Recently, the industry is abuzz with news about enterprise bots; you can read more and more about having bots to improve your day-to-day life. If you’re working in a Microsoft eco-system, you may have noticed Microsoft's recent release of Microsoft Bot Framework, a platform for building and deploying intelligent bots for user conversation experiences, e.g. using Skype, Facebook Messenger, and other channels. Just yesterday, in his keynote (at 0:29:00) at Microsoft Ignite, Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, highlighted the innovative way users can now interact with data, information, and processes.
“People will have an easier time using a human dialogue interface versus the menus of the past.” --Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO
Closing the information gap for employees
In the workplace, employees need information about their employment, and will continually have many questions for their employers, especially if they can't easily access this information. Let’s take a Human Resources example, (but, of course, this can be anything, even non-HR related) to illustrate four different ways an employee can access information in their workplace, and how a 'bot' can help improve the experience.
The question: An employee would like to know how many vacation days they have left for the year.
How does this work today in most companies? Let’s separate it into four levels (or ways) for the employee to get this information:
- Level 1: The employee calls HR to ask for it. Either, HR can look it up immediately or may have to call the employee back with the information.
- Level 2: The employee submits a service ticket to get this information from someone in HR.
- Level 3: The employee has access to a self-service portal and can acquire the information themselves.
- Level 4: Being the most efficient scenario, the employee has immediate access to lookup the information using some sort of HR app on their mobile device.
Today, employees are lucky if their company provides Level 3 or even Level 4 capabilities. Let’s take this up another level—to Level 5. Most employees today have access to Skype, Facebook Messenger, or similar clients in their personal life on a mobile device. Wouldn’t it be awesome, if you simply send out a note on Skype or Facebook Messenger with your question and get an answer immediately? But you may have data privacy concerns.
Video: Take mobile productivity to the next level
In this HR services example, you can simply combine Levels 4 and 5 and ask a question on Skype and your employee app will immediately provide you with the answer without it using common public channels.
Check out this example video demonstrating how a bot, built using Microsoft Bot Framework, interacts with our employee app, Sitrion ONE, to help employees get answers fast wherever they are, taking employee productivity to a new level.