All posts by Sukrat Ray

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Bots Without Conversation

Earlier this year, we had seen the hype about bots at its peak when Facebook opened its bot platform for messenger and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella went on to predict that bots will be as big as apps. But today it seems that the hype has somewhat cooled down and people have started asking “What was the big fuss about?”
 
We at ZiPi agree with everyone else so far, there has not been a killer bot uptil now that is even close to what the hype promised, yet we remain bullish and optimistic about bots. It has only been a few months and the technology itself is in its nascent stage, we are doing everything with the best of our capabilities to deliver what has been promised in the least possible time.
 
One thing that has been evidently clear in the learning so far is that the emphasis of conversational commerce has been a mistake and the problem with the conversational aspects of bots is the fact that natural language processing and artificial intelligence are yet not accomplished in handling human like conversations. Industry experts have expressed similar views across the globe and so had Siddharth (our COO) rightly pointed out in his blog ‘AI v/s UI’ on May 11.
 
So Why are Bots the next big thing ? The point is that the time people are spending on chat applications is unparalleled and bots enable people to do more while they are there, creation of these experiences inside the chat for the user is what makes the bots so amazing. Despite of the conversational aspect bots have a lot of value propositions to offer, few out of which are

 

  • Adaptable:- Bots are extremely easy to use as there is no new app to download, no new account to create and no new interface to learn.

  • Consolidated:- Instead of numerous similar looking and similar working apps on your mobile home screen, you can find all the bots in a chat like interface occupying extremely low storage in a single app on your phone

  • Apps in Messages:- All have agreed chat to be an indispensable tool for customer service. Rather than adding a messaging layer to all the apps, bots offer a role reversal by adding everyday apps of the user into messaging.

 

WeChat has completely taken over China. It is not a conversation based service, instead a lot of instant interactions and the reasons for its success as an exosystem are pretty much the same as we offer.

  • Frictionless access to apps
  • Sharing related discovery (as well as QR codes)
  • Standardized UI
  • Messaging as the gateway to new digital experience


These are early days and there are still few missing pieces in the puzzle and the Eureka moment for the bots is still to come. Our soon to come developer platform will help us thrust forward towards delivering on our promises. The developers will open a gateway of innovation for the bots.

 

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Made in India. Made for India

India is a born leader, and like many of the countries leader have believed, India is destined to play an extremely important role in leading the world in the right direction. For India to truly play the role it is meant to, it is extremely important that it realizes its potential to the fullest. Eyeing at this dream Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi flagged the Make In India campaign in September 2014 which cannot be achieved without achieving a completely Digital India, a campaign he flagged in June 2015. Keeping this as the base we in October 2015 started working on a platform which envisions these dreams and is a truly Made In India product, primarily Made for India but has the potential to take on the world.

 

The biggest tech companies globally, in their road map into the future have put great emphasis on Chat Bots and we are able to see their work take shape but the problem is that none of these giants are building the products with India in mind. India is a land of great diversity, language here takes a twist at an average of every 3 Km, there are a lot of factors which may seem completely unrelated to the business but have a huge impact on how the customers interact with a business. The requirements of the business and the expectations of the customer from the business is much more varied in India as compared globally.

 

In the Indian market building and deploying Artificial Intelligence is a humongous task, piling on which there is a challenge to implement NLP (natural language processing) due to the varied dialects and language patterns spanning only a few kilometers. We have built ZiPi keeping in mind the same, for us AI has a completely different perspective, for us it is Assisted Interface.

 

We believe that if it isn’t for Assisted Interface, nobody will be able to build a product truly for India and with a vision to include everybody in it. Any product that is not using Assisted Interface will find itself restricted only to a very small population of this vast expanse. Therefore, we believe that ZiPi truly is a product Made in India. Made for India

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The Next Big Paradigm

The history of personal computing has seen many small shifts and changes; it is only gradually, when these small changes are put together do we get a paradigm shift. Personal computing at large witnesses’ a paradigm shift every decade and before we reach to the next big paradigm shift, it is only fair that we walkthrough the previous ones. Now most of our team members were not even born when personal computing was revolutionized by what is largely remarked as it’s first paradigm shift, The Personal Desktop Computers.
 
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Now in the mid 80’s the personal computing was completely transformed by developers who wanted to go that extra mile to deliver an unparalleled computing experience and give features that were never heard of by means of desktop softwares. This gave birth to a major developer ecosystem which became the stepping stone for the paradigm shifts to follow. But soon as is human nature everybody started wanting more and softwares having user end domination had high development costs and the cost of upgrades which either required a workforce to upgrade or yet another download.
 
