Automation – the one buzzword which promises heavy IT cost cutting, smarter and faster business workflows, highly productive workforce and overall enhanced business efficiencies. While most business and IT leaders do realize the benefits of introducing Artificial Intelligence and automation technologies in their organization, many are unsure of where and how to invest and what to automate.
Let’s start with what understanding what “intelligent enterprise automation” truly means.
Understanding Intelligent Enterprise Automation
Intelligent Automation can be termed as a structured methodology of automating repetitive and tedious business tasks, processes and activities using AI, RPA, and other related technologies. These could include simple, manual work or back-end and front-end processes etc.
In a recent research by MIT Sloan Management Review, it was found that almost 85% of global executives believe AI will allow their companies to obtain or sustain a competitive advantage.
Some studies also claim that highly automated companies are six times more likely to experience revenue growth of more than 15 percent.
“Vision without implementation is a hallucination.” – Benjamin Franklin
Even though 81% of IT leaders are currently investing in or planning to invest in AI, only 39% of all companies have an AI strategy in place. According to Gartner, 59% of organizations are in knowledge gathering/ investigating/developing strategy phase of their AI journey.
While AI and automation technologies will not do wonders by themselves, it will be about how they can be used. Organizations must recognize which processes/tasks/activities should be automated for productive business outcomes.
Another question that needs to be answered is which element of the business workflow should be automated. Should it be a simple task or a complex activity or a compound process? This again depends on the organizational framework and requirements.
Also, as Gartner says in its webinar, executives must primarily focus on identifying and choosing the business operation than can be automated and not the technology itself.
AI Chatbots and Enterprise Automation
Often regarded as the “darling of the media”, chatbots (or bots) are currently one of the most popular AI technologies. There are also rule-based bots which don’t have AI incorporated in them. However their relevance is fast decreasing in today’s disruptive world.
Usually built with an AI-Powered Chatbot Platform, these virtual assistants are deployed on messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, Skype, Skype For Business etc. to converse with end-users. The advancements in Artificial Intelligence and its related components led to the creation of highly intelligent bots with smarter responses in a natural language tone.
Users can send a question in natural language and the bot will instantly reply with the relevant answer via a chat interface. These bots can also learn from the ongoing conversations and deliver personalized responses to each user.
Strategically implemented, AI bots can automate numerous tedious business tasks, process and activities. Let’s take one business scenario at a time.
Customer service automation is noticeably the most-talked-about application of chatbots. The existence of over 100,000 bots in Facebook messenger alone shows their popularity in this field. The rise of consumer messaging apps, 24/7 availability of bots, high-speed personalized responses, allowance of self-service options for customers, heavy cost-savings are some of the notable reasons for this wide-spread automation.
Autodesk, a Fortune software organization in fact sped up customer response times by 99% with an AI-powered automated customer service. Banking, retail, tourism and fashion industries are some early adopters of this trend.
B2B operations like order placing, supplier payments and enquiry of different external services and products are usually mundane and might be currently handled by different individuals of your firm.
AI-powered enterprise chatbots can automate all these tasks and more by allowing you to work on them right within your actively used messaging app. Thenceforth, bots themselves can provide answers related to invoicing, payments, services queries etc.
Bots can automate several time-consuming tasks for employees and will play a significant role in increasing employee productivity. Here are some popular use cases.
IT Helpdesk Automation
Bots automate IT helpdesk by answering employees’ simple and basic questions and increasing the work productivity of your IT department. Employees don’t need to visit IT members for self-manageable things like password reset. Since bots are programmed to refer the user/FAQ guide, employees can have a quick chat with the bot and learn to fix the problem themselves without doing a manual search.
Bots eliminate low-value IT tickets and also can issue the same upon the user’s request. Below is an image of our IT helpdesk bot answering basic questions of employees.
In a typical work day, authors require 3-4 hours to update the intranet with fresh content. A chatbot enables automation of the updating process, thereby reducing the required time to just 30 minutes and improving the work productivity of the author. In addition to automation, bots can also solve intranet adoption issues by providing faster and hasslefree access to intranet data and delivering key personalized updates to the chosen messaging app. Here’s a glimpse of our AI bot for intranets – MeshBOT.
Business Intelligence Automation
Bots automate the data/analytics/report extraction and delivery process of Business Intelligence. They eliminate the need of the middle IT individual who usually generates reports to business users. Bots enable a self-service Business Intelligence system by extracting the data from your existing LOB, ERP and Productivity systems and sending personalized information to users via chat.
Bots allow real-time data democratization and ensure only relevant data reaches to decision-makers at all levels of an organization.
This is especially beneficial for marketing and sales teams who need real-time insights anywhere and at anytime for faster decision-making.
Here’s an example of our AI-Powered Sales chatbot – SIA which helps sales teams (both on and off fields) obtain relevant information regarding key metrics.
By 2021, more than 50% of enterprises will spend more per annum on bots and chatbot creation than traditional mobile app development – Gartner
While these are only a few examples, bots can automate a lot more enterprise operations. The usage convenience, minimal change management process and security risks, easy deployment makes bots one of the most favored AI technologies.
Decision-makers need to constantly ideate, analyze and experiment and then strategically deploy bots for powerful business outcomes. If you are approaching a vendor, asking for a chatbot proof of concept can be a good option to start with.
Learn more: The Rules of Enterprise Bot Strategy
At Acuvate, we use our AI-Powered chatbot platform – BotCore to build customized and safe AI bots for enterprises like Shell, Unilever, Reckitt Benckiser etc. Our Build-A-Bot workshop educates business and IT leaders about the different use cases of bots and the different operations that can be automated.