Vonage Buys Conversational AI Provider Over.ai
by Samra Anees
Yesterday, on the same day that Cisco announced it was buying voice analytics provider Voicea, Vonage announced that it acquired Over.ai, a conversational AI provider that offers an AI-powered agent with the ability to engage in conversations in several languages.
This blog explores the reasons behind the acquisition and what this means for the overall voice analytics market.
What is Conversational AI?
Conversational AI—what we used to refer to as AI chatbots—involves the technologies behind application interfaces that accept human input in natural language as text or voice and produce context-appropriate responses; in this case, speech.
Over.ai’s conversational AI technology can augment humans by automating the repetitive and manual tasks in business processes and allowing humans to focus on people-related tasks.
Vonage Shifts to Intelligent Automation
Vonage aims to leverage Over.ai’s technology to enhance its call centers and customer experiences. With this acquisition, Vonage can automate call center interactions, eliminate wait times, and resolve customer issues more quickly and effectively. Over.ai’s toolset serves as a digital assistant that can handle complex, real-time interactions over the phone, schedule calls, respond to feedback, and even initiate calls from other apps, including CRMs.
Along with sales, customer call centers are a popular use case for conversational AI technologies, and Vonage is consolidating that market with this acquisition.
Vonage and Cisco Put Pressure on Others to Invest in AI
While Amazon, Google, and Microsoft have all made significant AI investments as part of their overall Cloud strategy, the moves by Cisco and Vonage are a clear indicator that the race is on to make communications and collaboration intelligent. Aragon was one of the first firms to evaluate the Intelligent Contact Center market (see Aragon Research Globe), but with these moves, the value of meetings and calls goes up because more value can be derived from them.
By being able to automate manual processes and leverage conversational technology to augment humans, enterprises have the ability to get work done more efficiently and significantly shorten time to business outcomes. Acquisitions such as the Vonage Over.ai deal mean that providers who do not start planning for adding intelligence, including conversational AI, to their sales or contact center offerings will be overshadowed by providers who do.
Editor’s Note: Learn more about the voice analytics market and the latest tools and technologies by reading our latest research, Emerging Technologies: The Rise of Voice Analytics.