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Google Business Messaging


Morning, so, I am Sean and I'm working developer relations at Google particular business messaging. That's kind of a tough act to follow after all that handshaking. But so, what I'm going to talking about, there we go. This morning is a couple of different platforms that Google is building the allow businesses to connect with consumers and that could be like a chatbot experience or for consumers to basically connect with businesses, but before I go too far, I wanted to I know it's early. so, I want to give you guys something additional interactive to do besides the handshaking and I got to take a second to kind of pull the audience here. so, if I can have everybody just take out their smartphone.

I'm asking you have a smartphone. You take it out for a second and just open it up to the home screen. so, I want to get a show of hands of everybody in here that their default SMS MMS app is on that home screen. so, this could be iMessage maybe messages by Google Samsung messages something like that. so, pretty good amount of people I'd say definitely over half now stay on your messaging app and just open up the list of conversations and scroll back through the last 20 or 30 conversations. And let's get another show of hands of how many people in those last collection of conversations received a message from the business. so, this is probably over a short code or long code potentially a two-factor authentication fraud alert. Yeah.

So, a lot of people and that's not too surprising because this whole business of businesses essentially sending their consumers SMS is a really, really big business and something that I certainly wouldn't put a lot of thought into until I started kind of working in this market, but there's actually about 2 trillion of these business SMS sent from businesses to Consumers every day or every year sewing which represents like a huge, huge business is like a 50 to 70 billion dollar worldwide Market. These are things like two-factor authentication codes fraud alerts and so, forth. And the reason even though this is a 25 year old technology that businesses continue to depend on this is because if you have a cell phone essentially you can be reached by a business if they have your phone number, so, it's the largest messaging platform in the world by a long shot even more so, than something like email.

The other Advantage is that it's all so, one of the best in boxes in the world. As you saw most of the people in here have that app on their home screen and the read and open rates on SMS is really, really high. so, it's tremendously valuable to businesses, but despite the fact that is very valuable. There are definitely some problems with SMS. so, this is what a business SMS looks like and kind of all its Glory you can see sent from a short code could be a long code or maybe alphanumeric and it's essentially just a plain text message and businesses are restricted to the restrictions SMS, which is essentially a hundred sixty characters.

So, businesses have to be very Purple or strategic about what they're putting into their message they have to use rather, you know, I guess like not natural language to express what they want to put into a hundred sixty characters. And the other thing is that on this platform your businesses spend a lot of money on their branding on their logos on the way, they talk to customers and who they are as a business all that goes away on this platform because it's plain text and there's no logos.

There's no identity for who the business is and we have no pictures no videos. This is a pretty jarring experience for someone who's using a basically computer in your pocket in 2019. And there's no read receipt. As well as very limited interaction essentially the interaction happens on business SMS someone may be tapping a link and going to a website. so, all those like two trillion messages almost all those are essentially One-Way communication. so, what can we do about that?

Well, Google's and heavily investing in this area on a technology called Rich communication services or RCS like SMS or an MMS is a Telco standard. It's not something invented by well, it started eight to nine years ago and has only recently started to gain traction through Google's interest in backing into it. so, the advantages that you get with RCS as like a basically on peer-to-peer communication is similar to what you would expect on like a modern messaging app through WhatsApp or or any of these like over the top apps where you're getting rich media video sharing typing indicators all that kind of good stuff and then RCS business messaging or you'll probably hear me refer to it as RBM is essentially the business messaging platform that leverages RCS channel for businesses.

So, essentially a business can talk to a rest API to create experiences like this delivered to the default messaging experience on someone’s cell phone. so, you get the advantages that you have with SMS where this is, you know, someone’s default app on their phone, but you can create these kind of Rich messaging experiences where you can send them a rich card with, you know, and a QR code so, that they can check in for a flight. We have branding for like the real business.

Well, this isn't a real business. It's a made-up business but bonjour rail. and this case and you see the logo and we can do things like help the user actually respond by giving them chips or suggestions to be able to just tap on those suggestions and interact with but and then we can even because it's it the fact that it's essentially a computer you can link into other experiences on the phone like Google pay Google Maps, maybe even your own app so, what goes into one of these series of interactions so, with RBM we talk about agents you can essentially think of it like a bot can use those interchangeably and an agent or bot is essentially just a series of interactions that's happening between the business and the consumer. And you can see a couple of different example experiences that are on the right one is for applying to jobs.

And the other one is for actually ordering food. These are real experiences that people so, what happens with one of these series of interactions essentially is that the first thing is we need to actually understand what the user needs to do. And you're going to hear I'm sure a lot about this kind of idea of user’s intent which comes from natural language processing. essentially, it's the meaning behind different Expressions.

