Cyara has acquired QBox, a UK-based start-up with a tool that provides a comprehensive solution for testing conversational AI applications. The acquisition will strengthen the conversational AI testing capabilities of Cyara. It will enable enterpriser customers to optimize the development, delivery, and impact of their chatbot and conversational AI investments.
Alok Kulkarni, CEO and Co-Founder of Cyara, said, “As organizations accelerate their investments in chatbots, voicebots, and conversational AI, the need for optimization, testing and risk management becomes a critical success factor, to ensure flawless digital experiences are delivered at scale efficiently. This acquisition marks a milestone in Cyara’s journey to provide a comprehensive solution for optimizing AI-driven chatbot and voicebot performance and underscores our commitment to ensuring our customers can deliver a seamless and elevated CX in today’s evolving AI landscape.”
What is Qbox
Founded in 2018, QBox is the second product to emerge from Volume. The first was the ‘Big Brain Chatbot’, a pre-built conversational platform that is independent of any NLP engine. QBox, is a first-to-market SaaS solution that helps companies already utilizing NLP-based chatbots to better understand the quality of their training data to improve overall performance and to scale with a high degree of confidence and accuracy.
Qbox consists of four components:
- QBox Core: Evaluates chatbots, reducing the time and manual efforts required to train them
- QBox E2E: Automated end-to-end testing of chatbot identifying where dialogue flows perform well and where they fall short
- QBox Monitoring: Monitors chatbots in real-time with live customer data to validate where the chatbot performs
- QBox Ops: Integrates chatbot testing into the DevOps pipeline
QBox already has an impressive customer list with enterprise customers, including Vodafone, NatWest, Intuit, SNCB, Sky, and Johnson and Johnson. Leonid Mishkind, Principal Manager AI Platforms at Vodafone, commented, “QBox Corp is a pivotal partner in Vodafone’s goal in improving TOBi across our global markets…”
Chris Sykes, CEO of Volume Group, said, “We are proud founders of QBox, taking it to market in 2019. Handing the baton to Cyara is an exciting new chapter in conversational AI testing and performance management. Congratulations to Alok and his Team.”
Improving the Cyara platform
Combining the strength of the Cyara platform with Qbox will enable Cyara clients to address the full needs of client requirements around chatbots and voicebots within the development cycle and the wider context of the CX cycle.
Qbox brings a mature and powerful natural language processing (NLP)-driven platform that enables organisations to test, deploy and monitor their chatbots. The monitoring function will enable organisations to quickly scale chatbot usage. With the assurance that responses are monitored for accuracy and are improved, ensuring they make informed decisions throughout the process.
Cyara highlighted two areas that QBox will significantly enhance the existing solutions it already has:
It will bring a business approach to Natural Language Understanding (NLU)/NLP Testing: Cyara recognizes the diverse needs of product owners, business analysts, and designers in the realm of NLU and NLP testing. The integration of QBox into Cyara’s portfolio streamlines the testing process, offering a business-oriented approach that aligns with the priorities of these stakeholders. This enhancement will enable a broader group of stakeholders within an organization to ensure the effectiveness of their conversational AI solutions with efficiency and precision.
Live-interaction Monitoring: QBox monitors real customer interactions to identify where the bot is performing well and where it is failing to meet customer needs. This complements Cyara’s approach to bot monitoring whereby we execute a test case to perform a health check and make sure the bot is responding appropriately to critical use cases.
Benoit Alvarez, CEO of QBox, commented, “By joining forces with Cyara, we bring together our unique capabilities to solve more use cases for a broader customer base. Together, we can accelerate the advancement of conversational AI testing solutions and provide organizations with the confidence they need in deploying and managing conversational AI-driven interactions effectively.”
Enterprise Times: What does this mean
Cyara has found yet another Tech tuck-in that should neatly dovetail into its solutions. There are, however, some questions missing. Who on the Qbox team will join Cyara, and what roles will the leadership have? What is the impact on Volume from this transaction, both in terms of personnel and funding for its expansion?
Also, what will happen to QBox customers? As Cyara subsumes the Qbox platform into its own, will it continue to work on the legacy platform, or will it migrate to Cyara’s market-leading one, and at what cost?
This is another great find by Cyara and one that makes sense from a technology point of view. It fills another of the increasingly smaller holes that exist within the Cyara platform.