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How to assess your AI readiness with 50 questions

By now, everyone has recognized that we are in an AI hype. Again. It is probably the fourth since Joseph Weizenbaum developed the famous ELIZA , a natural language processing program that was intended to explore communication between humans and machines. In the early nineties we saw another wave when we saw the first neural networks; in the tens of this century, we saw machine learning making strides and now … Now we have generative AI. And every vendor – and buyer – jumps on it, often thinking of drastically improving business and employee performance – or replace some employees with technology – and of enjoying the ultimate competitive advantage. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Adapting and using AI tools gives a temporary advantage at best. Why temporary? Temporary, because technology is nothing that the competition cannot use. In fact, they will do the same and with that, any, or at least most, competitive advantage gets leveled again. And why at best?  Because you might n

How Zendesk builds the future of AI-powered service

The News On April 15 to April 18, 2024, Zendesk held its annual Relate event, including a half day analyst track on April 15. The event was attended by around 1,600 customers, partners and analysts. It was about Zendesk’s strategy, which revolves around - no surprise here - AI to deliver better customer experiences. As part of this strategy, Zendesk also made clear how the past twelve month’s acquisitions of Klaus, Ultimate, and tymeshift get integrated into Zendesk’s customer service offerings, enriching and rounding them off. The company is betting big on AI, working on the assumption that interaction volumes between customers and companies are continuing to increase very fast. As a conclusion of this, service needs to become AI driven to accommodate this scale. Secondly, Zendesk sees AI as the technology underlying the necessary high degree of personalization. Together, this is estimated to increase the market size available to CX solutions that automate CX labor tremendously. At th

How to zohotize a global business

About two years ago, I had the pleasure of speaking with Elie Katz of National Retail Solutions , NRS, about how he and his team “zohotized” NRS. During this year’s ZohoDay24, I was happy enough to continue this conversation with Rene Selemi , director of retail operations at IDT Corporation , the parent corporation of NRS. IDT is a global provider of communications and payment services, headquartered in Newark, New Jersey. The company employs around 1,700 people. You prefer to watch the interview? You can do it right from here . IDT started to use Zoho around 7 years ago for its internal startup NRS. The scope was customer care with the objective of enabling the business to respond to quick and effectively to customers. IDT and NRS originally settled on Salesforce but after using it for about a year decided to move away in favor of Zoho as it was a better fit and faster to implement. Says Selemi “ We had Salesforce for a while for about a year, but at the end we decided to go away fro

The power of a great customer - vendor relationship

As part of my series of customer interviews, I recently had the chance of speaking with Keith Cooper , vice president of customer experience at Bergen Logistics . Bergen Logistics is a global third party logistics provider, based in North Bergen, New Jersey. It primarily serves the luxury fashion and home goods segments but is available in other verticals, too. In Keith’s words “ When you order something from a company's website online, the order comes to us. We pull the order, we pack the order, we ship the order, and it arrives to you in most cases the next day .” If you prefer to watch the interview, you can do so here . Bergen Logistics started to search for a CRM solution with the original focus on the-lead-to-order process. The trigger was the owner of the company inquiring for the status of a lead that he had given to sales a while ago – because the prospect was inquiring. At that time, “ there was a belief [in the sales organization] that it was okay to take three or four d