Orlando, FL | January 24 — Cognistx will introduce SmartCourse™ with their partner, Club Prophet Systems, at the 2017 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando from January 24-27. SmartCourse is the first AI-powered mobile engagement platform for golf courses, designed to drive member engagement and incremental rounds of play.
SmartCourse uses the latest in machine learning technology — artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics — to understand a golfer’s preferences and behaviors and deliver a customized experience for each individual. Golfers can book tee times, track their scores, receive individualized offers and tee time recommendations, and stay up-to-date on course happenings. Pittsburgh-area course Birdsfoot Golf Club will be the first customer to benefit from SmartCourse.
Stop by the Club Prophet Systems Booth 1765 from January 25-27 for a demo, or check out www.cognistx.com/smartcourse for more information.
Winston-Salem, NC | January 12 — For years retailers have been forced to compete with the Amazons of the world. The result has been astonishing. Sure, we’ve seen companies shutter their doors, but we’ve also seen companies improve their digital prowess to deliver more relevance and offers. Each New Year brings predictions and trend reports, and this year, AI makes appearances as one of the most promising and disruptive innovations for 2017 and beyond. Here’s a quick glimpse:
5 Bleeding-Edge Brands That Are Infusing Retail With Artificial Intelligence Starbucks, Lowe’s and others roll out robots
January 2, 2017 | The next time you’re in a Lowe’s hardware store don’t be surprised if a robot zooms up to ask if anyone needs help. And when you order your morning joe, a programmed bot may be whipping up that venti skim macchiato at Starbucks.
Watch out, folks, the age of artificial-intelligence-powered retail is upon us, promising an unprecedented amount of data and information that can help merchants grow their businesses. Once the stuff of sci-fi novels, AI is poised to juice up everything from customer service to merchandising—except jobs for humans.
“AI is going to be like electricity or the internet—it’s going to be foundational technology [for] which most things are built,” says Kyle Nel, executive director of Lowe’s Innovation Labs. “It becomes so interwoven into robotics and everything. It takes CRM, it takes all of this other stuff that we’ve been doing for so long and it makes it better than the sum of the parts.”
3 big trends for AI in 2017
December 20, 2016 | It seems the entire world of people and things are connecting to the internet, with projections of 6 billion active smartphones and 50 billion connected things in use by 2020.
We’ve seen great strides in using customer identity to personalize experiences and to make better use of people’s time and attention. However, relevance is the currency of the digital economy, so it’s no longer enough to deliver personalized customer experiences — those experiences need to be smarter, faster, and in the right context.
Thanks to dramatic advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning over the past several years, we’re already seeing new AI applications for improving customer service and other areas of customer experience. For instance, chatbots powered by AI are able to field and respond to questions from customers on a variety of subjects. AI will be crucial in delivering these next-gen personalized experiences for customers, and as the conductor of the customer experience, marketers must embrace it in order to succeed.
5 tech trends that transformed retail in 2016
December 15, 2016 | Retailers investing in new technologies during 2016 did so in many cases to keep up with the competition, often represented most specifically by Amazon — the company that influenced how many of them pursued e-commerce, and now is prompting them to consider innovations in the emerging area of conversational commerce.
Retailers also pursued new innovations this year in the name of enabling better interactions and stronger relationships with their customers. That notion is the common thread running through what we believe were the five most significant areas of retail technology innovation in 2016.
1. Artificial Intelligence
It’s very likely a lot of retail folks feel AI was the biggest and most broadly impactful innovation to shape the retail sector in 2016. And it’s not just a single innovation, but a vast field on innovation, affecting everything from chatbots (more about those little guys shortly) to other forms of virtual shopping assistants to mobile and visual search to mall directory services.
Pittsburgh, PA | Jan 10, 2017 – Cognistx was named a tech company to watch in 2017 by local tech insiders, reports NEXTpittsburgh. “As Pittsburgh’s tech sector continues to grow, the selection of rising startups becomes more diverse. Over the course of 2016, our universities, accelerators and entrepreneurs have produced an array of impressive companies working in a variety of industries, from healthcare—with groundbreaking work in stroke detection and cancer treatment—to ever-important cyber security.”
Founded in 2015 by tech entrepreneurs Sanjay Chopra and Jeffrey Battin and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) professor Eric Nyberg, Cognistx develops programs designed to help retailers better engage with their customers. Last year, the company made a major deal with the automotive repair giant Monro Muffler & Brake, who are using Cognistx’s SmartCognitives-branded platform to provide a more efficient, personalized mobile experience for its customers. They recently partnered with the Cheswick-based software company Club Prophet Systems to develop an AI-powered intelligent app able to deliver customized content and offers to avid golfers. The app will debut later this month at the PGA Show in Orlando.
NEXTpittsburgh is an online publication that focuses on creativity and innovation in Pittsburgh. Their aim is to, “figure out what’s next, who’s leading the charge and where we’re all headed.”
