Jamie Thomson

Thoughts, words and deeds

I believe that Agents are our future…

with one comment

…build them well and let them lead the way!!

 

On 12th October 2006 Microsoft purchased Colloquis, a provider of automated service agents. To me, and most probably you, that is better described as bots that you can talk to in Windows Messenger and nowadays the product is called Windows Live Agents. The team formerly known as Colloquis have a blog here that is regularly updated.

I was hoping that when Colloquis were purchased this would usher in a new era of automated interaction agents that simplify my online life. No longer would I have to browse to web pages in order to do the mundane things that I have to do as part of my daily routine. Unfortunately we haven’t reached that tipping point yet. I look forward to the day when I am able to view my bank balance, pay my bills, purchase things from Amazon, book flights, view live flight information, update personal details that people may have about me and do countless other things that I haven’t thought of yet all from within my Live Messenger window. The first thing I would like to see would be an agent that enables me to update all the information that I have stored at http://account.live.com. That would be a great way for Microsoft to demonstrate the capabilities of Windows Live Agents while at the same time providing a really useful service.

So, none of this stuff really exists at the moment though I did however find the Microsoft Automated Service Agent site which leads me to think that Microsoft ARE pushing something in this area. However, reading through the blurb it seems as if Microsoft envisage these agents being deployed within a web site. That’s not what I want at all though – I want to be able to interact with these things from the convenience of my IM client – without having to go near a web browser. I cross my fingers that this will happen.

Will we reach the agent tipping point soon? I don’t think it is going to happen in the near future, but it will do one day.

-Jamie

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Written by Jamiet

December 1, 2007 at 8:56 pm

Posted in Live Messenger

One Response

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  1. Great post JamieI work with and partly own a start-up here in the UK that create agents. We’ve been working with the old Colloquis team way back before MS took an interest – we build a travel bot that could help you quickly find flights and this soon showed how Agents can be quite useful and great productivity tools.As long as there is a balance; i.e. when we first started with flight searches we also allowed you to trawl through all the results but ideally the Agent is best applied when it helps you find something quick, and can direct you to the FINAL result in one click.Of course Microsoft’s WLM client has the added, and much under-valued (in my opinion) advantage of the activity window. So few agents make use of this window and we think it’s an excellent way to bring content from the web into the conversation.Web agents, or ASA as it’s known, is a completely different ballgame; we are actually pitching for some ourselves but I agree with you 100%, the future is in IM based ones. Web based ones are great for customer service interaction type functionalities, but they won’t offer a life-changing experience. I think that tipping point is closer than you might think!Riaanwww.insidemessenger.com

    Riaan

    December 4, 2007 at 6:51 am


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