Having launched its global chatbot program in Brazil just under a year ago, multinational drink and brewing firm Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI) is now evolving it to increase customer satisfaction, reduce costs and ultimately, generate revenue.
The owner of beer brands such as Budweiser, Corona and Stella Artois went from zero to 16 chatbot projects worldwide in a nine-month timeframe, including the period needed to identify technology partners, prioritize high-value use cases and set up agile teams working across different time zones.
Some projects have already been launched, while others are being tested with staff and B2B customers such as supermarkets, bars and restaurants. According to ABI's global director for innovation, fintech and payments, Gabriel Gaspar, new projects come on stream on a monthly basis for new chatbot use cases: "There was definitely internal and external demand for what the bots could solve."
Proofs of concept for the Brazil project, which marked the start of the company's activities in the chatbot arena, started early last year in Mountain View, California at the Beer Garage, ABI’s global innovation center.
The firm focused on high volume, meaningful use cases, partnered with artificial intelligence specialist Avaamo and worked between May and August 2018 to deliver a functional bot. After producing a minimal viable product, ABI started the first pilot in September and is currently in a transitional, scale-up phase.