Uniphore CTO aims for perfect balance between the need to rebuild existing products and expand with customer needs after company reaches $2.5B valuation in series E funding

  • Uniphore, a conversational AI platform, is using emotion AI to deliver more sophisticated and personalized automated customer experiences.
  • After gaining $400M in series E funding, the company is reorganizing its platform while expanding the business.
  • CTO Balaji Raghavan said there is always a balance to be struck between rebuilding existing products and meeting expanding customer needs.
  • This article is part of Innovation Leaders, a series examining how business leaders view their role in driving tech innovation.

LoadingSomething is loading.

Uniphore, a conversational AI platform that delivers personalized and automated customer experiences, uses emotion AI. As reported by MIT Sloan, this growing subset of artificial intelligence aims to measure, understand, simulate, and react to human emotions. 

After the company recently announced $400m in series E funding, (taking the value of the company up to $2.5bn), the company is pivoting to housing its AI services through the Uniphore X platform, gradually moving its critical products to serve users on both the cloud and in on-premise configurations. At the same time the company is expanding sales into new regions.

Among these many product shifts, CTO Balaji Raghavan said there is always a balance to be struck between rebuilding existing products and meeting expanding customer needs. 

Raghavan said Uniphore has been working on improving and owning its AI innovation in all areas of emotion intelligence. This includes technologies in understanding context and sentiment in text, voice, and video. 

“Some of our products have evolved with the use of automation and knowledge AI through the acquisition of Jacada and Colabo in the last few quarters and have enabled us to rethink the user journeys in both agent assistance and self service products,” Raghavan told Insider. 

The company is also investing in research to better understand human emotions by fusing signals from different modalities as well as placing more focus on data quality. 

Uniphore’s products are built to work on multiple cloud providers and through local deployment. Raghavan explained that they mostly work with technologies like Artifactory and Kafka which give them the flexibility to work across different configurations.

The company has seen incredible growth in the last year, which has enabled it to build its Q for Sales product, a revenue intelligence tool. “We also started working with partners to expand the reach of our solutions which have a different set of technology needs to enable the partners with the right tools to serve their customers,” Raghavan said. “I see a need to further invest in growing the teams to invest in building better integrations of our products and with an expanded set of CRM and CCaaS providers for our customers’ needs. We also intend to find strategic partners and acquire products that help us bring more cohesive end-to-end experiences in our product suite.” 

One of the company’s strengths, Raghavan said, is that decisions are made by the whole executive leadership team and feedback is welcomed and actioned upon. “I am proud to have a strong technical leadership team in engineering and AI that help me discuss short-term and long-term tradeoffs and commit to a plan of execution,” he said. “We share articles on current technologies and research with each other over internal communication tools to stay informed on advancements and discuss their relevance to our business. We also solicit feedback from our customers to learn about their biggest pain points and work with the product management team on prioritizing the right solutions to fix those issues.”

Technology has been a driver for a lot of innovation and change of user behaviors and expectations in several businesses. “As the ability for machines to handle more natural language improves, we expect most mundane contact centre tasks for our customers to be solved automatically and faster which helps them scale their business without escalating costs,” Raghavan said. “What I am most excited about though is the role that Uniphore will play in defining the technology of the future for the domain of enterprise conversations. This is our focus and we will continue to invest in trailblazing in this across several industry sectors.”

Read More

insider@insider.com Hazel Davis