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Market Research Report

2017 Intelligent Virtual Agent Product and Market Report

Published by DMG Consulting LLC Product code 530129
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2017 Intelligent Virtual Agent Product and Market Report
Published: July 19, 2017 Content info:
Description

The inaugural edition of DMG Consulting's Intelligent Virtual Agent Product and Market Report covers all aspects of this emerging IT sector, which is rightfully attracting a great deal of interest because of its numerous uses and benefits for enterprises, contact centers and customers. This Report focuses on contact center and customer service-related uses of intelligent virtual agents (IVAs). These "smart" applications represent the future of self-service; for the first time in over two decades, enterprises have innovative and effective options for building and enhancing self-service environments. However, it's important to separate hype from reality, and this Report clearly delineates which capabilities are real and what is still under development.

The market is ready for IVAs. These solutions use artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and other technologies to produce highly innovative and exciting self-service capabilities for enterprises and their customers. IVAs are designed to emulate human conversations and interactions. They can provide assistance for many activities that previously required the attention of live agents, including customer service, help desk, product information, marketing, sales, placing orders and reservations, and more. These solutions are capable of delivering an intelligent and personalized customer experience.

IVAs , also known as "bots," "chatbots," "virtual assistants," "virtual agents," and a wide variety of other synonyms, are "smarter" and more accurate than their voice self-service predecessors. They are also far more advanced than natural language processing (NLP)-based interactive voice response (IVR) systems. IVAs make it possible to build advanced speech and digital-enabled self-service solutions that are cost effective and appealing to customers, who actually prefer to help themselves in this channel, as long as it works .

AI-based applications are a "hot" topic in the world of technology, although this concept has been talked about for over 30 years. The new AI-based solutions address a wide variety of enterprise and contact center needs. And what we are seeing today is just the beginning, as there are billions of dollars of investments being made in these solutions. Next-gen IVAs with more self-learning capabilities are on the horizon. In the future, IVAs will use an increasing amount of self-learning technology that allows them to get "smarter" over time and adapt to customers' individual preferences as they "learn" from past interactions to improve their understanding of what customers want and need.

The time for IVAs is now. Many companies are using voice self-service technologies that are 10 - 20 years old and long past their prime. Even if your current IVR handles a large percentage of calls, it's time to revisit and update your self-service environment to improve its effectiveness and the customer experience. IVAs have the potential to revolutionize the world of self-service. They can automate activities that do not require the cognitive capabilities of a live agent, and for interactions that do require live assistance, they can use their "smarts" to route the customer to the most appropriately skilled representative. If IVAs can automate just a few percentage points of additional calls (or emails and chat sessions) that previously required live assistance, their adoption will be higher and more rapid than for most new IT segments.

The 2017 Intelligent Virtual Agent Product and Market Report is the only in-depth analysis of these emerging solutions. It provides a timely and thorough analysis of the overall market and 7 innovative vendors who offer a broad range of solutions that address customer service, contact centers and other enterprise uses. The 6 vendors covered in detail in this Report are: [24]7, Astute Solutions, Creative Virtual, Interactions, Next IT and SmartAction. Artificial Solutions is covered at a higher level.

Key Elements Of This Report

  • Definition of IVAs: what they are, how they work, and an examination of the functional components that comprise these solutions
  • Service deployment options for IVA solutions
  • Evolution of self-service, from interactive voice response (IVR) to IVA and beyond
  • The state of AI: what's real and what to expect in the future
  • Review of the market trends and challenges that are driving investments
  • Discussion of IVA market innovation, including what is planned to be delivered in the next 12 - 18 months
  • Insights into the current uses, benefits and verticalized applications of IVAs for contact centers and enterprises
  • Examination of the role of IVAs in delivering a personalized and effortless selfservice experience to enhance the customer journey
  • A look at how IVAs are improving the agent experience with real-time guidance, next-best-action recommendations and self-service functions to help agents manage their work/life balance
  • Review and assessment of the IVA competitive landscape
  • IVA 5-year market growth projections
  • Overview of the 7 leading and contending IVA vendors, including company snapshots, go-to-market strategies and product offerings
  • High-level technical analysis, including accuracy/tuning and integration features
  • High-level functional summary, including administration, security and compliance, and reporting, dashboards and analytics
  • Best practices for transitioning to an IVA solution
  • Implementation analysis, including vendor methodology, best practices, training and professional services, and maintenance and support
  • Return on investment (ROI) analysis
  • Vendor pricing models for on-premise, cloud-based and managed service IVA solutions
  • Detailed company reports for the 7 IVA vendors, analyzing their products, functionality and future product development plans
  • IVA Glossary of Terms
  • Comprehensive IVA Vendor Directory

Report Highlights

  • The market is ready for IVAs : Self-service applications are outdated and in dire need of an overhaul or full replacement. The current generation of IVAs comes in all types of channels and styles. These self-learning AI-based applications are more accurate and effective than their predecessors. They are engaging for customers, who want to be able to conduct hands-free, mobile-enabled conversations that allow them to help themselves
  • Self-learning capabilities enable IVAs to personalize the customer experience : Today's consumers want companies to "know" them and thoroughly understand their wants and needs. IVAs "learn" from previous interactions and familiarize themselves with customers' preferences. This allows an IVA to customize each transaction and provide a personalized and engaging customer journey.
  • IVAs are more than just replacements for IVRs : Although conceptually similar, IVAs represent a great advancement over traditional IVR self-service technology. The underlying science of IVAs is newer, and these solutions run on faster servers, many of which are in the cloud. IVAs are being used in many channels to automate activities that do not require live assistance, and to route those that do to the right agents/representatives.
  • IVAs offer compelling benefits : Enterprises are in great need of enhanced self-service applications that are flexible and cost-effective. IVAs can displace expensive calls to live agents with automation, while also delivering an excellent service experience. These solutions, when used properly, are a preferred method of service for customers.

