These are the lessons Trulia learned from building a chatbot

It’s a competitive real-estate rental market out there, and Trulia wanted to capitalize on the interest with a new Facebook Messenger bot it launched earlier this month.

The bot lets users search for rental properties and keep up to date on new properties when they become available. 

Trulia’s bot came out of a quarterly hackathon project hosted by at real estate tech firm this past May, and the company learned a lot about bot-building. The experience showed that businesses should give bot-making a shot, even if they’re not tech companies, said Yardley Ip, general manager for Trulia Rentals.

“Given that the tools are so easy to use, and it’s so lightweight to develop [a bot], I think businesses should try it,” Ip said. “At least, at minimum, from the customer service angle. Because there are frequently asked questions that users and customers have, and why not use a bot as a way to respond to your users quickly?”

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CIO Cloud Computing

These are the lessons Trulia learned from building a chatbot

It’s a competitive real-estate rental market out there, and Trulia wanted to capitalize on the interest with a new Facebook Messenger bot it launched earlier this month.

The bot lets users search for rental properties and keep up to date on new properties when they become available. 

Trulia’s bot came out of a quarterly hackathon project hosted by at real estate tech firm this past May, and the company learned a lot about bot-building. The experience showed that businesses should give bot-making a shot, even if they’re not tech companies, said Yardley Ip, general manager for Trulia Rentals.

“Given that the tools are so easy to use, and it’s so lightweight to develop [a bot], I think businesses should try it,” Ip said. “At least, at minimum, from the customer service angle. Because there are frequently asked questions that users and customers have, and why not use a bot as a way to respond to your users quickly?”

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Network World Cloud Computing

Microsoft pitches developers on building apps for Office users

Microsoft Executive Vice President Qi Lu had an interesting pitch for developers Thursday: Build applications that use data from Microsoft Office.

Microsoft’s crown jewel for building apps that integrate with Office is its Graph set of APIs, which let developers build applications that know how users work with one another. Lu, speaking at the company’s Build developer conference, announced six new APIs to improve the Microsoft Graph, including one that allows developers to see when a group of users is available to meet.

That functionality will let developers build more intelligent applications that help people who use Office to work together, which can help Microsoft tie customers deeper into its productivity ecosystem. According to Lu, API calls to the Microsoft Graph have been growing 420 percent month over month since it was released last year.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Computerworld Cloud Computing

Sponsored post: Building For Success on AWS: Five Best Practice Tips

As AWS increasingly becomes the preferred deployment model for enterprise applications and services, it’s never been more important for a software or AWS SaaS provider to work effectively with AWS. Many leading technology providers are therefore optimizing their software to run on AWS as well as building globally available cloud services delivered through AWS’ worldwide regions.

Splunk has been very pleased with the success of our SaaS business on AWS, so we thought we’d share what we’ve learned in the form of best practices for you to keep in mind when developing your software or SaaS business on AWS.

1. Embrace the change

If you’ve attended the keynote at any recent AWS Summit, you’ve heard the message “cloud is the new normal.” Our advice is to take this to heart, and invest in your business knowing the momentum behind cloud will only continue to accelerate.

This is a boon to businesses of every size and in every location around the world—cloud makes it easier than ever before to innovate, rapidly bring an offering to market and serve your customer.

2. Relentlessly focus on the customer experience

Focusing your business on customer success is a must when building a business on AWS.

Why? Because the number one driving factor behind everything AWS does is to help its customers be successful and innovative. Tactically, this can mean many things for a SaaS Partner, but the one that stands out is building technology integrations that can provide additional value to AWS customers.

A good example of this involves AWS CloudTrail and AWS Config, services that deliver log data on AWS API calls around user activity and resource changes. When properly harnessed, these services help enable enterprises ensure security and compliance of their AWS deployments. A handful of SaaS Partners deliver integrations for these AWS services. The importance of these integrations is clear when you think of the importance of security and compliance for any successful AWS deployment.

3. Leverage your customers in your go-to-market strategy

When it comes to building your software or SaaS business on AWS, nothing beats customer validation. One of the most compelling stories is when a customer fully integrates your technology into their AWS strategy.

A great example of this is the Federal Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). FINRA is an independent regulator that examines all securities firms and their registered persons and monitors trading on U.S. markets. To respond to rapidly changing market dynamics, FINRA is moving its platform to Amazon Web Services (AWS) to analyze and store approximately 30 billion market events every day. FINRA uses Splunk Cloud to ensure security and compliance in their AWS deployment.

4. Choose AWS and go “all-in”

When building out your cloud strategy, you have to make choices. Our advice: When two roads diverge in the cloud, choose AWS.

This is a best practice because AWS has the richest and broadest set of services in the market. If your offering is storage intensive, there are specific solutions for that; if it’s compute intensive, there are specific solutions for that; if it’s I/O intensive, there are specific solutions for that as well. Regardless of what you need on the infrastructure stack—whether it’s automated provisioning, configuration or management, AWS has a mature solution that fits the bill.

In addition, business today is global. To successfully grow your business you need the ability to rapidly expand around the world. AWS offers that through their 11 worldwide regions.

5. Leverage the ecosystem

If you’re building on AWS, chances are that other folks building on AWS will find it useful. This is what makes the AWS announcement of its SaaS Partner Program so exciting. If you’re building a SaaS storage solution, odds are we could use it for our SaaS operational and security monitoring solution. Since we’re building a SaaS operational and security monitoring solution, odds are you could use it for your SaaS storage solution.

We have the opportunity to be better together on AWS for the benefit of all of our customers.

To learn more about our cloud solutions, visit us here.

Building For Success on AWS: Five Best Practice Tips originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2016.

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