Office Hours

Things that are critical to your success in deploying AI

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

Since 2014, I’ve been leading and advising teams to design and deliver AI-powered solutions from concept to production. While the technology has evolved significantly, the recipe for delivery has largely remained the same. I want to share some best practices and critical aspects that are often underestimated or overlooked. These are the “hidden gems” that I have found to be critical to the success of a production deployment.

ROI & Success Criteria

The first thing both you and your customer need to understand and have complete clarity on is the purpose of the project. Yes, you need to define the use case, scenarios, personas, and more. But you need to answer several questions, such as: What are the actual outcomes the customer is looking to achieve? …


How to win together

Image for post
Image for post

In a previous blog, I explained why partnerships are critical to the success of organizations who want to continuously scale. However, there are some recipes to follow to achieve success. With over a decade of experience in working with strategic partners and customers, I will share my perspective on the key elements that lead to successful partnerships.

“One size fits all” does not work

It’s very important to understand that trying to use one model for partnerships does not work very well. You should have different partnership models that you offer. Some popular examples are OEM, co-development and co-sell. There are also hands-on and hands-off models. There are many different models that exist and can be created. You have to understand each partner’s position to properly classify them into a partnership model in your organization. If you do not have an existing model that fits a specific partner, do not force them into a model. …


Entering the world of artificial intelligence

Over the last 7+ years, I've worked with many leaders who were looking to embark on their first AI journey. Most of them did not know how or where to start. Some thought they did. In order for your business to realize the gains possible using AI, you need to make sure you start your journey on the right path. Here are some key things to consider when beginning your journey…

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Vlad Bagacian on Unsplash

Goal

You need to be able to clearly articulate what your ultimate goal is. If you cannot do that, then you are not ready to actually start the journey. Your goal should NOT be “I want to run an AI project”. That is too vague and not outcome or results driven. …


Image for post
Image for post

It is very common to implement a conversational assistant in multiple languages. Let’s say you have built a customer service assistant. One of the requirements may be to support additional languages, such as Arabic and Spanish, to accommodate your customer base. Often, I am asked how best to manage multiple skills, formerly called workspaces, in IBM Watson Assistant to achieve this goal. Though complete automation is a non-trivial task, there are ways this can be managed with some automation. Below are some suggestions to get you on your path.

Let’s assume you have built your Watson Assistant in the English language. Now you need to build the Arabic version of the assistant. The first thing you should do is review the list of supported languages and features for your languages of interest. Each language does not support all features. For example, contextual entities are supported in English but not in Arabic. So just be mindful of those feature differences and account for them accordingly. …


Image for post
Image for post

You have many teams or roles within your organization. They all are using the same virtual assistant to get answers to their questions. Your virtual assistant handles common dialog and FAQs for all your teams. Yet, you need to ensure that each team is getting the correct answers, from the right documents. These document-based answers could be based on “long tail” or less frequently asked questions. Or the answers may require documentation to follow, such as steps of a process or a list of guidelines. You do not need to imagine too hard as this is a very common scenario.

In this read, I share two approaches to how you can achieve document governance with Watson Discovery along with Watson Assistant.


Image for post
Image for post

Why are Strategic Partnerships Critical?

We have entered a new era in the business world — the era of strategic partnerships. While partnerships have been happening for decades, there has been a boom over the last 5 years. Direct competitors have been partnering and collaborating for a mutual benefit. Alliances we thought we would never see, are happening. Synergy across different brands has become necessary. This trend will continue to grow in the coming years so you better hop on board while you can!

Successful companies look for continuous growth. They want to innovate and expand their business into different markets. Some will eventually hit a peak with their sales and/or user base and struggle to grow further. They still want to remain among the “cool” companies. So how can those companies continue to grow and stay “cool”? …


Image for post
Image for post

Many organizations struggle with both identifying and prioritizing what sales leads to pursue. Where do you start when you have a large stack of leads to go through? What do you when your leads have gone cold?

For Product Leaders, it's often a challenge to get a broad spectrum of feedback from their customers. How do they know where to focus next? How can they truly confirm their ROI? How can they improve the product with certainty to drive more revenue?

In this post, I’m going to share the details on a powerful pattern that my team and I got hands-on with. This solution pattern leverages many capabilities of the IBM Watson Platform to optimize your product and sales process. In this example, I will show Watson embedded in the CRM platform of Salesforce. Please note that you can implement this same pattern in other CRM platforms, such as Oracle, SAP, and others. …


Image for post
Image for post
Salesforce Einstein & IBM Watson

There are many reasons why you would want to leverage Watson Assistant to make your Einstein Bot “better”. In a previous blog, I spoke to just some of the key reasons why you would need to do so. I will provide additional detail here but first, let’s look at how you integrate Watson into your Einstein Bot.

The obvious table stakes, you need a Watson Assistant service to integrate with Bots. If you don’t already have one, you can get a free IBM Cloud account to deploy a Watson Assistant service, which you can do in about a minute, also for free. …


Image for post
Image for post

Last month, ServiceNow rolled out their latest release (New York) and unveiled a new integration to IBM Watson Assistant for their Virtual Agent. This integration allows any ServiceNow customer to leverage the advanced dialog and AI capabilities of Watson to enhance their ServiceNow Virtual Agent experience.

You can view my demo on Youtube that shows the integration and capabilities in action.

ServiceNow integration to IBM Watson Assistant

Below, I have listed just a few scenarios where you should leverage Watson Assistant with your ServiceNow Virtual Agent…

Multilingual support — as ServiceNow VA supports the English language, you can use Watson Assistant to extend support for many other languages such as Japanese, Arabic or Spanish to name a few. …


Image for post
Image for post
IBM Watson & Salesforce Einstein

“How do Watson & Einstein Work Together?”

That is the most popular question I’ve received over the last year+. Another popular question is “When do I use Watson and when do I use Einstein?” There is no one single answer as it all depends on your use case. Here I will explain and provide some examples of how the two AI platforms (IBM Watson and Salesforce Einstein) work together in specific scenarios, and which does what.

Conversational solution — Watson Assistant and Einstein Bots

If you are building a chatbot / virtual assistant, there are a few different ways to use Watson and Einstein together. In this first approach, Einstein Bots can handle your simple dialog flows for standard Q&A in English, provide responses to customers by accessing Salesforce customer data natively, such as profile or case information, and also make call-outs via Apex classes (you need to write and own the code) which is a handy feature. Watson Assistant can augment Einstein and handle your complex dialog flows, provide disambiguation when questions are not clear, allows digressions to provide answers but always keep conversations on track, multi-lingual support and also integrate natively and seamlessly with Watson Discovery (no code required) for answers buried in knowledge articles from multiple external data sources across your enterprise. …

About

Marc Nehme

Tech guy living the dream, AI enthusiast, helping scale AI across the globe, making things real - MarcNehme.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store