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BRINGING COGNITIVE TO THE COURSE
The first AI-powered mobile engagement platform for golf courses
Winston-Salem NC | Jan 6, 2017 – Plans are on go for Cognistx, the new tech company in Winston-Salem’s Innovation Quarter, to employ 60 within five years. That was the goal the company announced when it opened its Winston-Salem office last spring.
“Everything is operating as we’d hoped, even better than we’d hoped,” said Sanjay Chopra, Cognistx’s co-founder and CEO. “So far, so good.”
Admittedly, the growth is gradual. Chopra said his company has three employees working in Winston-Salem, as well as three interns, at least two of whom are students at Wake Forest University. A Raleigh operations office that Cognistx has opened has another four employees.
Cognistx, based near Pittsburgh, deals in cognitive algorithms and produces platforms to assist with customer interaction. The company is in the process of opening a “customer experience center” at 525 Vine St. in Innovation Quarter. Chopra said the goal is to have 25 people employed by the two-year anniversary of Cognistx’s opening, which will be April 2018. Along the way, a data center will also be added to the Winston-Salem office.
Cognistx was founded in 2015 by Chopra, entrepreneur Jeffrey Battin and Carnegie Mellon University computer science professor Eric Nyberg, who was part of the team that developed IBM’s Watson computer.
Recently the company created an app for auto repair chain Monro Muffler Brake and Service to provide customized offers and service histories.
“The idea is statistical machine learning,” Chopra said. “With Monro, it’s about understanding customer preferences, and how many cars you have, the mileage, when was your last oil change, your last state inspection. And we can present the right offer to this customer at the right time. Maybe you’ve been meaning to set up their next oil change, but never got around to doing it. But we send a timely offer, you press a button, and it sets up an appointment for you.”
Chopra was drawn to Winston-Salem in part by the low cost of doing business.
The company, Chopra said, is seeking project managers, technical writers and people who “understand program management, customer service, customer support and datsa science.”
Steve Huffman is a general assignment reporter for Triad Business Journal.
Pittsburgh, PA | December 19 – Two southwestern Pennsylvania tech firms have partnered to launch an app for golfers and the first customer is a local course.
The app will enable users to schedule tee times, choose players from their buddy list, track and compare scores, map the course and receive personalized offers based on playing preferences and past purchases.
Club Prophet Systems, Cheswick-based developer of golf management software and cognitive computing startup Cognistx, whose tech hub is in Gibsonia, said the first course to benefit from the new app is Freeport-based Birdsfoot Golf Club.
Winston-Salem, NC | December 12 — Club Prophet Systems, the world leader in golf management software, is partnering with cognitive-computing startup company Cognistx to create a game-changing app designed to deliver intelligent, individualized content and offers to golfers. Users will be able to schedule tee times, choose players from their buddy list, track and compare scores, map the course and receive personalized offers based on their playing preferences and past purchases.
“We’re excited to launch this new offering to our customers and know it will help them generate incremental revenue while delivering a great app experience to our customer’s golfers,” said Tom Robshaw, owner and President of Club Prophet Systems. “We chose Cognistx because of their deep technology and user experience track record. They brought us a new level of innovation that’s redefining the category through proprietary Artificial Intelligence algorithms which brings a whole new set of tools to the golf operator.”
The first course that will benefit from the app is Birdsfoot, located in Freeport, PA. Course owner Travis Lindsay will launch the app in time for the Spring golf season. “Our golfers will have an entirely new way to interact with us,” Stephenson said. “We’ll be delivering smarter marketing content and offers to individual golfers, not just generic messaging. We’re expecting big things.”
The app will be introduced at the PGA Show in Orlando January 24-27, 2017 at the Club Prophet Systems booth. Course owners and managers will be able to view a demo, discuss course customization options and learn about the affordable pricing plans available. “I’m an avid golfer,” said Cognistx CEO Sanjay Chopra. “We saw an opportunity to bring a smarter app and a personalized experience to the golfer while at the same time elevating the course operator’s reach through our use of cognitive computing, so we reached out to Club Prophet Systems to bring it life. I am excited to work on this project as I can apply Cognitive Computing to my favorite sport, golf!”
Cognistx is a cognitive computing company leveraging the latest data science tools and approaches to solve today’s most complex business challenges. The privately-held company has offices in Pittsburgh, PA; Raleigh, NC; and Winston-Salem, NC. Their first cognitive-powered app for Monro Muffler & Brake, MotoManager by Mr. Tire, was recently released and is now available on the App Store and Google Play.
About Club Prophet Systems
For the past 25 years, Club Prophet Systems has designed and provided fully integrated Golf Management Software systems for the golf industry including Point of Sale (POS), Food and Beverage (F&B) for Snack Bar to Fine Dining, Customer History and Member Management with Billing and Online Statements, Tee Time and Online Reservations, Email Marketing, Mobile Solutions, Integrated Credit Card Processing, Reporting, Inventory, and much more. Club Prophet Systems serves more than 1600 facilities in 16 countries in 9 languages. CPS provides local server and cloud solutions for every type of golf facility including driving range, public, private, resort and municipal including multi-course and management companies.