Monday, January 23, 2017

Are You Ready for Cisco Spark's Launch Event?

"It's not everyday you get to leave your mark on an industry."



We are excited to be attending the launch of Cisco's latest version of Spark. Attendees are invited to learn more about what Cisco is doing to revolutionize the way people are meeting. "In San Francisco on January 24, 2017, Chuck Robbins, CEO and Rowan Trollope, SVP and GM of Cisco's IoT and Applications will unveil groundbreaking Cisco Spark innovations that will completely change the way people create, share, and get work done together."(http://demand.cisco.com/SparkLocalLaunchEventsEAST)


Kudos Cisco! We are excited to hear all the innovative things you have been working on.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Catch noHold's CEO speaking at Conversational Interaction Conference


Greetings!

Wanted to give you guys the heads up that noHold's CEO, Diego Ventura, will be speaking at the Conversational Interaction Conference in San Jose, California. On Monday, January 30th, Diego will be presenting "Connecting Humans and the Internet of Things." In his talk he will be discussing the significant impact Virtual Assistants are having on our lives. He will answer questions such as how Virtual Assistants can be leveraged at every stage of the product life cycle, not just support, and how Virtual Assistants will improve the way humans connect to the Internet of Things. 

After 17 years of being of major contributor in the Virtual Assistant space, Diego is excited to give an insiders perspective on where the market is, and where it is heading. "The CI Conference will discuss how companies and application developers can take advantage of this trend - including resources for creating bots and digital assistants, delivering customer service in natural language, best practices, examples of deployed solutions, and other commercial opportunities generated by the trend."

If you are interested in hearing Diego, and other acknowledged leaders in this space, visit www.conversationalinteraction.com to register and reserve your spot for this 2-Day conference. 
We hope to see you there! Cheers!
#CIcon2017
www.nohold.com

Monday, January 9, 2017

Chatbots Are Not Just For Enterprises Anymore...

Image result for large enterprises
Photo Credit
Remember the blog, The Industry Recognizes Need to Democratize Virtual Assistants?

To refresh your memory really quick, Esteban Kolsky, someone who has been following the chatbot space since before they were known as chatbots, wrote a piece describing some key points on how the industry can move toward democratizing AI/chatbots. "
In that post, I claim that simplicity and democratization of the resources inherent to chatbot’s world can be used by small business easily to fulfill their needs.  I also make the statement that if this works for small businesses then anyone and anything can leverage chatbots.  My hope is that we can all, for professional or personal reasons, create and manage an army of chatbots that, easily and with limited or no maintenance, will allow us to focus on the real needs we have and simplify the easy interactions with others." 


Just last month, Esteban wrote another blog titled Democratizing Large Enterprise Chatbots for Small Businesses. Here he recognized our efforts put forth in making the creation of a chatbot simpler, cheaper and easier to deploy with the launch of our new product Albert.  Albert is also being acknowledged by major publications such as Forbes, TheNextWeb, PCWorld and more. 


Lots of people have signed up for the Beta program of Albert, and it is receiving tons of positive feedback from small businesses to individuals using it for personal projects. As for the future, we are looking to make more features available such as UI customization and creating multiple chatbots on one account.


We are just glad that people like Esteban are recognizing this movement and embracing it! Cheers!

www.albertai.com

Friday, December 16, 2016

Curated Marketplace for Sustainable Fashion Creates Chatbot for Support Using Albert

The creation of Alberts are well underway. Publications such as ForbesPCWorldTheNextWeb, and Business Insider have all recognized SICURA QuickStart as a powerful platform for non programmers to build their own chatbot, opening up the world of AI to so many more people. 

Filosano, marketplace for eco-friendly clothing and accessories,  was one of the first small businesses to try Albert. With little technical background, they have already created and positioned an Albert on their website for their customers to get help on their own terms, 24/7. Check out this video to see how they are embracing this technology. 


Want to create your own chatbot? Sign up for Albert here to create an account.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

noHold Launches SICURA™ QuickStart

Empowering non-programmers to create their own Virtual Assistant (bot)

December 6, 2016, MILPITAS, CA – noHold announces SICURA™ QuickStart, a platform designed to make creating a Virtual Assistant (Albert) easy for anyone with a basic understanding of Microsoft® Word or Google® Docs.

Now, if you are a small business owner you can create a Virtual Assistant out of the manual for your product(s). If you are a large enterprise you can create a Virtual Assistant out of an Employee Handbook. Personal use is possible, too. For example, students can create a Virtual Assistant out of their last research paper.

