Today, I’m excited to announce that I’m joining Rulai as CEO. Rulai is one of the most interesting startups in the emerging category of conversational computing.

We live in an instant gratification economy. Like never before, consumers and employees alike demand fast, frictionless engagement with companies. Whether it is getting quick answers to questions, evaluating and purchasing goods or services, or getting help and support, people have no patience to search through websites, wait in-line, navigate through IVR systems, etc. They demand instant answers on their terms.

Hence the emergence of Virtual Customer Assistants (or chatbots), designed to handle customer requests across digital channels (web, mobile app, consumer messaging apps or social networks). Chatbots will engage with customers wherever they are and provide personalized answers in a fraction of the time it normally takes.

While great in theory, the reality is often quite different. Most chatbots use rule-based decision trees, have poor natural language understanding and limited ability to manage an ongoing dialog. As a result, they get easily confused and customers get frustrated with these ‘dumb bots’.

This is where Rulai comes in. Rulai has developed a ‘next-gen’ Conversational Computing platform to assist enterprise customers with designing and deploying chatbots for a variety of use cases. The company is rooted in academia. Its founding team has a combined 200 years experience in AI research, having published over 400 research papers and 80 patents in advanced AI-based dialog management. As a result, the platform, better than anyone else, is able to understand user intent, manage complex dialogs, and deal with typical human complexities such as switching context, without getting confused. It is able to automate any business process and link to any corporate IT system to orchestrate the right customer experience.

But there’s more. At Rulai, we believe that chatbots ought to be designed by business users. They have the in-depth knowledge about critical business processes and the type of experiences their customers or employees expect. So, even though the platform has complex AI capabilities under the hood, it is architected to be fully self-serve and allow a business user to create chatbots with easy drag and drop capabilities. This allows for fast deployment and iteration, with limited demand on precious IT resources.

At Lyft, one of Rulai’s customers, the chatbot, built on Rulai’s Conversational Computing platform, now handles all in-app customer service requests with a first-contact resolution rate of over 80%, saving Lyft $millions while reducing response times from days to minutes. Rulai has been recognized by Gartner has a cool vendor to watch and by Forrester as the only startup challenging the big players in their Conversational AI Wave.

This is why I’m excited to join Rulai. Conversational Computing has the potential to help companies automate human-centric processes and thrive in the new instant gratification economy. My goal is to continue to serve our existing customers, spread the word to more companies and help them implement human-centric automation. If you’re interested in our story, follow @rulaiinc and @marcvl on Twitter.

Marc


 

About Rulai:

Rulai is a new Enterprise Conversational Computing Platform provider. Rooted in academia, the founding team has a combined 200 years experience in AI research, published over 400 research papers and filed over 80 patents in AI. Its SaaS platform enables companies to build automated chatbots for customer service, marketing, sales, logistics, and HR use cases and has been deployed across a wide variety of industries. Rulai-based bots help companies automate many human-centric processes to create a fast and frictionless experience for employees and customers. Its self-serve platform allows business users to create and evolve bots with minimal use of precious IT resources. Rulai was recently recognized by GartnerForrester, and Bloomberg. For additional information, visit www.rul.ai

About Marc:

Marc Vanlerberghe is CEO of Rulai. He has more than 20 years of experience in executive marketing positions, with a strong focus on entrepreneurial, hyper growth business environments. Prior to joining Rulai he was chief marketing officer at Medallia, a leading SaaS platform that enables companies to capture actionable customer data in real time. At Google, he was vice president of marketing for Access and Energy and advisor to Capital G. He is known for launching Android and developing the brand into the most popular mobile operating system. He also led marketing for Google Play and Google’s hardware and retail organizations. Marc received his M.B.A from Stanford University and his M.S. degree in engineering from the University of Ghent, Belgium.