Thursday, April 28, 2016

noHold’s A.I. Platform Expands Virtual Assistants to Every Organization within a Company

Including HR, IT, Legal, Marketing, Sales and Support

April 28, 2016, MILPITAS, CA – noHold, the acknowledged leader in web based self service solutions, expands its Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) platform to include Virtual Assistants that benefit all organizations within a company.

noHold’s flagship product, Support Advisor, typically answers support and customer care type questions. With the help of its customers, and recognizing the growth within the A.I. space, noHold has developed Virtual Assistants with the entire business in mind. Now, Virtual Assistants have graduated beyond solely being a part of support organizations. Recently, the expansion of the A.I. platform has grown to include Virtual Assistants such as:
  • HR Advisor- allows employees to help themselves
  • IT Advisor- for the enterprise help desk
  • Legal Advisor- to enforce compliance
  • Marketing Advisor- to prequalify sales opportunities
  • Sales Advisor- to increase conversion rates
  • Support Advisor- to reduce support costs

The diversity of applications really demonstrates the flexibility of noHold’s platform and the ease of multi-use implementations. "If you look at every technological advance," said [Phil] Libin [Managing Director at General Catalyst and founder of Evernote], "the big jumps forward were when something becomes easier, has less friction, becomes more natural than whatever it replaced - so email from normal mail, chat from email, smartphone apps from desktop apps, I think bots are the next evolution of making something more natural." (Marketplace)

Virtual Assistants are imperative for enterprises managing moving parts. noHold is looking forward to providing more and more clients with a full circle approach to a Virtual Assistant.

According to Diego Ventura, CEO of noHold, “When creating a Virtual Assistant for a specific organization within the enterprise, you must take into consideration the different features needed by those particular business units that will optimize the Virtual Assistant. For example, we discovered that when a Call Center Agent is on the phone with a customer, they need to have a sense of the questions they will be asking and why. In these situations, the Virtual Assistant cannot always ask questions serially, so we implemented the ‘Look Ahead’ feature, designed to show the Agent why the Virtual Assistant would be asking those questions. Having this ability to provide department-specific Virtual Assistants proves the flexibility of our technology.”

About noHold Inc.
noHold is a privately held company established in 1999 and is headquartered in Milpitas, CA, USA (Silicon Valley). noHold is the acknowledged leader in Web based Self-service solutions with a mission to deliver real answers to real questions - real fast. Simple to use, easy to implement and as close to human as you can get, noHold turns automated customer support into cognitive customer interaction. noHold customers include Cisco, Dell, Intel and a host of industry leaders. More information can be found at or subscribe to noHold’s vlog to hear more from CEO, Diego Ventura.

Press Contact
Veronica Cech
Marketing Associate
408.946.9200 ext. 356

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Tech Giants Continue to Acquire A.I. Companies at Rapid Rates

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We have never seen technology progress as fast as it does in today's world. 

Within the last three years, it's no secret that corporate giants are extremely interested in Artificial Intelligence (A.I.). Major players such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, IBM, Intel, Salesforce, and Yahoo have all started acquiring A.I. companies looking to advance their technology. 

Just in 2016 alone, 4 major acquisitions have already been made. This rapid growth in AI acquisitions is further validation that society is embracing AI, and top tech companies are constantly trying to improve this technology for their consumers.

With almost 2 decades of experience under our belt, we have always seen the A.I. market on a steady incline. It is great to see this spike in the market with everyone jumping on board this A.I. train. 

For more information about noHold, please visit

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Virtual Assistant Placement Adjustments

Placement and positioning play a critical role in how end users interact with a Virtual Assistant. If an end user finds the Virtual Assistant on a product page the assumption is that the Virtual Assistant can answer questions about that product. To enhance the customer experience it is important to take this thought process into consideration. Most clients, when starting out, have a specific placement in mind. Typically, this results in the Virtual Assistant being positioned on one page of the company website. But in a recent review of Virtual Assistant interactions, usage of Virtual Assistants doubled when added to two specific types of pages: Product pages and Support pages. 

Although this worked for these companies, it is important to consider the content your Virtual Assistant contains to increase usage. Does it make sense for the Virtual Assistant to be there? Some may find that having a Virtual Assistant link consistently in the header will better provide service to their customers, while others will limit access to support or product pages.

Friday, April 15, 2016

What's Trending at this Year's F8 Conference

Facebook's F8 Conference was held earlier this week in San Francisco, CA. This is an annual conference for developers to discuss new integrations, open source technologies and the latest immersive experiences.

One of the biggest product announcements at this year's conference was the Messenger Platform. "The new service is a framework powered by artificial intelligence, allowing developers to build chat bots that can communicate one on one with users in a conversational tone. The more use, the more personalized a bot can be in serving a user" (ABCNews). "If you look at every technological advance," said Libin, "the big jumps forward were when something becomes easier, has less friction, becomes more natural than whatever it replaced - so email from normal mail, chat from email, smartphone apps from desktop apps, I think bots are the next evolution of making something more natural." (Marketplace)

Click the picture below to watch a short introduction to what the Messenger Platform can accomplish. 

