The 2018 CRM Service Rising Stars: noHold

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Virtual assistants are supposed to decrease the level of effort by customers and contact center agents to complete basic tasks, but building and deploying them can be a monumental task. Milpitas, Calif.–based noHold is on a crusade to democratize the process with its Albert virtual assistant as the framework.

Albert is the basic element of noHold’s SICURA QuickStart platform, which the company launched at the close of 2016. The QuickStart PRO version of the SICURA platform, which came out in February 2017, made Albert available for commercial use. With it, anyone with a basic understanding of Microsoft Word or Google Docs can create chatbots. Albert can be trained with the documents companies use every day, such as product manuals or employee handbooks. Users simply select or create the documents they want to convert, add the appropriate headings, and save them. They then hit the “Teach Albert” button to upload their documents, click the “Launch Albert” button to ensure that the information was captured, and copy the URL that is created to launch the bot and share it with others.

During the past year noHold also integrated Albert and the SICURA platform with a number of other key business and customer communications systems. In March, it launched a connector to Amazon Alexa, allowing that virtual assistant to communicate with Albert. In July, a new connector integrated SICURA QuickStart with Salesforce.com. More recently, the company released a Google Assistant Action in November. Dubbed Albert AI, it allows Albert to connect to Google Assistant.

Previous integrations have tied Albert and the SICURA platform to Facebook Messenger, ServiceNow’s knowledge base, Cisco’s Spark and WebEx communications platforms, and about a dozen other systems.

Albert himself also got a makeover, with a number of new features added during the year. Chief among them was an algorithm that allows Albert to analyze entire documents—both headings and content—to determine what the end user is asking, and the ability to create a list of synonyms for business-specific words. Albert also offers a customizable user interface that allows companies to add their own branding, and weekly metrics that relay usage statistics in real time. 

Next up for the company, says noHold CEO Diego Ventura, is a conversational interface for databases. Should be a piece of cake if Albert has anything to say about it. 

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