Here’s a pretty safe prediction.
Predictive software will continue to develop until every possible customer situation is covered.
Today, startup Altocloud is emerging from stealth mode and releasing what it says is the first predictive analytics solution with machine learning for real-time communications like chat and phone calls.
Or, as Altocloud is calling it, “predictive communications.”
The Mountain View, California-based company, which is also reporting it has raised $2 million in seed funding, has been testing the software in a private beta since March of last year.
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This kind of predictive analytics offers suggestions as to whether the next best move by a website or a call center is, say, a live chat, a product discount offer, a video call, a phone call — or nothing at all. Machine learning helps a software solution to “learn” better performance with each result.
Altocloud monitors “your activity on a website or a mobile app [and compares] your behavior to that of other customers who have been on the website before,” CEO and cofounder Barry O’Sullivan told me by email. His previous experience includes a stint as a senior vice president at Cisco, heading up the WebEx and telepresence businesses.
Predictive technology is becoming standard fare in many marketing and customer care solutions, either integrated, as in Salesforce’s recent enhancement, or add-on, as in CustomerMatrix’s “cognitive computing” solution.
O’Sullivan admits that Altocloud is “certainly not the first to use predictive analytics to help sales.”
But, he said, “we believe we are the first to apply analytics and machine learning to ‘in-the-moment’ live customer interactions.”
“Traditional communications and phone-dominated contact centers continue to deliver horrible, disjointed customer experiences,” he said, such as “‘press 1 for this and 2 for that.'”
“No one has yet brought [analytics and machine learning technologies] to real-time communications.”
Altocloud’s “execution framework” enables real-time website interactions like chat, or it can integrate with marketing automation platforms so they can implement the recommended actions.
In this increasingly crowded competitive landscape, O’Sullivan points to his platform’s unique combination of benefits.
Altocloud also serves as an enhancement to traditional contact center systems like Cisco, Avaya, and Genesys, he said, and complementary to marketing automation platforms, such as Marketo, HubSpot, Eloqua, and Pardot.
This most recent funding round, which brings to $3 million the total raised since the company’s founding in October 2013, was led by Delta Partners, Digicel Group, and ACT Venture Capital.
The new money will be used to increase sales and marketing, further develop the product, and strengthen partnerships with e-commerce and marketing automation vendors.