ReadingEffortless New York '24: Recapping DevRev’s tech conference
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Effortless New York '24: Recapping DevRev’s tech conference

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Effortless NY brought together minds at the forefront of customer experience, support, artificial intelligence (AI), and design.

Industry experts shared insights on staying ahead by building effective and intuitive solutions, highlighting the need for businesses of all sizes to follow new principles of human-AI interaction.

Conversations around DevRev's Intuitive platform —AgentOS took center stage and demonstrated the platform capabilities in leveraging data to drive insights and streamline operations to make complex system integrations and process definitions simple and manageable.

Here's a full recap of the sessions.

AI in the Enterprise: Retrofit or Redesign

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Speakers: Dheeraj Pandey, Co-founder & CEO - DevRev and Swamy Kocherlakota, EVP and Global Digital Solutions Officer, S&P Global

Dheeraj advocated for a fundamental shift in platform development by discussing the deep integration of design and AI in enterprise platform architecture.

He also introduced the concept of “operating system thinking” highlighting the fact that platforms are deeply embedded systems that can coordinate intricate operations like search algorithms, analytics, and workflow management, rather than just acting as surface-level overlays.

Dheeraj underscored that the platforms must act as the cornerstones around which AI can grow, offering the framework required to combine human and machine intelligence.

Beyond technical considerations, he also spoke about the organizational implications of AI adoption, stressing the need for companies to embrace a culture of innovation and experimentation.

Drawing comparisons to the revolutionary effects of cloud-native strategies on companies like Netflix and Capital One, Dheeraj insisted that a similar mindset is needed to fully leverage the potential of AI.

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In the second half of the session, Swamy Kocherlakota accompanied Dheeraj on stage.

They shared their thoughts on the ups and downs of cloud computing, SaaS platforms, and integrating AI into existing systems.

Swami Kocherlakota then gave a detailed account of S&P Global’s cloud journey, explaining the complexities caused by the diverse SaaS providers and the necessity of developing seamless integration tactics to create a single organizational landscape.

Towards the end of their discussion, Dheeraj and Swami talked about how the future of AI involves making it so integrated and smooth that it's practically invisible to users. They mentioned that AI should work behind the scenes to improve business processes and make operations more efficient without users even noticing it's there.

Design and AI, Designing a next GenAI Experience

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Speakers: Scott Belsky, EVP of Design & Emerging Products - Adobe, Georg Petschnigg, SVP and Head of Product Design - The New York Times and Michael Machado, Head of Product - DevRev

Scott Belsky, Georg Petschnigg, and Michael Machado explored the detailed relationship between AI and design. Together, they broke down this relationship into its parts to gain a full understanding of it with a focus on making AI interactions smooth and understandable. This was compared to Apple's gradual release of the iPhone. The evolution of business models was also discussed, with a shift towards outcome-based selling and matching AI proposals to client perceptions.

In a nutshell, the discussion highlighted several key takeaways for building AI models effectively and affordably, focusing on managing inference and training costs. It pointed to edge computing as a future strategy to reduce dependence on cloud services by utilizing smaller, more efficient models. Ethical data use, and transparent model training were emphasized as critical to meeting regulatory standards and consumer expectations. The importance of personalization in product development was also underlined, showcasing how tailored user experiences can significantly enhance product value and differentiation.

Redesigning Customer Experience

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Moderator: Ahmed Bashir, Head of Engineering - DevRev

Panelists: Erin Stanton, Global Head of Portfolio and Trading Analytic Client Support - Virtu Financial, Tasso Argyros, Founder & CEO - ActionIQ and Áthila Armstrong, Former Senior Director, Head of Experience Design, Airbnb

In the Fireside Chat on "Redesigning Customer Experience", a dynamic panel consisting of Áthila Armstrong, Erin Stanton, and Tasso Argyros, moderated by Ahmed Bashir, led a thought-provoking discussion.

Erin spoke on the need for model robustness in data science and for models to function well even in the most unpredictable situations. Áthila, having previously worked at Airbnb, spoke about the design principle of responsiveness, highlighting the value of fast feedback and user control in developing product experiences. Tasso brought a business-centric perspective to the discussion, emphasizing the need to define specific business metrics and gauge the results of improving the customer experience. The panel discussed a variety of subjects, including how self-service is changing and how important it is to reinterpret key performance indicators (KPIs) in light of changing client expectations.

n the later segment, Áthila elaborated on the importance of collaboration across both back-office and front-office functions, highlighting the necessity of open communication and encouraging a feeling of community among users. Erin added his two cents on using AI-driven messaging to proactively connect with customers, while Tasso saw the potential for AI to enable personalized and proactive support.

Altogether, the panelists echoed the significance of customer-centricity, collaboration, and proactive engagement in reimagining the customer experience. Their diverse perspectives offered valuable insights into the complexities and opportunities within this evolving landscape.

