Born out of customer research with engineers, procurement specialists, and professional makers — many of whom were accessing the multiple sites now under the Avnet umbrella — the beta launch of Ask Avnet takes web-based ecosystems to a new level with the inclusion of artificial intelligence. Designed to connect customers to relevant product design and development content, the Ask Avnet automated assistant gathers information quickly and easily, navigating users across Avnet.com, element14.com, and Hackster.io.
Available now to customers for beta testing, the global technology distributor describes the new site as the industry’s first digital platform that integrates artificial intelligence (AI) and industry expertise on demand.
Nishant Nishant, Head of Avnet’s Digital Strategy says there are approximately 700 – 800 beta users “test driving” the new platform and providing feedback which will be used to strengthen the platform prior to its general release this fall.
“We want the users to be part of the design process instead of just critiquing it. We are also focusing on the quality of the interactions we have with testers all the while updating the platform every three weeks to reflect that feedback,” says Nishant, “The system is basically learning with every interaction.”
To help locate desired information, Ask Avnet is a proactive tool that leverages artificial intelligence to help anticipate a customer’s next move and provide them with the best answer, rather than a list of all possible answers, while also facilitating interactive discussions. Ask Avnet underscores Avnet’s focus on creating differentiated offerings that put the company at the forefront of the digital transformation, serving up the entire technology supply chain for its diverse customer base.
Instead of delivering multiple windows across multiple sites, the tool moves the user around and between sites to take them to the most relevant content based upon their search and search filters. Wherever Ask Avnet doesn’t know the answer, it will pull in a customer service representative. Prior to handing over the user to a customer service person, however, all the interaction history is sent to an Avnet specialist.
“As consumers, we are all very accustomed to accessing information on demand. Ask Avnet will bring that same dynamic to the electronics supply chain. Initial feedback from select customers and industry partners has been positive, and we invite engineers, makers and procurement specialists to test drive Ask Avnet to take advantage of its benefits and help improve this sophisticated tool,” said Kevin Yapp, senior vice president, digital transformation, Avnet. “Ask Avnet provides on-demand assistance that helps navigate Avnet’s ecosystem and move seamlessly through the technology product lifecycle, from prototype through mass production.”
Avnet’s acquisition of both Premier Farnell and Hackster in 2016 expanded the company’s reach to more than two million customers and an active community of more than 600,000 entrepreneurs, makers and engineers. MakerSource is an online resource directory developed by Avnet that provides innovators, service providers and technical experts with a forum to seek, as well as offer, support at each stage of the product lifecycle.
To participate, customers can visit http://avnet.me/AskAvnet to learn more about the tool and register. Once registration is confirmed, customers can test drive the new platform and provide feedback, which will be used to strengthen the platform prior to its general release this fall.