A Look Back: 2021 in Review
By Mandy Reed, Global Head of Marketing
Welcome to Creative Virtual’s annual year in review blog post for 2021! It’s that time once again when we take a look back at the happenings and accomplishments of the last 12 months. That time when we reflect on the highlights of the year for our company and celebrate the latest developments in the conversational AI industry.
There’s no doubt that one of our biggest highlights of the year was being named a Leader in the ISG Provider Lens™ for Conversational AI! Published in March, the report compared 19 vendors based on the depth of their service offerings and market presence. The analysts at ISG found Creative Virtual to be a clear Leader based on our comprehensive solution portfolio and industry experience, emphasizing our long history of developing and delivering conversational AI solutions that provide real results. Here’s Mrinal Rai, Lead Analyst at ISG Research, explaining why we are a Leader in conversational AI:
Mrinal also joined our Founder & CEO, Chris Ezekiel, and Jan Erik Aase, Partner and Global Head – ISG Provider Lens™, for a (virtual) discussion on conversational AI. Their conversation covered current industry trends, the impact of the pandemic, and setting conversational AI project goals. They also discussed the findings of ISG’s research and current successful virtual agent implementations. Here’s a recording of their full discussion:
When ISG held their awards ceremony in October, Chris and Liam Ryan, Sales Director, were able to accept Creative Virtual’s trophy in person from Jan Erik. And while there were no ceremonies for these awards, Creative Virtual was also honoured this year with: ‘Most Innovative Conversational Self-Service Solutions’ in the Corporate Excellence Awards, ‘Best Conversational AI Solutions Provider – London’ in the 2021 Media Innovator Awards, and recognition in The 2021 CRM Top 100 Companies in Customer Service, Marketing, and Sales. We continued our five-year-long celebration of our Queen’s Awards for Enterprise: Innovation 2017 as well, recognising that all of these awards are the result of the hard work and collaboration of our entire global team.
With travel and in-person events still restricted this year, we kept our focus on producing content that could be shared, read, and watched virtually over digital channels. We teamed up with our partner Spitch as co-sponsors of The European Chatbot & Conversational AI Summit, presenting a joint session at the virtual event on combining chatbots with speech recognition to create voicebot solutions. We were also one of the sponsors for destinationCRM’s roundtable webinar Conversational AI: The Future of Customer Service?, sharing insights on how to maximise the benefits of this technology through integrations and personalisation.
We drew on our industry expertise and deep understanding of the conversational AI marketplace to publish a number of educational and thought leadership materials, including:
- Guide to Enterprise Conversational AI Pricing: Calculating the Cost of a Successful Chatbot or Virtual Agent – This whitepaper walks you through budgeting for an enterprise solution, typical pricing models for technology and consultation, average costs for pilots and full systems, and calculating your ROI.
- Conversational AI Doesn’t Have to be a Risky Investment – This checklist explains three steps your organisation can take to minimise your risk while maximising the benefits of a conversational AI project.
- Conversational AI Issues & Solutions: Transforming Ineffective Chatbot & Virtual Agent Projects – This ebook explores six common reasons organisations are unhappy with their current conversational AI project, explaining how each negatively impacts you and how each can be solved to create reliable, successful solutions.
One of my personal favourite ways the Creative Virtual team shares our individual insights is through our annual blog post celebration for Customer Service Week and CX Day in October. This year we had 10 posts from nine authors – Chris Ezekiel, Khushal Hirani, Rachel Freeman, Susan Ott, Maria Ward, Rachael Needham, Björn Gülsdorff, Scott Tompkins, and me – covering a variety of customer experience, employee support, and contact centre topics. I’ve compiled our 2021 collection here so you can easily explore them all.
All of that expertise and our nearly two decades of experience as a company are also being channelled into the development of our next V-Person™ release, Gluon. Gluon includes updates to our chatbot, virtual agent, and live chat technologies as well as a re-architecture of our V-Portal™ orchestration platform. Gluon will enable our customers and partners to create accurate, reliable conversational AI solutions quicker and easier than ever, resulting in better experiences for their customers and employees. Learn more about our Gluon release here and check out this video for a sneak peek:
As we come to the end of 2021, we celebrate the highlights of this year and look forward to the ones the next year will bring. Stay tuned for new educational resources, updated conversational AI research, and our Gluon release of V-Person – coming in 2022!