Microsoft Partners with 24/7 To Change The Future of Customer Service

Microsoft Corp. and 24/7 Inc. have announced their agreement to bring Microsoft’s interactive, self-service technology together with 24/7 Inc.’s predictive consumer experience technology into one unified cloud platform. The agreement includes Microsoft merging its interactive self-service assets (including people, clients and technologies) into 24/7 Inc., as well as a Research and Development (R&D) partnership, long-term IP licensing, and Microsoft securing an equity stake in 24/7 Inc.

In response to consumer expectation for service delivery that is more natural, intuitive and intelligent, Microsoft has positioned itself as a pioneer in the natural user interfaces (NUIs) movement. The use of gestures and speech across a broad range of devices has changed the way in which consumers interact with technology, companies and one another. This trend had dictated a need for businesses to gather, analyze and gain insight by using “big data” to proactively anticipate and predict customer needs. Vast quantities of data (namely, “big data”) require scalable solutions for the effective storage and analysis of large volumes of structured, unstructured and semi-structured data, such as text, web or application logs, documents, images, email and web pages.

Microsoft has harnessed the power of “big data” for customer service by using Internet-scale data and advanced analytics. Their agreement with 24/7 Inc. will involve a merge of technologies that encompass interactive self-service across mobile, Web and voice channels, “big data” analytics, and speech and conversational interfaces, to create a next-generation cloud platform of customer service. This combined Predictive Experience (PX) platform will manage over 2.5 billion speech and online self-service interactions annually, while 24/7 Inc. will be positioned to generate total revenues of more than $250 million annually with the delivery of their customer-orientated services and solutions.

“The ability to exceed customer service expectations through “big data” analytics across all service channels offers unique value for businesses,” said PV Kannan, CEO of 24/7 Inc. “By bringing Microsoft’s interactive self-service technology together with 24/7 Inc.’s predictive consumer experience technology into one unified cloud platform, we will deliver solutions and services that truly enable businesses to differentiate through customer service.”

Moving forward, Microsoft will utilize speech and natural language technologies for intuitive user experiences in customer service, while 24/7 Inc. will be integrating its solutions with Windows Phone, Bing and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Microsoft and 24/7 Inc. have also agreed to a long-term IP licensing agreement that provides broad coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio for speech-related technologies.