MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - September 30, 2013 - IBM Watson Solutions has been recognized with the 2013 North America Frost & Sullivan Award for New Product Innovation for its new Engagement Advisor tool. Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has developed an innovative product that leverages leading-edge technologies and produces value-added features and benefits for customers.
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IBM's high-profile Watson technology is being applied to the realm of customer engagement through the first broadly available commercialized offering. Delivered through cloud services, the new solution, IBM Watson Engagement Advisor, is a technology breakthrough that allows brands to crunch big data in record time to transform the way they engage clients in key functions such as customer service, marketing and sales. The application will empower a brand's customer service agents to provide fast, data-driven answers, or sit directly in the hands of consumers via mobile device.
In one simple click, the solution's "Ask Watson" feature will quickly help address customers' questions, offer feedback to guide their purchase decisions, and troubleshoot their problems. In essence, the IBM Watson Engagement Advisor answers questions and guides users through processes with plain-English dialogue while also building upon past conversations across channels throughout the lifetime of a relationship.
The IBM Watson Engagement Advisor processes vast amounts of data, puts content in context for greater insights, weighs the results with confidence-rated responses, and adapts in much the same way that humans do. Unlike traditional systems that simply calculate rapidly, cognitive systems learn from their interactions with data and humans, and continuously reprogram themselves to offer better, more personalized results. "Watson's innovative technology continues to thrive and grow, from helping doctors improve patient care, to helping businesses put consumers first, in an increasingly connected world," said Manoj Saxena, General Manager, IBM Watson Solutions. "It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by Frost & Sullivan for this achievement for it shows how far Watson has come in inspiring business leaders across all industries to think differently about how technology can be used to transform daily lives."
"The IBM Watson Engagement Advisor technology can listen to and respond to a series of follow-up questions and remember the previous questions that were posed," said Frost & Sullivan analyst Stephen Loynd. "In other words, IBM Watson combines technologies that allow the Engagement Advisor to understand natural language and human communication, generate and evaluate evidence-based hypothesis, as well as adapt and learn from user selections."
IBM Watson Engagement Advisor's Early Customer Program is the first step toward what it hopes will be the transformation of the way individuals and companies engage with each other in the smartest possible way. Consider that the solution offers natural language processing to help understand the complexities of human speech and writing as both a means of user interactions and as a tool to unlock the potential of unstructured data (text, blogs, tweets, and email). "Watson also empowers customers to take action in an intuitive, fast, accurate and consistent manner at the point of action." noted Loynd.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.
About IBM Watson Solutions
IBM Watson, named after IBM founder Thomas J. Watson, gained fame by beating human contestants on the television quiz show Jeopardy!, in February 2011. It was also a very public trial of an advanced form of computing: a cognitive system. A system that is not simply programmed but is trained to learn based on interactions and outcomes. A system that rivals a human's ability to answer questions posed in natural language with speed, accuracy and confidence, and that also brings both man and machine together. By accurately extracting the facts and quickly understanding relationships in large volumes of data, Watson represents a significant shift in system architecture and the ability for organizations to quickly analyze, understand and respond to Big Data.
Watson's ability to answer complex questions posed in natural language with speed, accuracy and confidence has enormous potential to improve decision making across a variety of industries. Two years after its historic victory on Jeopardy!, IBM has put Watson to work in industries including customer engagement, healthcare and financial services.
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