to help enterprises increase efficiency with our special purpose bots. Our objective is to build a technology that can be used by non-techies with ease.
Are chatbots secure? Pat came his reply "there are two kinds of bots - informational bots and transactional bots. The former would deal only with information-related queries; the user need not register or log in to seek information. But authentication is a must for a transactional bot. At Senseforth, we have our own proprietary platform."
The company raised $2 million last year as seed fund. Going forward, it plans to raise $8 to $10 million, later this year or early next. "The money would be used to enter new markets and to provide access across sectors such as manufacturing. We want to build multi-lingual capability on the platform." The newer geographies we will be looking at include the Asia-Pacific region, West Asia and the European Union.