On stage at Pega World 19 the company announced that it has added new digital messaging capabilities to Pega Customer Service. The new functionality sees the honouring of a commitment it made when it acquired In The Chat last month. Pega Customer Service is now able to integrate virtually any chat or messaging channel. Examples include but are not limited to:
- Facebook Messenger,
- Twitter Direct Messaging,
- Apple Business Chat,
- Google RCS
When asked during a press Q&A whether other In The Chat integrations would be added Don Schuerman, CTO and Vice President of Product Marketing at Pegasystems said that more would follow in the second half of the year. He also stated that the integrations such as WhatsApp that In The Chat had been working on prior to the acquisition would also follow in due course once that work was completed.
Schuerman also clarified that the integration is being done at the platform level, Pega Infinity. Therefore, although the see the primary use case as Pega Customer Services, other Pega Applications can also take advantage once that integration work is complete.
Demonstrated on stage by Kerim Akgonul Senior Vice President at Pegasystems the customer service system was able to switch seamlessly between different messaging channels. The agent viewed the latest message in context with a full history and was assisted by the AI bot where appropriate. It was an impressive demonstration of the capabilities of the new functionality
Why is this important
For B2C (Business to Consumer) organisations the ability to integrate customer engagement platforms with new forms of communication is critical. According to research by Twilio 89% of consumers want to use messaging to communicate with a business.
Through its acquisition of In The Chat Pega now has a platform that will enable it to deliver integration for its Customer Engagement platform to existing and future messaging channels. In The Chat also supports integrations to WeChat, KiK, Line, two way SMS and Social Media messenger services.
Customers of Pega Customer Service can now add new communication channels easily to their platform. This enables customer service agents to interact with a customers preferred messaging app. Customers will no longer need to create individual integrations. The messaging platform that is now part of Pega provides the connectivity. The inference is also that customers are able to switch between recognised channels and, assuming that the identity of the new channel is connected to the customer record, can continue interaction seamlessly.
Kerim Akgonul, SVP of products, Pegasystems commented: “Given today’s pace of innovation, it’s impossible to predict every channel of communication in which consumers find value, leaving many brands overwhelmed as to how to rapidly adapt to these preference shifts. That’s why we start with the customer journey first. With these new messaging capabilities in Pega Customer Service, Pega clients can seamlessly deliver streamlined service processes across messaging channels and easily incorporate new channels as they emerge.”
Messaging plus AI is the future
What Pega is now able to do is to integrate its new messaging capabilities with its existing AI solutions. This is also becoming important. In a recent Gartner blog by Jordan Bryan cited Olive Huang, research vice president at Gartner who said: “By 2021, 15% of all customer service interactions will be completely handled by AI, an increase of 400% from 2017.” If anything that figure may be low as the sophistication of AI Chatbots increases. In many organisations that number will be much higher one suspects.
Enterprise Times: What does this mean
As Pega Customer Service is a component of Pega Infinity it seems likely that it will extend the integration to other elements of that platform. By integrating Pega Customer Service with any messaging channel, Pega has removed the friction from what has historically been a challenge. Now, as new channels appear it is administrators who can add these rather than IT. No longer do developers need to create another integration app. The new solution is available now, though other existing channels have still to be added to the list.