TechCabal Daily – Take Advantage with Microsoft

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AUTOMATED CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT WITH CHATBOTS AFRICA

Chatbots are increasingly becoming a popular method for organizations to interact with their consumers. Globally, more than 1.4 billion people regularly use chatbots and over 34% of users prefer chatbots because they can get the answers they want almost immediately.

Businesses are also talking about it because chatbots can cut operational costs by 30% and save hours when automating customer service.

Wait, what are Chatbots?

Chatbots are artificial intelligence (AI) systems that enable customer engagement through SMS, voice, or chat applications such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. These are the automated response systems that you get when you send company profile messages on these apps.

Chatbots for African businesses

While chatbots are currently not widely used by businesses in Africa, a number of startups across the continent are looking to dig deeper into this AI use case. Such is Chatbots Africa, a Ghana-based startup that helps small businesses automate interactions with customers and sales channels using social chatbots.

Founded by CEO Ronald Tagoe and launched in January this year, ChatBots provides organizations with AI-powered chatbots to engage with their customers through WhatsApp.

With WhatsApp being the most popular instant messaging app in Africa with billions of users, ChatBots Africa’s solution enables businesses to engage personally at scale with people on a platform where they already spend a lot. of time.

AI barriers in Africa

AI is expected to add more than $ 15 trillion to the total global economy by 2030. Much of this value will be realized in advanced economies like the United States and the United Kingdom, with only a few countries adopting technology currently in Africa.

The lack of skills required to design, develop and maintain AI-based systems is a major obstacle to their adoption on the continent.

But Tagoe notes that’s not a problem with ChatBots Africa’s platform, which, he explains, is designed for all ranges of experience, from complete beginners to advanced users.

Michael Ajifowoke has more With ChatBots Africa, Ronald Tagoe Helps Businesses Automate Customer Engagement.

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GET AHEAD WITH MICROSOFT


Microsoft takes a nervous approach things.

Over the past few days it has been discourage millions of Microsoft device owners to use Google Chrome. All in an effort to get more Microsoft users to use the company’s built-in browser, Microsoft Edge.

Currently, Google Chrome owns market share with 64.06% of users while Edge holds a miner of 4.09%. Apple’s Safari is the second largest with 19% while Mozilla Firefox has 3.91%

It has not always been so; there was a time when Microsoft’s browser held 90% of the market.

The First Navigators’ War

The biggest contributor to low Microsoft Edge usage comes from family issues – the trust issues users had with Edge’s predecessor, the hapless Internet Explorer.

When Microsoft launched Internet Explorer with Windows ’95, its main competitor was Netscape Navigator, which had 80% market at the time.

Within three years of launching Internet Explorer, Microsoft had overtaken Netscape with some competitive action: Microsoft’s Internet Explorer was available for free, unlike Navigator which was only free for nonprofits and educational institutions. Second, Microsoft shipped Internet Explorer with all Windows operating systems starting in 1996, and other companies like Toshiba and Apple could also get the software for free; in fact, Microsoft would have encouraged them to avoid Navigator and use Internet Explorer.

In 1998, Microsoft held 90% of the browser market share, pushing Netscape’s browser into a spiral that would end with its shutdown later in 2007. With Microsoft’s glory, however, came a US government antitrust lawsuit, which claimed that Microsoft was engaging in unfair monopoly practices for its competitors. Microsoft lost the case but ultimately won the appeal. But his victory was short-lived.

The price for winning the call was to share its interface with other companies, and this move ultimately helped other companies give Microsoft a taste of its own medicine.

The Inter-Not Explorer

Pretend until you do, that’s probably what Microsoft thought with its Internet Explorer.

If there’s one thing generally agreed upon about Microsoft’s browser wars against Netscape, it’s that Netscape had the best browser. It had working plugins and data sync functionality, which Internet Explorer did not have. If you’re old enough to remember, Internet Explorer, like the fax machine, ew, was the perfect test of patience. It was slow and buggy, and adding a plugin could mean a crash (cc: iexplore.exe has stopped responding). To upgrade Internet Explorer, users also had to upgrade the Windows operating system due to the way that built-in IE was built into the system and often this involved purchasing a new computer.

With the fall of Netscape, many other competitors saw the opportunity to enter the market, taking advantage of Microsoft’s defense against its earlier lawsuit with the US government – its monopoly was not coercive.

Mozilla launched Firefox in 2002, Apple launched Safari a year later, and both had more features than Internet Explorer, including data synchronization that most developers needed. By the time Google entered the market with Chrome in 2008, the stage was set.

New and old users moved to Chrome, Firefox, or Safari because they were easier to use. By the time Microsoft revamped and built Edge in 2015, it was a bit late.

Zoom out: However, Microsoft is still struggling to increase its market share. In addition to alerting users to Google Chrome issues, which may lead to another antitrust case, it also frequently reminds users to set Edge as their default browser.

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TC INSIGHTS: WHAT SHOULD AFRICA PRIORITY TO?

Africa’s digital skeleton is gradually adding flesh to bone. Countries like Rwanda and Ghana are doing more to achieve digital transformation through basic but tedious processes with the first launch a unique platform for access to public services in 2015 and the latter digitization national identification.

But much remains to be done to stimulate development, job creation and economic growth. There are also different areas that African countries trying to achieve these goals could focus on.

a expert survey by the OECD in 2020 showed that policymakers and other stakeholders believe that when it comes to creating more jobs, the provision of digital infrastructure should have a higher priority on digital skills, digital solutions for agriculture and everything in between.

Digital infrastructure is a critical need and the foundation for the functioning of many of these other areas. However, focusing only on building infrastructure rather than other components of digitization could have longer-term and later effects on economic growth relative to others, such as improving the economy. access to finance.

Take South Africa, for example. Ninety-eight point five percent of businesses are SMEs, and they contribute 39% to the country’s GDP. Yet South Africa has a $ 30 billion Financing gap for SMEs and analysts to predict that about 60% of businesses could close due to spending contractions imposed by the pandemic.

Unlocking growth in South Africa will clearly require greater attention to financing SMEs. A priority area should therefore be to allow easier access to credit since traditional financial institutions are historically opposed to financing SMEs. This would then mean promoting compliance with the country’s privacy law, which has come into force. effect in 2020 because businesses need data to make loans.

In some economies, it’s clear what they should be focusing on. Ethiopia’s economy, for example, is heavily dependent on agriculture (40% of GDP and 75% of the working population). Ethiopia should therefore perhaps focus on providing adequate digital solutions to smallholder farmers.

On the other hand, countries like Sudan or Cameroon with no Specific data protection laws in place should consider drafting and implementing legislation for this first, as further digitization carries the risk of data leakage.

Each country should recognize its shortcomings and direct its efforts to these areas first, rather than applying a one-size-fits-all approach.

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TECHNICAL PROBE


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