I am a technology enthusiast, fascinated by new products and apps that I come across everyday. Yet, it is also true that the sheer quantity and the unlimited ways to access these apps attains fatigue. In fact, my human ability, time and context limits leveraging many of them in their full potential. ComScore’s mobile app report shows that almost two-thirds of the U.S. smartphone users download zero new apps per month, only investing their time into a small handful of apps. I have been living and breathing enterprise software for close to two decades, with my passion in this field reflects how can we simplify enterprise software with both humanization and personalization. Allowing users to stay proactive on their tasks they view as most important is the overall goal. Currently I am working with various thought leaders and partners in this space within the context of enterprise to help bring this unique value to customers of SAP.
What is a BOT ?
From various definition on automation of tasks to advanced Self learning robots the below is something I liked. A bot (short for “robot”) is a software that operates as an agent for a user or another software or simulates a human activity.
The Rise of the Bots and their different Facets
Human machine interaction dates back several decades, as shown with the commonly recognized story of ELIZA, probably the first bot-like program which was written by Joseph Weizenbaum at MIT in the 1960s. Bots as a concept is becoming much more viable and common with information, context, and the automation of tasks bringing exceptional value to the table.
Most bots are intentionally not designed to pretend to be human but they rather act in natural ways. As software converses, automates, and brings information, it helps users make decisions more effectively.
Chatbots are a specific manifestation of bots, recently seeing a massive spike in interest due to the rapidly progressing maturity of natural language processing and the ubiquity of mobile devices. The rise of messaging platforms like Slack and WeChat demonstrate the value of chat-based communication, not just amongst humans themselves but also between humans and systems. They have proven their value in dealing with e-commerce tasks, travel bookings, retrieving team updates, or with customer service inquiries, all by primarily using messaging as conversational interface.
A bot reference x.ai provides a smart bot called Amy, which can be carbon copied (CC) in emails, having the ability to comprehend and arrange the schedule of users accordingly.
One example of a user incorporating the smart bot Amy into their life.
When an intelligent bot converses with a user, not only does it understand the intent but also blends the information from past and current context, helping the conversation move towards a next level of relation. These bots are still learning the context however, only providing information when relevant to the user. Recently I experienced a bot deployed for a service at a large bank where instead of waiting for several long minutes on the phone, I could simply chat and find out my foreign travel status, my balance, and the possibility of transferring funds between accounts. These are some scenarios when known, can be taught to the bots.
A personalized AI bot in addition to doing the above can understand the particular way you chat, your data, what you might need to know, and what information you want to ask, all by using its memory from previous interactions. This bot learns by itself, truly integrating machine learning and serves as a cognitive assistant. When bots can learn more context, they offer a more personalized experience, which is when they enter onto the space of digital assistants. While this may indicate the benefits of bots primarily in a consumer context, I am thrilled how bots can greatly benefit the enterprise space.
The Value of Bots in Enterprise
Whether it may be a service technician entering transactions to create a service ticket, a finance manager running a month end report, or a stock keeper looking up inventory for customers, these enterprise users use their system of record or Reports to process their work.
The conversational capability to ask for information can help these enterprise users complete their end to end process in a much effortless and efficient way. This opens new possibilities of understanding how end users deal with the software. Being able to know what kind of products might be out of stock without having to log in to systems and to run reports saves time and money in addition to aiding a store manager replenish inventory on time.
Taking it to next level with contextual abilities, the intelligent bot can aid users in their order to cash process to ensure they are validating their supply chain or to be alerted on financial impacts because of a delay in shipment. The informed decisions that come out of data and the developed intelligence helps enterprise software become more humanized, which helps users to focus on things that matter and what only humans can accomplish. When such natural conversational capabilities meet cognitive intelligence, these bots can offer a personalized experience which enable users to be truly smart workers and move forward with critical decision making insights in an efficient way.
Imagine enterprise scenarios where we can talk to systems across software landscapes, ask what information is needed, and converse with complex transactions, machines helping to process largely growing data. The power of enterprise bots can close the distance between enterprise software and users by incorporating the aspects of humanizing and personalizing, empowering a user with information in the world of digitization. As bots and its frameworks mature, I strongly believe the future of enterprise application software can be rethought, leading to the age of intelligent enterprise. I am excited at the endless opportunities this space opening up and look forward to be working and sharing our progress as we embark on this journey.