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AiThority Interview with Hardy Myers, SVP of Business Development & Strategy at Cognigy

Hardy Myers, SVP of Business Development & Strategy at Cognigy

Please tell us a little bit about what inspired you to join Cognigy.

I joined Cognigy for three primary reasons: 1. The culture and leadership of this industry-leading Enterprise Conversational AI company; 2. The transformative impact of Conversational AI on customer experience (CX) by automating many important customer interactions; and 3. The phenomenal market opportunity for Conversational AI forecasted by Gartner to grow from ~$300M in 2020 to $13.9B in 2026.

Tell us about Cognigy and its core offerings.

The Cognigy.AI platform enables enterprise to deliver instant, effortless, multilingual and fully personalized experiences across a multitude of voice and digital channels 24x7x365. Cognigy’s AI platform delivers a powerful set of customer-facing solutions like Conversational IVR and Smart Self-Service that reduce average customer interaction times by 30+%,as well as a robust set of AI-enabled agent-facing tools that materially improve agent productivity. In addition to reduced costs and improved productivity, these two AI-enabled solution sets deliver significant increases in customer satisfaction (experience), a key competitive differentiator for all enterprises today.

Please share any major milestones for Cognigy in 2022.

2022 was a big year for Cognigy. In January, Gartner named Cognigy a leader in the Magic Quadrant™ for Enterprise Conversational AI (CAI) Platforms. Cognigy increased its Series B fundraising with an investment from Deutsche Telecom Capital Partners (DTCP). Cognigy also became an official Amazon partner and, later in the year, was selected as the first CAI platform vendor for Amazon’s Conversational AI competency. Cognigy also received the highest rating from customers on Gartner Peer Insights™ for the categories of Enterprise Conversational AI Platforms and Conversational Platforms.

Who does Cognigy partner with – and how will these partnerships enable Cognigy to continue to expand globally?

Cognigy has built one of the largest Conversational AI partner networks globally. Our strategic solution integration partners include Accenture, Deloitte, CGI, FPS and ISG. With a strong focus on automating contact centers with our transformative AI-enabled solutions, our technology partners include Avaya, Amazon, Genesys, RingCentral and UiPath.

How does the airline industry leverage AI-enabled contact center automation solutions? Can you share a case study to highlight the transformative nature of these solutions?

There are tremendous benefits from automating customer service in the airline industry. Cognigy’s customer, Lufthansa Group, one of the largest airline groups in the world, is a great example of a successfully implemented Conversational AI solution. Like most airlines, Lufthansa has a combination of high customer expectations, regulations changing regularly, and cost pressures resulting from the COVID-19 crisis. Cognigy provided the scalability and flexibility that Lufthansa needed to address all customer interactions with an AI-enabled, omnichannel approach, alleviating a significant amount of pressure placed on agents. Today, 10,000 customers a day, driving over six million conversations per year, leverage Lufthansa’s virtual agents to solve their issues more efficiently.

Which other industries significantly benefit from leveraging Conversational AI?

Any industry that has a large customer base will benefit from deploying Conversational AI-based solutions. The insurance, automotive, manufacturing, financial services, retail, utilities, healthcare, and telecommunications industries are among the first to adopt, and benefit from, CAI. Bosch, for example, taps into the power of Conversational AI to cultivate a resilient, creative, productive workforce. E.ON is masterfully managing a portfolio of more than 30 voice- and chatbots, achieving unprecedented levels of automation for both its customers and employees. Toyota’s vehicles now proactively call vehicle owners when warning lights are overlooked or service is required.

What are Cognigy’s plans for 2023?

Cognigy will continue to aggressively execute its global go-to-market strategy with a particular focus on growing its U.S. and German-region customer bases. We also plan to deliver a number of significant new industry-leading product innovations including enterprise appropriate Generative AI-based solutions.

Please tell us how contact centers evolved during the pandemic. What are the expectations from customers today?

Historically, voice was the primary communication channel for most customer service operations with customers forced to adapt to the schedule of the enterprise. Post-COVID, customers expect real-time service 24×7 on the channel of their choice. Voice is still very important, but an AI-enabled automated customer service experience is rapidly becoming the norm. ​

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Thank you, Hardy! That was fun and we hope to see you back on soon.

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As Senior Vice President, Business Development and Strategy, Hardy Myers works closely with Cognigy’s co-founders and senior management team to develop the company’s strategic priorities, secure and activate partnerships, and implement the optimal business processes to achieve Cognigy’s strategic and financial objectives. Hardy is a seasoned leader with over 20 years of experience in the contact center and unified communications space, including past senior leadership roles as CEO and CFO. He has also led teams in business development, partnerships, strategy and corporate development at industry-leading companies such as Avaya, Intradiem and AVST.

Cognigy Logo

Cognigy, a market leader in Conversational AI, Powers Up enterprise contact centers to exceed customer expectations, improve agent satisfaction, and rapidly respond to market changes. The Cognigy.AI platform enables next-generation customer service with a suite of solutions, including Conversational IVR, Smart Self-Service, and Agent + Assist. In addition, Cognigy.AI gives the enterprise what it needs to deliver always-on, personalized service experiences at scale, on both voice and chat.

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