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Taleka takes US$250k as Cisco Innovation award winner

12 Nov 2019

Cisco has announced the winner of the inaugural Cisco Australia and New Zealand Partner Innovation Challenge who will receive a prize of US$250,000 to bring the idea to life.

Taleka was selected as the winning partner with ecosystem partner Appspace, for its innovative solution that is set to transform the workplace experience through Cisco Webex. 

The solution combines AI insights, on-demand content, and the Appspace App running on Cisco Collaboration Endpoints.

Working with eco-system partner Appspace, the goal of the solution is to achieve faster technology adoption across users of all generations. By only using their voice, users can request educational guides, tips, and tricks which is then displayed on the collaboration endpoint.

The technology solution addresses an ongoing issue where companies are continuing to face challenges in overhauling their performance and organisational health. 

In order to stay relevant in the global economy, a digital transformation strategy is essential, yet most organisations do not focus on the people transformation element of that.

Taleka’s concept brings to life the AI Adoption Assistant and removes common technology barriers, allowing everyday use cases to become uncomplicated thanks to voice-triggered help. 

The conversational AI capability allows easy navigation using voice commands to request content using the full capability and value of technology, that are specific to their industry and role, ensuring a people first approach.

The solution means that anyone will be able to access an easy to use AI Adoption Assistant to show employees how the technology works. 

Focused on providing a user-friendly experience, the solution supports in improving employee confidence, driving productivity, increasing the return on the investment made into technology, and contributing to achieving business outcomes by simplifying the technology.

"This is a fantastic example of the application of AI to combat barriers in using technology,” Telka’s Tracey Kingston says of the win.

“By identifying common use cases across industries and personas solutions, businesses can build on the ever-evolving AI capability in Cisco's Webex platform, such as with the recent acquisitions – Accompany and Mindmeld.”

"Australians are early adopters of technology and are leading the way when it comes to pushing the boundaries of collaboration technology. The AI Adoption Assistant capability combined with Appspace addresses the challenges faced by businesses; offering a user-friendly solution to drive easier adoption."

Beyond the inclusion of AI, the solution from Taleka and Appspace also fosters a user-driven demand for tailored solutions that will ease the adoption experience.

"We go deep inside an organisation, to understand the Cisco Webex technology use cases to really identify the adoption barriers."

“The winning innovation from Taleka & Appspace will make it easier for everyday people to embrace technology to help them communicate, drive higher productivity and increase their overall experience. It’s about making the technology easy to use at work - no matter what industry you work in,” says Cisco Australia and New Zealand partner organisation managing director Tara Ridley.

The objective of the challenge was to ignite and accelerate partner-developed applications with Cisco technology. 

A highly competitive challenge saw a range of ideas and solutions submitted by partners from across Australia and New Zealand that looked to solve a business problem using Cisco programmable technology.

“We wanted the challenge to inspire and encourage a culture of innovation, accelerate programmability skills, develop new business use cases for Cisco solutions and support the creation of partner practices for Cisco. Taleka has succeeded in doing just that, with an innovative idea that can be brought to life and accelerated through the use of the funds,” says Ridley.

Finalists in the challenge included Liquid IT, IBM, Dimension Data and RiOT. While the ideas submitted from the finalists were very high caliber; the scale, market readiness and time to market were some of the considerations that made Taleka stand out as the winner.

The initiative is part of Cisco’s $61million Country Digital Acceleration investment to positively impact the community, business and government and co-innovate in the areas aligned to Australia’s strengths.

“Partners are at the core of Cisco’s success, and we invest in them globally, and locally.  This is a fantastic opportunity to accelerate the technology capability and adoption of Cisco Webex across a number of industries who are leading the digital experience with their employees and customers. Using technology like AI in innovative ways to transform the user experience so they can focus on true collaboration is sure to deliver benefits for workplaces worldwide,” Ridley adds.

Taleka’s A/NZ Partner Innovation Challenge entry will be automatically entered into Cisco’s Global Partner Innovation Challenge.