For the past 18 months, enterprise bot meetups have brought together founders, developers and platform representatives to share best practices for enterprise bot development.
The last major Botness Enterprise meetup was during SXSW in Austin, which I helped organize with Ben Brown from Howdy. It quickly became apparent that one major stakeholder group was missing from the conversation: customers.
Today, that changed—a group led by Rob May from Talla is organizing the Enterprise Bot Customer Conference at Work-Bench in New York. The event is bringing together, for the first time, CIOs and IT purchasing managers from companies like Forrester Research, Forbes, and Conde Nast to discuss how they are using bots in the workplace. The venue was filled to capacity with more than 80 enterprise bot customers attending.
Founders from ten enterprise bot companies are co-sponsoring the conference: Statsbot (Artyom Keydunov), Spoke (Jay Srinivasan), Polly (Samir Diwan), Troops (Dan Reich), Zoom.ai (Roy Pereira), Talla (Rob May), Growbot (Justin Vandehey), Sudo (Francisco Larrain), Plato (Jean-Baptiste Coger), Careerlark (Ellen Choi). Each of them invited guests and each took a few minutes to present their product offering and share their roadmaps.
The day kicked off with panel discussions about how IT, HR, and sales teams are using bots internally, with what opportunities there are for bots to have impact in those functional areas. Panelists talked about the security and compliance needs faced by large enterprises, and the challenges in rolling out new tools and processes across disparate teams.
The afternoon included speed-dating, pairing enterprise bot companies with five potential customers for rapid fire meetings, followed by short presentations from enterprise messaging platforms.
The biggest takeaway from the Enterprise Bot Customer Conference is that there’s currently a shift in conversation towards understanding the needs of customers, and we’ve been discussing at length how bots are evolving to meet those needs. This evolution in the conversation should be welcomed by all, as it marks a huge step forward for the enterprise bot ecosystem.
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