Daden Limited

Discourse

Discourse is a conversational AI/chatbot development platform optimised for employee support. It is designed so that authors can focus on content management rather than natural language understanding, and uses database and flow-chart type tools to rapidly author content. Full analytics are provided, and an API supports any UI.

Features

  • Entity based management of information akin to database records
  • Drag and drop flowcharting design of complex conversational flows
  • Front-end API to interface chatbot to almost any user interface
  • Back-end APIs to request and import data from other sources
  • Full analytics of user conversations
  • Customisable session start to promote ideas or survey users
  • Customisable user survey bank to drip-feed employee survey questions
  • Time based questioning for both time-of-day and onboarding sequence
  • Standalone mobile app to support employees out of comms
  • Integrate video and audio content for employee training and briefing

Benefits

  • Help employees with day to day issues, removing friction
  • Support longer term resilience, well-being and career development
  • Offer bite-size learning on a variety of organisation specific topics
  • Support users through a library of mental well-being content
  • Access from almost any PC or mobile device
  • Instantly user familiar text-chat interface
  • Extensive analytics to understand usage
  • Develop and manage content quickly and easily ensuring relevance
  • Leverage "anonymous intimacy" - people can reveal more to bots
  • No need for specialist staff to maintain or grow

Pricing

£0.003 to £0.006 per transaction

Service documents

Framework

G-Cloud 11

Service ID

6 1 7 4 8 3 6 9 6 4 5 1 1 5 2

Contact

Daden Limited

David Burden

1212505678

gcloud@daden.co.uk

Service scope

Software add-on or extension
No
Cloud deployment model
  • Public cloud
  • Private cloud
  • Community cloud
Service constraints
None
System requirements
None

User support

Email or online ticketing support
Email or online ticketing
Support response times
Within the day during the week. On mondays at weekends unless urgent.
User can manage status and priority of support tickets
No
Phone support
Yes
Phone support availability
9 to 5 (UK time), Monday to Friday
Web chat support
No
Onsite support
Yes, at extra cost
Support levels
Discourse has three support levels:

Bronze (Standard commercial licence)
Email, Phone
UK Working Hours reporting
Account team
2 working day response
Free

Silver
Email, Phone
UK Working Hours reporting
Dedicated account manager
1 working day response
25% per annum

Gold
Email, Phone
24/7 reporting
Dedicated account manager
2 hour response
+35% per annum
Support available to third parties
Yes

Onboarding and offboarding

Getting started
There is a full Wiki that completely describes the use of the system, including all authoring and user management - including video tutorials. We provide worksheets so that authors can learn how to use the system in a self-paced manner. For learners/users tutorial exercises are provided on the key elements of the system, but most chatbots should be relatively self explanatory. Daden can provide both alongsider training during initial content creation or dedicated training sessions (typically 2-3 x 1/2 day) if required.
Service documentation
Yes
Documentation formats
HTML
End-of-contract data extraction
All content can be exported as JSON which the client can use as they see fit. All logs are exportable as JSON or plain text.
End-of-contract process
At end of contract the client can take copies of their JSON content definitions as described. They can also export user logs. Accounts are then typically disabled by not deleted for at least 6 months in case the user decides to return. After 6 months the client will be given a final opportunity to return and then the account and all associated data deleted.

Using the service

Web browser interface
Yes
Supported browsers
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Firefox
  • Chrome
  • Safari 9+
Application to install
No
Designed for use on mobile devices
Yes
Differences between the mobile and desktop service
Mobile is optimised for user's chat interface. Authoring is possible, but may be a challenge on a smartphone but should be OK for tablets.
Service interface
No
API
Yes
What users can and can't do using the API
Discourse has two API forms, front and back end.

The front-end API is a REST/JSON API which is used to pass under input to Discourse, and send the Discourse response to the user. Clients are free to implement any actual user front end, and we can provide templates for common forms such as web text chat, web avatar and speech chat, SMS, Email, Messenger, IM, Virtual Worlds etc.

The back-end APIs are used by Discourse to retrieve information from other sources. Discourse has a generic REST/JSON requester, and other APIs can be supported as part of custom-builds, and also as added to the core service.
API documentation
Yes
API documentation formats
HTML
API sandbox or test environment
Yes
Customisation available
Yes
Description of customisation
All chatbot content can be customised as it is based on what data is entered.

There are some generic string templates which are used (e.g. "Their phone number is ..."), but this also become customisable.

The UI is completely user definable as at core Discourse is accessed via a REST/JSON intreface.

Scaling

Independence of resources
Discourse runs on a cloud platform provided by a reputable cloud hosting company (currently IONOS) and we regularly assess the service load and configure the cloud system accordingly. For users with high service demands we can move them to a dedicated instance still in the cloud, or to their own server.

