CX and the City

CX and the City

12 Jun 2023

Once again NICE’s marketing department hit it out of the park at its recent Interactions 2023 customer event in New York City. What better theme and tagline for a customer experience (CX) conference in the Big Apple featuring keynote guest speaker Sarah Jessica Parker (of “Sex and the City” fame), than “CX and the City” – very clever and appropriate.

NICE CEO Barak Eilam is known for his keynote presentations with amazing graphics and effects, and this year’s event was no different.

CX and the City - graphic 1

CX and the City - graphic 2

While the graphics were amazing, the content was impressive as well. Eilam started by discussing the importance of “catching a wave” just at the right time. As surfers know, if you wait too long for the next wave you may never get on it, so it’s important to identify the right wave as it appears and jump on at exactly the right moment. Like surfers, enterprises need to jump on the right technology wave at the right time. Changing analogies, he added, “If you’re not part of the steamroller, you’re part of the road.” The biggest technology wave today is of course AI, which Eilam calls a technology super-wave with far-reaching implications for the CX world. He referred to AI as the long-awaited CX alchemist conjuring up a completely new world of possibilities of how technology and customer service can be melded together.

NICE is not new to using AI for CX; its Enlighten solution is a specialized AI and machine learning (ML) framework for CX that’s embedded across the NICE product line. As I wrote in a previous article, NICE is leveraging its various AI tools and capabilities to understand customer intent based on analyzing millions and millions of interactions.

As Eilam pointed out, “Customer service is a non-generic domain; AI efforts have to be CX specific from Day 1.” Enlighten AI is purpose-built AI for CX, with 200+ Enlighten data models trained using billions of labelled CX interactions. Enlighten AI is embedded into all of NICE’s CX applications.

CX and the City - graphic 3

As Barry Cooper, president of the CX Division explained during his Day 2 keynote, Enlighten AI for CX is built on hundreds of prebuilt AI models based on labeled data and is embedded into all of NICE’s CX applications. Combining Enlighten AI with generative AI makes AI more accessible and humanlike, giving agents superpowers. At the event, NICE introduced three new Enlighten applications: Enlighten Actions, Enlighten Copilot, and Enlighten Autopilot, leveraging the power of generative AI, ChatGPT, and large language models (LLM).

  • Enlighten Copilot – aimed at contact center/customer service agents, Copilot provides conversational knowledge, real-time guidance, task automation, personalized coaching, and brand-specific prompts to promote smarter guided interactions. For example, it can present knowledge articles and links to agents, create agent interaction summaries, prompt agents to show empathy, and more. Copilot analyzes behavioral scores of agents, analyzes root cause of scores, and can even proactively recommend and set up real-time coaching for agents.
  • Enlighten Autopilot – aimed at consumers, Autopilot is a customer self-service tool that "acts as your best and most trusted employee, creating fully personalized experiences." It provides conversational knowledge, web and mobile guidance, AI-driven proactive virtual agents, and more. Autopilot is a conversational AI approach to engage consumers based on trusted company knowledge.
  • Enlighten Actions – aimed at CX leaders, Enlighten Actions uses LLM to give data a voice. It “proactively pinpoints optimal areas for automation and leverages CXone’s suite of advanced applications to carry out the associated activity operations.” Integrated with generative AI/ChatGPT, Enlighten Actions can perform complex analytical operations in minutes rather than days. It helps CX leaders understand their operations and take action by leveraging Enlighten's highly specialized AI models for CX.

CX and the City - graphic 4

Suiteform Replacing Frankenstacks

Underlying all of these AI capabilities is the NICE CXone platform, which NICE refers to as a “suiteform.” Cooper explained that it uses the term suiteform because NICE’s suite of applications interwork between themselves natively, while the open platform enables third-party applications to be incorporated as if they were native. On top of this platform are more than 45 applications across CX that are natively integrated. This suiteform approach eliminates the "Frankenstacks" of multiple siloed point solutions (as shown below).

CX and the City - graphic 5

Chatting With Balto

During the conference I had the opportunity to meet with various NICE customers and partners, including Microsoft Nuance, Omilia, Cyara, and others. I spent some time with Balto, which leverages AI to provide real-time agent guidance and coaching, along with capabilities such as real-time note taking and real-time quality assurance. During the conference I spoke with Balto CRO Lonnie Johnston who discussed Balto’s partnership with NICE.

Closing Thoughts

Clearly AI has replaced the cloud as the hot topic and way for contact center/customer service vendors to differentiate themselves. NICE has a good head start, and now has announced three applications leveraging generative AI, with one generally available.

Contact center vendors, as well as many other types of solution providers, need to figure out how to marry the conversational capabilities of generative AI and ChatGPT, with security, privacy, and domain-specific knowledge and accuracy (this means no hallucinations). This will be a big challenge for many vendors, but one that NICE seems to be along the way of overcoming. These new AI applications are not ready for mass utilization, and most likely won’t be for a while, but it’s good to see NICE putting a stake in the ground and taking a leadership position.


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