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Barista AI Understands 1.3B Phrases Out-of-the-Box

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First Virtual Support Agent for Employee Self Help to Integrate with Interactive Voice Response Systems, Reducing Help Desk Call Volume and Increasing Workforce Productivity

SANTA CLARA, Calif., October 14, 2020 Espressive, a pioneer in artificial intelligence (AI) for enterprise service management (ESM) and a 2019 Gartner Cool Vendor, today announced its AI-based virtual support agent, Espressive Barista, now understands 1.3 billion phrases across 14 major enterprise services teams and 9 languages. Barista represents a paradigm shift in the delivery of AI-based employee self-help. Powered by an advanced natural language processing (NLP) engine and sophisticated machine learning capabilities, Barista bridges the gap between AI and the semantics of human language. Espressive also announced that Barista is the first virtual support agent to integrate with Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems for enterprise service management. The new integration reduces help desk calls by offering direct access to Barista for employees on hold, providing answers in three seconds. With Barista, enterprises can benefit from the highest help desk call deflection, while increasing employee adoption and workforce productivity.

“Many people question whether AI really understands what it reads. After all, it doesn’t have the common sense to understand human language,” said Pat Calhoun, founder and CEO of Espressive. “We believe you can solve this issue by bridging the gap between AI and the semantics of human language with enough data, sophisticated technology, and talent. We recognized that the success of Amazon Alexa and Google Home is predicated on a high degree of accuracy due to millions of consumers who use them daily in addition to an army of data scientists, computational linguists, developers, and machine learning engineers tuning the AI engine behind the scenes. So, we designed Barista to replicate that model. I’m proud to announce that today, Barista understands over 1.3 billion enterprise phrases with a high degree of accuracy, and that number grows daily. That’s why our customers experience the highest ticket deflection in the industry.”

Crowd-Sourced Model and Advanced NLP Engine Deliver Highest Ticket Deflection

The company’s unique BaristaEmployee Language Cloud brings the consumer experience of Amazon Alexa and Google Home to the enterprise world through a crowd-sourced model. This enables Barista to learn through every customer’s employee interactions — each of which experience tens of thousands of interactions a month — and contributes to the 1.3 billion phrases Barista now recognizes. Additionally, if Barista gets an answer wrong or doesn’t understand a question, the Espressive team of data scientists and computational linguists receives a fully anonymized version of the interaction to tune and improve Barista. Customers run in their own private and secure data repositories and can choose to opt out of uploading the anonymized content to the Employee Language Cloud. Regardless, customers benefit from receiving updates.Unlike virtual support agents that are only optimized for IT, Barista is the only enterprise service management solution that recognizes phrases across 14 major service teams, such as IT, HR, facilities, and payroll. Employees can also interact with Barista across 9 languages including English, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, Czech, German, and Japanese. Customers can deploy Barista in as little as six weeks with a measurable ROI on day one.

Phrase recognition is only half of the equation. A virtual support agent must be able to deflect tickets by providing immediate personalized answers, so agents never need to be involved. Barista receives content in a number of ways:

  • The Employee Language Cloud includes researched answers for industry topics (e.g., G Suite, Slack, Zoom). Answers are consistent wherever someone works, freeing subject matter experts to prioritize proprietary content.
  • Every time an agent closes a ticket, Barista can learn and add content based on this interaction.
  • Barista easily ingests knowledge articles without the requirement for training, and even improves upon the knowledge base article experience for employees.
  • Any subject matter expert can add content leveraging the FAQ Management Tool that is intuitive and easy to use.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Increases Call Deflection and Workforce Productivity

With the new IVR integration, Espressive expands its omni-channel capability. Customers can now offer Espressive Barista as an option when employees who call the help desk are placed on hold, deflecting calls from the help desk. Employees can also receive answers in three seconds instead of waiting minutes to hours on hold, resulting in higher productivity and less downtime. The IVR system can simply link to the Barista Get Help interface or to specific Barista workflows (e.g., password reset or VPN access).With the new IVR feature, Barista:

  • Integrates with IVR systems to decrease hold times: When all agents are busy, these systems queue employees up and advise them of their estimated hold times. Some systems ask employees if they want to be called back, rather than wait in the queue.
  • Enables customers to configure activation and notifications: Customers can configure activation based on being simply put on hold or based on voice prompts. The notification channel (e.g., push, text, Slack, Teams, or email) can be configured based on the customer’s preference. Customers also have the option to be as basic or specific with the voice prompts employees hear when contacting the help desk.
  • Sends customized notifications: Upon selecting a specific voice prompt, employees will receive a notification via push, text, Slack, Teams, or email. Employees can then click the notification to be taken to the Barista Get Help interface or into a specific workflow based on their selection. If customers choose to simply send a notification to all employees who are put on hold instead of implementing voice prompts, employees who click on the notification will be automatically taken to the Barista Get Help interface.

For more information on Espressive Barista, request a demo here.

About Espressive

Espressive, the pioneer in automating digital workplace assistance, and a 2022 Forrester New Wave Leader, redefines how employees get help by delivering exceptional employee experiences. Barista, the company’s virtual support agent (VSA), brings the ease of consumer virtual assistants, such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home, into the workplace. Barista automates resolution of employee questions, issues, and requests with personalized experiences that result in employee adoption of 80 to 85% and reduced help desk call volume of 50% to 70%. Espressive is backed by Insight Partners, General Catalyst, and Wing Venture Capital, and is headquartered in Santa Clara, California. Visit for more information.

Media Contact

Pam Njissang
Bhava Communications for Espressive