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Q&A: TaurusPivot – An interview with Lisa Bouari, Director of OutThought

OutThought designs, builds and hosts intelligent AI and Virtual Assistants that automate customer service enquiries on IBM Watson technology. Lisa Bouari, Director at OutThought and her team are continuously looking at solutions to help address the current needs of organisations.


In a Q&A with Taurus, Lisa shares how OutThought is responding to the COVID-19 outbreak and the role technology has played in driving and supporting businesses while providing them with ongoing value.

Here is what Lisa had to say about pivoting into today’s new normal –

 What do you do?

We design, build and host intelligent virtual assistants that automate customer service enquiries.  Virtual Assistants are a scalable competitive edge for organisations with high query volumes and we are passionate about creating and growing the right content for this automation to be possible for organisations across any industry.

Who benefits from your services?

Customers who benefit from our services are medium to large enterprises in any industry who want to automate customer enquiries 24 x 7 and capture or serve those customers while they are there, at their website. Organisations often start with a chatbot technology from a large vendor and often realise they need more skills in house, an expertise in conversational design and a methodology to manage and grow conversational content.  All of these are critical success factors to a virtual assistant project and we help organisations from beginning to end to make sure they get it right.

How long have you been in operation?

We started three years ago when we saw so many organisations struggle with effectively adopting virtual assistant technology.  We are Australian based with offices in Sydney and Adelaide. Our clients are all over Australia and we have recently gained international interest from some of our innovative work in cutting edge virtual assistants.  We’ve created award-winning and world first virtual assistants such as virtual health coach (automating in person dietician check-ins), a digital human building concierge accepting mail deliveries for a luxury building in Melbourne and others in the superannuation, retail and public domains.

How has COVID 19 affected your business positively?

We were fortunate to be a largely remote business pre-COVID-19. For us, there is an opportunity in adversity, and we have seen interest from organisations who are being inundated with requests which are easy to automate such as a new call-center that is being created, who don’t have a web presence but would like to offload some of the calls there. Another example is an organisation that has an app that is exploring how virtual assistant technology can augment that to deliver instant value.  Organisations have been forced to go digital – and online, and for us, this is exactly where we play.

I’ve also seen a number of new collaborations and opportunities that arise from COVID-19 as organisations join forces to add value to those who need it most, while protecting their own business. We recently launched a new campaign which provides a free COVID Assistant. We are also partnering with IBM on some of the value-add options for our customers.

Would you consider you’ve had to pivot your business in anyway?

Organisations are trying to do more with less, completely cut spending and focus on core survival strategies.  We have reduced the focus on innovation projects which we so enjoy and been more innovative on how we support more businesses here and now in the ways they most need it.  We’ve also been looking at how we even more rapidly roll out solutions because organisations really need these things now – not in a traditional manner over several months.

Learn more about Out Thought here.

#TaurusPivot is our curated series on how brands around the globe are pivoting in this #newnormal!

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