Makers of bots with the Howdy Botkit may now choose to include customer relationship management service bCRM automatically, according to leaders at both companies.
Botkit is made by Austin-based Howdy. The toolkit can make bots for half a dozen chat applications, ranging from Slack to Facebook Messenger to Skype.
bCRM is made by security firm Metacert and allows a bot maker to manage and track the effectiveness of messages sent to Facebook page followers or Slack teams. It can be used to manage campaigns, track who read a message, and customize message delivery time based on time zone. It even gives a bot creator the ability to send a message to a select group of recipients or to the individual team member who installed the bot.
“My goal is to make it super easy for agencies and developers to automatically get a CRM with campaign management capabilities as soon as they build a chatbot,” Metacert CEO Paul Walsh told VentureBeat in a Skype conversation.
bCRM is the first integration Howdy has provided for Botkit that isn’t fundamental to a bot, like a natural language processor (LUIS, Watson Conversation) or access to a database.
“The ability to send messages to your user base is crucial and kind of a pain to do right with respect to time zones and personal preference,” Howdy cofounder Ben Brown told VentureBeat in a Twitter Direct Message. “So we thought it would be very very useful to Botkit devs.”
Additional plugins and middleware are planned for Howdy in the coming weeks, Brown said.
A year ago, when Slack announced that developers can make bots for Slack and the creation of an App Directory, Howdy worked with Slack to provide them with the Botkit open-source framework.
Today, Botkit can also make bots for Facebook Messenger, Twilio SMS, and Slack. In October, Botkit integrated with the Microsoft Bot Framework, extending Botkit’s reach to Telegram, Skype, Microsoft Teams, and Office 365.
Since the launch of Botkit a year ago, dozens of platforms have popped up to provide businesses, developers, and the rest of the world with the tools needed to create bots.
Bot-making toolkits range from those offered by tech giants like Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon to toolkits from startups like Chatfuel and Octane.ai, who claim you can build a bot in five minutes or less, no coding required.