For a more in depth session on how to build your messenger bot, watch this video of engineers explaining how Messenger is reinventing online communication. It is about an hour long, but gives great details about how the Messenger bots work and a live demo.

This is an exciting time for Artificial Intelligence. As more and more companies are acquiring AI companies and expanding their research and development, the more validation is shown that the world is ready for a more advanced and interactive experience with Virtual Agents. They are becoming the preferred way for companies to communicate with their customers and vice versa.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Interview with Manager of Consumer Electronics Virtual Assistant

two women sitting across from each other shaking hands
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Judy is the sole manager of the Virtual Assistant used by a large corporation. Since the initial implementation of the Virtual Assistant, Judy has worked with noHold to create an awarded customer service tool. noHold asked to interview Judy to get a better understanding of how she has managed to maintain excellent customer service with the Virtual Assistant.

What do you think the key has been to your success?
Continuous review of customer queries to identify knowledge gaps and issues with Natural Language Processor (NLP) – primarily synonyms. 

What is your process?
I basically have a 2 step process.
First, I review all queries where the Virtual Agent (also known as Virtual Assistant) was unable to provide a response and determine if we actually have a solution within the Virtual Agent. If we do, then I work with Tom (noHold Knowledge Portal Specialist) to make improvements in the NLP, so these queries are directed to the correct solution. If there is no solution within the Virtual Agent, I try to determine if there is enough traffic to warrant creating a new solution.
The Second step is to review the top 50 keywords from our internal site search and see how the Virtual Agent responds to these keywords; making changes, if required. 

How often do you update the Virtual Assistant? 
Updates to the Virtual Assistant are pretty much made constantly between me and Tom reviewing the interactions. As far as adding content, we add new content as needed; probably, averaging 3-4 solutions a month. 

What content does the Virtual Assistant focus on?
Mostly technical support, but we are also adding in solutions about customer care.

How large is your team?
As far as managing the Virtual Assistant – just me. 

How much time do you devote to the Virtual Assistant?
Between 6-8 Hours a week. I would like to spend more time, but other responsibilities prevent me from doing so at this time.

What reports do you find helpful?
The monthly report card - that is very helpful in identifying some solutions that are under performing. I also use the “Phrase Report” under Maintenance as well as the “Search by Keyword” report. 

How do you use the voice of the customer?
I use Voice of the Customer to improve the website and content from site search. I share the information with content managers at the company, so that they can make changes as needed. It is great to be able to see how customers express issues in their own words. It gives you a perspective into how we could rephrase or adjust messaging to help better support our customers.   

Is data collect from the Virtual Assistant used in other departments? 
Absolutely! I use this to make some improvements in our site search as well as providing this information to our content team for use in creating Knowledge Base documents.

What feature or features are critical for making a world class Virtual Assistant? 
I think NLP, Procedure Guidance, and Synonyms are critical along with continual monitoring of the Virtual Agent.

--It was great to get some insider knowledge on the different elements it takes to maintain a Virtual Assistant for an award winning support team. For more information, or if you have specific questions, please contact noHold.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Diego Ventura Shares His Knowledge on Virtual Assistants and IoT at PSI Conference

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On April 4, noHold's CEO, Diego Ventura, was invited to speak at the Peggy Smedley Institute (PSI), 2016 Conference. Situated in San Francisco, California, Diego spoke alongside other professionals from various industries to:

  • Review the state of the IoT
  • Examine the leaders and innovators
  • Explore products and successes
  • Review threats and security issues
  • Look at the lessons learned

Diego's presentation centered around two questions; how will Virtual Assistants (VAs) connect to IoT, and how can humans benefit from this transforming paradigm? Here are a couple short clips of Diego sharing his thoughts and ideas regarding the topic. 

In this introductory clip, Diego touches on the fact that Artificial Intelligence has surpassed the 'basic' capability of beating chess. In today's society, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence are making a huge impact on the IoT world with the growing level of sophisticated algorithms.  

Users submerged in the IoT typically deal with multiple applications to control each individual device. In the clip below, Diego speaks about noHold's Butler-style VA, created to manage all connected devices from a single interface, improving the way individuals relate to the IoT. 

It was a pleasure for Diego to be apart of another engagement put forth by Connected World and The Peggy Smedley Show

Let us know your thoughts on the IoT in the comments below. Cisco estimates that within the next 4 years, 50 billion devices will be connected to the Internet (Cisco). Do you think a Butler VA can help streamline the way humans are able to interact with all those devices?

Friday, April 1, 2016

Virtual Assistants and the Internet of Things

On Monday, April 4th in San Francisco, I'll be talking at a Connected World® event about Internet of Things (IoT), and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Since my background is in AI, I will be focusing on how IoT and AI come together. I'm planning to touch on deep learning, Big Data, and how these create some pretty incredible AI applications. 

Check out this video for more about this topic. 

If you are interested in the event, you can visit the Peggy Smedley Institute (PSI) event page. I'll be starting my segment at 1 PM. Of course, you can contact noHold for more details -- or message me on Linkedin.