Analytics

Service usage metrics
Yes
Metrics types
The system provides metrics on:
- How many sessions each user has had and when and which topics/intents/entities thy accessed
- How much each topic/intent/entity has been used and when

We are conscious that anonymity may be an issue in some applications and so can constrain analytics to only show aggregate data at an appropriate level, or non-sensitive user activity.
Reporting types
  • API access
  • Real-time dashboards

Resellers

Supplier type
Not a reseller

Staff security

Staff security clearance
Other security clearance
Government security clearance
Up to Developed Vetting (DV)

Asset protection

Knowledge of data storage and processing locations
Yes
Data storage and processing locations
United Kingdom
User control over data storage and processing locations
No
Datacentre security standards
Supplier-defined controls
Penetration testing frequency
Less than once a year
Penetration testing approach
In-house
Protecting data at rest
Physical access control, complying with another standard
Data sanitisation process
Yes
Data sanitisation type
Explicit overwriting of storage before reallocation
Equipment disposal approach
In-house destruction process

Data importing and exporting

Data export approach
We support REST/JSON for data export.
Data export formats
  • CSV
  • Other
Other data export formats
JSON
Data import formats
  • CSV
  • Other
Other data import formats
  • Excel
  • JSON
  • XML
  • SQL
  • Draw.io

Data-in-transit protection

Data protection between buyer and supplier networks
Legacy SSL and TLS (under version 1.2)
Data protection within supplier network
Legacy SSL and TLS (under version 1.2)

Availability and resilience

Guaranteed availability
Uptime excluding planned outages has a target of 99.8% annual availability.

Uptime including planned outages has a target of 99.6% annual availability.
Approach to resilience
Reslience information is available on request. Our data centre provider features georedundant infrastructure so that data is mirrored in two data centres, and is therefore always available.
Outage reporting
Outages are flagged to clients by email and to users when attempting to log in to the application. There is also a service status page on the Wiki which is updated for any extended outages.

Identity and authentication

User authentication needed
Yes
User authentication
Username or password
Access restrictions in management interfaces and support channels
Access to live servers is restricted 2-factor authentication which requires a username and password as well as an authentication code that is obtained from an Authenticator app present on mobiles phones that are password protected and only available to 3 senior members of staff. Remote desktop requires a username and password stored and with the server only accepting connections coming from Daden’s Birmingham office.
Access restriction testing frequency
At least every 6 months
Management access authentication
2-factor authentication

Audit information for users

Access to user activity audit information
Users have access to real-time audit information
How long user audit data is stored for
At least 12 months
Access to supplier activity audit information
Users have access to real-time audit information
How long supplier audit data is stored for
At least 12 months
How long system logs are stored for
At least 12 months

Standards and certifications

ISO/IEC 27001 certification
No
ISO 28000:2007 certification
No
CSA STAR certification
No
PCI certification
No
Other security certifications
No

Security governance

Named board-level person responsible for service security
Yes
Security governance certified
Yes
Security governance standards
Other
Other security governance standards
CyberEssentials
Information security policies and processes
Daden has its own internal information security policy which meets CyberEssentials requirements. Security is overseen by a Security Manager who reports directly to the Managing Director and works with the IT Manager to ensure that processes are up to date and being followed through regular review and checks.

Operational security

Configuration and change management standard
Supplier-defined controls
Configuration and change management approach
Services are tracked through the use of protected documents; the format of the documents and processes for updating them are well understood by existing staff. Changes that will affect security are done in consultation with development manager who ensures that security is configured correctly.
Vulnerability management type
Supplier-defined controls
Vulnerability management approach
A risk management review to assess potential threats and identify vulnerabilities and impacts is conducted at least bi-annually or on change or threat report.

All high-risk or critical security updates for OS, firmware and applications are installed within 14 days of receipt. This is implemented via PCs and servers set to update latest software/OS patches automatically. Other systems are updated at least weekly, one day or less for anti-virus, firewall, OS etc.

Information about potential threats including patch updates where available, are received via email alert to IT Manager from registered suppliers and public monitoring services.
Protective monitoring type
Supplier-defined controls
Protective monitoring approach
A risk management and impact review of all systems, data and relevant business processes is conducted to identify requirements for protective monitoring. This is reviewed annually for all systems or whenever an element is changed / updated.

Any potential compromise and impact is reviewed by the IT Manager and Security Manager. Actions to prevent or reduce the impact are reviewed with the MD (on weekly team meeting agenda) or sooner if required.

Incidents are reviewed within 1 working day (during office hours Monday to Friday) and respond to in a timely fashion based on the impact (severity and urgency).
Incident management type
Supplier-defined controls
Incident management approach
Common security incidents/events are reviewed with the MD as an item on the weekly team meeting agenda, or sooner if required based on the impact (severity and urgency).

Users report incidents directly to the IT Manager or Security Manager via email or verbally if appropriate. These are reviewed with the MD as an item on the weekly team meeting agenda, or sooner if required.

Incidents reports and responses are recorded on the internal Wiki system which is available to all staff

Secure development

Approach to secure software development best practice
Supplier-defined process

Public sector networks

Connection to public sector networks
No

Pricing

Price
£0.003 to £0.006 per transaction
Discount for educational organisations
Yes
Free trial available
Yes
Description of free trial
There is a free 30 day trial to try out the authoring system and the existing public chatbots. All features are available but the trial system may not be used to deliver live support or services.
Link to free trial
Www.chatbots.co.uk

Service documents

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