Koodo and Area22 bring Alexa voice skill to Canada’s mobile consumers

28 Feb 2018

The Amazon Echo. Image: George W Bailey/Shutterstock

Irish software platform Area22 is at the bleeding edge of voice and AI-based customer engagement.

Koodo Mobile, a subsidiary of Canada’s main telecoms operator, Telus, has launched a new skill with Amazon Alexa to subscribers in Canada using a platform built by Dublin tech firm Area22.

The service enables its customers to, among other things, top up their mobile phones, examine and explain their bill, make a call, send an SMS, and receive new offers – all through a conversational interface using natural voice.

‘Our philosophy is that voice is a very different channel’

Speaking with Siliconrepublic.com at the Enterprise Ireland stand at Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona, Area22’s product director, Paddy Greene, explained that the platform enables organisations to deliver context-specific deals and services using the Amazon Alexa platform.

Area22 also works with devices that use the Google Home platform.

Voice AI is the new front-end customer experience

Koodo and Area22 bring Alexa voice skill to Canada’s mobile consumers

Paddy Greene, product director, Area22. Image: John Kennedy

“Our philosophy is that voice is a very different channel and, unlike data, that is present in a web browser. Once we have customers using the service live, the platform can gather data and learn and ultimately deliver contextual response by employing machine learning and delivering an enterprise roadmap.”

He said that, for example, customers asking Alexa if there is a problem with their bill or service can trigger an enterprise response to a problem but also teach the platform to tailor the right responses.

Dublin-based Area22 develops software products using machine learning and AI to build the next generation of voice engagement solutions.

Its technology provides mobile operators with a full voice engagement stack or a voice-first channel that helps build trust and engagement with customers.

“We are amped to be working with Area22; it’s early days but we see this technology really helping us drive service engagement with our customers while minimising overheads,” said Bernard Szederkenyi, director of product marketing at Koodo.

“Our customers stay up to date with the latest technology and they expect us to stay at the forefront of digital enablement. This is one more way we’re meeting their needs.”

The Amazon Echo. Image: George W Bailey/Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years