Creative Virtual

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Creative Virtual's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Creative Virtual is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Chris Ezekiel, founder and CEO,
receives The Queen’s Award
for Enterprise: Innovation 2017
from Mr Leslie Morgan OBE,
Deputy Lieutenant of Greater
HSBC is a Creative Virtual customer in the UK and Hong
Kong. Chatbot Amy answers questions on their Hong Kong
website in English, Traditional and Simplified Chinese
Creative Virtual develops and sells chatbot technology to
automate customer service for large enterprises. Founded
by Chris Ezekiel on the Isle of Dogs in London’s East
End in 2003, the company has become a global leader with a
turnover of £10 million and operations in the United States,
Australia, New Zealand, India, Singapore and Hong Kong. Still
headquartered in the United Kingdom, the company won the
prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2017.
Our vision at Creative Virtual has always been to offer organisations the technology
to enable seamless, fully integrated, end-to-end customer engagement, and to
back that technology with the experience of an expert, knowledgeable team.
Listening to our customers, prospective customers and business partners is key to
the ongoing development of our technology.
An industry pioneer
As a pioneer in the chatbot market, Creative Virtual has had an important role in
the evolution of this technology and the ways in which it can be implemented.
The current product roadmap was formed back in 2007. Through the combination
of the experiences of our own team, input and feedback from our customers and
business partners, and our predictions for the future of the industry, we outlined
the specifications for a truly unique and innovative tool.
Creative Virtual developed a platform that allows conversations to take place between
people and machines by focusing on three main objectives: knowledge sharing,
»Founder and CEO: Chris
»Established in 2003
»Based in London
»Services: Virtual agent,
chatbot and live chat solutions
for customer and employee
»No. of employees: 120
»Winner of The Queen’s Award
for Enterprise in Innovation,
Creative Virtual
Highlighting best practice
» Chatbot – A computer program that conducts a conversation via text or
voice, simulating a conversation with a real person; also called virtual agents
and virtual assistants.
» Live chat – An online customer service software that allows the user to have
a text conversation with a human customer support agent.
» Knowledge management – The process of creating, sharing, using and
managing the knowledge and information of an organisation.
information delivery and chatbot
conversation reporting. The
result was V-Portal™ – a robust
knowledge management platform
that allows organisations to engage
in personalised 1:1 conversations
with customers and employees
anytime, any place, on any device
and in any language. Described as
“a product strength and competitive
differentiator” in an independent
analyst report, our platform is unique
in today’s marketplace.
Identifying gaps in the market
In 2016 we introduced V-Person
Service Desk™, designed to automate
service desk support for employees.
This solution reduces service desk
support costs for organisations and
improves employee productivity
Later that same year, the official
release of our own live chat product,
V-Person Live Chat™, was another
important milestone for Creative
Virtual. Our many years of experience
with integrating our chatbot
technology with other live chat systems
made us realise that there was a
huge opportunity for organisations to
benefit from a deeper blending of the
two technologies. This inspired us to
develop our own product that is now
defining industry best practice through
the tight integration of a single
knowledge base for both virtual and
human agents, a unique feedback loop
and a customisable workflow provided
by V-Portal™.
A company culture of
innovation, teamwork and
It has been important to Creative
Virtual to maintain complete
ownership and control over the
development and distribution of our
technology in order to see our true
vision come to life. This is why we
decided to fund all our development
work ourselves and to build up our
own R&D team. This has helped
create a company culture based on
BT uses a Creative
Virtual chatbot to
provide instant, 24/7
customer service
Listening to
our customers,
customers and
partners is key
to the
of our
» V-Person™ – Virtual agent/chatbot technology; can be deployed across all
contact channels (web, mobile, social, SMS, messaging platforms, contact
centre, service desk, interactive voice response and voice assistants).
» V-Person Live Chat™ – Live chat technology that combines self-service
chatbots and human customer service agents for a fully integrated support
» V-Portal™ – Knowledge management, workflow management and business
intelligence reporting platform; provides tightly integrated editing, testing,
workflow and reporting functionality for V-Person™ virtual and human
innovation, teamwork and ownership
of which we are very proud. Without
needing to please investors or
board members, we can keep our
development work agile and focused
on making technological improvements
that will benefit our customer base.
An explosion of media hype
Over the past two years there has been
a renewed interest in chatbots and
a great deal of media buzz around
artificial intelligence (AI), partially due
to Facebook’s introduction of bots
for their Messenger Platform. While
this had a positive effect in garnering
more attention for automated self-
service, media hype combined with
overpromising from some industry
vendors created confusion and
unrealistic expectations for AI chatbots.
Based on our experience we knew
that pure AI was not the right option
for automated customer service,
and so Creative Virtual continued to
present our hybrid approach of self-
learning and human gathering and
organising of content as industry best
practice. Instead of jumping on the AI
bandwagon, we worked to educate
the marketplace about the realities of
the technology and using chatbots to
provide a predictable and reliable self-
service option.
This decision strengthened our position
as thought leaders and trusted
consultants in theindustry.
The future is bright
In 2017 Creative Virtual was honoured
with the UK’s most prestigious
business award for British companies,
The Queen’s Award for Enterprise, in
the category of Innovation. This award
is an incredible recognition of the
innovation the company delivers to our
customers every day. It also helps shine
a spotlight on the virtual agent industry
and the important role this technology
is playing in customer engagement.
By leveraging our long track record of
delivering successful solutions (our very
first customer is still a customer today),
our growing global network of partners
and our company culture of innovation
and teamwork, Creative Virtual is well
positioned to continue as an industry
leader in a rapidly evolving marketplace.
This has
helped create
a company
culture based
on innovation,
teamwork and
ownership of
which we are
very proud
Members of the Creative
Virtual team, customers
and partners celebrate
the company’s historic
Queen’s Award for
Enterprise win
»Over 75 million questions answered per year
»90 per cent guaranteed minimum accuracy within two months of
going live
»12 months or less to deliver return on investment
»20 languages currently supported with more to be delivered soon

This article was sponsored by Creative Virtual. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister