Bots vs Apps: Beginning Of The Next War


We all know that Chatbots are now used almost everywhere whether it is receiving weather updates on your smartphone or gathering latest news articles or for picking up grocery. Bots are omnipresent :-)

Also, UK-based online football community, Copa90 which has more than 20 million followers, launched its first Facebook messenger chatbot for UEFA 2016. Yes, the world is touting chatbots to be the next big thing after mobile apps. There is even a Chinese chatbot that will talk to you when you are lonely.

Much like mobile apps, chatbots will soon be holding capabilities in domains like testing, development experience, distribution, management or discovery in order to experience mainstream adoption. The initial adoption of chatbots has focused on consumer scenarios and now we are seeing iterations of enterprise chatbot solutions.

Let’s see how chatbots adoption is helping enterprises:

Chatbots In The Enterprise
While there is increasing adoption of voice and messaging technologies so does the potential for chatbot solutions. Readily adopted by enterprises, the chatbot platforms offer capabilities in domains like integration, security, monitoring and management. Such areas are essential elements of enterprise solutions. An enterprise-ready chatbot platform offers capabilities like:

Natural language learning system
Monitoring system
Testing
Integration with messaging platforms
Security
Integration with enterprise systems

Why Bots Are Adopted By Enterprises?

1 Integration with messaging platforms – Get socialize a little more
Latest data shows that messenger apps are more used as compared to social networking apps. You would be surprised to know that more than any other social networking platform, you prefer using messaging platforms like Slack, HipChat, or Skype for communicating with your colleagues at work or you would talk to your closest friends on Facebook in messenger.

Such enterprise chatbot platforms can provide a consistent development experience which could seamlessly integrate with different messaging platforms. Chatbots can be built into major chat product like Facebook Messenger and that is where people really love to spend time. You will probably want to be where your users are.

2. Bots speak the real language – More personalization
With chatbot, you can be more expressive and more demonstrative while expressing yourself. Precisely explaining, the language of our apps are technological single-word or commands which are like ‘sign up’, ‘log in’, ‘download’, ‘click’, ‘fill in’. It is more like a formal language and there is less of social language as “please”, “hello”, “sure”, “how is it going?”.

This we can term as that our businesses suffer from a social communication disorder. But unlike apps, with chatbots, you can express anything you want and your customers will value you. Such engagement will be more interesting and will make people stay with you and chit chat for a bit longer.

3. Better interaction with users – High synergy levels
Chatbots are growing stupendously. They solve the asymmetry information flow. Till now they are considered as the best tool for keeping users on a certain platform for longer and keeping the content flowing. This happens because it starts and maintains the conversation. Chatbots show only a bit of information at a single given time and the interaction advances at each specific point. This entails a progressive and recurring interaction between a machine and a human communication.

4. Simpler interface which is easy to use – Simplicity supersedes
Simplicity is what helped most successful brands win hearts of their customers. Content is king, therefore a well-placed content attracts all. Chatbots are usually a blend of text, images, and unified widgets which make them easy to start the interactions. Just like another messenger app, these Chatbots are simple to use and behave exactly how users want them to. Without much clumsy, fancy and redundant features and keeping clarity intact chatbot is conceptualized in a very simplified way and that’s why they are doomed to success. No, ‘destined’ for success.

Race For The Enterprise Chatbot Platforms
The chatbot market is just taking a rise and, consequently, we are observing the emerging startups in this space. The race for the dominant enterprise chatbot platform promises to be an incredibly exciting one at that. As of now, the entire market is divided majorly into three main groups. These vendors are uniquely positioned in order to provide strong enterprise chatbot solutions.

Messaging platform vendors: Enjoy extremely vibrant communities on Slack, Facebook, Skype, HipChat.
Voice platform vendors: Platforms such as Siri, Cortana, Amazon Echo, or Google are some main catalysts in this domain.
Chatbot platform startups: With more and more hot technology movement, we are observing many startups who are trying to become the platform of choice for many chatbots developers.

Lead By Example
Bots automate a lot of mundane tasks, augments human abilities, weed out inefficiencies and help employees to focus on tasks which really matter and helpful for accomplishing major goals. Some real application of few bots are discussed here:

Assistants like x.ai and Clara manages your meeting schedule tasks.
Zoom, a multi-platform assistant, offers a full-fledged support mechanism for employees irrespective of their positions in the organizational hierarchy.
Slackbots like CareerLark, Lattice, and Growbot aims at automating feedback loops, check-ins, and work recognition.
Data-centric bot products like Birdly and Statsbot brings forth information layers from data-gathering tools like Google Analytics, Salesforce, and MixPanel to team communications in Slack. They also enable people to have quick access to data while making crucial decisions in real time.
E- Will Bots Kill Mobile Apps?

By now you must have seen the capabilities of bots and their applications along with undying relevance in various segments of an enterprise.

So here comes a thought provoked. Are they killing mobile apps?

Change is inevitable and history justifies that new channels can become complementary instead of displacing existing channels. Websites have not killed physical stores, and mobile apps haven’t killed websites. Rather it can be more positively perceived that there is a makeup of an ecosystem where every channel performs a different work for the customer whilst co-existing with the other channels. A quadratic channel scenario is what I vision – an ‘omnichannel’ of physical, web, app and bots floating together working at a speed never achieved before acting in sync dynamically reading behaviors and giving those accurate responses to the extent of redefining the very word ‘interaction’, as we all know today!

About the AuthorAjeet Singh@ASingh
Ajeet is Co-Founder & Director of Business Management at Algoworks

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