Two weeks ago Microsoft CEO Nadella was on stage in San Franscisco, keynoting the developer conference Build, and introducing 'Conversations as a Plaform'. This week Facebook CEO Zuckerberg, launched a bot offering for the Messenger platform at the F8 developer conference.
So there is something to this...


Last week my colleague Alan Lepofsky and me recorded the following video summing up our early findings on 'Conversation as a platform' (CaaP) - take a look:


I summed up my findings in the below slide share - take a look:

So lets look at the top implications:
  • New App Stack - As noted by Nadella, conversations are the end of the user interface as we know it. That requires a new application stack that vendors have to provide and developers have to build on.
  • Channel Automation - Conversations / Chat has been understood as a customer channel already - and used for customer services. But enterprises have so far shied away from automating these interactions - focusing instead on making the human agents more efficient.
  • NextGenApps are getting real - Re-inventing the human / machine interface is one of the next generation application scenarios that we are tracking. With the developer programs being available, these applications will become more real sooner than anticipated.
  • The perfect cloud showcase - To power bots, developers needs language processing, machine learning and some kind of intelligence framework. While a traditional mobile application could still be operated with on premises resources, the new bots need to live in the cloud.
  • More Humanity - When it matters - we converse. The user interface in applications has only been another artifact, that technology capability was trailing business best practice. Now technology can do more than what business best practices - creating new challenges and new opportunities.


Good to see innovation, and good to see a direction for applications that is more human than accessing forms with mouse and keyboard. Instead in a conversation users can interact with software (and other humans) in a more natural, human way. Of course it needs to work, and that this not trivial can be seen by the challenges Microsoft has / had with Taj. Facebook showed a 1-800 flower order application. 1-800 Flower was a chat pioneer over 15 years ago - that it took so long to automate these chats shows once more the inflection point we are at - technology can enable new best practices (and thus changing older best practices).  

What is your POV? Where are we heading from a computing perspective post cloud?