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IBM United Kingdom Ltd

IBM Watson Assistant

Deliver exceptional customer experiences anywhere with IBM Watson Assistant. Transform your business with artificial intelligence that understands customers in context to provide fast, consistent, accurate answers across any application, device or channel. Remove the frustration of long wait times, tedious searches, and unhelpful chatbots with the leader in trustworthy AI.


  • Voice or text virtual agents
  • Speech to Text - can be customised for accuracy
  • Text to Speech - natural sounding voices
  • Natural Language Understanding (NLU)
  • Clarify intent with disambiguation
  • Simplified tooling with no code required
  • Conversation analytics & auto-learning
  • Integration with Watson Discovery - an AI powered search tool
  • Customer Service center software integration
  • High availability & disaster recovery


  • Quickly build and deploy AI applications trained by business users
  • Adapt and customise to work in specific domains
  • Easily build, train, and deploy conversational interactions
  • Deploy into any application, device, or channel on any cloud
  • Easily recognize more topics and content than any other chatbot
  • Accurate and complete answers with robust topic understanding
  • AI-powered intelligent search and human agent handoff
  • No code, drag-and-drop interface to build dialog
  • Deliver more consistent, faster response to customers


£150 a unit a month

Service documents

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G-Cloud 13

Service ID

4 3 1 5 0 5 3 0 6 2 0 6 2 4 6


IBM United Kingdom Ltd Anne-Marie Wheeler
Telephone: 0207 202 3000

Service scope

Software add-on or extension
Yes, but can also be used as a standalone service
What software services is the service an extension to
IBM Watson Discovery, IBM Watson Speech to Text, IBM Watson Text to Speech, plus other services available on IBM Cloud.
Cloud deployment model
  • Public cloud
  • Private cloud
  • Hybrid cloud
Service constraints
System requirements
  • Internet connection & web browser
  • Runs on IBM Cloud or IBM Cloud Pak for Data
  • Can be deployed on AWS, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud
  • Can be deployed on premise

User support

Email or online ticketing support
Email or online ticketing
Support response times
IBM look to define and agree appropriate service levels and response times for each particular implementation based upon business need. Services levels are defined by categorising incident types according to severity, with response times per category of severity eg. Sev 1, 2 and 3. We would typically monitor e-mail/ticketing/telephone support 24x7, 7 days a week, categorising the incident and invoking the appropriate SLA. Sev 1/2 incidents can be prioritised for weekend responses. Sev 3 would typically attract a response during office hours (Monday to Friday 9 to 5).
User can manage status and priority of support tickets
Phone support
Phone support availability
24 hours, 7 days a week
Web chat support
Web chat
Web chat support availability
24 hours, 7 days a week
Web chat support accessibility standard
None or don’t know
How the web chat support is accessible
IBM Cloud includes the following major accessibility features:

Keyboard-only operation
Operations that use a screen reader
IBM Cloud uses the latest W3C Standard, WAI-ARIA 1.0 to ensure compliance to US Section 508 External link icon and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 External link icon. To take advantage of accessibility features, use the latest release of your screen reader in combination with the latest Internet Explorer web browser that is supported by this product.

The IBM Cloud online product documentation and the IBM Cloud user interface framework is enabled for accessibility.
Web chat accessibility testing
Onsite support
Yes, at extra cost
Support levels
Support is available 24x7. Support is provided by a ticketing system. Customer can define severity level 1-4. Basic, Advanced and Premium support options available at additional cost. Full details of support options available here :
Support available to third parties

Onboarding and offboarding

Getting started
We provide comprehensive online documentation, tutorials, free online training courses and hundreds of tutorials and articles available on our developerWorks portal.
Service documentation
Documentation formats
End-of-contract data extraction
Each service on the IBM Cloud platform differs in the ability to export data.
IBM will return the Client Data within a reasonable period in a reasonable and common format upon receiving written instructions from the Client prior to termination or expiration.
End-of-contract process
At the end of the contract services continue to run but the user will be prompted to add a new payment method or sign a new contract. Access via the UI will be disable but services continue to run and there is no immediate data loss.

Using the service

Web browser interface
Supported browsers
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Firefox
  • Chrome
  • Safari
Application to install
Designed for use on mobile devices
Differences between the mobile and desktop service
Service interface
User support accessibility
WCAG 2.1 AA or EN 301 549
What users can and can't do using the API
REST API access is available to create new services, interact with existing services, look up services catalog, retrieve information about running apps & services, automate creation/deletion of apps etc. Each service also provides it’s own unique API. See
API documentation
API documentation formats
  • Open API (also known as Swagger)
  • HTML
API sandbox or test environment
Customisation available
Description of customisation
New users can be added, service can be split into organisations & spaces to separate projects. Quotas and spending limits can be applied.


