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CRM AI is the top topic at PegaWorld 2017

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Large enterprise customers demonstrate novel uses of Pegasystems' CRM platform for business process management as Pega leadership, users mull the potential of CRM AI.

Artificial intelligence -- with all of its faults and successes -- was the main topic at the recent PegaWorld 2017 conference in Las Vegas, with keynotes, breakout sessions and the 4,000 attendees discussing the CRM industry's latest trend.

But how can enterprises harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI) without it spinning out of control and becoming less useful -- or even working against company policy and potentially violating regulations against discrimination? Governing CRM AI, it seems, will be a hot topic moving forward as implementations expand among sales and service teams. That will likely be affected by creating rules engines that respect regulations, as well as extensive testing of AI and machine learning tools before a company brings them online.

Pegasystems, based in Cambridge, Mass., held its annual user conference in early June, and its opening keynote, in which CEO Alan Trefler called out his competitors for overhyping CRM AI tools, received its fair share of attention. But, more importantly, there were several stories from customers such as Coca-Cola, Sprint and GM presented at PegaWorld 2017, outlining the way the company's platform automates real-world business processes.

Pegasystems CEO Alan Trefler at PegaWorld 2017
Pegasystems CEO Alan Trefler calls out other vendors for overhyping the potential of CRM AI during his PegaWorld keynote presentation in Las Vegas last week. (Photo by Don Fluckinger)

"It's about figuring out the right channels and the right moments to engage with the consumer -- and not only that, but that the engagement results in a purchase," said Kushala Silva, Coca-Cola's group director of innovation and emerging technologies.

In addition to customer testimonies, spoke with several executives at PegaWorld 2017 about how not to abuse customer contact channels and the importance of not being too personal or too frequent when reaching out to prospective customers.

Hear about these stories and more from last week's conference on the latest Pipeline podcast.

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Did you attend PegaWorld 2017? What was your takeaway?
We Amforma IT Private Ltd, really liked the topic, we will be sharing this on our social media network. 
Thank you.
Hi, Jesse

Wanted to share a few comments Nimble CEO/GoldMine CRM pioneer Jon Ferrara made during a recent interview w. Constellation Research's R. Ray Wang on this topic:  

"I truly don’t believe that AI has gone to that sort of autonomous thing where they can take over, suggest stuff to us and help us and assist us. I do believe that the voice stuff is amazing. Now when I can call a company up and not have to sit through talking to a human where the voice can actually properly take care of things, that’s amazing.

"But I truly believe that the more digital we get, the more human we need to be. 

I think where we’re going is CRMs at work for you by building themselves from the data that’s already in and around your business -- and not just your email and contact stuff -- it’s your sales, marketing, customer service, accounting, and social media apps."

"Right now there’s five islands of information in your company, six if you count email, and they don’t really talk to each other.  Most businesses don’t have a relationship management system or shared contact database because Office 365 and G-Suite have separate contact databases for every team member, and email and calendar aren't connected to the contacts, so you don’t have context history of interaction. and you don’t have insights -- who are they and what are they about.  

"What I think we all need is that relationship system that builds itself of the underlying operating system of your business which is G-Suite or Office 365 today."