Intelligent Assistants Conference San Francisco 2017 – Agenda & Presentations

Intelligent Assistants Conference is a foundational event that showcases how brands and enterprises are introducing intelligent assistants for automated digital self-service, conversational marketing and customer service.

Hosted by Opus Research, IA Conference San Francisco 2017 featured FedEx, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Samsung, Facebook, Jordan-Nike, L’Oreal, Royal Bank of Canada, Comcast, IP Australia, and Ageas Insurance, among others.

Sponsors included: Nuance Communications, Interactions, IPsoft, Aspect, Artificial Solutions, Kasisto, Botanic Technologies, Synthetix, Flamingo, ASAPP, Omilia and Next IT.

Through interactive panel discussions and case study presentations, IA Conference San Francisco showcased the role of intelligent assistants as ubiquitous, conversational user interfaces for digital self-service, intelligent devices, chatbots, and mobile apps. Combined with optichannel authentication, these digital services provide a seamless, secure, personalized customer experience.

Below please find featured presentations and customer case studies from Intelligent Assistants Conference San Francisco (Mark Hopkins Hotel, September 18-19).

Monday, September 18, 2017
1:00 PM  –  1:15 PM
Welcome: IA Conference San Francisco

Hosted by Opus Research, Intelligent Assistants Conference showcases the role and real-world capabilities of intelligent assistants as ubiquitous, conversational user interfaces in mobile apps, messaging platforms, over the phone, chatbots, and integrated into our daily digital devices.

Dan Miller, Lead Analyst & Founder, Opus Research
Ravin Sanjith, Program Director, Intelligent Authentication, Opus Research
Derek Top, Director of Research, Opus Research
Amy Stapleton, Analyst, Opus Research
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1:15 PM  –  2:00 PM
Opening Keynote: The Future is Now… Welcome to the Era of the Digital Employee

In this new world of the empowered consumer, Joe Gagnon will share real-life insights and experiences from what happens when you integrate chatbots into the world of customer service, support and sales. Learn how a digital employee can provide immense value to organizations by taking responsibility for those tasks that free agents to focus on higher-value customer-centric activities. The future of work is here today!

Speaker: Joe Gagnon, Chief Customer Officer, Aspect
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2:00 PM  –  2:30 PM
Case Study: DBS digibank

Singapore’s largest bank, DBS, rolled out India’s first mobile-only bank with just one-fifth of the resources of a traditional bank, leveraging Kasisto’s conversational AI platform, KAI Banking. DBS launched the assistant across channels – from mobile to web and Facebook Messenger and from India to Indonesia and Singapore — maintaining an intelligent virtual assistant that can handle 82% of digibank’s customer inquiries.

Tom McCabe, Managing Director, DBS Singapore
Dror Oren, Chief Product Officer & Co-Founder, Kasisto
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3:00 PM  –  3:40 PM
How Continuous, Optichannel Authentication Enables Intelligent Assistance

A panel of experts discuss the capabilities of digital federated identity initiatives evolving from single, enterprise-based authentication mechanisms to continuous, distributed ID&V activities across industries. How do multi-modal, multi-factor authentication systems improve the growth and scalability of IAs?

Ravin Sanjith, Program Director, Intelligent Authentication, Opus Research
Advait Deshpande, Senior Product Director for Biometrics and Fraud Solutions, Nuance
Sean Bohan, Product Manager, Consumer Platforms, Evernym
Kevin Courtney, Director of Product Management, Acuant

3:40 PM  –  4:10 PM
Brands, Bots, and Conversational Commerce

As Metabots (Amazon Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, Cortana, Bixby) — and indeed all intelligent assistants — become a regular part of our digital daily lives, they are fundamentally changing the relationship between how businesses interact with customers. Will this new paradigm position unhook the direct link between brands and their customers?

Wally Brill, Senior Persona Designer, Adecco at Google
Andy Peart, Chief Marketing Officer, Artificial Solutions
Alex Terry,  CEO, Conversica
Amy Stapleton, Analyst, Opus Research

4:10 PM  –  4:50 PM
Keynote Case Study: Intercontinental Hotels Group

How advanced digital self-service and intelligent assistance builds capacity for incident management, service requests and deploying new products.

Scot Whigham, Director of Global IT Services and Support, Intercontinental Hotel Group
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Edwin van Bommel, Chief Cognitive Officer, IPsoft
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4:50 PM  –  5:00 PM
Intelligent Assistants Awards (IAA) Ceremony

Presented by Opus Research, three winners will be announced for the 4th annual “Intelligent Assistants Awards,” showcasing achievements that demonstrate a proven business value to enterprises and deliver innovative, superior customer experiences in mobile apps, messaging platforms, IVR, and smart devices.

Derek Top, Director of Research, Opus Research
Dan Miller, Lead Analyst & Founder, Opus Research
Nicolas de Kouchkovsky, Principal, CaCube Consulting
Amy Stapleton, Analyst, Opus Research
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5:00 PM  –  5:15 PM
Conversation: Reflecting on the Promise of AI

As former SVP and CIO for IT Strategy and Planning at Verizon, Judith Spitz has witnessed the evolution of IT-enabled business and technology strategies. In this interview, Spitz will discuss the opportunities — and challenges — in delivering AI in the enterprise and her current role as founding program director of the Initiative for Women in Technology and Entrepreneurship in New York (WiTNY).

Speaker: Judith Spitz, Founding Program Director, Women in Technology and Entrepreneurship in New York (WiTNY)
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Tuesday, September 19, 2017
9:00 AM  –  9:45 AM
Keynote Case Study: FedEx Leveraging Virtual Assistants, Artificial Intelligence, and NLU

With approximately 12 million shipments a day and a target audience of over 55 million unique visitors to, FedEx collaborated with Nuance to deploy the AI-powered virtual assistant, Nina. To date, the virtual assistant has handled over 6.7 million conversations in North America alone, yielding an 80-81% first contact resolution rate.