Independence of resources
The architecture of IBM cloud services maintains logical separation of client data. Internal rules and measures separate data processing, such as inserting, modifying, deleting, and transferring data, according to the contracted purposes.


Service usage metrics
Metrics types
Billing & Usage metrics, Application logs & performance metrics, User login & API events.
Reporting types
  • API access
  • Real-time dashboards


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
Data storage and processing locations
  • United Kingdom
  • European Economic Area (EEA)
  • Other locations
User control over data storage and processing locations
Datacentre security standards
Complies with a recognised standard (for example CSA CCM version 3.0)
Penetration testing frequency
At least once a year
Penetration testing approach
Another external penetration testing organisation
Protecting data at rest
  • Physical access control, complying with CSA CCM v3.0
  • Physical access control, complying with SSAE-16 / ISAE 3402
  • Physical access control, complying with another standard
  • Encryption of all physical media
  • Scale, obfuscating techniques, or data storage sharding
  • Other
Other data at rest protection approach
Security for both data-in-use and data-at-rest is the customers responsibility as the applications are developed. Customers can take advantage of several data-related services available in the IBM Cloud Catalog and IBM will advise and support as required. IBM are unable to view or access customer data.
Data sanitisation process
Data sanitisation type
Explicit overwriting of storage before reallocation
Equipment disposal approach
Complying with a recognised standard, for example CSA CCM v.30, CAS (Sanitisation) or ISO/IEC 27001

Data importing and exporting

Data export approach
Back up and restore your data by downloading, and then uploading the data. For the IBM Watson Assistant service, the Actions data can be downloaded and restored using JSON file format.
Data export formats
Other data export formats
Data import formats
Other data import formats

Data-in-transit protection

Data protection between buyer and supplier networks
  • TLS (version 1.2 or above)
  • IPsec or TLS VPN gateway
  • Other
Other protection between networks
IBM will encrypt content not intended for public or unauthenticated viewing when transferring content over public networks. Further, unless excluded by a TD, IBM will enable use of a cryptographic protocol, such as HTTPS, SFTP, and FTPS, for Client’s secure transfer of content to and from the Cloud Service over public networks.
Data protection within supplier network
  • TLS (version 1.2 or above)
  • IPsec or TLS VPN gateway

Availability and resilience

Guaranteed availability
99.95% for applications/services configured for high availability across 2 or more IBM Cloud geographic regions. 99.5% for applications/services deployed in a single geographic region. 10% credit refund if SLA is not met with necessary information to validate such a claim.
Approach to resilience
Available on request.
Outage reporting
Email alerts and available on a webpage at:

Identity and authentication

User authentication needed
User authentication
  • Identity federation with existing provider (for example Google Apps)
  • Username or password
Access restrictions in management interfaces and support channels
Role based access restricts access to management interfaces and support channels. Roles include developer, manager, auditor and billing manager. Different roles see different interfaces.
Access restriction testing frequency
At least every 6 months
Management access authentication
  • 2-factor authentication
  • Public key authentication (including by TLS client certificate)
  • Identity federation with existing provider (for example Google Apps)

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
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
Between 1 month and 6 months

Standards and certifications

ISO/IEC 27001 certification
Who accredited the ISO/IEC 27001
Bureau Veritas
ISO/IEC 27001 accreditation date
What the ISO/IEC 27001 doesn’t cover
Only tier 1 platform services are covered by ISO 27001 i.e Cloudant, MQLIght, DevOps, IBM Containers, Logging & Monitoring, Secure Gateway. For a full list please consult documentation.
ISO 28000:2007 certification
CSA STAR certification
PCI certification
Cyber essentials
Cyber essentials plus
Other security certifications
Any other security certifications
Yes, for a full list see:

Security governance

Named board-level person responsible for service security
Security governance certified
Security governance standards
  • ISO/IEC 27001
  • Other
Other security governance standards
IBM Cloud (IBM PaaS) runs on Softlayer. And Softlayer is certified compliant with major industry standards, for example, ISO 27001 & ISO 27018
Information security policies and processes
IBM has an Information Technology (IT) Security policy that establishes the requirements for the protection of IBM's worldwide IT systems and the information assets they contain, including networks and computing devices such as servers, workstations, host computers, application programs, web services, and telephone systems within the IBM infrastructure. IBM’s IT Security policy is supplemented by standards and guidelines, such as the Security Standards for IBM's Infrastructure, the Security and Use Standards for IBM Employees and the Security Guidelines for Outsourced Business Services. Such are reviewed by a cross-company team led by the IT Risk organization every six months.

IBM has a dedicated Vice President of IT Security who leads a team responsible for IBM's own enterprise data security standards and practices. Responsibility and accountability for executing internal security programs is established through formal documented policies. IBM Services teams also have dedicated executives and teams who are responsible for information and physical security in the delivery of our client services.

