We’re seeing more and more bots popping up everywhere—on our smartphones, laptops, tablets and watches. It’s almost as though we, as regular buyers of products and services online, have to be supervised by these little electronic personalities to get something done.
It is true that finding, downloading, installing, logging in and using applications is fast becoming a pain in the rear, and there are so many of them that it does become an investment of time and effort to use them. Plus, they’re always needing to be updated for security and features, and most of the good ones cost money to buy or rent.
A bot is simply an application with a conversational user interface; sometimes they are backed by an actual human, if a conversation gets too complicated or out of hand. Generally, you interact with a bot by typing words, then getting words back from the software, which is installed on some remote server somewhere in the cloud.
So companies are turning to bots to avoid the hassle that apps bring and create a pleasant CX, defined as “customer experience.” Some bots deploy voice interfaces, mostly in new vehicles, and are called chatbots.
Multiple Apps, Platforms Get Complicated for Employees
On the business side, expecting an employee to use multiple enterprise apps and platforms often is a waste of investment, CEO Farzin Shahidi of conversational platform developer Intrprtr told eWEEK.
“The real potential lies in automation through bot technology that can be talked to like a human, so that intelligent information can actually help someone do their job better,” Shahidi said. “Implementing enterprise bots is a new development for many organizations. As chatbot interest continues to rise, IT leaders must navigate unforeseen digital/workforce transformation hurdles to make the transition as seamless as possible.”
Shahidi and Enterprise Strategy Group have partnered to offer eWEEK readers several best practices to help the enterprise get the most out of bots in 2018:
Define communication and business process architecture: One way to federate business applications through unified communications and/or collaboration solutions can be achieved through the creation of an automated chatbot within the solution. This way, the solution is integrated with existing business applications or systems. No matter what the approach, IT leaders must clearly communicate it to their employees to ensure they know how to interact with, extract and act on business application data.
Design for future scalability and performance requirements: Organizations are more likely to invest in solutions that can keep up with the times to avoid the need to re-invest in similar products with more advanced offerings in the short-term future, hence saving budget. Employees need access to technologies that effectively help automate their workplace processes today and in the future. Keeping this in mind, enterprise bots should allow employees to access information in many different business applications quickly and easily.
Adopt an agile/iterative methodology to incorporate popular ecosystem technologies: For many organizations, integration is key. In the past, one of the hurdles in unified communications and collaboration (UCC) has been interoperability between platforms. The challenges include solving the issues of identity, policy and presence. Since these variables are top of mind for many IT leaders, it is important to equip them with cross-platform integration.
Build end-to-end enterprise-grade platform to drive real-time visibility: Real-time visibility is key in making workplace collaboration a success. Given this, many organizations want their latest enterprise tools to be bigger, better, faster and stronger than their predecessors. To drive value across an organization, all teams should have access to real-time visibility across the enterprise portfolio for complete alliance.
Implement a lean approach for enabling automation: When evaluating bot technologies, important attributes to consider are the bots’ abilities to smoothly enable automation. The technology should be advanced enough to take the grunt work off the end-user’s plate, so they may instead focus on more strategic tasks. If this is achieved, it will yield increased customer satisfaction, reduced costs and increased time to value-add projects.