How Powers Capitaland's Virtual Concierge, Sparkle

Authored by Britto with inputs from RK

What(or Who) Is Ira, one of our products, is artificial intelligence for enterprises. We see our core logic engine as a powerful platform that is versatile enough to solve wide variety of problems for enterprises in different verticals - be it Telecom, Banking, Retail, Travel and more.

Want to supercharge your customer support and respond to their queries in sub-seconds? Would you like your chatbot to speak enterprise? (Can it seamlessly integrate with existing systems)? Would you like to own the infrastructure that your bot runs on and have tighter control? Would you like to choose the cloud platform it runs on? Check, check, check and check. Ira's got you covered! :)

This post explains one such enterprise use case.

The Problem

Capitaland is one of Asia's largest real estate companies headquartered and listed in Singapore. The problem statement is simple - Capitaland wanted to make the user experience better for all the shoppers through an intelligent, self learning virtual concierge. Considering the number of malls they already own and future growth plans, this was a very important initiative.

How did Help? powers Capitaland's virtual concierge app named Sparkle (available for both iOS and Android). Through Sparkle, Capitaland loyalty customers get to enjoy virtual concierge services that allows them to book rides, reserve restaurant, book movie tickets, earn STAR$ reward points and browse retailer offerings by simply chatting on the capitastar app, Capitaland’s reward program for its customer (available in both android and iOS).

The entire solution built on Microsoft Azure ensures Capitaland has complete control over their data. Some of the skills that Sparkle learned through

  • Listing of all CapitaLand malls in Singapore
  • Directions to CapitaLand malls
  • Context management – understand mall context based on conversation.
  • Mall Directory – location of tenants in each of the malls.
  • Queries on stores within the malls
  • Book Grab rides to users’ preferred CapitaLand malls
  • Make reservations via Chope for any restaurant located in a CapitaLand mall
  • View the latest products of retailers such as CHARLES & KEITH and Capitol Optical
  • Movie booking through SHAW movies.
  • Rewarding STAR$ points to loyalty customers.

Below are some snippets from Ira Powered Sparkle in action:

Take a look at Sparkle in action in below video

Other Interesting Use Cases with

  1. Events and recommendations – conversation platform to enable users to identify events at preferred location, genre and language while the bot continues to understand user and recommend events based on customer segmentation and preferences

  2. Chat check-in- Use case where consumers most of the time want to check-in while running late to the airport, while most of them have a facebook account will be convenient for them to quickly check-in while on the move through simple conversations.

  3. Receptionist bot – Facial recognition using Azure cognitive services and printing QR code to scan at the premise kiosk to automate the entry of guests is the primary function of any receptionist. The bot can also answer simple queries through Azure voice for nearby restaurant or taxi stand or direction to a location to add a few. You can actually do a test drive of this here:

Testimonials and Comments

Lim Ming Yan, President & Group CEO, CapitaLand

CapitaLand was among the first in the retail industry to embrace online-to-offline and offline-to-online (O2O). With the launch of Sparkle, we are leading the way into the next era of consumerism, defined by convergent offline-AND-online (O&O) experiences. This is a first for an Asian real estate developer, and we invite our customers to join us to co-create Sparkle by interacting with it and making it smarter. This way, Sparkle will be a chatbot trained by customers, for customers.  

Ervin Yeo, AVP at Office of President, CapitaLand.

We chose IRA.AI for Singapore's first experimental shopping mall chatbot concierge, primarily because of the flexibility and high customizability of the IRA.AI engine. This is critical for the complex and ever-changing use cases needed to enhance shopper experience at our malls.  

Jessica Tan, Managing Director, Microsoft Singapore.

As everything around us becomes more digitised, we are seeing our customers and partners tap on Microsoft’s intelligent cloud platform to deliver innovative solutions that drive digital transformation in every industry. Particularly, we are seeing forward-looking enterprises apply Conversations as a Platform, a new shift that applies the understanding of human language to computer and computing, to transform the way they are engaging with their customers. We are very pleased to have the IRA.AI team of Powerupcloud Technologies and CapitaLand choose Azure as the platform for Sparkle, a showcase piece for how the retail industry can leverage intelligent technologies to reimagine engagement with customers, and in turn create new business models and generate revenue.  

Siva, Founder and CEO - Powerupcloud Technologies,

In our journey to innovate with new, cutting-edge technologies that help our customers better engage with their stakeholders, we are happy to develop CapitaLand’s Sparkle which is powered by our IRA.AI engine. Sparkle is a milestone for the team as the bot had to pick up over 2,500 nouns unique to CapitaLand (tenants of Capitaland malls), while ensuring its responses to end-users made sense. We were able to deliver this highly intuitive solution within three months with multiple integrations to grab, chope, movie and reward program APIs, and we are certain that Sparkle will help CapitaLand in achieving its goal of transforming the retail journey through conversational commerce.  

Please check Microsoft Singapore news's coverage of and Sparkle here

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