Tenth Anniversary

A Look Back: 2014 in Review

11 Dec 2014

2014 in Review

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

It seems like only yesterday that we were sharing our first blog posts of the year talking about trends for 2014 and announcing our 10th Anniversary celebrations. Looking back, it certainly has been a busy and exciting year both for Creative Virtual as a company and for the customer experience industry.

We kicked off the year with a 10th Anniversary celebration complete with cake, our #CV10Years blog series and lots of photos of Creative Virtual team members wearing our fleeces around the world. While we were celebrating, we were also hard at work and welcomed three new virtual assistants to our V-Person™ family in January. Read more

Our 10k for the RSPCA: The Aftermath

15 Jul 2014

post-10k blog

By Rachel Freeman, Head of Operations

First, the important bits: we are all in one piece, we ALL did it and we surpassed our fundraising goal of £1,500 to almost £1,700 for the RSPCA! We thank all of our colleagues, friends and family for both financial and emotional support in preparing for this race!

I cannot believe that I am now writing the “yay we did it and aren’t we awesome and Thank You” blog when it feels like only a few weeks ago that I was writing the first blog announcing Creative Virtual’s 10th Anniversary plan of a 10k for the RSPCA. Read more

Our 10k for the RSPCA: The Final Push

02 Jul 2014

Lucy, David & Jeff - 10k

By Lucy Hamilton, Junior Administrative Assistant

With the British 10k London Run around the corner on 13th July, the focus for our 12 member team is set on training and a final fundraising push. Since starting our fundraising efforts back in April, we’ve raised a staggering £1465 with the help of colleagues, friends and family – 97% towards our £1500 goal for the RSPCA.

Training has been ramped up week by week with everyone improving on their personal bests, despite several of the team recovering from running injuries. The latest achievements include a 7k run by Rachel and Tracey racking up 8k geocaching with friends. Read more

Our 10k for the RSPCA: An Update

29 May 2014

Animal Selfies

By Rachel Freeman, Head of Operations

The countdown to race day has started! As I’m writing, we have raised 42% of our overall fundraising goal of £1500 with exactly £630. It’s a great start since we are running in 6 weeks, but we still have a way to go to our first milestone of £1000 which we hope to reach by 1st June.

Since first announcing our endeavours to raise funds for the RSPCA, we’ve raced virtual chickens, donned animal onesies and most recently gotten funky with makeup to create amazing animal selfie shots – kudos to Tracey, Leah and Lucy on that. Read more

#CV10Years – The Faces Behind the Magic, Part 2

16 May 2014

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

As 2014 continues, so does our celebration of Creative Virtual’s 10th Anniversary. We recently announced our participation in the British 10k London Run in aid of RSPCA (check out our JustGiving page for details) and will be carrying on with our fundraising efforts in the lead up to the event in July. Watch for a training and fundraising update from the team soon.

We’ve also been adding to our #CV10Years – The Team & Our Fleeces photo albums on Facebook and Google+ as we continue taking our fleeces with us on our adventures. Now that the last remaining fleece deliveries are complete, we’ll have even more photos to share—including another collection of smiling team members from across the globe. Read more

#CV10Years – Our 10k for the RSPCA

25 Apr 2014

By Rachel Freeman, Head of Operations

As Creative Virtual celebrates 10 years of being in business, the incentive to recognise it with fun and innovative markers is great. Our global Marketing Manager put us through our paces reminding us (or our pets) to wear our 10th anniversary fleeces in weird and wonderful places and, as we are only in April, the year is still young and there are many places to go.

Rachel Central Park

Rachel takes a break from her 10k training in Central Park on a recent trip to NYC

As a keen but fledgling “runner” I thought that suggesting a 10k run for 10 years would be a challenge – if not for anybody else then certainly for me as I’ve only ever run a maximum of 6k and I needed an excuse for a new goal. Read more

#CV10Years – A Day in the Life of a Junior Development & Support Technician

17 Apr 2014

By Ferenc Csepregi, Junior Development & Support Technician

Don’t let the title mislead you – this article is not just for ‘techies’ and in no way will aim to bore you with difficult technical terms. Instead, I hope to give you an insight into what it’s like to be a part of both Creative Virtual’s London-based team and the company’s international Technical Team.

On this particular morning it’s a lovely warm and sunny day, and I’m holding a fresh cup of coffee. During my walk to the office, while sipping my beverage, I cannot resist stopping for a second to stare a bit at the jaw dropping view of those golden sunrays reflecting from the side of Canary Wharf skyscrapers. Read more

The Challenges of Starting and Growing a Company

15 Apr 2014

By Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO

Chris Ezekiel

Creative Virtual’s Founder & CEO, Chris showing off his 10th anniversary fleece

Reaching the ten year mark as a company really does make you reminisce. There are many good stories to share of course which we are doing as part of our #CV10Years series of blog posts; but as the Founder & CEO of Creative Virtual I wanted to share some of the *interesting* challenges we have faced over these ten years.

