Conversational design is all about chatbots and voicebots, both of which are computer programs driven by AI, automated rules, natural-language processing (NLP), and machine learning (ML).
Ulimi, located in Covington, is a tech company that creates chatbots and voicebots to optimize business/workforce performance. Cincinnati Future spoke with Ulimi’s founder Nick Dokich about the company.
Can you explain how Ulimi’s tech works?
Dokich: A lot of people use bots for playing music, for B2C things, etc. We concentrate on creating them for business processes, like automating call center operations and other things a human shouldn’t have to be bothered with.
One example is our tech that lets companies send out surveys to their employees. Like, if you just got hired, we send out a text that will say “Welcome to xyz” and include some information. We continue to send the texts intermittently from then on. That means HR doesn’t have to do that and they can follow up with people much more efficiently.
You’ve recently focused some tech around COVID. What did you create?
Dokich: We do a lot of COVID daily health checks on employees. If you’re an employee of a company, the bot will know what shift you’re on. It will ping you the night before to tell you to do a health check. If you don’t respond by an hour before your shift, it’s going to ping you again. Thirty minutes before, it’s going to ping you again. Whether you respond or not, five minutes after your shift starts, your supervisor gets a report mailed to them and they can see quickly who’s at risk and who’s safe to go to work.
One of our chatbots is named Heidi Hires and she’s used by the Kentucky Workforce Development Job Board. When COVID hit, they had tons and tons of jobs on the board but there wasn’t a good way to search. So we built a bot experience where people could more easily browse for jobs.
Is your background in programming?
Dokich: I was in HR for most of my career. A friend approached me with a business idea and asked for my help. He was making Facebook Messenger chatbots. That idea led nowhere but it made me look at the technology and I realized it was something that could help me in my job. I was used to running around like a chicken with my head cut off—we had 500 employees in a warehouse and I spent so much time just trying to track them down. I wanted to make products I could use while I was in motion, while I was doing my job.
What are the advantages of being located in the Cincy area?
Dokich: Infrastructure wise, super-fast internet. We were one of the first companies in Covington to get Google Fiber. But also, our client base is heavily located here: manufacturing, logistics, industrial. Something like 60% of all manufacturing is located within 24 hours of here. It’s also a community of hard-working people. We want to do everything to make people’s lives better, to give them back their valuable time.