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JeevesOne Enterprise Digs Deep for Answers

The capability for information-seeking customers to delve deep into a corporation’s core business applications is the key component of JeevesOne Enterprise.Its key selling point is that it allows customers to use a corporate Web site to retrieve relevant answers to more questions, freeing up a business’ contact center representatives for more complex telephone queries.

Jeeves Solutions, the enterprise software division of the Internet search company Ask Jeeves, has combined newly acquired technology with its own self-service application to create the JeevesOne Enterprise application.

Acquired Octopus

When Ask Jeeves bought Octopus Software earlier this year, it acquired technology that enabled the mining of structured data within core business systems. In addition, Octopus had developed sophisticated data presentation capabilities.

Prior to the Octopus acquisition, Jeeves already knew that when people asked questions on a company Web site, many of the answers existed in unstructured documents published there. However, the company also realized that a great deal of information was not available –residing within structured databases and core business systems that the enterprise used, such as SAP order management or PeopleSoft human resources software.

“One of the things we realized was that to provide a true self-service capability on a company’s Web site, we needed to be able to extract data from those systems in addition to the unstructured content these companies had available,” James Speer, product manager for Jeeves Solutions, told CRM Buyer Magazine.

Core Technologies

JeevesOne Enterprise is the resultant combination of several core technologies the company developed, bought and integrated:

  • The product leverages natural language processing (NLP) to route questions, analyze historical user interactions and mine for data. (Jeeves is a pioneer of the NLP question-and-answer search, which it first used on its Ask.com Web site.)
  • JeevesOne Enterprise provides analytical insight into the type of questions customers and Web site visitors were asking.
  • Enterprise Adapters — either prebuilt for Siebel and SAP systems or customized using the Adapter API — open the door to back-end system information to ensure that customers can retrieve all they need in a single visit.

    Robust Security

    Those core technologies, coupled with what Jeeves calls “robust security features,” enable customers to go to a company’s Web site and ask such questions as, “What is the status of Order 12345?”

    JeevesOne Enterprise can interpret the intent of a question using the NLP technology and route it to the order management system within the company. “Fairly sophisticated” techniques are being used to field queries, according to Speer, reducing the need for customer support reps to handle individual calls.

    So far, two customers have bought JeevesOne Enterprise, which has a base price of US$155,000. One is a high-tech company whose purchase is still unannounced, and the other is Travelocity.com, which expects that JeevesOne Enterpise will cut down the number of questions customers need to ask to find relevant travel information.

    Jeeves said it is targeting JeevesOne Enterprise especially toward the government, technology, financial services and retail markets.

    Aberdeen analyst Guy Greese is enthusiastic about its capabilities. “This is where everyone is trying to go but it’s very difficult to get to,” he told CRM Buyer. He acknowledged that Jeeves Solutions might initially have a perception problem in the marketplace as — until the launch of JeevesOne Enterprise — the company had no credentials in searching for structured data.

    According to Jeeves, competitive products include Verity K2 and Inktomi Enterprise Search 4.5.

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