By Mid 90’s with people growing agile to softwares and improved network speeds were standing on the gateways of the web era. In this era the browsers became the platforms while website became its means. The advantages of this era was that it was cheaper to build and highly dynamic, this meant no more downloads for upgrades. The developers started building the website for anything from specific use cases to mass generalization. It was this time in which the so called tech giants of today rose to power. But there is one difference that looks microscopic which was actually the backbone for victory of websites over softwares, the major efforts in building a software was deployed at the user end whereas it changed to the server side with websites.

 

Then came the new millennium along with which came the age of mobile phones. In the mid 00’s the smartphones dominated the entire industry and was the major reason for the paradigm shift of this era. Here the Mobile OS was the platform which grew its popularity by means of Applications. The small screen added mobility and enabled its widespread to billions of people. Apps much like the softwares, was highly managed at the user end and therefore it had the same set of problems as the softwares, high cost of development and upgrades. There are millions of apps with lesser number of users and also the learning involved with so many apps is creating problems for the user. An average user switches only within half a dozen apps in a given day. We are truly apped out!

 

Now we are looking at the dawn of this new paradigm shift into the world of chat. Messaging platforms is the word on the streets and they will grow immensely by means of the chat bots. Chat bots offer the same advantage over mobile apps that the website offered over softwares with a few add-ons such as a universal interface. Since the chat bots are accessed from the messaging platform itself and need not be downloaded the users can switch smoothly between bots and use many more bots available on the platform.

 

History repeats itself and the developer community is betting big on chat bots, like previous eras this one will also create opportunities for new leaders to emerge and challenge the current leaders of the industry

It is time to welcome this new creative technology disruption Chat Bots.
 

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Chat Bots v/s Mobile Apps

Around all this chatter about chat bots where most of the giants agree that chat bots are the apps of the future and the next big thing, there remain a few who still believe that bots are still too nascent to make those claims and answers to questions like, how will people react to having businesses on chat? How will users discover new bots? Will the bots be able to handle nuances of multiple languages and dialects? and many more.

 

Whatever lies in the future of the chat bots, people tend to follow new market trends and it is important for the brands and the business to do the same. Amongst this chaos we bring 6 reasons why brands and business should launch a chat bot rather than a mobile application

 

  1. Flavor of the season – Messaging
  2. The messengers have overtaken the social media as thee popular mode for social communication. Facebook alone has close to a billion users each month using its messenger service, while We Chat has close to half a billion users only in Asia. Messaging has seen and is still seeing unprecedented popularity with the users, people are hooked to messengers and they are slowly emerging as the alternative home screens for millions of smartphone users against mobile applications.


  1. Lower time and cost of development
  2. By launching chat bots unlike mobile apps you have instant access across multiple operating systems. There is no requirement of you having previous design or development experience nor does it require to hire dedicated and specialized resources for multiple platforms. With chat bots you can go live almost instantly, there is no need to spend a lot of time and money on development making it a very hassle free and cost effective solution for brand and the business.

 

  1. Easy and cheaper user acquisition
  2. User acquisition has become extremely difficult as the app download rate is seeing a 20% decrease year after year. A study done by May Meeker 65% of all users download no new app in a typical month. 85% of the time a user spends on his phone is spent on 3-5 apps (usually dominated by the giants) which makes access to mobile real estate for new applications extremely difficult and expensive. Further in this overcrowded space of mobile apps has made getting discovered on google play store and apple app store generically very challenging. Chat bots are instant and requires no additional resources of the user, this means less effort on optimizing app, less efforts on getting users to download application, universal interface means less money to be spent on user awareness of the features of the application, all these factors result in easy and cheaper user acquisition

 

  1. Easily reengage lapsed users
  2. Mobile applications stats show that after spending exorbitantly on user acquisition an average of 23% of the users abandon the application after the first use. While 60% of them use the application less than 10 times. Sending out mobile notification to reengage the users doesn’t work because they tend to uninstall the application almost instantly. This has not been the case with messengers. Messengers combined have seen an average of 50 minutes per day usage by a smartphone user. Also since the users do not have to install the bot to use it, they don’t have to uninstall it and therefore it is easy to reach out to the customers who abandoned the application for whatever reasons. Even in the case of applications dedicated for bots, the users are working on multiple applications and the experience with one bot in particular does not force them to abandon the complete platform.

 

  1. Increased user engagement
  2. Chat is more intimate and personal and that is one factor that is one factor because of which chat based interfaces are wining. Conversational interface is faster & simpler thus more user friendly. According to Hyatt they have seen a rise in customer satisfaction level after and increase in conversation after the launched customer support across messaging platform owing to which the are extremely excited about working with a chat bot which not only provides customer support but also facilities of checking availability making reservations and ordering room service. There are billions of messages being exchanged between the users and the business across various messaging platforms and chat bots is only going to give it wings.

