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How Juniper is embracing the power of artificial intelligence

By Microsoft in Business Team on March 6, 2018

Filed under Microsoft in Business

Focus on: Engage Customers, Empower Employees, Optimize Operations, Transform Products

Providing customers with information in a timely fashion can decide the difference in closing a sale or losing one. Customers expect timely responses that make their experience both impactful and relevant. Juniper Networks is taking an innovative approach to closing the gap between client inquiry and the time it takes a member of the sales team to provide a meaningful response by harnessing the power of artificial intelligence.

Meet QUIN (QUestions answered INstantly), Juniper’s voice-automated chatbot that allows employees to access information in real time from their mobile device. Whether employees are on the road traveling to meet clients, or on a sales call from their desk, the answer to their questions is as simple as asking a person sitting next them. For Juniper employees, this means the days of firing off emails and waiting hours, or even days, for a response is becoming a thing of the past. With information at their fingertips, Juniper’s sales team is delivering responses to customers in new, impactful ways.

Inefficacies in information sharing

As a multinational company that develops and markets networking products, Juniper specializes in the development of routers, switches, network management software, security products, and software-defined networking technology. Whether it’s the cloud service companies or some of the largest mobile providers in the world, Juniper’s products and services aim to serve the most challenging customer needs.

To serve the needs of all of its customers, Juniper employees need to be able to access information quickly to address client inquires. However, with Juniper’s vast product portfolio and diverse customer base, information was fragmented in multiple silos so was often inefficient or difficult to get, which created problems for employees trying to answer customer questions. A lack in the flow of information meant putting clients on hold or dropping the “let me get back to you on that” line. The process led to long, drawn-out customer interactions that took up valuable time for both Juniper employees as well as potential buyers.

Juniper began to look for a way to empower employees with the right technology to drive customer engagement. That meant looking to artificial intelligence for an innovative solution to break down data silos and develop a central access point for employees to leverage information during the sales process.

“In any organization, if we want information, we have to go to multiple systems or send an email and wait for a response, which can take up to 3 or 4 days. We thought, that if we could shorten that response time and make information more transparent from the user side, we could give some of that time back to the sales team. AI allows employees to ask questions without having to figure out where the information resides,” said Bharat Poria, Senior Consultant, Architecture.

Streamlining information for better customer service

In order for Juniper to drive digital transformation throughout their enterprise, they partnered with Attunix, a company specializing in business technology, and Microsoft. Attunix engaged with Juniper to understand the core problem set, including key business processes to be addressed and goals Juniper was looking to achieve. Through this strategic partnership, Attunix and Juniper architected a solution built on Azure and Cortana. The result: QUIN, a voice-enabled, question-answering AI agent that employees could access through their smart phones.

While there are other companies offering technology to power chatbots, Juniper chose to partner with Microsoft because Cortana and Azure offered voice-powered chatbot capabilities, rather than only text-based capabilities. With Azure, Juniper’s sales team now has an end-to-end solution that provides a quick response time to fulfill client needs.

QUIN now functions as every account manager’s digital sales assistant. Through the power of AI, Juniper has been able to optimize its operations by allowing employees to quickly access information to better assist customers.

“Before QUIN, a sales person would need to make maybe ten clicks before they could find the information they needed to come back with an answer for a customer. If they were on the road they would have to pull over and dock. It was very inefficient,” said Gabriel Radityo, System Engineering Director, Juniper.

With increased access to information, Juniper is able to stay ahead of the curve and continue to be a leader in the industry, paving the way for a greater connected future. With QUIN, Juniper is able to boost customer interactions and accelerate the sales cycle to bring clients the information they need with greater velocity and accuracy.

“We recognize that AI plays a more important role in the future and we want to get ahead of the curve in a few areas. In the end, it is about better enabling the sales engineering force to sell their customers quicker and close the sales cycle more efficiently and effectively,” said Gabriel.

Juniper is still at the beginning of its journey to fully leverage the power of artificial intelligence. Looking to the future, the company hopes to increase customer service by developing self-driving networks. By increasing their expertise in the field of AI, Juniper anticipates a dynamic future that will drive innovation and create meaningful customer experiences.

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