If I say hello. Hi, welcome. How are you? I mix it essentially made the intent behind those expressions is the same thing. I'm greeting you around welcome you so, the first thing we need to do as a bot or platform is understand what the users trying to do. Then we need to map that to some sort of business lookup or business logic. And when constructing response on our BM essentially, you know, we have someone asking a question like how much data that I've left this month. Well, we're going to go figure out what that means look it up in a database probably and then package it up in the advantage of RBM is since it's a visual medium.

We can not only respond with tax, but we can actually attach like an image of it representation of that and as if your software engineer, you're pretty familiar with carrying out these steps like two three and four we do that all the time you've ever built a website built an app. Essentially, you're always like fetching data based on user behavior. And then rendering it to the user. The hard part here is really the first thing which is understanding what users want to do, especially on a conversational medium like messaging but we've recently reached a point with an I'm sure there's going to be talks about this today, but where we've reached a point with kind of conversational Ai and natural language processing research where we can actually where we can actually as a non-expert in machine learning or natural language processing create these kind of conversational experiences. As you saw a second ago, when the slide for came up RBM is like this like nice and unique mixture of both like graphical user interface.

So, where we have chips and cards and carousels in these types of things that help direct user action, but al so, mixed with a conversation and this is happening in the same place and I'm chatting with my family or my friends or whatever. so, it makes sense that we can you know, we need to be able to talk and Converse with the Bots and that is this mix is very powerful and very transformative bias al so, complicated to sort of design and build for And as I mentioned, you know, we're starting to kind of get to a place with tooling like tools like dialogue flow or IBM's Wat son where we are able to create and levers this kind this kind of power of conversation mix with graphical user interface area. So, and this kind of transformation or Paradigm Shift happens in Computing every 10 years or so, with the way that consumers interact with technology you think like back in the 70s, have mainframes 80s, had desktops then we had Internet and mobile phones. If you think about like Imagining the world was that the internet today is pretty hard like the being there. If you were alive for the kind of transformation of people everyone being connected online. It was a major shift in the way that we access information and same with mobile. Now, we all carry around basically computers in our pocket and it there's you know, maybe good and bad that comes with that but it's certainly changed the way that we consume information and interact with businesses. And then now I believed, you know, we are on the cusp of another transformation or paradigm shift in the way that consumers are interacting with technology, which is AI assistance conversation. And we're RBM fits into that is really a platform that brings conversation directly into that kind of home screen that inbox for users so, we can leverage this power of NLP conversational AI directly into someone’s inbox so, I don't give a lot of so, I'm not a real white thrill-seeker. I don't climb mountains or jump out of airplanes and stuff. I do give a lot of live demos which come with their own collection of Thrills because there's nothing more thrilling than failing spectacular in front of roomful people. so, this is an actual RBM agent. This RBM agent was created for googlers. It's called a pot and what it does is if you've ever been to a Google campus or you're aware of this is Google has a lot of cafes or restaurants, especially in the Mountain View campus and this bot essentially allows googlers to browse and see what cafes there are what food is available in the subscribe to different menus and get alerts about them or even be able to do things. Like I only want to you know, see vegetarian food or I only want to see Indian food so, you can also, see that eat bought so, it says welcome to eat Nom nom time to get your eat on, so, one of the things with something like conversation Leo, especially from a business to Consumer is that you want like the language of the business or the bot to sort of match. The language of the person consuming that so, eat Bots kind of cheeky and its language because it's basically talking to software engineers at Google. so, you probably wouldn't do this necessarily for certain types of businesses. But this kind of language I think resonates Google's. with so, what I can do here is I can say I want see cafes near me and there's not going to be any cafes here, but I can search for one. Oops, I'm just going to just a second. All right, we'll do a googolplex. so, that's in Mountain View. And when I share my location basically my Latin long or the location, I shared is going to be shared back to the bot and then we're going to go and look up different cafes are available at the main Googleplex so, we can see you should has swai see these are all different cafes and you can see al so, the ones that only support like lunch you can view the location some of them also, have dinner and then we can go and grab this grab the lunch menu for mix it. And then this will tell me, you know the opening time and basically what's available for food to them and then I can subscribe to that feed in each day. I'll get an alert 10 minutes or so, before open. So, I know what there is for lunch to them. so, we have people like Google using this today. It's a good way for us to test the actual platform and it's all so, a way to kind serve the ecosystem in Google. so, I switch over to another one another by here. So, this is Acme bank, which is a fake fictitious bank that I made up. But the idea is it’s kind of supports things that you would expect from, you know, maybe a banking conversation experience so, you can say I want to open an account. And he's going to tell me that I need to come in. So, one of the differences so, one of the things with the e-bot app is even though I was like looking around and serves my purpose is to show me cafes and stuff. I wasn't really having much of a conversation with it as basically just kind of going down deterministic flow similar to what you would with like a nap or or a website, but at me banks actually hooked into an NLP model that I built with dialogue flow. so, rather than just interacting with it purely through the menus. I actually ask for Stuff. I want to transfer 250 dollars to my checking account. so, I can send that off and essentially that slide that I had earlier where we talked about detecting. These was a tent it's going to carry that out by talking to dialogue flow model that I created understand that the user actually wants to transfer 250 US dollars from savings to checking confirm that and then I can use chips because it's on RBM to direct the conversation respond. Yes. And then we'll do one more here. What was my spending on Amazon last month? so, with any of these kind of like conversational queries, I could of course go back through the menus and carry it out, but it's similar to being like interacting with a phone tree where it's going to have to ask me for each of these steps is not very natural and you can certainly learn, you know, the behavior the Bots that way but the nice thing as well is that since this is a conversational medium. It's just messaging I should be able to actually interact with the bought by asking for specific things. so, that's what's Happening Here. All right, if you can just switch back to the slides. Alright, thank you. so, that is RCS business messaging which is all about how sort of transforming or upgrading that 2 trillion SMS messages that are being sent from businesses to Consumers, so, all of those conversations are happening on that platform are really about initiated from the business because business needs to know what the person's phone number is, but if we want what if we want to go the other way, the user actually wants to initiate the conversation with the business. so, that's the second half. The talk here I got to talk about is another platform called business messages by Google which is about users essentially initiating conversations with consumers. Alright, so, the way so, recently I was on a flight or I was waiting for a flight and while I was waiting for my flight, I