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ISV Spotlight: Tovie AI

By Krista Summitt posted Wed August 23, 2023 02:06 PM


Our ISV Spotlight focuses on global artificial intelligence software company Tovie AI, based in London, England. I recently sat down with their CEO, Joshua Kaiser, to discuss Tovie AI's value proposition, their journey to becoming an IBM Financial Services (FS) Validated Independent Software Vendor (ISV), and the advice he has for companies who want to get started with AI.

Automating human-to-human interactions in the B2B space

Tovie AI builds chatbots, voicebots, and virtual assistants for automation-based tasks that use natural language as a component, such as calculating the sentiment of a person’s post on an e-commerce site. CEO, Joshua Kaiser, said their years of experience in the AI market gives them a competitive advantage. “The company originally was founded in 2016, so we've been around for a while, and our technology platform is mature. As a result, I think we are going through an interesting transition, since we’ve built a good reputation for ourselves in the wider marketplace over time” he shared. While large language AI models like ChatGPT have exploded in the last few months, Kaiser says, “Conversational AI sort of goes way back. It's basically about building technologies that automate human-to-human interactions.” The bulk of the work Tovie AI does is focused on the B2B enterprise space, though they have some SMB offerings as well. They are “vertical agnostic” in terms of industry focus, but have a significant customer base in financial services, telco, and government.

A journey to FS Validated starts with a client

Kaiser told me the path to FS Validation started with one of Tovie AI’s customers. “We heard about IBM Cloud for Financial Services and the ISV program that IBM was putting out around it from one of our larger financial services clients. It became a requirement for us to become an IBM FS Validated ISV.” Their journey  focused on controls processes, and took about a year to complete. Kaiser explained, “We worked with IBM enterprise architects to dissect different segments of our stack and figured out what services within the IBM ecosystem allowed us to augment what we already had, and identify issues that might have raised security concerns or didn't meet IBM’s requirements.” Working with IBM and leveraging their vast expertise with large financial services customers was an incredible learning experience. The journey to FS validation gave Tovie AI both validity and opportunities for growth. Kaiser believes, “It was good to reinforce and get validation on the things that we’re doing right, as well as perspective from IBM architects on how we could do things better.”

A “massive differentiator”

Though hard work was required to become FS Validated, Kaiser said he believes it was all worth it. “It was certainly an investment for us, and it was certainly a lot of work, especially for our dev ops team. But it gives us a level of “pedigree” when it comes to security and compliance, which is more important than ever in an enterprise setting. Being able to give IBM Cloud customers the opportunity to quickly deploy our technology into production, while keeping their security and compliance people happy, is a very big value proposition and it's a massive differentiator for us.”

For other ISVs considering the IBM FS Validated program, Joshua Kaiser suggests determining if the program would add value for their target market. “For example, if they're selling to large enterprises that use these types of cloud services and have a relationship with IBM, I would say it would probably add value.  I would also suggest they look at what their competitors are doing in the space.”

How does Joshua recommend financial services institutions get started with AI?  

Build a business case.

“Start by doing a small discovery to understand which areas of your business are right for automation, then identify a bunch of use cases and put a business case together. Next, deliver pilots and proofs of concept to validate, then scale it to production.” 

If you have questions or would like to connect with Tovie AI, please contact them via email at: