Nuance Expands Nina to the Web and Beyond

Nuance Communications today announced a major expansion of the multichannel capabilities available with its customer service virtual assistant, Nina, and now offers support for the Web, adding text-based virtual assistant capabilities to enterprise Web marketing, e-commerce, and support applications.

Nuance unveiled Nina, in August 2012. Nina combines Nuance speech recognition, text-to-speech (TTS), voice biometrics, and natural language understanding (NLU) technology hosted in the cloud to deliver an interactive user experience that understands what is said, and can also identify who is saying it. Nina has since been updated with support for 38 languages and also supports 13 text-input languages.

The Nina Virtual Assistant Platform is comprised of Nina Mobile and Nina Assist, and the new expansions enabled by Nina Web, Nina Agent and Nina IQ Studio.

"With our solution, you can use virtual assistant capabilities inside of existing mobile applications with the Nina Mobile SDK, you can do NLU in the IVR through Nina IVR, and you can now add virtual customer service conversations to your Web site through Nina Web," says Robert Weideman, executive vice president and general manager of Nuance Enterprise Division.

Nina Web can also intelligently route conversations to live agents, with connectivity to systems such as LivePerson, Moxie, and others. Nina Agent provides human-like customer service conversations via text or speech interactions, using Nuance NLU, and connectivity to CRM, ERP and database systems, and works with all browsers.

"With Nina's new intelligent routing capabilities, what we've found is that for some chats where we have live chat capabilities like Moxie, you can actually take a customer conversation and if you're not able to resolve a problem, it can not only hand it off seamlessly to a live chat agent, but it can actually be routed over to an agent who is most skilled to handle a conflict," Weideman says. 

Nina Web also includes technology embedded from VirtuOz, an online virtual agent provider that Nuance quietly acquired in January.

"Nuance deserves credit for defining and delivering the first multichannel assistant and advisor," says Dan Miller, senior analyst and founder of Opus Research. "The introduction of Nina multichannel positions virtual assistants as ubiquitous helpers that, like "always on" customers, seem to be everywhere at once. They are on mobile devices, on the Web and inside the contact center. Plus they are well-positioned to help take control of cars, consumer electronics and kitchen devices. For people who have wondered whether the future would bear a greater resemblance to The Jetsons or Star Trek, we're getting our answers now. The two visions are not mutually exclusive."

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