AgentOS: The Foundation for Next-Generation AI Agents

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Speakers: Manoj Agarwal, Co-founder & President - DevRev

Demos: Aditi Mishra (Product Marketing, DevRev), Haritha Ramakrishnan (Product Management, DevRev)

Manoj started by laying the foundations for understanding the role of AgentOS within an organizational framework. He elaborated on the key departments of an organization such as engineering, sales, marketing, and customer support, each with its unique set of responsibilities, and how AI agents can empower each of these departments.

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Aditi Mishra did a quick demo of DevRev’s AI Agent where she simulated customer support experience on the DevRev live chat widget for Google Workspace.

First, she started by asking various unrelated questions such as the weather in New York, to test the agent’s capabilities. The agent responded promptly, demonstrating its ability to handle customer queries autonomously.

Then, Aditi presented a more complex issue to the agent in which a team member was unable to log in. The AI agent initially attempted to resolve the issue but realized it required human intervention. It escalated the ticket to a developer, highlighting how augmented AI agents collaborate with humans to solve more challenging problems. These demos showcased the efficiency and effectiveness of AI agents in handling customer support tasks, highlighting their ability to perform complex tasks through collaboration with humans.

Following Aditi’s demo, Haritha Ramakrishnan (Product Management, DevRev) introduced Analyst Agent, which aims to analyze the data to provide insights. Haritha elaborated on the need for tools that enable organizations to dig deeper into vast amounts of data and provide useful insights into the business and various personas like customers, clients, developers, and the product. She also emphasized on streamlining processes using these AI tools to ensure faster decision-making and also free up valuable time for all the stakeholders.

AI can enhance language-agnostic ETL processes, automate workflows, and support visualizations, while design efforts focus on reducing cognitive load and effectively delivering information.

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The session also covered the challenges of managing diverse data sources and enabling seamless workflows, introducing the concept of a knowledge graph and the complexities of bidirectional data synchronization.

In summary, the presentations and demos demonstrated how AgentOS is a game changer in customer support, showing how AI can streamline operations, improve collaboration, and unlock actionable insights from large datasets.

Embracing AI Powered Support: Effortless Transition

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Speakers: Elec Boothe, Senior Manager, Support and Technical Writing - Bolt and Mollie Holland, Customer Experience - DevRev

Mollie provided insights on Trails, DevRev’s product-centric knowledge graph in this session. She further explained how this could be used in visualizing product hierarchies and data structures effectively. Continuing the use of Google Workspace as an example, Mollie showcased the granularity of information available within different capabilities and features. She elaborated on how DevRev consolidates data from disparate sources such as Zendesk and JIRA, into a unified platform, enabling teams to comprehend linkages and relationships within their product ecosystem. She also demonstrated how DevRev’s Airdrop tackles the extremely complex problem of two-way sync.

Then, Elec Boothe joined Mollie on stage sharing his experience of Bolt’s migration from Zendesk to DevRev within a remarkably short timeframe. He elaborated on the challenges faced by his team and how DevRev empowered his team in streamlining support operations and enhancing customer experiences. Elec also discussed the ongoing efforts to expand DevRev's usage across different departments within Bolt, aiming to consolidate incident management processes and eliminate duplicate workstreams. This session concluded with Manoj’s thoughts on the next generation of DevRev’s AI agents and how they could be used to automate mundane tasks and empower teams to focus on high-value activities.

Timeless Legacy: Product Design and Storytelling at The New York Times

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Speaker: Georg Petschnigg, SVP and Head of Product Design - The New York Times

In this session, George discussed his journey from technology to media, emphasizing the importance of understanding how people source and acquire information. He went on to highlight The New York Times' strategy to become a subscription for every curious English-speaking person, to understand and engage with the world. He also elaborated on a design-led approach to translate editorial vision and audience needs into tangible artifacts.

Further, George went on to describe the development of the next generation of The New York Times that focuses not only on user insights and product vision, but also on design principles such as clarity, optimizing for time well spent, and trust. He concluded by speaking on the importance of accessibility and delight in product design, providing key insights on The New York Times' approach to product design and storytelling to create a timeless legacy.

Authentic Humans, Authentic Machines

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Speaker: Mike Robbins, Motivational Speaker & Author

The final session of the day was by Mike Robbins, in which he delivered a message on authenticity and its significance in fostering trust and collaboration in the fast-moving age of AI. He highlighted the importance of being real in human interactions transcending self-righteousness and embracing vulnerability.

Introducing the concept of an "authenticity equation", Mike advocated for honesty minus self-righteousness plus vulnerability as a cornerstone for building trust and forging authentic relationships. He also spoke on the importance of vulnerability in promoting authentic human experiences and accomplishments, while acknowledging the discomfort it may cause. Mike concluded with an anecdote from Oprah Winfrey highlighting the universal human need to be recognized and understood.

In summary, Effortless New York showed the endless possibilities of what AI and DevRev could achieve together. It served as the meeting ground of brilliant minds where ideas were shared, collaboration flourished and the future of AI-led growth took shape. As DevRev continues to push boundaries and scale new heights, the future of technology shines ever brighter with promise and possibility.

Know more about DevRev Global Events right here.