SOURCE: MyWave

MyWave

October 13, 2015 10:01 ET

MyWave's Intelligent Personal Assistant Launches in U.S. With Keynote Address at Opus Intelligent Assistants Conference

MyWave CEO Geraldine McBride Heralds Evolution of "Customer Managed Relationships (CMR)," Warns That Consumers Are No Longer "Passive Participants" in the Sales Process

SAN FRANCISCO, CA and NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Oct 13, 2015) - MyWave, the first technology company with an Intelligent Assistant where the consumer has control of their personal data, launches in the U.S. today with the keynote address at the Opus Intelligent Assistants Conference in New York City.

MyWave Founder and CEO Geraldine McBride will say that the current Customer Relationship Management (CRM) approach used by most businesses and Intelligent Assistant companies is outdated. Furthermore, it will ultimately be rejected by consumers who no longer consider themselves to be "passive participants" at the end of the sales cycle.

CRM will be replaced by "Customer Managed Relationship (CMR)" technology according to McBride, a former CEO and president of several regional divisions of SAP including North America, Asia Pacific Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

"The CRM approach, where the brand controls the customer relationship, is an old-fashioned model that is naïve in today's environment where consumers are educated and empowered with ubiquitous Internet access," McBride said. "As Intelligent Assistants become commonplace in our everyday lives, consumers will gravitate to assistants offering CMR software to manage their shopping and information-gathering experiences. Ultimately, consumers will decide how and when to share their personal data with brands."

"However," McBride warns, "consumers flatly reject the idea that Intelligent Assistants should be able to gather and share personal information without their approval, as evidenced by our recent national survey." (See MyWave National Survey news release dated October 13, 2015.)

Founded by McBride in 2013, MyWave is the first technology company with an Intelligent Assistant to commercialize Customer Managed Relationships (CMR). MyWave re-imagines the customer experience by putting an Intelligent Assistant named Frank in the consumer's pocket to "hyper-personalize" the customer-brand relationship. It does this by allowing the consumer to control and update their own data based on their preferences and buying intentions, and share their preferences and needs in real-time, enabling a business to tailor products and services in a far more targeted and relevant way.

MyWave is already operational in McBride's home country of New Zealand and nearby Australia, and is rolling-out now in the U.S. and the U.K. The company is currently valued at US$40 million, and key investors include Andre Crawford-Brunt, global head of equities trading for Deutsche Bank.

The company has opened a U.S. office in San Francisco, headed by MyWave Vice President / Chief Evangelist Wally Brill. Brill is a former eBay customer service executive, and was an early pioneer in speech recognition technology.

"People are becoming increasingly aware of the need to protect their personal information, but they also want the convenience that hyper-personalization provides," Brill said. "When we're in control, we're more comfortable sharing our data with brands we trust, creating a stronger and more loyal bond between customer and enterprise. An empowered customer is a loyal customer."

Other MyWave executives include Chief Technology Officer James Ladd and Chief Experience Officer Amy Johnson. Ladd has developed software products across multiple domains, from securities trading to multi-player games, and is creator of the Redline Smalltalk programming language. Johnson has an MA (honors) degree in business studies from the University of Edinburgh. Her Master's thesis illuminated the changing role of the customer from a passive participant to an active value creator in Porter's Value Chain.

Advisors to MyWave include Joe Pine, author of "The Experience Economy," and Doc Searls, author of "The Intention Economy: When Customers Take Charge" and director of ProjectVRM at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, which supports companies working toward customer empowerment.

"Personal agency -- the power to act with full effect in the world -- is on the rise, thanks to the Internet and personal mobile devices. With this rise comes the need for intelligent personal assistants working on our side (and in our hands) as we assert ourselves in the marketplace. It's good to see MyWave taking a leadership role in creating this essential and potentially huge new market category," Searls said.

"MyWave exemplifies everything I have been saying for the past 25 years about what businesses need to do," Pine said. "It enables companies to become truly customer-centric, mass customizing their offerings to unique demands and cultivating a learning relationship with each individual customer. There's no better way to guide customers through amazing life experiences."

About MyWave
MyWave (www.mywave.me) is a technology company radically redefining the relationship between business and customers by offering "Frank," the next-generation intelligent personal assistant. Frank makes customer's lives remarkably easier by transforming their interactions into "Customer-Managed Relationships (CMR)," where they are in control of their experiences across brands and service providers. Frank does this by securely storing customer's personal data and preferences in their own cloud. Using real-time market data and dynamic conversations, Frank enables businesses to generate increased sales and revenues by creating the hyper-personalized relationships and brand experiences that customers demand.

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