London, 5 September 2005 – Staff across telecoms provider BTWholesale who want to find out about the company’s policy and strategy on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) have successfully trialed the use of an online assistant to guide them. Called ‘Virtual Duncan’, the assistant – or Virtual Advisor – is a powerful new resource based on Synthetix’s unique SmartAgent technology. Accessible through the BT intranet, staff on the trial found it ‘simple to use and very effective’, according to the company.

The system enables a dialogue between the user and the Virtual Advisor covering questions and answers across a broad spectrum of issues relating to BT’s CSR policy. The natural language interface allows the user to have a conversation with the SmartAgent; users type in questions and it returns plain English responses. Throughout the dialogue the SmartAgent directs the user to relevant sections within the intranet.

Part of the Virtual Duncan’s functionality is the collection of feedback on the use of the technology, for which the initial results have been startling. As many as 84% of people enjoyed using the SmartAgent technology and thought it was a simple and productive use of their time. In addition, 80% could identify other applications around BT where this type of interactive technology could help. Additional comments made to the agent included: ‘Duncan seems like a nice man that learns quickly’; and ‘it makes a change to be able to find information so easily’.

Peter McKean, Managing Director of Synthetix said: "This is another major new application for our SmartAgent technology with yet another blue chip brand. It is our first project with BT and I am sure it won’t be the last. The application is already making a real contribution to educating BT staff in this important specialist area. The depth, quality and effectiveness of the agent is outstanding and the project has been embraced by everyone at BT.”

"I have been very impressed by both Synthetix and SmartAgent. The implementation of the trial was both quick and straightforward. The Virtual Advisor complements our existing intranet content well, and the quality of the information we receive through the Insight system is great. It is making a measurable contribution to clear communications to our people. We are now looking at how we can use this technology with our customers" said Phil Exon, CRM Programme Lead, BTWholesale Central Information Office.


For further information, please contact: Adam Ashcroft, Marketing Director, Synthetix Ltd, Tel: 01732 862 759, Mobile: 07808 129 300, E-mail:, Website:

Note To Editors

• Synthetix Ltd is a developer of cutting-edge, intelligent software technologies for on-line marketing, customer self-service and usability. Founded in 2001, Synthetix has unparalleled expertise in the field of 'Virtual Assistant' design and deployment.

• The company has become the marketing, customer service and web usability technology choice for blue-chip brands including the, BBC, Vauxhall Motors, Berkeley Homes, Egg, Hitachi Europe, the Department for Education and Skills, Currys, CITB, AEG, Ford, BT, Yorkshire Building Society, Masterfoods and even the legendary Harlem Globetrotters.

Adam Ashcroft
Marketing Director
Synthetix Limited
27 Old Gloucester Street
Tel: 01732 862 759
Mobile: 07808 129 300

Published on: 12:00AM on 5th September 2005