“There are two chatbot capitals in the world – Austin, Texas and Vienna, Austria!” Amir Shevat, former Head of Developer Relations at Slack, a communication and productivity tool for teams knows what he is talking about. His job is to know bot builders around the world. But Slack is not the only international company appreciating the chatbot hub that has been building here in Vienna for the past two years.
Facebook, as the biggest infrastructure provider for chatbot developers, came to Vienna this January for the second time in four months for an international chatbot meetup. The Facebook Developer Circle Vienna was launched a couple of months ago with an initial event focused on chatbots.
It’s no surprise the international recognition is high: The amount of know-how, hands-on experience and sheer enthusiasm for the technology here in Vienna creates an opportunity nobody wants to miss! Developers, Marketers, UX Designers and Business people are pulling on one string together: make sure to deliver real-life business cases in the chatbot ecosystem.
Passionately working together to create the future
Creating an environment where corporates, as well as startups – such as Swelly, an Austrian startup and one of the biggest bots to date – are open to explore the possibilities of a new technology means one thing: You need enablers. A community that helps, supports and works together. There are plenty of those here in Vienna: Lemmings.io, an incubator helping companies and individuals creating chatbots was one of the first players in this community. The Viennese startup oratio successfully fostered Vienna’s international reputation by organizing the first European Chatbot Conference. At the same time, the startup accelerator & service company TheVentury is investing in & mentoring international chatbot startups with their one-of-a-kind chatbot accelerator in form of hands-on development execution and growth marketing expertise.
Why talk to a machine when you could talk to a human?
A question that has been asked a lot when chatbots first came up. There are very good reasons for using a bot: “A chatbot is a software trying to display and carry out automated processes in a very human way. From a customer service perspective, this means instant answers to your questions. No waiting in the phone line or for a reply to your email. On the other end, for the customer service personnel this means more time to focus on important tasks” says Max Unger, Partner at TheVentury. He has been part of several chatbot projects, including ones with Austrian Airlines and the Austrian insurance company UNIQA. Integrating a chatbot solution into our customer service strategy was an obvious next step”, says Thomas Marek, Product Owner Team Digital at UNIQA. “As an insurance company, we want to provide easy and efficient service options for our customers and sales partners – using a chatbot to automate and improve (parts of) this process for our customers makes a lot of sense for us.”
Outlook – The hype is over
Like every tech innovation the early times are filled with enthusiasm, broad perspectives for the future and a gold rush within the emerging ecosystem. Now, nearly two years after Facebook Messenger gave the chatbot ecosystem a well-deserved boost by opening their platform for chatbot integrations, the bigger part of the existing use cases is still searching for their real-life application and the delivery of business cases.
Hold on: This does not mean bots are not a thing! Bots a here to stay and way more than a hype – but as the Gartner Hype cycle proofs, after every gold rush a phase of depression, reinvention, iteration and adaption to cases and applications that will be of benefit in everyone’s life in the nearest future, follows.
Want to know more about chatbots and potentials that your business can benefit from through the usage of automation?
Get in touch: www.theventury.com