actually realize that I had lost my credit card. so, I'm in this airport essentially waiting to get on the flight. And I don't have my credit card. so, what do I do? so, I used Google to look up the customer service phone number for Chase Sapphire and I got on Phone call with them the airport and I had to go through, you know, your normal phone tree and eventually got to a live person and then I'm in the airport surrounded by hundreds of people and have to essentially give like personally identifying information over the phone loud enough for them to hear things. Like my last four digits my social my date birth my home address and stuff. There's probably like already setting myself up for like fraud in the future. I finally got through it. They canceled my card and they sent me a new one over FedEx whole process took. Like 25 minutes while al so, basically yelling out on this personal information in front of a room full people and I remember even couple months ago. I had to call Aaron India and I was on hold for 2 hours and then when they finally did call me back. It was like 3:00 the morning. so, I'm sure that this kind of experience with customer service phone calls is probably not unique to me. I'm sure everybody in this room has some sort of horror story where they've had to reach out to a business and it was not an idea. so, the This business is gigantic. There's 1.3 trillion dollars spent from businesses. Basically Fielding 264 billion phone calls a year, so, it’s a massive business is even bigger and at least from the dollar sense then business SMS and for the most part. It's not a great experience. If you do the math on that businesses are spending somewhere between four and six dollars to feel these phone calls and then the terrible experience for the consumer. I always kind of laugh at this slide where it says three percent of customers enjoy using ivr because I'm like really like to meet this the three people out of a hundred that said, yes, but I think they're probably just: trolling or accidentally selected. Yes, on the survey, but the whole thing is it's not great for the consumer. It's bad for the business. And the reality is that can you go next Google is part of the problem here Google generates a ton of call vole 40 to 60 percent or sorry 60 at 80% phone calls originated on a website, which is basically traffic that's delivered from Google property and billions of phone calls are initiated just like you saw on the chassis Chase Sapphire example that I talked about earlier directly from Google. so, what can we do with that? And here's a specific example of a us. Pizza chain that receives 59 million phone calls from Google a year. So, if you think about $4 a phone call, that's a pretty expensive proposition to basically handle all those phone calls. so, how can we change that? You know the idea of all today is especially for like the generation that's growing up with technology cell phones or smartphones and internet phone calls a pretty invasive experience like someone going and ringing your doorbell in middle of the day, but we all message messaging is essentially the killer app that exists on smartphones today. So, what we're doing is we're bringing messaging directly into the main Google properties for where you actually interact with. so, that's maps that search. so, we're trying to meet sort of consumers where they're already initiating this conversation with businesses except today those conversations are happening over phone call. We can redirect them into a messaging conversation which could be with a live agent or it could be with a chatbot or some sort of mix of those two. A demo of experience here. so, this is actually live King of Persia. so, I think you might have to put in Pennsylvania there as well because it's location specific, but essentially this is called Place sheet and you can see in this case a messaging buttons been enabled beside the call button, and if you click that on an iOS device or on an Android device is going to launch into this conversational UI where you can actually chat with the business and some of those chats will start with chatbot. And then they might escalate to a live agent or it might be complete with a live agent. I think you can do the same thing with the Google merchandise store as well. so, today this technology is launching sort of a pilot mode with a number of businesses and its mostly text. We launched initially just plain text. so, you see the logo the business in the name of the business, but there's not all the rich kind of conversational stuff that you saw with the RBM platform today, and then just recently we launched where we have support for photos. And then if we go to the next slide you can see our plans for sort of 2020 is to start to build this out to be more of a rich conversation experience similar to what we have on the IBM platform. It's carousels and cards and suggestions and so, forth along with all the parts of like the conversational AI that we can have. Right, and I think we're going to try one more live demo this guy and I'm going to need a little bit of help. Oh, can you switch back to my phone? sorry. Alright, so, we'll start on maps. so, I'm going search for Sean's pituitary, which is actually that's a picture of my parents’ home and you can see that there's a message button there so, I can say message and that's going to start a conversation with this business. so, going to just type in hello or hi. And in this experience if you switch back to the other tab there, this is actually talking to a live agent. There's no reason that this couldn't al so, be talking to a robot or a combination. so, Stephen if you can just type back. Hello, that's fine. so, one of the things that is happening here that in addition to just the live chat, which is pretty simple, but we're launching directly from that is that you know, we live especially if you look at like a country like Canada Canada's a bilingual country. so, people coming into the conversation could be speaking different languages. So, what I've done in this is that I've used Google's translation technology to essentially Auto detect the language that the user speaking and then it can translate on the Fly. if I say larger so, I do bonjour Savar. It's going to detect on the other side that I am speaking French. so, this is the original language is French and an auto translates to basically what the bar or the human would understand and then if Stephen responds is going to Auto translate back to the language that I'm speaking. Not sure what that is. But so, yeah, so, that's English. so, then we can go hola and basically when keep switching back and forth on the fly now normally probably someone will need be speaking one or two languages. But this demo is kind of just to show the power of corporate thing something like modern machine learning like Google Translation. These are all Cloud apis that you can Use them we can basically auto-detect languages is one of the things that we found on this platform when we launched it is we always every conversation ends with sensually a csat score which we use to evaluate the quality the platform. But if you come into a messaging experience with business and you're speaking a language that they don't recognize you're automatically going to get a really poor csat score because essentially the person or the Bots can't respond in a way that the user can understand so, by using something like Google translation, Maybe you can't carry on an in-depth conversation about politics, but you can certainly help set expectation for the user in terms of what you can handle or Express to them in their own language that they need to converse and whatever the languages that your platform explain supports. And one the other issues is that since Modern phones are all localized, typically, when you're interacting with Google Maps or some other platform in the phone. It's in the language that they expect. So, if I'm a Spanish speaker, my phone is probably going to be in Spanish and if I suddenly go into a messaging conversation where it's all in English is quite a jarring experience. If you can just switch back to my slides. That is, it. so, that's both the two platforms, basically RBM RCS business messaging that's businesses starting and initiating conversations with consumers and then business messages by Google, which is a PDA or person application platform. Where users can initiate conversations directly from search or from that with businesses. Thank you. Thank you, Governor Applause. I'm going to do some Q&A. Thank you Sean. so, does anyone have a couple questions? Alright come to you if you ask questions you get a ticket. I'm wondering if you have any idea of when RCS will be widely available.

