ASOTU CON Sessions Episode 9: Josselyn Boudett

October 13, 2022
Josselyn Boudett and Paul J Daly sit down to chat at ASOTU CON 2022.
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Josselyn Boudett is the Founder & CEO of Stella Automotive AI.

Thanks to Effectv for making ASOTU CON Sessions possible!

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Paul Daly: 0:03You're listening to the ASOTU CON Sessions by Effectv recorded live in Philly. Josselyn, thank you so much for joining me the ASOTU CON Sessions by Effectv, we had another conversation not too long ago, but now we're here in person. And you've gotten to experience some of the ASOTU community in person. So tell me about just your experience this far into the event with the types of people who are in and about types of dealers and other industry partners that that you're meeting.Josselyn Boudett: 0:32

You know, the event has been amazing, I think the focus on the customer has been is appropriate. And spot on in, you know that the show has pivoted around the customer experience and making customers first. So I applaud you for that as a topic and dialogue. And then the event is really cool. I mean, this forum is awesome. I hope you do more events here. It's very flexible. People are really having a good time networking and listening to really good content.

Paul Daly: 1:04

Oh, man, this is great. I should ask everybody this question. Yeah, yeah, no. But you know, one of the things that always strikes me like in an event like this, I'm running around a lot. So I don't, you know, and I'm kind of I'm in the schedule and the details and logistics. But what it seems like is that people are hearing actually several different perspectives on the same topic. I don't know if you've experienced that. But have to Yeah, I've heard that. What what has been the one thing that you've heard that you've probably disagreed with the most?disagreed, yes. Something that you heard, you're like, oh, I don't know that I'd approach it that way.

Josselyn Boudett: 1:42

Well, you know, I'm not sure I'm in that camp. I think there's I think my disagreement is really just maybe with how slow everything is, you know, I think a lot of these narratives are almost getting tired. Yes, it has. There's no movement, you're like, we've been talking about this. And it's like, while you know, we should share data? And it's like, yeah, everyone's saying yes, right. Everyone's in the room, aren't we? Yeah, somebody's gonna share some data. Yeah. And I haven't heard anybody say that's a bad idea. So the question is, never heard that either. Why aren't we? And I don't know anyone that said we couldn't. So it's really hard to diagnose why that is. I mean, I'm sort of a newcomer to the industry,

Paul Daly: 2:24

which is why I think your perspective is actually a very valid one. Because you're not, you know, just like when you hire a new person, yeah. I always tell that person like, tell us everything you see, because you got like 90 days, fresh eyes, you got 90 days before, you're just gonna see everything like we see. So you're, you're new to the industry, I think it's a very fresh perspective,

Josselyn Boudett: 2:43

talk about a few things on that angle, just like working with. Obviously, a pivot for Pivotal, fundamental for Stella is access to data because she's representing the data to the consumer live. Answering questions, FAQs.

Paul Daly: 2:59

And let me let me pause you there. So people know if they just happen to drop into this. Oh, you talked about Stella this person Stella but Stella is actually an AI Yeah, deployment. Yeah. So just just give give us like a 60 seconnd. summary on who still sell it still loves data. Yeah, right. So lives on data. But yeah, go ahead.

Josselyn Boudett: 3:17

Stella is an AI that answers the phone. And, you know, I just challenge anyone to think of when Alexa or Siri called them. But ours is the same type of technology. It's conversational AI, and it literally speaks over the telephone and can have very long dialogues. So I can understand using that capability to book appointments, answer questions about the dealer, hours and address and things like that. And then it's sort of this, I would call it like a trail of gunpowder, because we're just leaning in on all sorts of topics that Stella can dialogue about over the telephone. And that's really a place of impact. And I think even in the show, it's come up a lot as phone centers and call centers in the stress they're under for human capital and training and best practices. And so we feel like just delivering a blow in that area with this product is really radical and exciting.

Paul Daly: 4:13

So you said, Stella functions on lots of data. Yeah,

Josselyn Boudett: 4:21

Yeah. So it's easy, because if you if you just look at AI in your life at home, you really don't have to think very hard about where the Google phone or the Apple phone is getting its data. But if you just pause for a moment and consider how much data they have consumed in order to answer any question under the sky, including, you know, what is telling me a bedtime story, how far away is the moon and you know, is Starbucks open? You know, AI's rely on data and open data standards in order to do their job. And so, and the AI's job isn't to be the source of data, it's to converse about it. And so that's really What we're doing in the dealership, we're putting a new front end on the dealership and then just using the existing infrastructure, we're not trying to redesign the service lane or alter, you know, marketing campaigns, we're really just having Stella be able to communicate to a customer, recognize who they are, understand why they might be calling and what their problems are, and then make recommendations to that customer over the phone using the data. So when I look around at the different vendors, and you know, we started our journey, we're fairly new in the industry. But a lot of the it's very evident that even though the vendors have API's, they're not very sophisticated. So we go to other industries where we're connecting the data, and they, you know, it's real time the API's are industrial strength and ready for sharing. Where these API's, what we're finding consistently is they weren't really built to be open, they're not live or real time, or they're, you know, unable to sync except once an hour or once a day, it's like having an API then only do five calls in an hour. Otherwise, the whole thing will crash. And you're just like, wow, I mean, that they really haven't shared data. I think, you know, that might answer your own question. But why aren't there sharing data now that we know who still is. Yeah. So tell us why the data is better? Is a lot of these vendors don't know how I think, you know, they're saying they want to, but they haven't put any technical expertise in the department that would do it. important.

