By Mychal Ferger (’12)
SPOKANE, Wash. – Spike is more than a mascot. He’s an expert. He’s also learned a new trick – texting! Gonzaga officials have been training Spike to answer all of your Gonzaga-related questions, allowing you to get information easily, on the fly, wherever you are. All you need to do is text your question to 699247 or “MYZAGS.”
How late is Duff’s Bistro open? When is Reunion Weekend? What is the Gonzaga Alumni Mentoring Program? Ask Spike has been upgraded and improved to answer questions like these on the go. Launched in 2004, Ask Spike is an online and mobile avatar. Next IT is the software company brainchild behind Ask Spike. Next IT CEO Fred Brown is a Gonzaga alumnus and Trustee, and his company employs many Zags. Other companies using the Next IT software include Alaska Airlines, Continental Airlines, and the U.S. Army. However, Gonzaga is the first organization to offer this technology via the text channel.
“Thanks to the generous partnership with Next IT, Gonzaga has this opportunity to offer the first-ever virtual agent available through text,” said Dave Sonntag, Gonzaga’s assistant vice president for marketing and communications. “We do want to emphasize, though, that since this is cutting-edge technology, it is a learning effort that will require improvement as we go. We hope the entire Gonzaga community tries out Spike on the web and via text, then lets us know what they think by either e-mail or by clicking the ‘Feedback’ tab on the Ask Spike interface.”
Text Spike now at 699247 or “MYZAGS” to answer your question and possibly win a prize! (Note: Standard text charges apply.) Gonzaga Marketing and Communications will randomly select an Ask Spike user to win a weekly prize giveaway. Learn more by visiting www.gonzaga.edu/askspike.