Purple Forge Taps IBM Watson to Transform Community Engagement and Customer Self-Service

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Purple Forge today announced the first pilot of its customer self-service solution for the City of Surrey powered by IBM Watson. As a Watson Ecosystem Partner, Purple Forge is leveraging IBM Watson technology to improve the customer service experience for both private and public institutions while reducing their overall costs.

Apple Watch with City of Surrey IBM Watson

Apple Watch with City of Surrey IBM Watson

This pilot is expected to enhance customer experience by increasing the accessibility of services, while providing City with insight into opportunities for improvement and reduction to service delivery costs - Councillor Bruce Hayne

Today, Purple Forge Corp, a provider of community engagement and self service solutions to governments and enterprise organizations, announced it has become a Watson Ecosystem Partner.

Purple Forge’s Powered by IBM Watson solution leverages Watson QA and natural language processing capabilities in order to allow users to ask questions and receive evidence-based answers using a website, smartphone or wearable devices such as the Apple Watch, without having to wait for a call agent or a reply to an email.

The City of Surrey in British Columbia will be the first public sector organization to pilot the Purple Forge Powered by IBM Watson solution. The solution will be offered to city residents as part of the ‘My Surrey’ mobile and web apps that citizens currently use to obtain information for a wide range of government services such as recycling schedule, job opportunities, and recreational activities.

“IBM Watson’s learning abilities are such that the technology builds its knowledge and improves as citizens use it, much in the same way humans learn,” said Councillor Bruce Hayne, Chair of Innovation & Investment Committee. “This pilot is expected to enhance customer experience by increasing the accessibility of services, while providing City with insight into opportunities for improvement and reduction to service delivery costs.”

“Our mobile-first SaaS solutions make advanced community engagement and self service solutions powered by IBM Watson available for a wide range of organizations,” said Brian Hurley, CEO and co-Founder of Purple Forge. “By integrating our proven SaaS solution with IBM Watson technology our aim is to transform how public-facing organizations serve citizens and consumers.”

IBM Watson represents a new era in computing in which systems are able to interact in natural language, analyze large volumes of unstructured data, respond to complex questions with evidence-based answers, and discover new actionable patterns and insights.

The Purple Forge solution also offers benefits for customer service staff that will help them improve service operations efficiency with the ability to answer citizen and consumer questions more quickly while also providing additional insights into unmet customer service needs based on interactions with IBM Watson. For example, customer service staff will gain insights into questions that are not being answered, as well as the general themes of service requests and trends based on season.

As part of the pilot, Purple Forge, the City and IBM worked to create an app powered by Watson services that can understand questions for city services which include: Animal Control, Parking Enforcement, Waste Collection Pickup, Bylaws, Fire Police Emergency Services, Transportation, Utilities, Cemetery, Mobile Apps, Building and Construction, Engineering Customer Services, Engineering Infrastructure, Property Taxes, Culture and Recreation and Volunteer.

This pilot is a component of the City’s Smart Surrey Strategy, which seeks to build a city that uses technology and innovation to transform life and work within its region in significant and fundamental ways. Using new and existing technologies and information, the strategy identifies and implements systems to inform decision-making, create efficiencies and maximize its resources. 

The City of Surrey is a “Top 7 Intelligent Communities of 2015” as named by New York-based think tank, Intelligent Community Forum. For more information visit http://www.surrey.ca/smartsurrey.

About Purple Forge
Purple Forge is an award-winning Software as a Service (SaaS) provider of mobile-first community engagement and self service solutions. Our customers include: Governments, Venues, Telecommunications Service Providers, Financial Institutions, and Membership-based Organizations. Purple Forge's platform and applications offer a wide range of features that span web, mobile, wearables, social, location based services, iBeacons and the Internet of Things. Our solutions increase customer engagement, provide insights into unmet customer needs and reduce service delivery costs.

About IBM Watson: Pioneering a New Era of Computing
Watson is the first commercially available cognitive computing technology. With the help of Watson, organizations are harnessing the power of cognitive computing to transform industries, help professionals do their jobs better, and solve important challenges.

IBM has established a growing ecosystem of developers, students, entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts worldwide by placing the power of cognitive computing in their hands. More than 25 Watson services are available on the IBM Watson Developer Cloud on Bluemix, allowing these innovators to discover, explore and create an entirely new class of apps and businesses fueled by Watson. This community of tens of thousands of tech enthusiasts and Ecosystem partners are already generating up to 3 billion monthly API requests, demonstrating the adoption of the open platform.

For more information on IBM Watson, visit: ibm.com/watsonecosystem.

Check out the IBM Watson press kit at: http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/presskit/27297.wss

Join the conversation at #ibmwatson. Follow Watson on Facebook and see Watson on YouTube and Flickr.

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