SAMPLE FIGURE

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

1. Executive Summary

2. Introduction

3. DMG Consulting Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Report Participation Criteria

4. What are Intelligent Virtual Agents?

  • 4.1 DMG Definition of IVAs
  • 4.2 Vendor Definitions

5. Service Delivery Models

  • 5.1 DMG Service Delivery Definitions
  • 5.2 Vendor Service Delivery Options

6. The Self-Service Revolution

  • 6.1 From IVR to IVA
  • 6.2 From Knowledge Management to IVA
  • 6.3 Stand-Alone IVA Solutions
  • 6.4 What's Next

7. AI: What's Real and What's Not

8. 2017 Intelligent Virtual Agent Trends and Challenges

  • 8.1 Intelligent Virtual Agent Trends for 2017
  • 8.2 IVA Challenges for 2017

9. IVA Market Innovation

  • 9.1 New Product Features
  • 9.2 Emerging Capabilities

10. IVAs at Your Service

  • 10.1 Verticalized Applications

11. Digital Concierges Enhance the Customer Journey

12. Virtual Assistance: Improving the Agent Experience

13. IVA Competitive Landscape

  • 13.1 Technology Sectors Delivering IVA Solutions
  • 13.2 IVA Vendor Executive Summaries

14. IVA Market Projections

15. IVA Vendors and Solutions

  • 15.1 Company Snapshots
  • 15.2 IVA Go-To-Market Strategy
  • 15.3 Vendor Offerings and Products

16. High-Level Technical Summary

  • 16.1 Accuracy/Tuning
  • 16.2 Integration

17. High-Level Functional Summary

  • 17.1 Administration
  • 17.2 Security and Compliance
  • 17.3 Dashboards, Reporting and Analytics

18. IVA Best Practices

19. Implementation Analysis

  • 19.1 Implementation Process
  • 19.2 Implementation Best Practices
  • 19.3 Training and Professional Services
  • 19.4 Maintenance and Support

20. IVA Benefits and Return on Investment

21. Pricing

  • 21.1 Premise-Based
  • 21.2 Cloud-Based
  • 21.3 Managed Service

22. Company Reports

  • 22.1 [24]7, Inc.
  • 22.2 Artificial Solutions
  • 22.3 Astute Solutions
  • 22.4 Creative Virtual Ltd.
  • 22.5 Interactions LLC
  • 22.6 Next IT
  • 22.7 SmartAction

Appendix A: Glossary of Terms

Appendix B: IVA Vendor Directory

TABLE OF FIGURES

  • Figure 1: Bots vs. IVAs
  • Figure 2: Vendor IVA Definitions
  • Figure 3: Service Delivery Models, Advantages and Disadvantages
  • Figure 4: DMG's Service Delivery Model Definitions
  • Figure 5: IVA Vendor Service Delivery Options
  • Figure 6: Self-Service Channels
  • Figure 7: 2017 IVA Trends
  • Figure 8: 2017 IVA Challenges
  • Figure 9: New Product Features, by Vendor
  • Figure 10: New Product Features, by Category
  • Figure 11: Future Application Enhancements
  • Figure 12: How likely are you to use a self-service virtual bot/virtual intelligent agent, to ask a question?
  • Figure 13: Bot and IVA Use Cases
  • Figure 14: Primary Use of IVA Solution, By Vendor
  • Figure 15: Verticalized IVA Applications
  • Figure 16: Customer Experience and Journey
  • Figure 17: Agent Experience
  • Figure 18: IVA Competitive Landscape
  • Figure 19: DMG's IVA Revenue Projections, 2017 - 2021
  • Figure 20: Company Information as of April 2017
  • Figure 21: IVA Go-To-Market Strategy
  • Figure 22: Product Information
  • Figure 23: High-Level Technical Summary
  • Figure 24: Accuracy/Tuning
  • Figure 25: Integration
  • Figure 26: High-Level Functional Summary
  • Figure 27: Administration
  • Figure 28: Security and Compliance
  • Figure 29: Dashboards, Reporting and Analytics
  • Figure 30: Implementation Process
  • Figure 31: Implementation Best Practices
  • Figure 32: Training and Professional Services
  • Figure 33: Maintenance and On-Going Support
  • Figure 34: Benefits of IVAs
  • Figure 35: Return on Investment
  • Figure 36: Pricing for a Premise-Based IVA Solution
  • Figure 37: Pricing for a Cloud-Based IVA Solution
  • Figure 38: Pricing for a Managed Service IVA Solution
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