Nuance debuts Nina for Amazon Alexa, its enterprise virtual assistant for the smart home

As part of a series of advancements in conversational AI introduced Thursday, Nuance Communications, unveiled Nina for Amazon Alexa, its enterprise virtual assistant that integrates with internet-of-things (IoT) device. Nuance delivers Nina as an Alexa Skill, allowing organizations to leverage their investment in Nina to engage through Alexa-powered devices.

By integrating Nina with Smart Home IoT devices, Nuance is enabling a new way for consumers to connect with their bank, airline, telco and retail brands, without needing to dial a phone number. For leading brands, Nuance makes it easy to service customers through new devices, leveraging existing investments in Nuance customer engagement solutions.

Launched in 2012, Nina has since evolved to become a “design once, deploy many” customer engagement platform that supports a consistent experience across Web, Mobile, IVR, Messaging like Facebook Messenger and SMS, and now IoT channels such as the Amazon Echo via Alexa. Nina provides organizations with the ability to efficiently and effectively broaden their customer engagement footprint, as opposed to building implementations separately for each channel.

In this way, Nina lowers the total cost of development and ownership, and also gives organizations control over their brand experience. Finally, by leveraging Nina, organizations can ensure data is secure and private, and is not monetized by other platforms for advertising or financial gain.

Nina leverages Nuance’s unparalleled conversational, cognitive and human-assisted AI capabilities to deliver superior, multi-channel, automated customer service experiences for the consumers. Nina provides an innovative blend of automated and live chat assistance, which delivers high levels of customer satisfaction, and cost savings for the enterprise. The Nuance Nina has been adopted globally by leading brands and organizations, including the Australian Taxation OfficeCoca-ColaDomino’sGaranti BankING NetherlandsIP AustraliaJetstarSwedbankUSAA BankWindstream and more. Most recently, Domino’s Australia announced that Nina is powering the Domino’s DRU Assist virtual assistant.

Nuance Nina has supported real-time messaging through Facebook, WeChat, and more for years. Now, Nuance is enabling live chat engagement that can be interrupted – or asynchronous – over time. Through asynchronous messaging, consumers can friend their bank for example, start a service conversation, put their phone in their pocket, return to the conversation – just as they do with their friends.

Nuance’s agent-side infrastructure enables secure routing, team engagement and analytics that ensure questions are answered. For instance, a text-based conversation can start via an enterprise app, SMS, or Facebook Messenger, and move at the pace of engagement determined by the consumer. More information will be announced in the coming weeks.

Nina Coach enables enterprises to train and deploy their virtual assistant faster through automated learning based on live engagements and hidden human coaches. When the virtual assistant does not know an answer to a question, the conversation is seamlessly escalated to a live chat agent within the same engagement window and includes the transcript and history of the conversation.

As a next step, the VA is trained from the live chat conversation, so it knows the answer on its own the next time. This learning loop between the VA and the live agent creates a seamless user experience while making the natural language understanding (NLU) technology smarter and more accurate over time.

Nuance also launched IVR self-service or agent-handled calls can be moved seamlessly to digital channels when appropriate via live chat or virtual assistants. Companies can speed call resolution and enhance the user experience by integrating the IVR with the power of digital. For example, instead of having a customer wait to speak with an agent on the phone, callers could transfer to a live chat session with an agent on the web or mobile for faster resolution. Or contact center agents can set up a co-browsing session on the web to help customers fix the problem themselves and better learn for the future.

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