Service Provider Cloud

Smartsheet Acquires Converse.AI for Conversational Workflow Automation

Cloud software provider Smartsheet has acquired Converse.AI, adding natural-language chatbots to Smartsheet's toolbox for automating business processes.

Smartsheet is designed to automate time-consuming business processes that span multiple systems, such as onboarding new customers, cross-departmental reporting, qualifying sales leads, and reporting safety violations.

"It's about helping teams and organizations actually get work done -- planning, capturing data, tracking, automating actions and then reporting on work," Gene Farrell, Smartsheet's senior vice president of product, tells Enterprise Cloud News.

The Converse.AI acquisition will bolster Smartsheet's natural-language user experience and provide links to messaging platforms such as Slack, Workplace by Facebook, Salesforce and Google, Smartsheet says.

The companies aren't disclosing financial details of the deal. The Converse.AI team will stay intact as a wholly owned subsidiary under Smartsheet, including Converse.AI founders Tony Lucas and Gihan Munasinghe. Smartsheet also acquires Converse.AI's patent portfolio.

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Smartsheet has more than 760 employees in offices in Bellevue and Boston. It raised $52.1 million in series F Funding in May, at a valuation of $852 million. Its service is used by half of the Fortune 500, with customers including Cisco, Netflix, Colliers International and Hilton, and partnerships with Microsoft and Google.

Converse.AI operates out of Edinburgh, Scotland, and was founded in 2015. Converse.AI Chatflow, launched in 2016, allows any business user to easily build and manage bots via a drag-and-drop interface, without writing code.

Smartsheet says the Converse.AI acquisition will help Smartsheet's customers on three fronts: It will accelerate Smartsheet's ability to build natural language user experiences and conversational workflows. Also, ChatFlow will eventually enable Smartsheet users to build and manage more sophisticated workflow automations within Smartsheet, without writing code. And Smartsheet partners and customers will be able to build their own integrations and capabilities on Smartsheet.

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— Mitch Wagner Follow me on Twitter Visit my LinkedIn profile Visit my blog Follow me on Facebook Editor, Enterprise Cloud News

Ariella 1/22/2018 | 1:32:45 PM
Re: automation @PhilBritt true, thiese little quirks help create a unique brand, and being different helps people remember you.
Phil_Britt 1/22/2018 | 10:46:28 AM
Re: automation The reasons you mentioned plus agent's advice are likely the reason no suit occurred.

Some people don't realize they have it good when impersonated. I had a Mass Comm prof who knew Lawrence Welk. According to the prof, Welk wanted to take classes to eliminate his accent. Prof said he advised Welk not to: "It's the best gimmick you have."
Ariella 1/22/2018 | 10:39:40 AM
Re: automation @PhilBritt the change of setting and medium of animation (not to mention names, occupations, etc.) lkely would have made a suit a waste  of time and money. Also he'd right that the connection would only help, especially for kids who may have watched the cartoon delighting in finding a show for grownups made along the same lines. I thought there were even some plans to bring "The Honeymooners" back on TV in a version made today. I don't know if it happened and if it was to be set in modern times or in the 50s.
Phil_Britt 1/22/2018 | 10:34:53 AM
Re: automation Actually, Fred was a cross between that character and Jackie Gleason (as himself). If I'm not mistaken, Gleason actually considered suing Flinstones creator until his agent told him the cartoon was good free publicity.
Ariella 1/22/2018 | 10:23:57 AM
Re: automation @PhilBritt True. I believe I once read that the Flinstones was a paralle to "The Honeymooners," with Fred the parallel to the bus driving hero of that nonanimated show.
Phil_Britt 1/19/2018 | 6:35:30 PM
Re: automation Additionally, Fred was a "lovable buffoon," not someone considered to have a great deal of intelligence, natural or artificial.
Ariella 1/19/2018 | 12:40:45 AM
Re: automation @MItch, ooh, ouch! I do believe the Flinstones were described as "a modern stone-age family," but that just meant that they had televisions, phones, and cars. George Jetson, in contrast, did work at what looked like a computer.
Mitch Wagner 1/18/2018 | 2:04:41 PM
Re: automation Are you saying this photo is a yabba-dabba-don't?
Ariella 1/18/2018 | 1:46:45 AM
automation Iis that an illustration of AI in the stone age? Maybe we should have a picture from the Jetsons.
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