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CEO: 4 reasons to take an interest in conversational AI

CEO
Should a CEO be interested in conversational AI?

Should the CEO of a software company be interested in conversational AI?

Or is it primarily a matter for the technical teams?

AI is an opaque set of technologies, still poorly understood. And the fad that followed the launch of chatGPT gave the impression of a godsend. Indeed, many offerings simply integrate an LLM to claim to be “AI”, and solve the squaring of the circle.

Rightly so, a feeling of “bullshit”, somewhat demonetizing the concept. A situation already seen in tech: the internet bubble, blockchain, Metavers, IoT…

The question naturally arises: will the AI bubble soon?

Then, yes, probably. But the internet, blockchain, Metavers (?) and IoT have finally found their rightful place. They have helped to transform the world of technology, business and, to a large extent, society.

Let’s not forget, however, that automatic language processing is just one of the many applications in the field of AI. And that the LLM (large language model) such as chatGPT is just one (albeit spectacular) technology among many in this field.

NLP, Artificial intelligence, Machine learning, Neural Networks, Deep learning, LLM

Conversational AI enables a new mode of interaction between users and their business software. It enables users to interact directly, in their everyday language, with the messaging and collaborative applications of their choice, and even by voice.

Une IA conversationnelle connectée aux applications pour plus d'efficacité. Un usage bien différent de l'IA générative.

Should a CEO be interested in conversational AI?

If your company develops business software, here are 4 reasons why conversational AI is important to you as CEO (or to you, who might share it with your CEO):

  1. Because it’s valuable for customers.
  2. Because it’s valuable for investors.
  3. Because it’s valuable for teams.
  4. Because it’s valuable for business.

1. It's valuable for customers

For greater efficiency

40 minutes: average time spent each day switching from one application to another

Source : Harvard Business Review

As Marc Andreessen said not so long ago, software  “eats the world” . We c could similarly say that software “devours” the enterprise in the process. Indeed, every business process relies on one or more applications. In other words, for the user, this means interacting with so many interfaces, passwords, acronyms… It takes time and energy from your users.

Conversational interfaces, on the other hand, adapt to the natural, human way of communicating, without having to ask each user to adapt to the applications.

To simplify and include

78 % of employees do not master the tools they use on a daily basis

Source: Whatfix

Many employees struggle with the tools they use every day. Complexity, often perceived as unnecessary, hinders the proper use of corporate applications. And there are many reasons for this:

  • not enough time for training,
  • lack of appetite for digital technology,
  • lack of suitable tools (not everyone has a computer at hand),
  • working on the move (logistics), outside (construction) or on customers’ premises (personal services), etc.

Using everyday language, in the language of your choice, on an application already present on your smartphone, removes much of the barrier to using applications.

L'adoption du digital est un défi. Les employés sont atteint par l'app fatigue

To accelerate transformation

70% of companies fail partially or completely to align their digital transformations with their objectives

Source: McKinsey

Transforming a business process by introducing new applications (or making better use of those already in place) is a difficult task not only for the project manager, but also for those implementing the process. Because change is difficult, not only mentally, but also technically (service continuity remains the priority).

Facilitating adoption by simplifying usage and delivering tangible benefits to users will contribute to the success of your customers’ current and future projects

2. It's valuable for investors

To boost your company's image

The reasoned use (no bullshit!) of technologies as promising and effective as AI boosts your company’s image in the marketplace: the press, customers (especially prospects) and investors.

It’s an outward sign of the richness of your vision, which will contribute to marketing impact, business development, growth financing, recruitment of rare profiles, and help you unite all your teams around a common project

To optimize your company's value

A recent study shows that an increase in sales accompanied by a 5% reduction in costs boosts the valuation of a company whose activities are not focused on artificial intelligence by 85%.

If we take 10% instead of 5%, the value increases by 170%. In other words, a near-tripling of the company’s initial value.

No wonder your investors are paying attention!

Preparing the company's future

The winner takes all 🎶, and the gaps widen: it’s counter-intuitive (aren’t technologies becoming more and more accessible?). But in reality, the margins generated are such as to support overinvestment in data/IA (x6 compared with laggards), enabling the leaders to widen the gap.

Course à l'innovation pour les CEO, serez-vous le visionnaire qui a intégré de l'IA conversationnelle

It’s worth noting that France is still lagging behind: in 2022, 12% of global companies were data/IA-driven, compared with just 6% in France. The main reason given for this is the low level of management culture in this field…

(BCG, Assises de la Data, January 2023)

3. It's valuable for teams

To promote innovation

Your teams are focused on short-term, keep-the-lights-on objectives. Whether it’s sales, the sales pipeline, correcting anomalies, keeping to a roadmap that’s too full…

Introducing innovation is always complicated, due to lack of time and hindsight on what will really count in the coming years. Yet it’s necessary not only for our products, but also for the motivation and morale of our teams.

Equipe stimulée par l'innovation poussée par le CEO, comme intégrer une IA conversationnelle

For quick-wins

Conversational AI projects can be set up in just a few weeks, with spectacular results. Natural language interactions can be put into the hands of the first customers immediately, for rapid initial feedback.

Then, in a second phase, the functionalities (“intentions”) will be extended to all those available from web interfaces or mobile applications.

For a responsible digital future

The energy footprint of digital technology exceeds that of air transport. And its growth is amplified by generative AI, which requires considerable infrastructure to train models and generate responses (the impact of automatic language processing applications has surpassed that of image processing applications).

aller chercher un croissant

Using an LLM with 100 billion parameters to find information available on Wikipedia is a bit like getting your croissants on the other side of the country, rather than at your local bakery.

Conversational AI solutions with specialized semantic fields use small-scale neural networks. As a result, the small amount of training data required is much more efficient and less energy-intensive (though much faster).

4. Because it's valuable for business

To accelerate adoption of your applications

Multiply contact points, facilitate interactions, and adapt to users rather than asking them to adapt to your solution.

All these measures accelerate the speed of your projects, the organic growth of your deployments and the retention of your customers, all of which have a real impact.

To boost your competitiveness

Winning new customers is difficult, and the result of many factors. One of them is the attractiveness of your solutions. Are they complete enough? easy enough to use? cheap enough? attractive enough?

Well-chosen and well-managed product innovation is a source of competitiveness, in that it enables us to add value as perceived by the market, without increasing costs (too much), and sometimes even allowing us to raise our prices.

It also enables us to differentiate ourselves from (or catch up with) certain competitors, and improve the conversion rate in calls for tender.

To regain room for maneuver

The “rule of 40” is a principle that requires the sum of a software publisher’s revenue growth rate and ebitda to be equal to or greater than 40%.

The famous "Rule of 40", important for software publisher CEOs

Easier said than done: on average, this criterion is met only 16% of the time. Cash flow constraints and the operational constraints of “real life” limit the strategic choices available to the entrepreneur.

It is therefore vital to regain some room for maneuver. Useful innovation is one of the levers that can be activated, provided that the results are rapid and the cost reasonable in relation to the company’s business model.

Should the CEO of a software company be interested in conversational AI?

For the CEO of a software company, conversational AI is much more than just a technological gimmick. Nor is it an excuse to interfere in the day-to-day running of product teams.

It’s a fundamental revolution that’s redefining the way your business software satisfies customers, seduces investors, inspires teams and energizes your business. It’s time to turn the corner on conversational AI to lead the innovation race

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Agora Software deploys conversational application interfaces to enhance the user experience of applications and platforms. We create rich, multilingual and omnichannel interactions with all your users.

Do you have a conversational interface project?

Let’s talk: contact@agora.software

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