Global technology firm Oracle Corp. has seen a rise in the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled digital assistants or chatbots in India, as customers look to enrich user experience and improve productivity.
“Oracle is seeing a lot of interest in India across industry sectors like BFSI (banking, financial services & insurance), manufacturing, education, supply chain/logistics and telecom," said Suhas Uliyar, vice president of AI and Digital Assistant, Oracle. “And it’s actually across organizations of all sizes."
The AI-based chatbot market size is expected to grow from $2.6 billion in 2019 to $9.4 billion by 2024 at CAGR of over 29%, according to reports. A 2019 Gartner CIO survey also revealed that CIOs identified chatbots as the main AI-based application used in their enterprises.
Oracle’s digital assistant competes with the likes of IBM Watson Assistant, SAP Conversational AI and Amazon Lex.
Oracle, which believes there is further scope for innovation and a need to develop its own platform to address the privacy concerns of customers, counts Bajaj Electricals Ltd, SRF Ltd, PwC India and Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Ltd (IIFCO) among its many customers in India that have deployed its digital assistants.
Lighting and appliances maker Bajaj Electricals is using ‘Bajaj Paddy’, an AI chatbot to transform its customer interactions. “Using Oracle’s digital assistant, Bajaj Electricals built a chatbot for customer services in 3 weeks which otherwise takes much longer," Uliyar said.
Similarly, IFFCO is helping farmers procure fertilizers using an Oracle chatbot that delivers information related to HR, financials, sales, and inventory. IFFCO aims to make the chatbot available in a multi-lingual form to all 35,000 cooperative societies and nearly five crore farmers to solve their queries.
India has been the “best performing" region for Oracle within Japan and Asia Pacific region consecutively for the last four years, according to Oracle. “We have been clocking double digit growth for the last 5 years, doubling our overall customer base from 7,500 to 15,000 in the same timeframe," said Shailender Kumar, regional managing director, Oracle India.
Oracle is also building its AI-based digital assistant capabilities through acquisitions. It acquired DataScience.com in 2018 to enhance its position in big data and machine learning, and Speak.ai in 2019 to build on its conversational AI capabilities.
Oracle’s digital assistant journey traces back to 2016 when executive chairman Larry Ellison announced a new chatbot development platform to allow organizations build and run chatbots to process simple requests.
Later in October 2018, it introduced its AI-enabled digital assistant and last year, Oracle launched its AI voice assistant for the enterprise to help customers use voice commands to communicate with their enterprise applications.