So, I didn't get into it but one of the challenges of course with the RCs business messaging platform and al so, RCS in general is it is a telecommunication standard. so, it does depend on a lot of things outside of say Google's control such as carrier adoption by phone manufacturers and so forth. so, today we are launched in a number of different countries. We are launched in Mexico Brazil UK France and United States and but that represents Mostly a subset of those populations the country that we have. The largest region is in Mexico where we have very good relationships with telcel and telefónica and they represent a large portion of the reachable users there and there's also, this platform when you work on Android today, and there's a lot of Android users in Mexico. So, there's advantages there but to kind of comment on like RCS is like widely available everywhere. Like let's say United States. It's a little bit tricky to know. Certainly, like give you a definitive answer. I know it feels like a maybe a cop-out but it's depending on why things that are outside of certainly my personal control since depends on you know, carriers and agreements and things like that, but there is a real effort in Industry, especially now with Android oblique mandating that RCS clients have to be available on new versions of Android and RCs for has to be there. so, we are starting to make a lot of Headway in terms of adoption over the world. Yeah question about the capability you reference the very end there are you saying there's a specific nlu engine for each language or are using Auto translate to go from the questioners initial language to whatever your base line which is probably English then doing the nlu and the response look up on that and then translating the English response back to the original language. So, there's a couple ways you could do that so, certainly one way would be You Auto translate into the language that you built like the say it's a bot and you built a bar and dialogue flow in English. Then you'd probably want to translate things in English and then try to match intense against that and I think if it's simple enough language inquiries, you can certainly do that the other way to do it, especially if you are say building chatbot soon in like let's say Canada where you're going to deal with English and French speakers, you can create you could create separate models that both understand English and French. Is there a way for businesses to track? What is the absolute vole of contact that's originating for them on Google, sorry. Can you repeat that last part? What is there? Is there a way to track? What is the absolute vole of contact originating on Google for their businesses for which part the rvm know generally so, you mentioned that trillions of calls? donate for businesses on Google is there a way for businesses to track that? Oh, sorry. Okay. so, you're talking about how can a business track how many phone calls are generated from Google property? I mean, there's certainly there's not like a way that you could go to a dashboard on Google and just like see what in your domain name and see many phone calls regenerated but certainly from like a programmer programmatic sense. You can track that a user is actually coming from a Google domain and then if you have I mean the tricky part is if they type in the phone number on the device, there's not really a way to link from the fact that they went to your website and issued a call and Get there you can identify them later, but you could certainly track if you can initiate a phone call from like a click on your website. Then you can have statistics around that so, you could kind of track the full funnel of the person coming from Google and then clicking on the phone call and initiating the phone call, but the tricky part is when they go sort of break the chain there and they type in something manual.

