WhosOn
Parker Software
Category
Digital Transformation Project of the Year
Entry Description
WhosOn live chat has recently undergone a uniquely impactful transformation. Version 19 of WhosOn was the culmination of 12 months of intensive research, development, and testing.
Spanning a complete server/back-end recode, as well as the addition of disruptive new functionality, WhosOn Version 19 represents a prolific leap forwards in product potential.

Server transformations

The first transformation involved completely rebuilding the WhosOn server in .NET. Though hidden in the back-end of the product, this rewrite has radically improved performance via:

• Rewritten code
Previously, the WhosOn server was coded in VB6. (An older coding language enforcing more boundaries.) Now, after a year of programming, we’ve successfully rewritten the entirety of our legacy codebase, migrating over to .NET.
.NET is the leading server-side scripting technology. It offers superior memory management, security, and exception handling than anything achievable with VB6. So, WhosOn customers gain enormous lifts in speed and performance.


• Multi-threaded technology
Previously, WhosOn requests were handled via a shared open connection. This put strain on the server during peak periods, resulting in lags for customers.
With the new release, however, each WhosOn service runs as a separate concurrent task. Each client request is executed independently on its own string. For customers, this means rapid, stable access to data and reports. All while taking a high volume of chats.


• Boosted database capacity
Version 19 enables each site connected to WhosOn to have its own database connection string value. This memory-rich approach gives customers a separate database per company website. Meaning increased data security, increased capacity.
Better, database connections are under less strain. WhosOn no longer keeps permanent database connections open for chats, metadata and client requests. Nor does it require a single, permanent database connection. The upshot is maximum resiliency.

Deployment transformations

The next transformation from Version 19 revolves around how we deliver WhosOn. Namely, around how WhosOn, its features and its data are able to be hosted and integrated. Improvements include:

• A new cloud provider
Thanks to its new Microsoft .NET code, WhosOn can easily connect with cutting-edge Microsoft services. So, as we scale WhosOn and embed it into broader tech ecosystems, Microsoft Azure provides the best environment to do so.
Hence, a shift in cloud service providers alongside the Version 19 release. This shift offers enormous integration promise. Plus, with the improved scalability of Azure, customers get updates quicker and smoother.

• Live chat API
Another key boon of recoding WhosOn from the ground up was the potential to create a live chat API. So, we did just that. Now, end users can take the full scope of WhosOn functionality and put it behind their tech via API.
Developers can splice our smart chat and bot features into their own systems. Be it their own web service, their own mobile app, their own software, or their own third-party tools and tech stack. All custom-built wherever and however they prefer.

• External chat archiving
WhosOn Version 19 offers an upgraded archiving process to upload chats into Azure Cosmos. This enables powerful data storage security, with data encrypted at rest by default.
But it also offers another key benefit: the option for customers to design custom reports on the fly. (Without making any changes to their WhosOn setup or database schema.) Azure Cosmos hooks into advanced third-party tools like Power BI. So, customers can start visualising chat data via bespoke reporting.

Integration transformations

This leads into the next substantial transformation: WhosOn Version 19 and its value-added new integrations. These include:

• Chatbot framework plug-ins
WhosOn now offers native integration with all major chatbot frameworks. This includes IBM Watson, Azure Bot Service, Amazon Lex and Dialogflow. So, customers can plug a bot into their existing chat channel.
Meaning, crucially, that the WhosOn chatbot platform bridges a feature-rich live chat solution with the smartest AI bots currently available. This offers a bot deployment in overdrive. While the bot assists operators, WhosOn enriches the bot’s capabilities with its suite of contact centre features.


• Twilio omnichannel calling
Version 19 now enables chat operators to seamlessly switch from chat to call. With a new Twilio integration, operators can make calls from inside their WhosOn chat client at the click of a button.
Whenever a telephone number is detected, a ‘call’ option becomes available within WhosOn. So, agents can swap channels as needed. This game-changing feature streamlines communications for chat operators and their customers alike.

• CRM syncing
Previously, restrictions with VB6 code and newer CRMs meant that CRM integration was a slower process. It was achievable, but it was buggy. Sometimes, it was only possible as a custom project.
Now, however, Version 19 means that WhosOn offers super-fast syncing into Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics and HubSpot. All out-of-the-box and ready to go. So, customers can push-pull data from chat to CRM smoothly, without added cost.


Feature transformations

On top of all this, WhosOn Version 19 brings dozens of exciting new features. Just a handful include:

• Auto-text
WhosOn automatically suggests a relevant reply within the operator’s typing window, so they can respond to customers simply by hitting ‘enter’.

• Dynamic survey fields
Operators can send dynamic forms to visitors from inside the chat, to acquire required data in a specific format. They simply click to send the form, then get structured data back in one quick flow.

• AI chat summaries
Our algorithm compresses the text of every chat conversation after its completion. For operators, this means at-a-glance abstracts of all customer support interactions via WhosOn.


A revolutionary release

WhosOn Version 19 is a truly revolutionary release for us. Our revenue avenues have exploded thanks to new partnership opportunities and uniquely powerful functionality.
Meanwhile, the retention of existing customers becomes easier now that the product is smarter, faster, and more secure than ever before.
Not only has the project transformed the product, it has transformed our business in the eyes of investors, partners, prospects, customers, and competitors. Simply, the scale and impact of the WhosOn Version 19 project cannot easily be put into words.
Supporting Documents