AI First Approach
November 19, 2021 • 5 minute read

Q&A with Interactions CTO, Anoop Tripathi

As this year closes out and another begins, we are looking forward to a monumental year of AI and customer experience advancement in 2022. Interactions has a long history of innovation, and next year will continue to disrupt the ways that customers and businesses interact through technology. 

So, who better to hear from than our new Chief Technology Officer, Anoop Tripathi, who joined Interactions in August. Anoop has more than 25 years of experience in engineering and product, and a successful track record of delivering high stakes cloud transformations, disrupting existing players, and delivering in highly resource and budget-constrained environments. Prior to Interactions, he held leadership roles spanning multiple technology and industry segments at companies such as Automation Anywhere, Citrix, Netgear, and 3Com. He has numerous filed patents and holds 24 awarded patents.

We recently sat down with Anoop to ask his thoughts on the current state of AI in customer experience, where the industry is going, and what to expect from Interactions in the coming years.

What Brought You To Interactions?

There were three things that drew me to Interactions: the people, the technology, and the opportunity to bring our product to the next level. 

The most important thing that I always look for in an opportunity is people. Everyone at Interactions I talked to was passionate about what we do and it made me excited to join the talented team here. The culture at Interactions is also contagious. It has an immense strength and energy, but is also inviting and collaborative, and that drew me in as well. Even after three short months, these aspects of the culture are continually validated for me each day in everything that we do, and the approach we take towards innovation.

In addition to the people, the technology is also unparalleled. Interactions has built one of the most advanced AI stacks on the market, and it is backed by an expansive patent portfolio. This, along with our unique holistic approach to customer experience, really sets us apart from others in the space.

We view the relationship between humans and AI fundamentally different than many tech companies: we lead with AI that is assisted by humans, rather than humans that are assisted by AI.
In that approach, we can ensure the most optimized experiences for our clients and their customers. 

Much of my career has been involved in disruption–from disrupting technologies to disrupting industries. At Interactions, being tasked to bring this already advanced technology to a new level, intrigued and challenged me. The customer service space is ripe for disruption in so many ways. We have a big opportunity to transform the contact center as it functions today, even its current paradigm, with new advanced AI-powered experiences.

What makes Conversational AI in CX different from other industries?

There is a lot of Conversational AI technology out there. For general conversations, you could look at the usual suspects. Even Zoom does a good job, for example, of enabling transcription on a call. 

But customer experience and customer service are different. It’s an industry where you are trying to capture complicated phrasing and then take an action–whether you’re trying to find out why your balance has increased, or paying a bill, or seeing if there is a utility outage in your area. Those kinds of interactions are domain specific, and you need technology like ours in order to have a truly successful experience. 

Where will Interactions evolve under your leadership?

AI has long been viewed as a tool designed to assist humans, but this mentality hinders the work environment. When you go with that model, you’re constantly trying to change how you do work.

By leading with AI, the technology guides the progress without changing customer experiences.
The amount of work and overall experience stays the same, but the AI keeps learning and improving.

Omnichannel experiences may be currently dominating the AI conversation, but that doesn’t mean things won’t change within the next few years. The AI landscape is constantly shifting and this provides us with a great opportunity to evolve our business and be continually innovating. For example, a big focus of ours will be on developing more advanced dialogue and data-gathering techniques so we can address even the toughest challenges in the world of customer communications. As I mentioned previously, disruption will play a major theme in all that we do.

As an avid long distance runner, what principles from endurance training do you carry into your work at Interactions?

Long distance running has taught me many life lessons that go hand-in-hand with how I approach my work at Interactions. For example, when training for a long distance race, you wouldn’t just start running. You would first take steps to prepare yourself like stretching and strength training to condition your body and prevent injury. Similarly, when starting a transformation like building a platform for external consumption, there are many other operational activities that need to be done outside of just writing the code and deploying it. These steps that come beforehand are essential to the project’s success, just as the steps you take while training for a long distance run are essential to accomplishing that goal. The other big one that comes to mind, is that at some point in the run you do feel like giving up. The brain tricks you in many ways and tells you to stop. But, the key is to persist and keep going, which ultimately leads you to the joy of finishing the race. Big releases or big projects are very much the same. Persistence throughout the entire journey is key to being successful.

Want to learn more? Let’s talk.