Author Archives: Andrew Prokop

Saving Jobs with Virtual Agents

“There’s our excuse… we’ll blame everything on the round-headed kid!” – Charles M, Schultz Everyone loves a scapegoat. Whether it’s “My dog ate my homework,” or “The check is in the mail,” it’s too easy to blame someone else for our failures and shortcomings. I see it, and have certainly done it, in my personal […]

Security, Security, Security

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” — Henry David Thoreau During this time of unemployment, I have more free time than I care for. While I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a workaholic, I do like […]

It’s Deja Vu All Over Again

“The artist is always beginning. Any work of art which is not a beginning, an invention, a discovery is of little worth.” – Ezra Pound Have you ever experienced deja vu? The feeling that you’ve already been someplace? I began my professional career at Northern Telecom on July 5th, 1983. That would be before most […]

Zen and the Art of Being Unemployed

“The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.” – Bob Marley For me, there are two great truths about being laid off. The first is that it sucks. It’s hard not to feel singled out, slighted, and […]

Creating a virtual agent with Twilio and Google Dialogflow

I have taken my work with Twilio Programmable Voice and SMS to the point where I have something to show for all my effort. The best way to experience my virtual agent is to call 207-825-2956 from a mobile phone. You can do this from a landline, too, with one exception that I explain below. […]

It’s a Bot World. We Just Live in It

Welcome to the next entry in my series of COVID-19 I-am-stuck-at-home-for-who-knows-how-long videos.  So far, I’ve tackled Bot Building Basics with Google Dialogflow and Can You Really Build That With Breeze.  Today, I recorded another of my popular presentations, It’s a Bot World.  We Just Live in It.  This was originally a breakout session at Engage […]

Can You Really Build That With Breeze?

For me, business travel has always been a mixed bag.  I don’t like making reservations, packing, airports, airplanes, rental cars, and unfamiliar freeways, but I do enjoy meeting new people and being exposed to new and different ideas.  I also love sharing what I know (or pretend to know) with a willing audience. COVID-19 put […]

Let A Virtual Agent Do The Talking

“The Wilderness holds answers to more questions than we have yet learned to ask.” Nancy Newhall You don’t need me to tell you how much the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world.  It has disrupted the way we work, shop, socialize, relax, and communicate.  In respect to business communications, it has done two things.  First, […]

Home is Where the Work Is — The Social Aspects

There is something less than fully human in those who have never known a commitment to an idea, who have never risked an exploration of the unknown, who have never attempted the kind of creativity of which men and women are potentially capable. Betty Friedan I ended yesterday’s Home is Where the Work Is with […]

Home is Where the Work Is

Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival. Winston Churchill This morning, I held my first virtual open office and although I nearly always hold myself to impossible standards, I was pleased with how it turned out.  […]