Trying to get money from the bank

The biggest challenge at the start is always one of funding. I believe the UK was then a relatively difficult country to start and grow a successful business. Read more

#CV10Years – V-Portal™ is Revealed to the World

25 Mar 2014

By Peter Behrend, Chief Technical Officer

For the first part of the company’s history, Creative Virtual was focused on providing natural language virtual assistant solutions as a standalone self-service solution. As our solutions became more sophisticated, additional possibilities for service channels began to emerge, and consumer preferences and expectations changed, it became increasingly obvious to us that the future of our technology would be much more than just virtual assistants. And so we embarked on a mission that resulted in what you today know as V-Portal, our multi-channel knowledge management, workflow and business intelligence tool.

V-PortalWe officially announced V-Portal to the world in October 2012, but that was by no means the beginning or the end of our journey. Read more

#CV10Years – NRE’s Lisa Sets the Stage for Video Avatars

20 Mar 2014

By Maria Ward, Head of Web Services, Virtual Zone Ltd
NRE's Ask Lisa

Many of you who have travelled by rail in the UK have probably come across Ask Lisa, National Rail Enquiries’ intelligent virtual agent, perhaps even letting her help you plan your journey. Lisa has been a fixture on the NRE website since July 2007 when she was first launched by the The Virtual Zone in collaboration with Creative Virtual.

When Lisa debuted nearly seven years ago, she became the first virtual assistant deployed with this technology to use Flash Video of a real person for the avatar. While Lisa has undergone several makeovers and is now a static cartoon-like character, she set the stage for the video avatars that followed. Read more

#CV10Years – A Day in the Life of a Junior Administrative Assistant

06 Mar 2014

By Lucy Hamilton, Junior Administrative Assistant

Just call me Lucy of all trades, master of all! My job title might officially be Administrative Assistant, but on any given day I need to wear what sometimes feels like a million different hats. From office manager to travel agent to receptionist to meeting coordinator, I do it all. It’s my job to provide support for the operations, technical, sales and marketing teams and keep the London office running smoothly.

Lucy & her Minstrels to the rescueA typical Monday morning is kicked off with a pit stop at the local Tesco for milk and a feeble attempt to resist the chocolate aisle. Read more

#CV10Years – A Day in the Life of a Junior Knowledgebase Engineer

26 Feb 2014

By Peter Studd, Junior Knowledgebase Engineer

If you’re thinking ‘what exactly is a Knowledgebase Engineer’, don’t worry. You aren’t the first one to ask me that question. In a nutshell, I program Creative Virtual’s virtual assistant implementations to understand natural language queries. Much of my work is done within V-Portal™, our platform designed specifically for the creation, updating, testing and deploying of virtual assistants. On a typical working day you will find me sitting in front of my computer focused on making updates to the natural language conditions of one of our projects.

I plan my day based on taPete hard at worksks my colleagues assign to me within V-Portal and from special requests sent through email. Read more

#CV10Years – The Faces Behind the Magic

19 Feb 2014

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

In the first post of our #CV10Years blog series, Founder & CEO Chris mentioned a special anniversary gift presented to Creative Virtual team members and partners as a token of appreciation for helping the company reach our tenth anniversary. As you probably guessed from the photo in that post, this gift was a Creative Virtual branded fleece! We thought our gift (which has been referred to by one employee as ‘that sweet wearable’ and recently received a string of compliments from a flight attendant) would be the perfect excuse to pose for some photos and give you a peek into the people behind the Creative Virtual magic. Read more

#CV10Years – We’re Recognised for Innovation

13 Feb 2014

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

One of the biggest highlights of 2013 (a year of lots of exciting milestones) for Creative Virtual as a company was winning a Silver Stevie Award in the category of Most Innovative Company of the Year in Europe. If you missed our big announcement, you can read the press release here and Founder & CEO, Chris’ blog post here. Or better yet, watch this video of Chris accepting our trophy at the awards gala in Barcelona in October.

Lots of organisations throw the term ‘innovation’ around, claiming to have innovative products and ground-breaking solutions even when their offerings are anything but. Read more

#CV10Years – V-Person™ Goes Dutch

06 Feb 2014

By Erik Braun, Director, Benelux

In December 2012 Creative Virtual launched Ask Sabine, a virtual assistant for Dutch bank NIBC Direct. This was a significant event for two reasons: this was the first deployment for our newly established Creative Virtual Netherlands office and it was the first non-English implementation for the company, with the virtual assistant interacting with users in Dutch.

NIBC Direct

NIBC Direct takes great pride in providing superior customer service to their customers, and has found that Ask Sabine extends that high level of service to their website. Since implementing their V-Person, the organisation has routinely experienced 30% call deflection from their call centre and reports positive feedback from customers utilising the 24/7 self-service solution. Read more

#CV10Years – Celebrating our 10th Anniversary!

16 Jan 2014

By Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO

10th Anniversary Cake

Happy 10th Anniversary Creative Virtual! When I founded Creative Virtual just over ten years ago, I could only dream that the company and our technology would have come this far by 2014. It is an exciting and momentous milestone for me personally and for all our employees and partners around the globe.

Another recent milestone for us was hosting our first-ever Global Partner Meeting at Creative Virtual’s headquarters in London last month. It was a thrill for me to stand in front of a full room that first morning and welcome attendees representing eight different geographic regions to what has become a landmark event in the company’s history. Read more