Operational security

Configuration and change management standard
Supplier-defined controls
Configuration and change management approach
IBM uses QRadar to track configuration and manage the lifecycle of components. Core platform components run through an automated pipeline to evaluate security impact of the change.
Vulnerability management type
Supplier-defined controls
Vulnerability management approach
IBM uses endpoint manager to manage patches to the system. IBM hardens the systems to ITCS 103.
Protective monitoring type
Supplier-defined controls
Protective monitoring approach
IBM uses QRadar to monitor system events which automatically raises a ticket to manage incidents.
Incident management type
Supplier-defined controls
Incident management approach
IBM maintains and follows incident response policies aligned with NIST guidelines for computer security incident handling, and will comply with data breach notification requirements under applicable law.
IBM investigates security incidents, including unauthorised access or use of content or the Cloud Service, of which IBM becomes aware, and, if warranted, define and execute an appropriate response plan.
IBM promptly notifies Client upon determining that a security incident known or reasonably suspected by IBM to affect Client has occurred.
IBM provides Client with reasonably requested information about such security incident, status of applicable remediation, restoration activities performed or directed by IBM.

Secure development

Approach to secure software development best practice
Independent review of processes (for example CESG CPA Build Standard, ISO/IEC 27034, ISO/IEC 27001 or CSA CCM v3.0)

Public sector networks

Connection to public sector networks

Social Value

Fighting climate change

Fighting climate change

In February 2021, IBM committed to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions globally by 2030. On this path, IBM are on track to have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 65% (against 2010 base) in 2025, and 75% of our global electricity consumption will be from renewables by 2025. The IBM UK Carbon Reduction Plan (CRP) is published annually in which we report progress in achieving Net Zero.
In fulfilling our responsibilities under our contracts, our staff operate in line with our IBM Environmental Policy and implemented through our worldwide Environmental Management System (EMS), which covers objectives including achieving our net zero greenhouse gas commitment, reduction in water use, reduction in waste going to landfill, creating green space, enhancing the natural environment and improving air quality. Local initiatives are in place around IBM locations, including on shared or zero-carbon travel, with various cycle-to-work and car-share initiatives and incentives, and through environmentally focused volunteering.
To influence staff, suppliers, customers and communities through the delivery of the contract to support environmental protection and improvement, we include Social Responsibility and Environmental Management requirements in subcontracts, and encourage staff to work with the wider teams on improvements. In some locations, a ‘Environmental Business Resource Group’ promotes sustainability and plans community-based volunteer work.
In 2020 IBM launched the responsible.computing() initiative, which addresses modern computing challenges and integrates aspects of sustainability, climate, ethics, openness, privacy and security. We assess proposed technical solutions against efficient energy usage.
IBM began detailed tracking and monitoring of our environmental footprint in 1990 - being forthright and transparent in our impact long before it was fashionable or required. We have made significant improvements over the last 30 years and will continue to always report transparently on impacts and our progress.
Covid-19 recovery

Covid-19 recovery

To help local communities manage and recover from the impacts of COVID-19 IBM have created employment and re-training opportunities. IBM provide a free, fully online offering called SkillsBuild Reignite, tailored for job seekers, and those needing to grow their digital skills. Once an initial 30-hours of online learning is completed, Reignite offers free one-on-one coaching, seminars and facilitated discussions from IBM volunteers.
IBM encourage our staff, suppliers and customers to support our communities. The Volunteer’s Portal manages over 1.3 million hours of volunteering by IBM employees.
We support our extensive ecosystem of external SME's manage and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. IBM has invested to help reduce barriers to entry that may preclude participation in delivery by SMEs. This could relate to financial standing, ability to accept risk, invest in bids, or ability to supply sufficient volumes of resources.
We have several initiatives to support staff with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and extend those initiatives to the clients we partner with. Mental health support is available at all times to all of our staff and their families, and we train volunteering staff as mental health first aiders. We have many programmes in place to tailor a gradual return to health and work following illness.
IBM reimagined many of our workplaces and policies to support COVID-19 recovery and are committed to ongoing safe working to reduce demand on health and care services. We have also implemented our Work from Home Pledge & Hybrid Working Pledge for all staff, which ensures we establish and respect new boundaries and support each other in this new way of working and living. We published our ‘Return to Workplace Playbook’ to manage the safe return to both IBM and client workplaces. IBM is promoting an ongoing Hybrid working approach.
Tackling economic inequality

