The Ultimate Customer Experience Creator – Teneo Connectors

Ever wondered what the key to a successful Conversational AI (CAI) implementation is?  Gartner, the lead research and advisory firm on emerging technologies, has some answers.  In their “Guidance Framework for Evaluating Conversational AI Platforms” they offered a detailed step-by-step framework for successful CAI implementations, breaking down the main aspects for enterprises to watch for while looking for vendors. One of the things Gartner highlights is the ability to leverage pre-built integrations:

As you investigate your chatbot use cases, consider the benefits of using the prebuilt capabilities of enterprise application offerings. Significant time and effort go into creating conversations, establishing the required workflow and integrations, and testing and launching the chatbot. Prebuilt offerings directly mitigate this risk and challenge.

What is the value of prebuilt integrations for customer experience

According to Gartner, 92% of the Virtual Customer Assistant implementations are to be integrated with some shape or form of an enterprise application (see figure below). 

customer experience virtual assistant implementations

Teneo offers prebuilt connectors with enterprise systems through both cloud and on-premise APIs.  Teneo connectors allow developers to expose their applications via different channels (web, voice, IVR, mobile, social media platforms, etc.), as well as integrate with backend systems of different types (live chat systems, call centers, CRMs, CMS, RPA providers, ticketing and issue tracking systems, etc.).

Not only does this create more possibilities to create customer experiences across multiple platforms, it also removes the issue of building them for a business itself.

end user channels

“You should leverage prebuilt channel integrations whenever possible, unless your conversational platform cannot or does not provide the channel capabilities.”

 

Teneo Connectors and the Teneo Community 

Teneo Connectors meet specific needs the Teneo Developers community have. 

About 40% of the connectors currently available through Teneo Developers have been contributed by the community itself.  All of these connectors are open-source and openly available for anyone to leverage in their Teneo solutions.  As the library of connectors grows, the community benefits from reduced implementation times in their projects, proven and robust code, updates and extensive documentation for customization purposes. 

Connectors make it possible for Teneo applications to be available through multiple channels: web, messaging, voice, contact centers, IVR, mobile, etc.  Users can interact with Teneo via IVR (Twilio, Vonage, CISCO Connect, Genesys, etc.), messaging (SMS, WhatsApp, LINE, WeChat, etc.), social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), as well as mobile (iOS and Android SDKs are publicly available on Github for Teneo Developers to develop their own apps), voice assistants (Alexa and Google Home), and also through other less obvious channels, like TV boxes or drive-thru systems. 

Teneo integrates with a vast number of backend systems, like Salesforce, JIRA, ServiceNow, Zendesk, Freshdesk or Freshservice for digital workflows and operations.  It also integrates with two of the major global flight search services (Amadeus and Sabre), providing limitless automation opportunities for travel agencies and booking businesses.  Teneo also augments RPA processes with human-like capabilities, by making them more accessible while adding natural language and dialog management dimensions to RPA workflows from major providers like BluePrism, UiPath, Automation Anywhere or Power Automate. 

Bot Framework Developers will find a dedicated number of Teneo Connectors they can leverage within the Microsoft Azure Bot ecosystem: from frontend connectors easily exposing LUIS^Teneo bots through Teams and Skype to backend integrations with Power Automate or QnAMaker knowledge bases, as well as pre-built data analytics Conversational AI dashboards and metrics in Power BI (all of the pre-built KPIs can be fully customized and extended via our patented TQL language and analytics API). 

In addition to these, Teneo Connectors allow for CAI implementations to be extremely modular, even leveraging other NLU providers as part of the architecture.  LUIS^Teneo is our most successful combined implementation, but Teneo can integrate with other Intent engines like Amazon Lex, IBM’s Watson, DialogFlow (ES and CX), pre-trained Deep Learning and Transformer models, deployed Classifiers (from StanfordCore NLP to OpenNLP, etc.), and many more.  There’s no limit as to the level of modularity a Teneo-based architecture can have. 

 

Teneo Connectors in Action 

Frontend connectors facilitate the communication between your channel of choice and Teneo.  They are typically comprised of a Node.js application (available in Github) which can be easily deployed as a “middleware” or web application, hosted locally, through Heroku or via any preferred Cloud service.  The frontend instance will pass on requests to the Teneo Connector, which will make sure to translate the communication into a format Teneo will understand, also handling specific Teneo events like sessions, timeouts, etc. automatically.  Setting up a frontend connector can take from 10 to 30 minutes maximum. 

teneo connectors channel communication

One of our most recent LUIS^Teneo customers, SelectQuote, is leveraging one of our connectors (Vonage voice), which allows agents to transfer calls from their contact center to a voicebot.  The connector was readily available before the project started so the development team reduced implementation times significantly by leveraging its functionality.  The integration was used without any further customizations. 

Backend connectors are meant to integrate your natural language application with different backoffice systems, allowing your bots to create and curate tickets, pull user details from different sources, retrieve answers from specific databases, connect to search services (products, flights, etc.), hand over conversations to agents (along with dialog and user information), etc.  They are typically comprised of a starter solution containing a prebuilt integration with the backend system at hand and a set of intents and flows that will add conversations capabilities to flight searches for instance, the creation of Support tickets in a system like JIRA, etc., etc. 

Adding new Connectors

Oftentimes partners and clients ask this question: What if there is no existing Connector for the enterprise application I am planning to integrate with? 

Our answer is: 

  • Engage with the community, you will be surprised how collaborative of an environment it is.  Earlier this year different community initiatives resulted in a number of contributions from our own developers.  Our Contentful, Shopify, Zoho Desk and Hubspot connectors can attest to that! 
  • In addition to that… our Customer Success will be happy to help!  We thrive in new challenges and are willing to help create new connectors to help you meet your needs while continuing expanding the versatility of a CAI platform we pride in. 

Trust us, prebuilt connectors are an asset you want to look for in a CAI platform in order to create the best customer experience possible. Teneo Connectors have been recognized by analysts like Gartner and ISG, for the enormous value they provide in real CAI implementations.  So please feel free to give them a try!  And sign up for our Teneo Developers Forum, as this will ensure you are notified every time a new connector is published. 

References 

Skowron, Jeffery, and Soyeb Barot. “Guidance Framework for Evaluating Conversational AI Platforms.” Gartner Research, May 2020, ID G00721598.