Thanks Sean. It was very nice presentation. Very nice ideas, but you know that That whenever we would like to implement such kind of a you know conversation in a real business scenario specially in the financial sector or in or for of like a for Health Care, the most important problem is a data security, right? so, like if the doctors and you know DK, sorry. If the doctors and the patients communicate to each other using the SMS system or chat bar system, there are a lot of sensitive information they exchange right? so, what is your opinion to protect such kind of a sensitive information? so, talking about let's say you're in a situation where you need to deal transmit sensitive information over the platform like in the case of like healthcare. I mean, I think the reality is that we're not a place where the platform which we can support a use case like that. We would not encourage people to not that the data is not secure but it is still existing in a messaging thread on your phone, which is someone accessed your phone they could see but I think long-term we are you know, we are investigating solutions like being able to have like an oath session that you could defend a case against the business and then they could you could basically transmit that maybe something see more securely Maybe lives for certain time or you could even have things where you can walk down the conversation similar to like an app. So, if you look at apps in the space of like one medical or these kinds of businesses, they have messaging built in the app and you can transmit things back and forth and that's happening over a secure Channel. And then al so, in addition to that the app is secure itself where you have to log in order to access that sort of stuff so, similar types of behavior things that we could potentially support at the moment again, the platform's not really set up. Up for that kind of stuff if we look at the RBM platform. We're really focused on how can we upgrade those two trillion SMS that exist today and make it a significantly more enhanced experience and when we make that successful, then you know, there's all kinds of things that we can potentially do to start to move into other messaging space. Thank you. I actually have two questions. H? Will RCS require the users to download a new app to their phone. And the second question is. How is this? Well, frankly Superior to twilio. Thank you. so, so, the first question the Downloading an app so, ideally no so, we work with some phone manufacturers all over the world that we have Partnerships with where they are making the essentially when you go out and you buy a new Android device the default messaging app would be an RCS client. so, that could be messages by Google if it's on Samsung that it could be Samsung messages. We have a partnership with Samsung to make this experience interop between devices. Now if you're dealing with an older phone that doesn't have one of those then in that situation and you were like I really want to have this. Today you would have to go and download an app from like the Play Store to in order to enable experience. Now your second question about twilio. Twilio is a is a partner as a channel partner of ours. so, you would if you work with twilio today to say send SMS you could work with twilio to send RCS. They essentially would leverage our platform to deliver that to the carrier's just like they leverage their platform and agreements that they have directly with carriers in order to deliver SMS today. so, to be a similar experience from like the brand or the consumers are the business side. Thank you very much for last round of applause for Shawn. Thank you.



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