Tackling economic inequality

IBM invest to understand of the causes and effects of inequality. We run multiple initiatives to attempt to level opportunity, focused on our stated social-responsibility goal to support education and skills development in Science and Technology, with a specific focus on those who may not otherwise be attracted, or have the opportunity, to develop those skills.
The ‘IBM Ignite’ scheme, a national Movement to Work programme, offers vocational traineeships and work experience to disadvantaged youth unemployed. Together with City Gateway, our London charity partner, IBM offer 5-week, onsite, workplace programmes to break the cycle of ‘no work experience, no job’.
IBM are proud to have created This is a global programme, and for the UK offering IBM have partnered with, a social enterprise working to resettle refugees through labour market and social integration, City Gateway, a London charity working with disadvantaged young people, women and families in deprived areas to build skills and ambition, and SaluteMyJob, a charity creating opportunities for ex-Servicemen and women under the armed forces covenant. The SkillsBuild programmes offer training, in-person support, credentials and opportunities to put the learning into practice. In addition to the direct training through charity partners, SkillsBuild Reignite is now also available free to all online. The SkillsBuild training gives recognised qualifications to those searching for employment in a digital economy. In addition, the programme gives job-search skills, teaches agile methods and design thinking, and has specific training in growing IT fields, such as cybersecurity, big data, artificial intelligence.
IBM UK employ over 250 school-leaver apprentices every year. Our award-winning programme offers apprenticeships ranging from Level 3 to Level 6, with more than half of the apprentices applying and continuing their employment with IBM.
Equal opportunity

Equal opportunity

In 1942, IBM hired blind psychologist Michael Supa to create a programme for hiring and training people with disabilities. Supa then worked in IBM institutionalising disability representation and equality for 37 years, and 80 years after he was hired IBM continue to lead in Accessibility, Inclusive hiring and Representation to reduce the disability employment gap. The Accessible Workplace Connection portal makes it easy for managers to accommodate IBMers who consider themselves to have disabilities, and all recruitment activities are accessible and open. IBM support all employees in training and developing new skills relevant to them, with at least 40 hours of structured training required every year. The training can link to recognised, external qualifications, building skills relevant to the contract. IBM is accommodating of those with additional needs, ensuring all training is inclusive.
IBM believes that a diverse and inclusive work environment drives higher quality delivery. We have created employment and training opportunities for those with protected characteristics in the UK since 1912. Our 300+ employee-led communities support ethnic minorities, neurodiversity, LGBTQ+, females, veterans and more through regular events within their communities. Every IBMer completes regular mandatory Diversity & Inclusion training, and 88.3% of colleagues said that they felt that they could be their authentic selves in work. IBM run a “BeEqual” campaign and programmes, with tens of thousands of employees making a BeEqual pledge of allyship to colleagues from minority groups and 6000 IBMers globally are certified as LGBT+ Allies. In 2020, 250+ IBM employees completed apprenticeships within the UK with 42% identifying as BAME and 58% as female (supporting our Women in Technology initiatives). IBM have a culture of promotion and recruitment aiming to addresses workforce inequality for all to have the opportunity to fulfil their potential.


IBM has an advanced Health and Wellbeing Programme, recognising the criticality and benefits of a healthy and supported workforce. A wide-ranging Employee Assistance Program is provided confidentially to all employees 24/7, at no cost to them, backed up by medical insurance with annual health assessments available. IBM operate a Mental Health First Aid Programme, with over 200 qualified mental health first-aiders volunteering in the UK. These colleagues make themselves approachable as a first step. IBM UK have Disability Confident status, winning in 2021 the Best Employer for Diversity and Inclusion award from WM UK, due to the broad focus on D&I throughout the pandemic, including hidden disabilities and neurodiversity. IBM has a global neurodiversity hiring program (ND@IBM).
In the new model of home and hybrid working since 2020, various initiatives have been created to maintain and improve both mental and physical health when working remotely. The IBM Working from Home Pledge includes commitments to take time out for yourself, and to check-in regularly on colleagues. It was recognised that working alone can be challenging for some, and regular sessions, support programmes and training is now in place to keep people connected. Managers have undertaken training to recognise those struggling and have tools of early support. A “2020 health challenge” was taken up by 20% of the permanent employee population, with 69% of participants reported being less stressed, 74% exceeded 10,000 steps a day. Ergonomic equipment to create a better working-from-home environment is available to all.
Within projects and programmes, and as part of contract delivery, IBM seek to make these various initiatives available to the entire, joint team of staff, suppliers, customers and communities. Project and colleague-based support and health initiatives are expanded where possible to all.


£150 a unit a month
Discount for educational organisations
Free trial available
Description of free trial
Your free IBM Cloud account is a Pay-as-You-Go account and includes access to 50+ products with a free tier. You can also access 40+ always-free products with a Lite plan, including IBM Watson Assistant. Details here :
Link to free trial

Service documents

Request an accessible format
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need versions of these documents in a more accessible format, email the supplier at Tell them what format you need. It will help if you say what assistive technology you use.