 

  1. Higher click through rate
  2. We all are aware of the low open rates, click rates and reach of emails, in app notifications and social media posts, but take a moment and try to remember how often do you ignore your messenger notifications. Though chat bots may broadcast messages at scale but it reaches to the user in a more intimate one to one conversation format thus increasing the chances of people going through your chat bots message may be just with a glance but definitely going through the users eye.

 
So the question that each brand and business needs to ask before mobile app development is that Will this app be able to compete with the likes of Facebook, Google, WhatsApp and Instagram? Is mobile app development really worth my time and money? Are my customers happier to keep my app? Does my business actually benefit from making this app?
The moment you as a brand or as a business have answers to the above question you will have the same logical approach as everyone else ‘Let’s build a chat bot.’
 
 

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What and What Not of ZiPi

ZiPi is a new generation app-store build on latest technology (Conversational interface, Chatbots) connecting customers with businesses, services and organization in real time via easy to use interface.

 

It is difficult to accept something new often because of no precedence. When you innovate the world is filled with questions and it becomes extremely difficult to explain what you have achieved or the magnitude of the impact it will create. ZiPi is a innovation and there is nothing similar to it across the globe, this blog is an insight to What ZiPi is and What it is not.

 

Before we begin to explain ZiPi, let us give you an understanding of the reasons we felt the need to innovate and develop ZiPi and what are the problems it actually addresses.

 

BUSINESS NEEDS BARRIER
The customers are getting mobile friendly and the business wants to keep pace with its customers and extend convenience. Technology is expensive  let alone the cost involved  in user acquisition and retention.
Business want to stay in control of both their business and customers. They do not want intermediaries and certainly don’t want to share exorbitant commissions with aggregators Poor understanding of technology and lack of online presence for the customer forces the business to associate with aggregators.

 

USER NEEDS CURRENT SOLUTION
In the fast paced life, convenience and pace of getting things done has become crucial. Apps have proven to be a successful in extending the convenience. But the user has to choose from multiple apps providing the same service.
Mobile storage is limited and user often keeps on installing and uninstalling apps for its use followed by the effort of learning new interfaces. There is no effective solution to address these problems for the user.

 

WHAT is ZiPi

There are multiple ways to explain what ZiPi is :

  1. A new generation app store to host applications and ecosystem to interconnect apps.
  2. A universal conversational interface for apps.
  3. A commerce enabled ecosystem for apps.

WHAT ZiPi IS NOT

    • ZiPi is not an AI driven Chatbots like NiKi.ai, FB Messenger bots, Slack Bots, Telegram Bots etc.

 

For one thing, people are lazy — it’s easier to click a button, as we do on apps and websites, than to type out a whole sentence that the bot may well not understand.

And people don’t write well. The text they input may be full of grammar and spelling errors and colloquialisms that are bound to confuse the hapless AI.

 

As a result, many users get frustrated with bots that simply can’t understand their requests, and even does the opposite of what they’re asking for.Instead of just using free-text communication with a bot, ZiPi uses interface presenting options to the user and guide them through a decision-making process creating new UI.

 

Please note: We believe as of yet, AI is not completely ready to speak with users. When it come to chatbots, UI not AI is key.

 

    • ZiPi is not a AI driven personal assistant application like Haptik, Helpchat or Lookup

      Personal Assistant Apps have seen a sudden surge in the Indian Markets but we strongly believe that personal assistant apps will prove to be effective in providing service in cases with long and very specific queries in cases where

 

      1. The user is not in a hurry to resolve his queries.
        Ex:- I am planning a trip with family to Australia in June what are the best packages.

 

      1. The user has a very particular task at his hands for which he has no clue how to accomplish
        Ex:- I have got a flat tyre on the highway and no one nearby, can you help?


ZiPi is an app store where even personal assistant apps can be hosted. We do not provide service but a technology platform where the service providers can make their apps and leverage on interconnectivity with other apps.

  • ZiPi is not Justdial on chat

    Reiterating what is stated above, Justdial has done a phenomenal job in getting the phone numbers of any business you want and they would be the best people to provide the same service on chat as well. We are providing a technology platform with universal interfaces to built apps over it.

 

WHY WILL USERS LOVE ZiPi

ZiPi app store is the answer to all user problems .

  1. Multiple Applications for multiple tasks
  2. Limited Mobile Storage restricting the number of apps the user can keep
  3. Universal Interface for all applications across various businesses and services.
  4. When it come to chat bots we have focused more on UI then AI

 

WHY WILL BUSINESS LOVE ZiPi

ZiPi app store is the answer to all business problems .

  1. Easily Accessible and Affordable Technology
  2. Way to bypass middlemen and aggregator resulting in higher profits
  3. Self controlled customer front end.

 

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