Katella.ai is in Beta!

Today we launched the first beta for katella.ai, a productivity assistant powered by AI.

Katella connects to popular Enterprise apps (Jira, Github, Google Calendar, Salesforce, etc.), enabling users from within Slack to query and submit information using natural language. Katella also summarizes important data and action items across apps and deliver to the users (or their channels) daily.

Why are we doing this?

An average Enterprise user uses 5 to 10 different applications daily (Outlook for calendar, Workday for HR, Jira for project management, etc..) and constantly have to manage these different workflows. This introduces context switches, a lack of clarity on a global to-do list, and depending on the level of discipline may slow down other team members. Katella aims to tie all these applications together and pushes actionable insights to you every morning through the Daily Glance. The goal is to bring Inbox Zero’s productivity across all your apps.

We are also seeing the shift from email to instant collaboration, giving to the rise of Slack and the always-connected employees. Instant data access is critical, and this is where the traditional Enterprise systems fall short. Finding and retrieving real-time data from them is hard and cumbersome. How many times have you gone through the exercise of logging in to a system, navigate through a myriad of links and pages, only to find your answer hidden in a giant page of contents? Katella extends the Single Sign-On concept. Instead of merely taking you to an app’s homepage, users can now request/submit data directly from/to all these systems, in real-time in English, all without leaving your favorite communication platform.

Data clarity, minimal context switching, instant real-time access — we believe Katella can help improve employees’ productivity.

What’s in this beta?

We are focusing on developer productivity in this early version, so Jira, Outlook / GCal, Github, and Pivotal Tracker are supported (the rest are turned off for now).

  • Katella has a full-fledged Natural Language Understanding engine:
  • Katella is designed for team collaboration. It’ll automatically append relevant context to your shared URLs (Jira issue, Github pull request, Tracker story,…).
  • Push data to your team’s channels — showing out-of-office notices, highlighting your Github hero, or making sure everyone is up-to-speed on their Jira Sprints.
  • Katella automatically summarizes and delivers actionable items across all your Apps to you daily.
  • Schedule meetings, crack a joke, translate languages, or look up a person, Katella is like your very own office assistant.

What Katella isn’t …

Katella is not a traditional chatbot (although it can be) where you would make a conversation with it. It is designed to be transactional (get me peter’s phone number, request next Monday off, get my top opportunities, etc…) for the business use-case.

What’s next?

It took us 7 months to get Katella up and running. In addition to the supervised machine learning engine, we built a flexible self-service configuration platform. This allows us to rapidly add skills (capabilities for an App), as well as connecting to new Apps, all without additional engineering work.

We’ll be exposing this functionality shortly to allow teams to create custom workflows for their own use-cases, all without coding, the need for hosting servers, nor prior knowledge of AI or Natural Language Processing.

Meanwhile, check out Katella today on the Slack App Directory. You can send feedbacks to feedback@katella.ai, or directly to vu.le@katella.ai.

Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com on October 19, 2017.

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