Paul Daly: 6:23

So let's drill into that for a second. You said they want to they don't know how. So it's an expertise thing and not a money thing is what you're saying? Or is there? Is there risk? Yeah, like I'm trying to get inside the head of you would know this more than me? Why would people be hesitant to share data? I know some like

Josselyn Boudett: 6:45

you could take one of the, you know, top five software companies in all of automotive, okay, okay. Yep. And we connect to them, their system is down at least once a day, it's been down, you know, 15 to 20 hours. It's had all sorts of hiccups, it can't share all of its information, only part of it. And you know, we call them and they're embarrassed, and there's no one there that knows how to talk to us. And they there's confusion and they're working on it. And it's going to take two quarters to get an update. And whoa, it's just you could say it's probably like they didn't allocate enough budget to that department. Right? It's certainly not something that you couldn't find, I think you could outsource it to India, you know, how to aggregate and share data, or, you know, building a service to an FTP site or something isn't super advanced. But um coordinating with these vendors is is is quite challenging.

Paul Daly: 7:39

Give me an example of somebody who gets it right. It could be outside automotive, you say, Yeah, who's got, you know, the industrial level, who's great at it, that maybe people listening would know.

Josselyn Boudett: 7:50

Um, you know, I would point to, you know, we often federate with Oracle and SAP. And it's really not a problem. Those usually it'd be like, we go into a large enterprise or a manufacturer and you know, which one are you on, it doesn't really matter. And most of the focus is going to be around what can you share or your compliance or what do you do with PII, and those are all addressable. But it's never like, they don't know how to share data.

Paul Daly: 8:19

Interesting. Yeah. So. So how do you think like, from a solution standpoint? You heard the problem, right? You said, we've been talking about it. I don't see anybody taking a step. What do you suggest as a good first step, like, it's a big problem, right? And so like, as you think about it, you should dress it. Like, what's the what's the Josselyn mode of like, I think if we just started here, what would you suggest?

Josselyn Boudett: 8:43

we're doing it. I think this step is really to work with the dealers. And our thesis has been since we launched just a few months ago, really, to help dealers and then use the dealers to work with the vendors, because the dealers are the ones that have the power to influence the vendors. And so And we've seen that happening, we've had dealers switch software, just to get Stella multiple times, like I would say, it's like 30% of the time, if we didn't, especially early if we didn't have the API, they move platforms to get it find one that has the API because they really want to use the software vendors are like, wait, what? You know, because we can't do what? Well, yeah, yeah. So I think that's, you know, that's new a bit. And I'd say we're one of the first real time systems, a lot of them have API's that are meant for maybe data analytics later, where you could do a batch at night or something. But yeah, you know, Stella is a live agent, she needs real time data, you know, you might have a car in the lot right now that you won't have in an hour. And she needs to know.

Paul Daly: 9:46

Yeah, that sounds like what what retail what other types of retail industries might people in you know, run into technology such as Stella?

Josselyn Boudett: 9:54

Well, you know, we're pretty active in the parts space working with heavy equipment and those are Really exciting areas or the industrial side industrial or big time that you find like a simple question. And you know, we could take this into the home environment as well. But like, let's say you need ink for your Hewlett Packard Deskjet. Well, I challenge you to even go to Hewlett packard.com. And find out what ink you need to buy. I mean, you just put Deskjet ink and you'll get 8 million results, right? Like, what model and it doesn't have an intelligent, you know, dialogue or, but when we go over to heavy equipment, that's exactly what we're doing. So you're like, hey, I need a front loader bucket for my you know, excavator. And it'll be like, great, what, what model? You know, what year? What kind of bucket? Did you want a wide one or a narrow? When do you need it? Do you need teeth? Do you need were part right? All the other corresponding, like all over it, right? It's like trying to upsell you, it knows the inventory, it knows where you can buy it and knows, like what you need to know best. Right? So and the other thing I would highlight is it has the complete and total answer to the question. So you say something like, I need a bucket and you go, Well, is this the only bucket? Are these all the buckets? Can I see what buckets I could buy? And then I could decide, and search engines don't do that. So, you know, when we look at digital assistant technology, I would describe a most BI tools and search engines as a failure to answer the question. Right, so that the question has a precise and complete answer. Like what times do you have open that right? It's I have all full except for Thursday at two. It's not a search result. Like I found one Thursday at two is not an answer. Right? So we're looking at you know,

Paul Daly: 11:40

well that's so nuanced, but like, nuanced when you say it, but when you hear it as the person trying to book the appointment, you're like, No, it didn't understand ever see, it didn't understand you never see it.

Josselyn Boudett: 11:50

Yeah. So like, you could go to Best Buy, you know, Geek Squad and like, Okay, what is the best? I don't know, you know, a vacuum, right? And they'd say, Well, here's the vacuum, but you want to know, all the vacuums how they're ranked and why they're best. Right? Like it's just, it's all problem different than a search result. Very different.

Paul Daly: 12:10

Oh, my goodness. Well, thank you for spending such a, you know, such a big chunk of your time here with us. Yeah, at ASOTU CON. It's a pleasure. We really value the fresh thinking in the industry. It's exciting what Stella is doing and just exciting because it's making other people move and when the pieces start to move, they really do begin to fall in place. So thanks for taking a few minutes with us. Yeah, they were the ASOTU CON Sessions by Effectv.

Josselyn Boudett: 12:35

Thank you so much. Okay, bye, bye.

Paul Daly: 12:41

Thank you for listening to this is ASOTU CON Session by Effectv. If you want more content like this, you can check out our other podcasts we have a daily show called The Automotive Troublemaker Monday through Friday. Here on podcasts also live streamed on YouTube, and LinkedIn and Facebook. We also have a long form podcast called Auto Collabs, Auto Collabs. And if you just want to go a little deeper and in this community, you should sign up for our regular email we put our heart and soul into it. You can get it for free by going to ASOTU.com. We'll see you next time.