Omilia: Conversational Customer Care

Dimitris Vassos, CEO The traditional IVR was designed to provide customer care with structured tree-based menu options, either driven by speech or touch-tone input. Unfortunately, humans don’t think or speak in a structured manner, which has inherently led to the universal frustration with these legacy phone systems.

These simple structured finite-state machines don’t allow users to easily switch topics and respond without any contextual understanding. Even at this juncture when most financial institutions still adhere to the age-old tree-based IVR systems to facilitate customer engagement and to help them reach out to executives for addressing grievances. Fortunately, today Omilia, with its enterprise Virtual Assistant platform, is changing all that by providing a seamless human-like conversational experience for self-service across all channels.

Founded in 2002 by Dimitris Vassos, CEO and Pelias Loannidis, CFO, out of their garage, Omilia began its journey as a contact center integrator, building solutions on top of third party software. The duo observed that the technologies available at the time had quite a few limitations and did not facilitate the development of an unstructured Natural Language UI, inspiring them to engineer a one-of-its- kind conversational platform.

“We’ve been striving toward tailoring holistic conversational customer care solutions aimed at business profitability amplification by harnessing Artificial Intelligence for more than 15 years, even before most organizations realized its potential. We learned the hard way that technology is only good insofar as it brings real life results in the form of cost cutting and enhancement of user experience,” mentions Dimitris Vassos, CEO, Omilia.

The Cyprus-based organization launched its omni-channel virtual assistant platform in 2009, while many organizations today are still figuring the possibility of amalgamating trending technologies like AI to customize their solution suite. Thus, the unique conversational customer care approach has steered Omilia ahead of many industry peers, including start-ups and reputed multinational corporations. As of today, the organization has deployed its true conversational virtual agents across 20 production call centers located in over 11 countries and has facilitated more than one billion interactions.”
Omilia is one of the first few firms to implement a practical conversational customer care that works in the real world, with real results in the call centre; not just on paper or powerpoint,” adds Vassos.

Equipped with 100 percent in-house developed technologies for speech recognition, machine learning, natural language understanding, and dialog management capabilities, the Omilia platform can be seamlessly integrated with any digital channel, including myriad voice and text-based mobile applications, email, as well as Facebook Chat.

Omilia’s holistic platform comprises several components, which include deepASR, deepVB and DiaManT. The deepVB aspect enables IVR-side Voice Biometric Authentication with free and unstructured speech, whereas DiaManT is an abbreviation of Omilia’s exclusive omnichannel dialog management technology and deepASR, a speech-to-text transcription engine powered by deep neural networks. This ‘develop once, deploy anywhere’ philosophy is the greatest benefit of adopting Omilia’s solution. Unlike traditional virtual customer interaction interfaces, Omilia’s platform is dynamic, unstructured, and context-sensitive, thus enabling customers to interact in a human like way, incresing automation rates and slashing contact center costs at the same time. For instance, customers can send customer care related requests through smart speakers such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home or various other interaction channels such as Facebook Messenger, as well as SMS, which can be integrated with DiaManT APIs. Irrespective of the medium of interaction and the format of request DiamanT displays requested and additional information instantly, and without human agent involvement.

"Omilia’s conversational customer care platform provides customers with a dynamic, unstructured, and context-sensitive, voice and text interface that enables customers to interact in a human-like way, incresing automation rates and cutting contact center costs at the same time"

Since its inception, the organization has been the trusted partner of over thirty globally renowned enterprises based in more than twelve countries, which testifies the organization’s potential. To paint a clearer picture of Omilia’s capability of mitigating business challenges, Vassos shares the experience of his organization’s recent collaboration with Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), the largest bank in Canada. To cater to the needs of customers better, the financial institution decided to eliminate its 14-year-old, obsolete touch-tone system, which often caused inconveniences to customers due to its complicated menu tree. Realizing that cutting-edge products like Siri and Alexa are being significantly adopted, RBC requested the assistance of Omilia for the implementation of a conversational IVR compatible with current AI-powered communication platforms.
The adoption of the Omilia platform helped RBC yield several benefits, which included significant operational cost reduction, an impressive semantic accuracy (CISR) of 95 percent, a 92 percent task completion rate (TCR) and a state-of-the-art word error rate (WER) of just 4.26 percent. While semantic accuracy is a measure of the extent to which the system accurately deciphers the meaning of individual caller utterances, TCR indicates the degree of customer requests routed to the right advisor eventually leading to successful service. The most significant outcome of the implementation of the conversational platform was a double-digit increase in the rate of successful completion of self-service tasks.

Since the organization’s onset, team Omilia was firmly driven by the philosophy that any and all inventions should be easily customisable and robust, which is quite evident in its conversational platform. In adherence to this thought, the organization has devised its platform to be a virtual banking assistant that requires sprints of enhancement to seamlessly adapt to any client’s system. This approach differentiates the company from several industry peers, who continue to offer vanilla versions of their software with severe customisation limitations.

The industry veteran continues to point out that a widespread exaggeration of the current capabilities of AI has generated over-expectations from solution vendors that good software can actually adopt by itself and perform unsupervised, plug and play, miracles. One of Omilia’s successes has been busting myths surrounding the technology and authenticating the possibilities of the technology through its solutions.

Vassos says “We built this conpany on results!” and emphasizes that Omilia has always amassed its revenue as a result of various customer project successes and interestingly, has never been backed by any external funding sources. Its clientele includes several eminent names such as RBC, CIBC, and Vodafone.

“Our team is immensely experienced in deploying real-time conversational platforms across geographies and myriad sectors, which has given us an edge in the enterprise market. We’ve cemented our presence across 11 countries worldwide and now team Omilia is looking forward to expanding its footprint across North America, a market we successfully penetrated back in 2015,” states Vassos, revealing a glimpse of his firm’s roadmap.

He further adds that although the organization has been in the business for over 16 years now, it is as agile as most promising start-up organizations today. The combination of a mature and batle hardened management team, a crisp vision, and 100percent customer-centric agility is what Vassos believes Omilia is so succesful The organization plans to empower potential clients across North America through its cloud offerings and intends to cater to enterprises based in the continent through certified resellers.


Larnaca, Cyprus

Dimitris Vassos, CEO

Omilia provides its customers with a single unified platform for conversational customer service on all channels