The Digital Workplace is transforming into the Intelligent Workplace — and fast. The technologies behind mainstream consumer bots and virtual agents (we’re talking to you, Siri and Alexa) are now making their way into the enterprise space. Buckle up, and get ready for the future of the workplace!
As we’re well aware, technologies equipped with artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and natural language processing (NLP) have the potential to empower both people and organizations to be more collaborative and effective. Unfortunately, most organizations aren’t leveraging them the way they should be.
So, what exactly are bots and virtual agents?
Bots and virtual agents are two types of technologies powered by AI and machine learning. They allow users to interact with a computer in order to get answers to common questions and be guided towards various places to take actions. Today, the capabilities of bots are expanding beyond simple-guided Q&A conversations and offer the ability to transact with other systems. Advances in both spoken and typed natural language processing (NLP) have taken AI to new heights. NLP allows bots and agents to more easily derive a user’s intent from their query or demand and interact with users outside of traditional conversational and transactional engagements.
We recently implemented a digital transformation for a large healthcare organization called Contoso Pharmaceuticals. Contoso was struggling to keep up with requests hitting their internal IT, Marketing, and HR teams. Through our transformation engagement, we developed and deployed enterprise chat bots designed to help internal employees find answers to common questions, and access their systems using a simple conversational interface.
Three common scenarios for using bots in the workplace:
In this short example, we’ve demonstrated three use cases of how bots and virtual agents can transform the workplace. Common requests that require email communication, or interactions with complex platforms, can now be replaced with conversational bots that have direct access to back-end systems.
Looking for help implementing bots and virtual agents in your digital workplace/intranet? The IT specialists at Withum are here to help. Fill out our form online, or give us a call at 240-406-9960 to speak with someone today!
Organizations have always rolled out company-wide technology upgrades with the purpose of helping employees become more productive and engaged — the idea isn’t new. However, many initiatives end up failing. Rushed, incomplete designs, coupled with poor user experiences end up resulting in a cognitive overload for users; which ultimately diminishes productivity and defeats the purpose of the technological redesign in the first place.
Fueled by the recent, rapid development of Artificial Intelligence, NLP, and Robotics Process Automation (RPA), the implementation of bots and virtual agents have introduced a whole new type of user experience. Programs can more easily recognize spoken language, derive intent, and automate and complete routine tasks faster, and better than a human being. This results in efficient, streamlined processes that only require human input for exception handling, escalations, and the like.
Advanced bot technologies exist today, right now — but most organizations are only just starting to leverage their powerful capabilities. We expect that to change in the next 2 to 3 years. Our advice? Start experimenting with bots internally, and you’ll quickly find yourself in a good position to start rolling them out in a consumer context.
As it is often the case, growth in the consumer market drives demand in the enterprise marketplace. Integrating virtual agents internally within your organization will give you a huge competitive advantage as bot technologies become more and more suited for consumer-facing scenarios. Launching bots and agents internally allows your IT department to effectively manage any mistakes and/or issues that arise, without the risk of impacting your organization’s reputation or brand. Internal testing allows for experimentation and empowers employees to get comfortable with the technology.
As you consider leveraging bots and virtual agents to improve productivity, focus on the basics. Ask questions like:
Make sure there is a clear governance to avoid having virtual agents create more problems than they solve.
If you get the basics down pact, virtual agents will live up to their promise — delivering a powerful user experience, improving productivity, and transforming the efficiency of internal operations.
Looking for help implementing bots and virtual agents in your digital workplace/intranet? The Digital Transformation specialists at Withum Digital are here to help. Fill out our form online or below, or give us a call at 240-406-9960 to speak with someone today!