Espressive Barista: An Easy-to-adopt Virtual Agent

By Fran Fernandez, Chief Product Officer
November 30, 2022

Espressive was named a leader in The Forrester Wave™: Chatbots for IT Operations, Q4 2022. The report states that “Espressive is a good choice for companies looking for easy-to-adopt virtual agents for employee automations and a partner that’s willing to guarantee their success.

That’s exactly what we set out to do when we founded Espressive – build a solution that ensures the best employee experience while achieving the promised return on investment. Our experience at ServiceNow demonstrated that customers do not have the resources lying around to build a virtual agent that understands human language, so the vendor must do it for them.

In this blog, I will share my thoughts on how our product strategy and design make ease of adoption and deployment possible while delivering the highest deflection rates in the industry, guaranteed.

Barista Employee Language Cloud

From the beginning, we knew that being successful required us to own the success of our customers. Most organizations that built their own chatbots fell far short of expectations. So, we broke the mold to help organizations approach AI differently. Hence, the Employee Language Cloud was born.

The multimodal learning used by our Employee Language Cloud ensures that we use every single interaction across all our customers as an opportunity to learn – done in a way that is secure and ensures the privacy of every employee. In fact, the Forrester Report gave Espressive a 5.0 for Security and Privacy. Our architecture has delivered a virtual agent that today understands over 3B phases, while constantly growing, across 14 departments, and in 109 languages – on day one.

The Forrester report states that, “Espressive’s strengths lies with its ease of deployment and its employee language cloud, lowering the customer adoption burden.” The Employee Language Cloud ensures that our customers can deploy quickly without having to rewrite or reformat their knowledge articles…it simply understands without customers needing to lift a finger. This is supported by the 5.0 scores that we received in Language Training and Language Sourcing criteria.

The Barista AI Pipeline/Engine

While having a comprehensive language model is critical to a great experience, it is equally important to ensure that the virtual agent leverages the most advanced and cutting-edge natural language processing (NLP), natural language understanding (NLU), and machine learning (ML) capabilities. One advantage that we have with our language model is that while we solve a wide range of use cases, we focus on automating employee assistance.

Due to our background in working in the service desk as well as leading products at ServiceNow, we have a deep understanding of why employees contact the service desk as well as the reality of a day in a life of a service desk agent. In short, we know what agents do daily, and the processes they use to resolve employee issues.

This led us to an architecture that is built around and virtualizes the processes that agents do – from engaging employees to understanding the root of an issue to managing the burdensome processes that come with an outage. We were excited when the Forrester report called out Espressive receiving the highest score possible in the Chatbot Readiness criterion within the Current Offering Category. Specifically, Espressive received a 5.0 for predefined models and language sets, premade workflows, and deployment time.

Maximizing Employee Adoption

Given our past experience with employee adoption of ITSM service portals, we knew we had to think differently about how our platform would be used by employees. The philosophy of “build it and they will come” failed in prior self-help approaches, with average adoption rates achieving less than 15%. What we learned is that humans are creatures of habit and will use whatever help channels have worked for them in the past.

That meant that we had to solve this issue without requiring employees to change their behavior, which led us to be the first with an extensive omni-channel approach. Today, we can intercept communications across nearly every channel used by employees looking for help including Slack, Teams, SharePoint, email, phone, IVR integration, via an app, Sharepoint, embedded within applications such as SAP, and even on the ServiceNow portal.

My Thanks To Every Espressionist, Partner, And Customer

Having been in the product management space for some time, I know that building a great product requires three main ingredients; a killer engineering team, a well thought out architecture that enables us to add new capabilities in a very efficient manner, and forward-thinking customers who want to partner with us to achieve the unachievable. That is why I am perhaps most proud that we achieved the top score for Product Vision.

I invite you to read a complimentary copy of the report here. It is easy to find us in the Vendor Profiles section – Espressive is listed first.

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