Today, New York-based startup Troops is launching its bot that helps make sales jobs easier.
But if you ask the company, it’s more than a bot: it’s a personal assistant, powered by artificial intelligence, like Apple’s Siri or the Google Assistant — only for work.
If that sounds familiar, it could be because the giant of the CRM space, Salesforce, recently introduced a technology called Einstein that CEO Marc Benioff calls “a highly accurate, extremely effective AI platform,” and is building it in to all its core products.
But Britton explained that with Troops, users won’t even have to log in to Salesforce to get the information they need, and the tight integration with other products, like Slack and Google Apps, could give an additional edge.
Plus, unlike Einstein, it’s free.
After months of development, the company is making most of Troops’ platform and bot publicly available for no cost. Troops plans to add paid features eventually, but for now it’s completely free.
The idea is to let salespeople do all their work from within the chat-messaging app Slack. They will be able to type a command into messaging platform Slack and it will pull up a report from Salesforce. Or ask for the phone number of a client and it will pull that person’s contact information from Google into your Slack conversation.
Going forward, Britton hopes Troops’ AI assistant will help “bridge the gap” between messaging and enterprise software, making the technology that salespeople use — called customer relationship management (CRM) systems — more like sending a text to a friend.
“CRMs should not be challenging modular interfaces that aren’t smart,” Britton told Business Insider. “It should be intelligent and almost conversational. Artificial intelligence can be everywhere now, and you should be able to do that at work, too.”
The company has also raised a $7 million Series A round, led by Felicis Ventures and including Aspect Ventures, Susa Ventures, and Flight VC. Slack’s own venture arm, Slack Fund, has also invested in the company.
Troops cofounder Scott Britton said this new round of funding will be used to bring Troops’ technology to more platforms, like Microsoft Dynamics and Oracle.
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