IBM’s Watson powers Invoca’s call analysis suite


IBM’s Watson cognitive computing platform is almost a victim of its own fame. Watson famously beat all-comers to win the Jeopardy game show a few years ago. At the time, the general public (helped, it has to be said, by IBM’s marketers) assumed the win was an indication that, in short order, smart computers would be everywhere and intuitively making the right decisions in every situation.

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Since the Jeopardy win, however, IBM seems to have had a hard time finding good market fits for Watson. This isn’t a criticism of IBM in any way. The reality is that while many consumer brands apply artificial intelligence (AI) to their products (think Amazon book recommendations, Google maps smart routing or Apple’s Siri) most existing examples have been from those companies building AI tools themselves. There are far fewer examples of enterprises leveraging a third-party cognitive platform to build into their own applications.

I sense a change is coming, however. Many other technology vendors have started commercializing their own internal machine learning tools. (Yes, I realize that there are differences between cognitive computing, AI and machine learning. But at a very coarse scale, and from the perspective of this article, I will use the terms interchangeably.) Google, Microsoft and Amazon Web Services have all opened up parts of their own machine learning platforms for other organizations to use—whether it be sentiment analysis, image recognition or pattern matching.

Invoca’s Watson-powered Voice Marketing Cloud 

So in light of the slow, but steady adoption of these tools, it is interesting to hear from Invoca about its use of Watson. But first a small intro to Invoca. The company offers a platform that allows marketers to gain insights into the customers calling them. Invoca, in something a little bit like Big Brother, analyzes customer calls to indicate why they are calling, analyze what is being said in conversations and generally understand the voice aspects of conversations. The company has an ecosystem of integration partners, allowing it to “inject” call awareness into broader customer journeys.

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