Andrew Barnes

3 minute read

Virtual Agent in Paris has a page full of enhancements that you can check out. We will look at a few of the highlights in this overview blog.


A useful dashboard is something that I very much appreciate. Visualizations and aggregation of information into understandable and actionable intelligence is the goal of a useful dashboard. In the Paris release, the VA Dashboard has been enhanced to give more insights to the operations managers and topic authors. You can install the VA Dashboard plugin If you already have the plugin from Orlando, it will be auto-updated during the upgrade to Paris.

Dashboard Tabs

Each section of the dashboard has been adjusted from the Orlando version. Of note is the ability to see the different types of conversations and drill down with Analytics Hub to see breakdowns and modify the data you view and gain actionable insights. Topic authors and operations managers can use the dashboard information to measure the health and impact of their changes and promotion of the use of VA. That information will allow them to refine and adapt quickly using real interaction data.


Natural Language Understanding (NLU)

Introduced in Orlando was the option to leverage NLU within the VA topics. With Paris, the ability to associate and interact with associated NLU intents from within the VA Designer has been added. Other changes have been made to the Designer, but I will leave those for you to discover! To leverage the enhancement, you need to have the NLU Studio plugin enabled.


As you can see in the image above, there is a new NLU Section to the VA Designer. The NLU tab allows the topic author to adjust the associated intent. Adding utterances, associated entities, plus training, testing, and publishing the model are available on the NLU Intent tab. The interface will be the same as visiting the intent via studio but much more accessible and less context switching, as you can see below. The NLU tab will not be visible unless you have NLU enabled, SN set as the provider, and a model and intent associated with the topic.


Language support

The other new tab from the Designer is Language. The new interface allows for the mapping of models and intents per language. With the Paris release, French and German NLU capabilities have been added to the existing English offerings. If you have those (or other future languages) in your NLU model setup, then you need to set them up for each of the relevant topics for VA.


The last feature I will highlight is the enhancements around testing your VA topics. When running a test either through the individual test option or the Test Active Topics method, you have access to some new features. The chat window that opens has options for Analyze Test Phrases, Variables, and Logs. The addition of the variables and phrases eases the testing while authoring a topic. Check out more details in the Docs