chatbot, Uncategorized

Chatbot Accelerator Platform

Accelerator Platform

Chatbot Accelerator Platform – Balance between Customization and Speedy Setup

Build vs buy is always a point of debate for IT leaders. Most will weigh the scenarios based on critical factors to take a call. What does the debate look like when you want to implement chatbots in your organization?

General Build vs Buy Factors

Here is the list of the factors which one should consider:

  1. Business need
  2. Cost – One-time vs recurring
  3. Time – time taken to set it up
  4. Alternatives on the table:
    1. Build – Customized
    2. Borrow and consume – Open Source
    3. Buy – Off-the Shelf
    4. Rent – SaaS
  5. Dependency
    1. Future development
    2. White label
    3. Integration
    4. Support
    5. IP & code availability

There are many articles that give a comparison between buy vs build, but here is a quick table that we came up with:

Build Buy
Significant upfront cost Lower upfront cost/ recurring cost
Time taken to build is more Quick deployment
Customization and scale as per need Less or no customization
Greater control on data, code, security Less or no control
Competitive edge/personalization Personalization, only if white-labelled
Integration Compatibility and connectivity issues

How an Accelerator Platform Plays a Role

Considering the pros and cons of build and buy, many ISVs are building a hybrid model to leverage the positive points of each engagement to provide a better, suitable, and personalized solution to enterprise customers. This model consists of building an accelerator platform with a modular component architecture.

A hybrid approach lets the customer choose the components as per their requirement, to plug and play. Many platforms are becoming technology-agnostic to ensure that the customer can choose their preferred technology.

Software vendors providing such hybrid approach accelerator platforms are helping customers build customized solutions with better control and own branding.

Acclerator Platform

zCon Chatbot Framework Components

zCon has created just such an accelerator platform for building customized chatbots, based on the above model.

Conversation Designer (In progress)

 

Conversation Designer is a visual designer tool to allow businesses to define the conversation or workflow for business specific custom chatbot.
Configurator

 

Configurator takes the conversation definitions defined by businesses and creates or updates the chatbot with definition.
Webhook

 

Webhook is fulfilment to provide the response required by end-user when they start conversation with Dialogflow agent. With the help of a webhook, a chatbot can integrate with business specific API to obtain the specific data for the end-user.
Database

 

Databases stores configuration and definition of each and every workflow/conversation. It stores the conversation logs for each end user conversation. So that the data can be analysed by businesses and it can provide better service to the end-user after better training.
Integration

 

The zCon chatbot framework is flexible enough to support integration with multiple platforms. Current integrations supported by chatbot framework are:

    • Google Assistant
    • Google Home
    • Facebook
    • Email
    • SMS
    • Botium
    • Twilio

chatbot_zcon_framework

When we build a chatbot solution for our enterprise customers, we try to understand what is expected from the chatbot and how it needs to act, for which we have created a checklist:

Checklist for Bot Development

Expected role of bot Information gathering/ sharing, transaction/activity
Communication Channel SMS/Text, Email, Messaging App (FB, WhatsApp), Voice
Conversation Mapping and Architecture  Input / Output
Workflow Design

 

Steps, Activities, Turning Points
Integration Design Internal or third-party systems
Sample data

 

For Initial testing data.
Technology and components design

 

Ready APIs, Platforms
Technology implementation & development

 

Internal development capability or external
Sample data testing and bot training

 

Continuous evolving data set
Bot deployment, retraining and support Deployment, Configuration, Performance Management

The zCon platform accelerates chatbot deployment for your business,  while providing all the customization needed.

The benefits of chatbots are well known. If you are looking for a chatbot solution, we offer a POC of our accelerator platform for chatbots. We would love to let you try it out. Get in touch with us as sales@zconsolutions.com

 

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