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7.ai (full company name 7.ai, Inc.) is a customer experience software and services company based in California that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to understand consumer intent. It helps companies create a personalized experience across all channels.
7.ai was founded in April 2000 by P.V. Kannan and Shanmugam Nagarajan. Kannan previously founded Business Evolution, a software company, which was acquired by Kana Software in 1999. The company is headquartered in San Jose, California. Other offices are located in Toronto, London, and Sydney. 7.ai has customers in many industries, including agencies, education, financial services, healthcare, insurance, retail & e-commerce, telecom, travel & hospitality, and utilities.
In 2003, 7.ai was privately funded in part by Michael Moritz and his venture capital firm Sequoia Capital. The total venture funding was estimated at about $22 million. The company was profitable by the end of 2003.
In February 2012 a deal was announced in which 7.ai and Microsoft would combine technologies for natural user interfaces (NUIs) and data analytics at cloud scale. Microsoft made an equity investor and transferred approximately 400 employees of the former Tellme Networks to 7.ai. At the same time, 7.ai acquired the call center automation developer Voxify, which had been based in Alameda, California, and was funded by investors such as Intel. In 2012, the company rebranded its business, adopting a new logo dropping the word "Customer" and putting square brackets around the "24". In January 2013 it announced it would market some internally developed software products for combining chat with analytics.
In May 2013 the company announced the acquisition of social commerce firm Shopalize for an undisclosed amount of money. 7.ai was also listed on Forbes list of America's Most Promising Companies in 2013.
In November 2014, 7.ai acquired IntelliResponse, a provider of digital self-service technology, including virtual agent solutions.
In August 2015, 7.ai acquired Campanja, a leading Search Engine bidding platform with offices in Stockholm, London, Palo Alto, Chicago and New York, adding realtime marketing capability to the 7.ai offering.
In July 2015, the company announced it had become the world's largest provider of chat agents, with more than 5,000 dedicated chat agents operating in its contact centers.
In April 2016, the company acquired the 2012 founded EngageClick, providing a content personalization solution, for an undisclosed amount.
In October 2017, the company announced a name change, adding .ai to reflect leadership in leveraging artificial intelligence to improve customer experience.
In 2019, P.V. Kannan, the leader of the standout customer experience technology firm 7.ai, shares his expertise in "The Age of Intent" (how and why virtual agent rollouts succeed—or fail). He explains how to architect key information systems, overcome corporate resistance and bad practices, and analyze customer journeys to make virtual agents maximally effective.
In September 2020, 7.ai announced the 7.ai Engagement Cloud – Industry’s first fully integrated conversational AI platform for businesses and system integrators based on its proven voice and digital platforms. 7.ai Engagement Cloud delivers even greater levels of AI automation, integration, and self service features to enable businesses to rapidly launch and operate service and sales automation.
The current product offering is developing sales and service-oriented software that encompasses big data, predictive analytics, virtual agents and real-time decisioning. It integrates different channels of communication, including web chat, mobile devices and interactive voice response, which incorporates the company's proprietary natural language technology. The company operates contact centers that outsource voice and chat agent services, for sales and support. Its largest customers are in telecommunications, financial services, retail, insurance, and travel industries. Its early offerings were contact center services with voice contact center agents. Contact centers were originally located in Bangalore and Hyderabad, India, and in the Philippines, but by 2007 (with about 7,000 total employees) expanded to Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Colombia to support Spanish-language customers.
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- "Microsoft and 24/7 Inc. Join Forces to Deliver the Future of Customer Service for Large Businesses". Press release (24/7 Customer). February 7, 2012. http://www.247-inc.com/content/microsoft-and-247-inc-join-forces-deliver-future-customer-service-large-businesses. Retrieved October 23, 2013.
- Ayushman Baruah (January 23, 2013). "[247.ai makes product debut with live chat solution"]. Information Week India. http://www.informationweek.in/informationweek/news-analysis/176780/-makes-product-debut-live-chat-solution. Retrieved October 23, 2013.
- "Intuitive Customer Experience Company [247.ai Acquires Social Commerce Firm Shopalize"]. ComputerWorld Australia. 2013-05-20. http://www.computerworld.com.au/mediareleases/16415/intuitive-customer-experience-company-247/.
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- "[247.ai Makes Strategic Acquisition of IntelliResponse to Complete the Suite of Self-Service and Assisted Service Offerings for Customer Engagement -"] (in en-US). http://www.intelliresponse.com/news-events/press-releases/247-acquires-intelliresponse. Retrieved 2015-12-03.
- "[247.ai Rises to the Top of the Chat Agent Provider Field"]. http://call-center-services.tmcnet.com/topics/call-center-services/articles/406470-247-rises-the-top-the-chat-agent-provider.htm. Retrieved 2015-12-03.
- "EngageClick company details on Crunchbase". Crunchbase. https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/engageclick#/entity.
- Big Data Opportunity: Predictive Sales Software Turns Browsers Into Buyers. Forbes, October 21, 2014
- 7.ai list of acquisitions. Crunchbase, December 4, 2016