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NetFoundry AppWAN
for IBM Watson

The NetFoundry AppWAN for Watson connects contact centers and businesses to Watson voice services, using the contact center’s existing Internet access providers, with enterprise grade security and reliability.

AppWAN for Watson is best paired with IBM’s Voice Gateway, giving customers a turnkey solution to leverage Watson’s voice services.  Both solutions use horizontally scalable, cloud native sets of microservices, deployable as cloud or on-premises Docker containers, virtual machines or appliances.

AppWAN for Watson integrates software defined networks in each Watson voice application.  AppWANs are built to connect services, as opposed to traditional networks which connect nodes.  This means each Watson AppWAN meets the specific security and reliability needs of each Watson service, enabling the business or contact center to consume Watson services from their existing Internet access providers, avoiding the roadblock of trying to extend MPLS networks to Watson data centers.

Adding Watson services to a contact center agent’s tool belt

Here’s how NetFoundry enables a contact center to augment contact center agent dialogues with Watson services, providing the contact center agent with data, tips and suggestions to best manage the customer conversation:

1. Forks please. We fork the voice call, enabling the contact center agent and Watson’s speech to text service to simultaneously be in the call.

2. Layered security. NetFoundry’s Software Defined Perimeter authenticates the session via a secure TLS certificate exchange.  The AppWAN gateway can’t connect to the network until it has authenticated, and the contact center doesn’t need to open up potentially vulnerable inbound ports in its firewalls because the AppWAN gateway initiates outbound sessions via the AppWAN SDN, blocking all externally-originated data, making the contact center network dark to the outside world, protecting it from attacks. Optionally (determined by the contact center’s policies), ephemeral, AES 256-bit symmetric keys are negotiated for each session.

The contact center is now securely connected, via software and the Internet, ready to immediately leverage Watson services.

3. Happy customer. The IBM Voice Gateway connects to Watson, saving the contact center from undergoing a complex SIP integration project.  The Watson STT service sends transcribed text via the MQTT broker. Multiple services act upon the text by subscribing to the MQTT broker topic, giving the contact center agent real-time suggestions and information to enable the best customer care.

Supporting more Watson services and deployment models

The example above is specific to speech-to-text, but the same AppWAN for Watson architecture supports multiple Watson services, including Watson Dialog.  Watson Dialog can act as a self-service agent, empowering applications to use natural language to reply to customer questions, guide customers through complex processes and even up-sell them on relevant products and services.

More AppWAN for Watson deployment models

With cloud-native, virtualized software, each contact center or enterprise can choose the architecture which exactly fits their needs.  In this example, the Watson voice gateway is located in the cloud: