Barclays Bank is to use Ask Jeeves to provide answers to corporate queries at its business portal and e-procurement site, Barclays B2B.com. The bank is the first UK customer for the Ask Jeeves natural language query engine.
Slated for commercial launch later this year, Barclays B2B.com is billed as a purchase-to-payment e-procurement system designed to help corporates search for and find lowest-cost business services. The bank believes the Jeeves Relevant Answers system will deliver a user-friendly, intuitive alternative to conventional search tools.
"We needed proven yet innovative technology to differentiate our online initiative in the crowded e-commerce trading marketplace," says Rachael Atkinson, acting chief executive, Barclays B2B.com.
Users will be able to ask the system questions about a variety of business matters such as "What are the tax implications of paperless trading for my business?" or "What are the benefits of intranets and extranets?" or "Where can I read about the North African economy?"
Atkinson says Barclays will embark on a major national rollout of the B2B.com procurement portal later in the year.