• November 26, 2019
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Virtual Digital Assistant Use Cases Expand

The use cases for virtual digital assistants (VDAs) by businesses are expected to expand greatly within the next five years, leading the market for such applications to reach $8.9 billion by 2025, up from $1.8 billion last year, according to the latest research by Tractica.

The report notes that significant advances in combining natural language processing (NLP) with other forms of artificial intelligence (AI), primarily machine learning and deep learning, are making VDAs more intelligent and useful. These advancements and other market factors have expanded the use cases for enterprise AI-driven VDAs beyond customer service and marketing into other applications that will generate significant direct software revenue, the firm says.

Among its uses, VDA technology will become an increasingly important interface for both external and internal business functions. External use cases include handling customer service, marketing, and commerce transactions, while internal use cases include running enterprise application software, productivity and collaboration applications, and administration functions.

The technology, Tractica notes, is more than 10 years old now, pointing out that companies seeking efficiencies and automation for customer service began experimenting with applications that leveraged NLP more than a decade ago. Tractica has identified e-commerce and sales, business applications, and healthcare as the areas where the most significant direct software revenue will be generated.

Over the next three to five years, Tractica expects natural language AI to continue to improve and sentiment and emotion recognition AI to evolve, which will contribute greatly to the growth of VDAs.

"While the use of VDAs has not reached mass-market adoption at either the global or country level, the market for AI-driven enterprise VDAs is beginning to show signs of maturity, particularly for the customer service and marketing use case," says Tractica principal analyst Mark Beccue. "VDAs in these application areas are becoming more common, and vendors are able to show real-life ROI."

Key vendors highlighted in the report include Alterra.ai, Amazon, Artificial Solutions, Cognicor, Creative Virtual, CX Company, Flamingo AI, Google, Interactions, IPsoft, Kore.ai, LivePerson, Microsoft, Mya Systems, NoteSwift, Nuance Communications, Oracle, Pypestream, SAP, SmartAction, Smartsheet, Synthetix, and Woebot.

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