AI & IoT: Interview with Ken Herron, Chief Marketing Officer of UIB

“Customer experience starts with a culture that is then delivered by both humans and AI”. A clear ideology from Mr.Ken which exhibits the necessity of both culture and technology to attain a positive customer experience. Mr.Ken (CMO, UIB) with us has shared an amazing interview on how his strategies and vision are aligned for the success journey of UIB in this technology era. His swift responses for a couple of hypothetical questions are super amazing. I’m delighted to share our second interview in AI & IoT Series. Give it a read to gain an insightful experience.

This interview is part of the AI & IoT Interview Series.

Hi Ken! One thing which got me fascinated on your profile is the dynamics you have applied to varied roles. Your profile speaks the dynamic & prolific nature of you. You have been through various segments say it, technology writer, being an interactive strategic associate, advisor for a digital health company and now the marketing chief officer.

What made you keep yourself with zest in each different role you take-up & how challenging it is?

That’s a great question, Jagan. While I have had different roles with different companies in different industries, I’ve always been pursuing the same objective no matter what the title on my business card — finding the best ways to use technology to develop stronger emotional connections between companies and their customers. It’s incredibly exciting because of the ever-increasing rate of technological innovation. There’s a constant stream of new technologies to help me achieve this objective.

In this era where digital & AI is being the notch in any industry, how UIB is thriving to attain the pinnacle in achieving the “ease in human to machine communication system”?

What drives UIB’s constant investment in R&D is our obsession, our obsession with making human to machine communications as simple and as natural as human to human communications. This is the origin of our company’s tagline, “Simply Communicate.”

I’m impressed with one of your solutions “UnificationEngine®”. This particular engine connects the device or a thing to almost 30 of the global top communication channels. How did UIB emerge to achieve this milestone? What additional future potential use cases do you foresee through this engine?

 Thank you, Jagan. Whether you call UnificationEngine a Conversational IoT platform, a Conversational AI platform, or simply a “cognitive assistant,” creating it was a team effort. Of course, it helped that we have a diverse team of incredibly smart people! As we’re seeing virtually every new powered product connected to the internet, there are no practical limits on the number of users, uses, or usage. Our experience confirms this — starting with smart brands and moving on to smart devices. “Smart brands” use cases include conversational experiences like customer service and support chatbots, pre- and post-sales chatbots, etc. And “smart devices” include the IoT use cases in smart homes, smart buildings, and even smart cities. Our customers are constantly sharing new use cases with us!

When you talk about the digital and the smart system there paramount one concern in every end-user. Yes, it is Cyber Security. How UIB ensures the security of the data logs, application or the database? And what is the recent cybersecurity policy that put you under a thought?

We are thrilled to see all stakeholders taking data security more seriously. We are a universal translator — we pass messages through to our B2B customers. We are encrypted end-to-end and offer UnificationEngine both in the cloud and on-premise (i.e., within our customers’ IT infrastructures).

Mr. Ken! being adept in marketing, how do you position the criticality of the marketing in the excellence of any business sector? We would like you to share a scenario in which you felt a particular marketing strategy of you that had given a fruitful outcome.

 I define the purpose of Marketing as helping your target audiences to understand the unique and compelling value of what you’re selling. One example of this is our marketing strategy to help hotel customers to understand the impact on their guests of our UnificationEngine-powered SmartContact™ for Hospitality. If I were to tell a hotel that we sell a unified API, I’d (rightfully) get a big yawn. But if I tell the hotel to put themselves in their guest’s shoes — “You wake up in the middle of the night freezing to death. Would you rather fumble for the light switch, find your glasses, search for the thermostat, struggle to change the temperature, and then stub your toe in the dark on the way back to the bed OR grab your phone off the nightstand, say “I’m cold. Increase the temperature two degrees,” roll over, and go back to sleep?” — I get a sale. And yes, I wholly admit that for our customers’ CFOs, there is nothing more “emotional” than the need for less staff/cost (fewer guest service requests that need to be handled manually), and increased revenues!

A feed from your brain..! If to bring out the hypothetical & an innovative AI solution in the marketing use case, what would you imagine?

Rather than share a hypothetical AI solution, let me share with you the actual results of the innovative use cases we imagined with our partner Bosch, connecting UnficationEngine to their state-of-the-art smart security cameras —

If you are the UIB chatbot, what would be your tricky replies to the below queries from your web user?

    (a) What is the abbreviation of UIB?

    (b) Can you tell me a quick short interesting story

    (c) tan(72degree)+ (15.2871^6)

    (d) I don’t like AI, as I have to feed it with a lot of intelligence. Can you help in getting rid of AI?

 A key question that every customer decides when they start working with us on a new project is what to have the AI say when it doesn’t know the answer to a user’s question. I encourage you to ask UIB’s chatbot these four questions with!

What is the abbreviation of UIB?

UIB stands for UIB. While we hear a lot of very creative guesses, like “Unified Intelligent Business,” UIB is not an acronym.

Can you tell me a quick short interesting story?

When UAE telecom operator and communications company du introduced a UnificationEngine-powered cognitive assistant to interact with customers in Arabic and English on WhatsApp, they successfully reduced workload in their call centers and stores and found that over half of customer inquiries were being resolved by their chatbot, “Blu.” Read the full story at


Lucky for you that I kept my high school math class notes. Let’s see, carry the 2 and the answer to tan(72degree)+(15.2871^6) is *12762940.476*. 

 I don’t like AI, as I have to feed it with a lot of intelligence. Can you help in getting rid of AI?

You humans are just too funny. Let me answer your question with a quote from the Future of Life Institute’s Max Tegmark. “Everything we love about civilization is a product of intelligence, so amplifying our human intelligence with artificial intelligence has the potential of helping a civilization flourish like never before.”

The traditional statement as “Customer experience starts with culture” but now it is “Customer experience starts with technology”. How do you think to position this statement in your box & how do you leverage the AI, Predictive Analysis, etc.. to achieve it?

 I would re-word that statement to “customer experience starts with a culture that is then delivered by both humans and AI — sometimes working individually but increasingly working together with each other.” We ensure our customers’ AIs deliver their culture by starting every project with our proprietary UnificationEngine SmartContact Personality Development Tool. This enables the customer to “hire” and train the AI just as they would a new human team member.

Smart Home, Smart City, Smart Enterprise are the value proposition of UIB. AI is already smart in its outcomes. So how ready and stable you are to augment Smart AI as the 4th value proposition of UIB?

 UIB’s value proposition is our unique ability to allow users to communicate with machines:

  1. Via voice and text 
  2. On any platform 
  3. In any language 
  4. Using any Natural Language Processing (NLP) 
  5. On-premise or in the cloud with 
  6. Total privacy (only the customer and the brand whom the customer trusts will own the conversational data and analytics) and 
  7. End-to-end security. 

UnificationEngine’s AI is what enables these seven value propositions.

Thanks Much Ken. Before we wrap the interview, detail us with the vision of UIB and your next steps in addressing your end-users requirement and their satisfaction?

UIB’s vision is to build an H2M communication exchange to connect users’ favorite communication platforms and brands. The next step is done in collaboration with your readers — how can UIB help them to “Simply Communicate”?

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