Ultimate.ai’s Reetu Kainulainen meeting SAP’s CEO Bill McDermott at the SAP.iO Berlin Foundry

How an AI-powered Contact Center Solution Can Save $62 Billion in Lost Sales

In a world centered on providing unparalled value to customers, companies are investing heavily on improving their customers’ experience. Yet, despite advancements in diversifying communication channels, there has been little improvement in workflows. As customer service demands keep rising, today’s response times still lag behind expectations. Most agent-focus remains on manually searching for answers to copy-and-paste into chat windows. It is estimated that inefficiencies like these result in horrible customer experiences and are costing US companies as much as $62 billion a year in lost sales.

Artificial Intelligence can be a powerful solution in this arena.

The combination of a visionary Customer Contact solution with ultimate.ai’s language agnostic AI layer can enable SAP customers to significantly augment agent work. By leveraging ultimate.ai’s deep learning algorithms offered in often under-serviced geographies/languages (such as Finnish), the solution provides reply suggestions for agents in real time, enabling a faster and better customer experience.

Since launching last year, the easy-to-implement product has garnered the attention of leading telcos, e-commerce businesses and government agencies around the world and has already won SAP customers. Ultimate.ai is also partnering closely with SAP Hybris to become a fixed feature in the new Engagement Center solution to help save agents around the world from tedious and repetitive tasks; the company’s solution was even demoed by Hybris at SAP’s TechEd!

But how did all this happen? And in the span of a little over a year (the company was founded in Helsinki in November 2016)?

Reetu Kainulainen, ultimate.ai’s CEO, attributes the company’s success to his team of world-leading AI specialists and viking-blooded sales-people, but also one strategic move: joining the SAP.iO Foundry, Powered by Techstars Accelerator in 2017. Applications for 2018 are now open!

We sat down with Reetu to find out more about his company’s journey during the program, and to uncover the milestones the 9-people-team were able to achieve in just 13-weeks.

Q. What were ultimate.ai’s main objectives for joining the SAP.iO Foundry?

Reetu Kainulainen, CEO, ultimate.ai

Reetu: Ÿwe joined the SAP.iO Foundry to create a long-lasting partnership with SAP and to accelerate our route-to-market with SAP’s large array of global customers. We also looked forward to receiving the transformative benefits of a mentorship-driven accelerator in optimising the vision, strategy and execution of our team and we were not disappointed. We were able to pitch our product to over 20 global customers and to participate in both SAP and SAP’s customers’ Innovation days. We were even invited to participate in SAP events (e.g. SAP Forum in Basel and Lufthansa’s Innovation Day) which really helped us position our product and greatly strengthened our brand.

Q. So, Reetu, why SAP?

Reetu: Ÿultimate.ai targets enterprise clients who experience significant customer service demands; SAP has a wealth of such clients in their network and is a trusted partner to them. As ŸSAP is a global market leader in Contact Center solutions; collaboration here was likely to produce significant synergies.

The program helped us realize the global potential of our business. Through mentorship from SAP, Techstars, and the wider ecosystem, we were able to rationalise our vision, strategy and execution. We now know our next steps, and have the network to accelerate them.

Q. What kind of acceleration did you experience through the program?

Reetu: we were Ÿthe first SAP.iO Foundry portfolio company to integrate with SAP’s Contact Center which enabled us to work closely with SAP and develop great partnerships.

We also developed a solid value proposition, highly effective sales materials, demos and product processes that are appealing to SAP’s customers which then opened us up to an even larger market.

Additionally, we also completed joint reference cases with SAP clients and converted them to signed clients. In the last weeks of the program, we were able to reach agreements to deploy pilots Ÿwith major SAP customers (who we can’t name)!

Q. What are your (near) future plans for ultimate.ai?

Reetu: we are working on extending our joint sales and development activities with SAP and establishing our headquarters here in Berlin, as well as finalising our seed funding round. Technically, we are also expanding our product for bespoke solutions in Arabic, German and Norwegian.