AI, much like Pepsi a couple of decades ago, would appear to be the choice of a new generation. Or at least a new generation of marketers. There are a very small number of PR pitches coming through my inbox that doesn’t make some mention of how the vendor in question is applying AI to their particular solution. Often it is simply a buzzword with no substance behind it while, at other times, there is actually something to be seen.

And so it was interesting to hear from WalkMe, a company I’ve been a fan of since its very early days. WalkMe is a very simple concept, that users individuals often need help as they learn to use a new application. WalkMe also fulfills a secondary requirement, that application vendors, especially those looking for mass market uptake, want to reduce their cost of service as much as possible. And so, to fulfill these dual objectives, WalkMe produces a solution that gives users contextual help, within the application they’re using. As the name suggests, WalkMe is a virtual first aider that walks users through the different parts of using the application in question.

Only a few years old, WalkMe has grown fast and now claims that it is used by over 1,000 companies globally, including more than 25 percent of Fortune 500 companies.

Anyway, on to the AI part of all of this. WalkMe is today announcing a new part of its solution, WalkMe Artificial Intelligence (AI) Predictive Analytics. Apart from the fact that is a huge mouthful to get out, what does it actually mean? The idea is that the AI part of the solution will anticipate user actions within applications and, in doing so, identify user needs before they arise. In doing so, WalkMe promises to offer preemptive actions and suggestions which should hopefully accelerate onboarding, increase user engagement and ultimately give an uptick to adoption.

Like WalkMe’s existing offering, this new offering sits on top of any enterprise software or native mobile application, enabling organizations to determine the statistical likelihood that a person will stop using the solution – typically due to a poor user experience.  Slurping up data points such as browser type, timestamps, and insights into a user’s interaction within the system allows WalkMe to make some pretty accurate assumptions. Perhaps scarier, for those of the “Big Brother is watching you” conspiracy leaning, on mobile applications, WalkMe’s technology can also identify the physical state of the person using the app – such as whether they are standing, sitting or on-the-go.

WalkMe’s co-founder Repheal Sweary manages to ignore all the creepy aspects of this and articulate the benefits saying:

Organizations across every size and sector invest hundreds of millions of dollars globally in technologies that they believe will deliver a greater customer experience – only to find that they have incorrectly anticipated the user’s needs. If someone is out for a morning run, for example, it’s clearly an unsuitable time for a bank to ask them about a home loan they were interested in – a better time may be in the evening when they’re relaxing at home. Using WalkMe AI Predictive Analytics, organizations now have real data and predictive insights at their disposal: a formidable tool to transform user adoption.

MyPOV

It’s all too easy to accentuate the “Big Brother” aspects of this but, to be honest, the value WalkMe brings to application creators is really huge. I’ve used applications which have WalkMe embedded into them and they really do ease the onboarding process. While I’m looking forward to the day that the addition of AI into an application isn’t anything newsworthy, for the moment that’s across we’ll have to bear. In doing so, we get a whole bunch of utility from WalkMe

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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