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CMO interview: Bringing The Power Of Cognitive Computing To Marketing And Customer Engagement

8 December, 2016

CMO interview: Bringing The Power Of Cognitive Computing To Marketing And Customer Engagement

OpenText global CMO shares how he’s tapping into machine learning and artificial intelligence to improve the way the enterprise software vendor engages with customers.

Cognitive computing and machine learning are among the top buzzwords of 2016, and judging from the product roadmaps of most martech and adtech vendors, they’re going to dominate headlines again in 2017.

OpenText is one of a raft of software players heavily investing into next-generation cognitive computing capabilities to complement its information and communications management offerings. And much like its rival, IBM, the vendor is looking to external partners, line-of-business executives and importantly, marketers, to come up with the best use cases for its application.

During a recent visit to Sydney, OpenText’s global CMO, Adam Howatson, sat down with CMO to discuss how cognitive computing can be applied to marketing and customer experience and engagement, how his team is using the power of machine learning, and what the future of digital marketing looks like in a world where automation of intelligence-based tasks is commonplace.

How is cognitive computing playing out in OpenText’s product roadmap?

Artificially intelligent cognitive systems and automation of those human intelligence tasks is at the forefront of what we are doing.

Cognitive computing for OpenText is based on our foundation of EIM [Enterprise Information Management]. Core capabilities include using pattern analysis and machine intelligence in an analytics platform that can derive insight, create prediction from large data sets. But to do that, you have to have a few fundamental building blocks, such as natural language processing, image and video recognition, text mining and semantic analysis. We have all of those, as well as predictive and prescriptive capabilities.

We’re applying this cognitive analytics to our EIM solution, which really is the memory of an organisation. It houses every contract, commercial interaction, electronic data transaction, customer experience via the website, ecommerce – the list goes on. As an organisation, you’re not going to want a shared cognitive platform trained on information similar to your competitors. Nor are you going to want to submit your proprietary data to train a system that would be used by competitors, because you lose the competitive advantage in doing that. We’re able to create and train that system based on the information specific to you.

Then as you build cognitive systems, you need to understand what insights you’re looking to garner.

A project I’m undertaking right now is using cognitive to take and analyse every RFP, RFX, RFI and proposal we have ever written as an organisation. That’s tens of thousands of pieces of content that would be impossible for a group of humans to analyse. We’re looking to come up with an objective opinion as to what, as an aggregate, customers are asking for.

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