According to Business Insider, in April of 2015 the number of messaging application users surpassed the number of social application users.  Given that the interaction paradigm of a messaging application is very similar to the paradigm of a Virtual Assistant (bot), the popularity of Virtual Assistants has increased exponentially. Recognizing this growing trend, noHold engineered SICURA QuickStart as a way to make creating and managing AI simple for anyone.

To make your own Albert, go to www.albertai.com, and click sign up in the top right navigation bar. Follow a few simple instructions to get a free personal account, and once you have access you will be ready to start teaching Albert anything you want. Upon completion of training Albert (a process that takes seconds), a mobile-friendly URL is provided. This URL can be placed anywhere you like, making integrating with websites, social media, and collaboration platforms easy. Metrics are also available to monitor weekly usage and identify exactly what users are asking your Albert.


CEO of noHold, Diego Ventura, goes on to say, “I don’t believe the next generation AI will be built by one single big company, instead, it will be the result of the collaboration of millions of people who have created their own Virtual Assistants and are able to connect them together. Who knows, maybe a lot of them will be called Albert.”

Friday, December 2, 2016

Why Virtual Assistants will be Key to Getting through the Holiday Shopping Season on Top

Photo credit

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have kicked off the holiday shopping season this year with a bang. While it was reported that the number of shoppers increased from last year, retailers saw a drop in the average amount of money that was spent - approximately $10 less. (money.cnn.com) This drop could be attributed to a number of things. 1. More people reported all their purchases were sale items, 2. A higher percentage of people bought items that were that were 60% off and higher, (IMAGE) and 3. Businesses were ill prepared (specifically online) for the massive amount of shoppers. According to Forbes, lots of big brands' websites were experiencing server issues that couldn't handle the volume of people. 

Photo credit
"Consumers faced a variety of technical problems on Black Friday and through the so-called “Turkey Five” (the five days after Thanksgiving). Major retailer sites, including Macy’s, QVC, Walmart, Victoria’s Secret and Newegg, all experienced outages, due at least in part to server overload due to enormous boost in traffic. The Gap, Inc. family (Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic and Athletica) was offering a massive 50% off site-wide deal fell victim to the same fate. Other retailers, such as Williams-Sonoma, saw a significant decrease in their page load time—not a great occurrence when buyers are in a hurry to empty their online carts and get on to the next sale." (Forbes)

While things like this are bound to happen,it did not effect the number of online users which continues to grow each year. From last year to this year, approximately 5 million more users were shopping online (about $3.34 billion came from online sales), while brick and mortar store shoppers decreased by 3 million people this year. Out of the online shoppers, $1.2B came from mobile purchases. This is a huge increase from previous years. 

Creating the ultimately customer experience online (via any device) is important to attract new customers and retain existing ones. A major trend this year that consumers are adopting (and preferring) is Virtual Assistants (VA's). While having a VA all year round is a good practice, VA's are also valuable to have during peak seasons as well, such as the holidays. Being able to position your Virtual Assistant as a way for consumers to get quick answers to pre-sales and post-sales questions will reduce the number of inquiries to live agents/employees and increase customer satisfaction. Check out this white paper showing how some of our customers have leveraged their Virtual Assistants during peak seasons: http://www.nohold.com/manage-traffic-spikes-better-with-self-service.html

And it is not just large brands that can benefit. Small and medium businesses, even little personal shops on eBay or Etsy can have a Virtual Assistant to eliminate some of the holiday stress. Visit albertai.com to learn more about creating a Virtual Assistant (bot) quickly and easily, no programming skills required. 

Cheers!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Industry Recognizes Need to Democratize Virtual Assistants

spiral of the numbers 1 and 0 with a face imprint coming out
Photo Credit
I wanted to take some time to share this article I found on LinkedIn. Its talks about how the industry can and should start moving towards democratizing AI, specifically Virtual Assistants (or better known as bots). A few key lessons mentioned in the article that will help chatbots become simpler to create for everyone are: 

1. It's about building simple
2. It's about cost
3. It's about results

Check out the article here:
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/chatbots-small-business-esteban-kolsky?published=t

It is exciting to see that the industry is finally catching up to what we have been saying for while. For more information about noHold and how we are working towards democratizing AI, please contact us via the web. 

We want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving holiday from our noHold family to yours, Cheers!