Speaker: Gina Maiden, Managing Director, Business Technology Solutions, FedEx
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9:45 AM  –  10:15 AM
Panel: Future of Conversational AI

There’s organic demand for a conversational user interface to all the resources on the Internet or “in the Cloud.” It’s evident to anyone who has watched a 6-year-old turn Alexa or Google Assistant into their personal jukebox. We’ve gathered a group of industry luminaries to discuss how the rest of the world will use their own words (both spoken and texted) to take command of their personal AI.

Sriram Thodla, Senior Director, Intelligence & IOT Lead, North America, Samsung
Ron Croen, Partner, You & Mr. Jones
Brian Roemmele, Founder,
Dan Miller, Lead Analyst & Founder, Opus Research

10:45 AM  –  11:15 AM
Case Study: Nike, Snaps and Facebook Messenger

Working with the product development team at Snaps, one of the world’s leading brands, Nike, will showcase how conversational marketing delivers business value using the Facebook Messenger platform.

Dan Harbison, Global Director Digital, Jordan – Nike
Angelique Kamara, Head of Messenger Platform Partnerships, Facebook
Vivian Rosenthal, Founder, Snaps

11:15 AM  –  12:00 PM
Panel: Building the Business Case for Intelligent Assistants & Chatbots

The onslaught of thousands of bots, virtual agents and enterprise intelligent assistants is a source of stress for customer experience, marketing, contact center and IT professionals. A panel will share the wisdom in building a business case and then executing a strategic plan to deploy intelligent assistants.

Peter McKean, CEO, Synthetix
Tobias Goebel, Director Emerging Technologies, Aspect Software
Dave Parsin, VP, Strategic Sales, Artificial Solutions
Quinn Agen, Business Development, Omilia
Derek Top, Director of Research, Opus Research

12:00 PM  –  12:30 PM
Case Study: IP Australia – Feeding the Brain: Optimizing an IA for Government

Intelligent assistants enter the world hungry for knowledge. With a desire to better engage with Australian customers, federal agency IP Australia worked with Datacom to introduce an intelligent assistant, Alex. Her journey and evolution have surpassed difficult customer requirements, technical challenges, and an ambitious innovative agenda. Alex has transcended the role of an intelligent assistant and become an award-winning brand ambassador for all customer interactions. Come learn about Alex’s journey and the opportunities on the horizon.

Rob Bollard, General Manager, IP Australia
Justin St. Pierre, General Manager, Datacom
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1:30 PM  –  2:00 PM
Case Study: Royal Bank of Canada

How an AI-powered conversational interface became a new convenient service and increased customer satisfaction for Canada’s largest bank.

Lucy Villaflores, Senior Manager, Omni-channel Engagement, Royal Bank of Canada
Kenneth Shiu, Senior Project Manager, Royal Bank of Canada
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2:00 PM  –  2:30 PM
Panel: Intelligent Assistance in APAC | What Can We Learn from Successes

For years digital strategists have looked at China, and the greater APAC region, with awe. End-users are continuously logged on to messaging and e-commerce platforms through their mobile devices and use them for socializing, shopping, banking and simply communicating. With real-world details from the APAC region — and a specific focus on the insurance, industry — this panel delves into the implications of regional usage patterns in the deployment of intelligent assistants.

Valer Merenyi, Regional Director, Digital Strategy and Solutions, Asia, Ageas Insurance International
Robert Weideman, EVP & and General Manager, Enterprise Division, Nuance
Andrea Eichhorn, Global Executive, Watson, IBM
Amy Stapleton, Analyst, Opus Research

2:30 PM  –  3:15 PM
Panel: Redefining UI – Compelling & Conversational Intelligent Assistants

Multi-channel and multi-modal intelligent assistants require a plethora of optional user interfaces including visual, affective, and voice-enabled in order to create a compelling user experience. What makes sense, when, and why?

Christian Petersen, Director, Product Management, Comcast
Mark Freudenberg, Executive Technology Director, frog design
Cathy Pearl, VP of User Experience, Sensely
Mark Stephen Meadows, Founder & CEO, Botanic Technologies
Dan Miller, Lead Analyst & Founder, Opus Research

3:15 PM  –  3:45 PM
Case Study: L’Oréal, Automat

Working with Conversational Marketing innovators Automat, the largest beauty brand in the world, L’Oréal will share how Beauty Gifter has helped consumers discover and buy beauty and skincare products and why they think conversational marketing will disrupt traditional marketing channels like email over the next few years
Martin Aubut, Chief Digital Officer, L’Oréal Canada
Andy Mauro, Co-founder & CEO, Automat

3:45 PM  –  4:15 PM
Panel: Demystifying AI – Enterprise Strategies for Digital Self-Service

For customer care professionals who are defining conversational commerce, it’s important to parse out the meaningful components of “Artificial Intelligence,” which sometimes describes a set of technologies that amount to overkill for customer care. This session brings together experienced, recognized experts to describe how the future of intelligent assistance relies in the ability of enterprises to use technology to elevate, not eliminate, people.

Joe Dumoulin, Chief Technology + Innovation Officer, Next IT
Scott Swope, Head of Strategy, Alliances and Channels, Synthetix
Jay Wilpon, SVP, Natural Language Research, Interactions
Derek Top, Director of Research, Opus Research

4:15 PM  –  4:45 PM
Executive View: Future of Secure, Multi-channel Intelligent Assistance

An interactive discussion, welcoming all opinions — will intelligent assistants truly improve customer experience? What are the challenges in delivering seamless identity & verification strategies to provide secure, personalized services for customers?

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