More interesting questions from customers that are much more thought-provoking than you expected

Also published on my WordPress Blog.

In my role as a Customer Success Manager, I deal with IBM customers all of the time. Some of my customers understand the general concept of “the Cloud”, and some have more difficulty with it. Some of them understand the basics of AI, and some struggle more with it. Most people just need to hear it explained to them in English (rather than tech-speak), slowly and patiently, and they understand. Most of the confusion is because the people who should know better (the technical people building these things), all use slightly different terminology and…


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It’s been a busy past few weeks for me, and I ran into a situation that I have seen in the past, and I wanted to share some knowledge about voice assistants. Most people just don't understand the complexities and limitations of the technology with voice assistants, so I thought that sharing this particular use case, and the difficulties of it, might be helpful for some people.

My Voice Assistant Situation

One of my customers had a desire to have a voice assistant understand and respond to questions about people, and have the ability to recognize the names of the people being asked about…


Photo by Premkumar Masilamani on Unsplash

Sometimes in our rush to apply technology, we lose sight of the problems that we were originally solving. Chatbots are no exception to this rule. Often organizations and individuals become SO FOCUSED on their chatbots, that they forget that the bot was built and deployed for a reason. Usually, that reason is some combination of improved customer experience, call center deflection, and providing customers answers to some common questions (and not every question under the sun).

Teams also often fall into the trap of doing constant adjustments to their chatbots, without knowing what the adjustments are fixing, and having no…


Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Usually, I write blog posts about some of the more technical aspects of AI, or on the application of a variety of AI technologies for solving some set of business issues. Today’s blog post is a bit of a departure from that main theme. Today I am going to talk a little bit about what I typically do, and how the Customer Success Manager (CSM) role works inside of IBM. After that, I am going to share some links to potential Customer Success Manager jobs now available at IBM.

You do WHAT all day long?

In a typical day, I will do a wide array of…


Note: This is also posted in the Watson Apps Community in a blog entitled, What’s Going On With These New Watson Endpoints?

As a Worldwide Customer Success Manager for the Watson products, I talk to Watson users all day. They usually have issues and problems that are common with other Watson users and customers — so when I run into one of these “common” issues, I like to blog about it so others can avoid making the same mistakes.

Recently I had a call with a customer that I know, and one of their developers was asking me about an…


This post originally posted on the IBM Watson Apps Community, under the title Top Secret Virtual Assistant Hacks on September 24, 2020.

Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

I usually start these blog posts talking about the smart people that I work with. Today I learned something new, with some guidance from our IBM Watson development team. It has to do with some top-secret, virtual assistant launcher hacks. OK — none of this is really top secret stuff, but it is the kind of thing that is good to know — and the type of thing that can make your virtual assistant look so much more…


Some of my favorite articles to read are the ones that are ridiculous on purpose. They highlight all of the WRONG things to do, in a humorous way, and they seem to stick with you long after you have read them. Here is my pitiful attempt to write something loaded with irony. Here’s how you can create a virtual assistant that is a complete and utter failure.

Step 1 — Solve a Non-Problem

Creating chatbots is fun. You get to spend time doing things not a lot of people understand, and then you can put it on your resume. I just searched for “chatbot” on LinkedIn


Photo by Ian on Unsplash

When you work with smart people, you tend to learn some really cool little tips and tricks. One of the smart people that I work is Josh Cohen, and he learned about a neat little trick for recovering an IBM Cloud service instance that you might have accidentally deleted.

How it’s Done

So let’s assume that you have mistakenly deleted an instance of an IBM Watson service. Some services might be very easy to replace — but others will not be so easy to replace or restore. This will help with those. …


We’re happy to see you!

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

As a Customer Success Manager, I deal with a lot of people within IBM, and with a lot of our customers who are using IBM’s Watson technologies to help them achieve their goals. I see a lot, and I learn a lot in all of these interactions. Something that I have wanted for a long time has been a Watson community. Somewhere that people who use Watson technologies can get together and share stories, collaborate, teach, learn, and generally just exchange information and share their experiences. I want to give other people a chance to…

Daniel Toczala

AI Technical Leader — Customer Success Management — Driving real business value from AI technology

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