From a new API giving ChatGPT arms and legs to drama involving a certain Hollywood megastar, here are some extracts from our most popular news stories over the last seven days.
ChatGPT Gains Enterprise APIs
This Wednesday, trending tech firm OpenAI the group behind ChatGPT, announced new enterprise-grade APIs to assist businesses in leveraging the service for bespoke use cases.
Following the launch of ChatGPT Plus in February and as part of OpenAI’s effort to monetize the service, the platform’s latest enterprise APIs allow clients to integrate the AI service into applications, websites, and products.
The “gpt-3.5-turbo” API allows ChatGPT to provide a business-optimized AI service to drive various brand experiences. ChatGPT enables enterprise clients to create AI-generated content for CX use cases. The platform distributes its new API at $0.002 per 1,000 tokens, which equals roughly 750 words.
Gpt-3.5-turbo allows OpenAI to meet consumer demand and scale while also attempting to cover increasing operational costs, according to Greg Brockman, the President and Chairman of OpenAI.
Brockman also mentioned that it’ll take his firm “a while to get these APIs to a certain quality level.” Talking to TechCrunch, he explained:
If you’re building an AI-powered tutor, you never want the tutor to just give an answer to the student. You want it to always explain it and help them learn — that’s an example of the kind of system you should be able to build.
OpenAI will continue to build its gpt-3.5-turbo API to secure a “usable and accessible” solution for enterprise clients.
According to Brockman, in the future, OpenAI will consider adding new “context windows” to ChatGPT, allowing users to process company information pages.
The context windows are starting to creep up, and part of the reason that we’re dedicated-capacity-customers-only right now is because there’s a lot of performance tradeoffs on our side. We might eventually be able to offer an on-demand version of the same thing.
SAP Doubles Down on Its Customer Experience Business
SAP has taken a stand to dismiss speculation swirling around its commitment to its customer experience business.
Such murmurs bubbled to the surface in January when The Register wrongly reported that all of its 3,000 job cuts centered on its CRM business.
Since, the publication changed its language to suggest that CRM was only one of the impacted business units.
Yet, the story broke on the same day news surfaced that SAP was looking into selling its remaining 71 percent stake in Qualtrics, the voice of the customer (VoC) platform it acquired for $8BN in 2018.
The move added to the narrative of a retreat from the customer experience space.
Meanwhile, some have highlighted the infrequent announcements surrounding its CX portfolio, which includes eCommerce, customer data, service, sales, and marketing solutions.
However, this doesn’t suggest that SAP is pulling back from CX. Instead, SAP seems to be refocusing its efforts in a way that plays to its ERP-business application forte.
In doing so, SAP has crafted a “one office” vision. This involves pulling its CRM closer to its ERP with the aim of developing industry-specific solutions.
Clarifying this aim in a co-authored blog, Julia White, Chief Marketing & Solutions Officer, and Thomas Saueressig, Member of the Executive Board of SAP SE, stated:
Some voices across the market are recasting SAP’s commitment to an industry-first strategy to suggest that SAP is no longer committed to key needs of our customers, starting with our CX portfolio. Let us be clear: SAP will continue to deliver customer experience (CX/CRM) solutions.
The post also references new SAP innovations that help to bridge the gap between its CX portfolio and ERP solutions to improve customer experience delivery.
Salesforce Bounces Back from McConaughey Drama, Layoffs, and Investor Pressure with Strong Q4 Results
Salesforce steamrolled expectations in its Q4 earnings, posting $8.38BN in revenues – up 14 percent year-over-year.
Its forecast for the next fiscal year also significantly surpassed analyst forecasts, with operating margins expected to reach 27 percent, a record high.
On the news, its shares rose 16 percent – now up 42 percent since the turn of the year.
Reported analyst pressure to cut costs likely helped. Yet, Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, also credited moves to reignite its performance culture, scrutinize every dollar of investment, and prioritize its core innovations.
In doing so, Salesforce is prioritizing profitability over growth, and – through its fixation on this goal – the vendor seems set to disband its M&A committee.
During the earnings call, Benioff stated:
To ensure a high degree of accountability, our board is forming a new business transformation committee, which I have joined, and we have fully expanded our M&A committee as well to reflect our new focus.
The Wall Street Journal stated that this may also suggest some of its past acquisitions “could end up on the block.”
If this is indeed the case, it is perhaps unlikely to be Tableau or MuleSoft – with Tableau in each of Salesforce’s top ten deals last quarter and MuleSoft included in seven.
As such, some may speculate that Slack may well be the acquisition pushed to the side, especially after many of the layoffs cut through its employee base.
Indeed, last month, The Register reported: “There’s no more of Slack left to cut.”
While such extensive cuts may have led to these impressive earnings, they challenge the “ohana” culture at Salesforce.
Moreover, the story below – involving a certain Hollywood actor – may have damaged this further.
McConaughey Drama and Layoffs
Shortly before the earnings results, news emerged that Salesforce pays Matthew McConaughey $10MN annually as a “creative adviser” and “TV consultant.”
Reports suggest this may continue, despite the vendor cutting 8,000 jobs since the new year.
Alongside the layoffs, Salesforce has cut back on monthly off days while funding McConaughey his substantial wage – according to the Wall Street Journal.
McConaughey’s annual $10MN wage consists of cash and equity.
In addition, estimates indicate the actor has received about $160m throughout his working relationship with the CRM stalwart.
While reports suggest that McConaughey is a friend of Marc Benioff, the CEO has denied being part of the deal.
Zendesk Debuts Proactive Messages, a Conversational Experience Tool
Zendesk has announced Proactive Messages, a platform for delivering proactive conversational experiences and requests.
The solution allows users to scale contextually personalized CX interactions across multiple communication channels.
According to Zendesk’s 2023 CX trends report, roughly 77 percent of business leaders recognize that more “profound personalization tools” can benefit CX teams greatly, thanks to improved retention.
Additionally, Zendesk’s report claims that 70 percent of consumers complete more purchases from firms that leverage easy-to-use conversational CX experiences – such as a Proactive Messages-ready chatbot.
Proactive Messages by Zendesk also helps users resolve purchase challenges directly via a customer engagement channel.
The Zendesk report says that approximately 64 percent of customers will spend more with a brand if they can resolve issues within a CX channel.
Moreover, the innovation aims to keep customers engaged during the buying journey, significantly increasing customer satisfaction.
Early-adopter Aja Varney, Director of Global Customer Engagement at Spartan Race, spoke on the benefits of Proactive Messages:
By having an agent reach out to customers proactively to address any questions or other obstacles to purchase (or even just say hello!), we determined our Spartan customer was 60 percent more likely to purchase than if we did not engage with them.
“I am extremely excited for this capability to be available within messaging as we switch to offering a more conversational and streamlined experience to our customers,” Varney concluded.