IT Brief Australia logo
Technology news for Australia's largest enterprises
Partner content
Story image

A new generation of chatbots: is your business ready?

By Contributor
Wed 20 Nov 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

In 2018, Gartner noted a remarkable 160% spike in interest around chatbots and associated technologies, compared to previous years.

While there are certain limitations and user frustrations that still need to be addressed in this technology category, many chatbot solutions are growing more sophisticated and capable of providing greater business value than spitting out canned answers to routine questions.

“While the earliest versions of conversational bots were simple response platforms, today’s AI-powered bots are much more powerful – and will only become more sophisticated and capable in the coming years,” Accenture has found.

These more advanced conversational agents are called intelligent chatbots – and they combine the power of automation with the power of AI to offer a much richer range of services.

In fact, when it comes to businesses investing in AI, the 2019 Gartner CIO Survey found that chatbots are the main AI-based application used in their respondents’ organisations.

What are chatbots, exactly?

Chatbots are software solutions that humans can interact with using spoken language, text-based communication or a combination of both.

Today, most chatbots are accessed via platforms such as Siri, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa; messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger or WeChat; and companies’ custom applications or websites that offer live chat services.

Smarter technology stacks

Intelligent chatbots can be embedded with multiple types of artificial intelligence, including natural language processing (NLP), machine learning and computer vision.

This facilitates the creation of smart digital assistants that can analyse and synthesise natural language and speech, working together with machine learning to gain a better understanding of the context and meaning of user requests.

Intelligent chatbots can, for example, translate content into other languages or conduct sentiment analysis to identify whether user input is positive or negative.

Additionally, as machine learning algorithms learn from new data and experiences (i.e. interactions with users), they can improve their performance over time, without being explicitly programmed to do so.

Going forward, as AI services grow more advanced and accessible, more businesses will be able to benefit from intelligent chatbots.

Gartner predicts that by 2022, 70% of office workers will interact with conversational platforms daily.

Focus areas include customer service, knowledge management and user support. 

Bringing humans into the loop

Contrary to what many organisations may think, humans still have an important role to play in the intelligent chatbot universe.

With a digital process automation (DPA) solution incorporated into the technology stack, intelligent chatbots can be programmed to hand live customer interactions over to a skilled human agent when the situation requires emotional intelligence, human judgement or a solution that the chatbot is unable to handle automatically.

With all the routine tasks handled by the chatbot, humans only need to focus on the cases that require their unique skills and knowledge.

This helps to optimise human resources while ensuring that customers get the type of service they need in an efficient manner.

Impact on the customer experience

Organisations can use intelligent chatbots to automatically manage a range of customer service tasks, from answering questions to booking tickets to acting as virtual sales assistants that provide recommendations and guide customers through the buying cycle.

When chatbots are well-designed, they can dramatically improve response times and provide customers with assistance at any time of day or night.

And when they are augmented with AI, chatbots can also provide a more contextual and intuitive service, which makes them much easier to use than standard business applications.

All these features make it easier for enterprises to meet the expectations of their increasingly digitally empowered and convenience-focused customers, who don’t want to wait hours or jump through multiple hoops to get the answers, information or services they need.

By automating routine tasks, chatbots reduce the amount of human effort required to serve customers, which can represent a substantial cost saving in enterprises that need to handle a large volume of repetitive queries.

As customer bases grow, intelligent chatbots allow companies to handle more queries and interactions without the need to scale up headcount.

For these reasons, intelligent chatbots could soon fuel a shopping revolution.

A recent Capgemini survey of more than 12,000 consumers found that over the next three years, 70% of customers, on average, will use voice assistants to purchase products digitally rather than visiting brick and mortar dealers, stores or banks.

Chatbots at work

Importantly, companies need to understand that beyond being useful in customer-facing scenarios, chatbots can provide valuable support in the workplace itself – enabling visionary business leaders to meet the expectations of a new generation of workers who are used to interacting with the world via digital channels.

Intelligent chatbots can, for example, be designed to:

  • Navigate complex enterprise systems and large volumes of data to find and return information accurately and efficiently.
     
  • Provide an advisory role, by accessing and analysing data from multiple sources to provide insights and recommendations that accelerate processes and enhance decision-making.
     
  • Save time and effort by executing tasks or transactions automatically. Users can ask for tasks to be actioned using natural language commands and then the solution can pull in technology such as robotic process automation (RPA) or digital process automation (DPA) to execute the required actions across in-house systems and web services.
Get the most out of your intelligent chatbot

In summary, here are two recommendations for any business looking to introduce an intelligent chatbot solution:

  • Augment automation with AI

Chatbots are evolving beyond predetermined question and answer interactions.

By incorporating readily available AI capabilities into your chatbot, you can create an intelligent digital assistant that understands and responds in natural language; and quickly sifts through complex enterprise content (as well as external web-based content, if necessary), to provide the required insights.

“Most importantly,” advises rapidMATION CEO Shaun Leisegang, “make sure you embed active machine learning capabilities into your chatbot system to ensure continual learning and improvement.”

For example, as the chatbot interacts with more users, it will expand its ‘knowledge’ and learn from mistakes to manage more complicated queries more reliably.

  • Design efficient escalation paths to humans

No matter how many AI capabilities a chatbot has, there may still be times when it needs to escalate a conversation or request to a human being.

Your chatbot solution should ideally be capable of orchestrating a smooth transition from bot to human.

A recent survey found that 59% of chatbot users are frustrated with the fact that they are often asked to repeat information when redirected from a chatbot to a human agent.

When the chatbot is integrated with a process management system – such as a DPA platform – it’s possible to avoid this exasperating situation and seamlessly route tasks and data between chatbots and human agents to provide a frictionless user experience.

Where to from here?

When your business is ready to join the intelligent chatbot revolution, schedule a conversation with rapidMATION.

As experts in all types of intelligent automation, we have an intelligent chatbot solution that weaves together market-ready AI and chatbot capabilities from Microsoft, DPA software from K2 and RPA technology from UiPath.

Our enterprise-grade, AI-powered conversational bots enable users to ask questions, receive answers and complete tasks through natural dialogue.

As a first step, however, we can help you to identify the most beneficial use cases for chatbots in your enterprise; and customise our offering to integrate with the software investments you already have in place.

Let’s chat. We'd also like to invite you to sign up for our webinar on December 11, which unpacks this topic in more detail.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Recruitment
Thales on recruitment hunt for next disruptive innovations
"Recruiting new talent is part of Thales's belief in the power of innovation and technological progress to build a safer, greener and more inclusive world."
Story image
Cybersecurity
Palo Alto Networks' cloud security platform receives IRAP assessment
"We provide help protect all forms of compute, cloud native services and access to data within public and private sectors."
Story image
Apple
Jamf introduces new content filtering solution for education providers
Jamf has announced the launch of Jamf Safe Internet, a new offering that looks to deliver a safe online experience to students while offering better management options for admins.
Story image
Infrastructure
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from Paessler
Sebastian Krüger joins us today to discuss how unified infrastructure monitoring enables MSPs to seamlessly deliver services to their clients.
Story image
Telstra
Ericsson and Ciena, Telstra enhance service capacity for Telstra's optical network
Ericsson, Telstra, and Ciena have announced new enhancements to Telstra's Next Generation Optical Network, which will increase the service capacity of Telstra's optical network to 400 GE (Gigabit per Second Ethernet).
Story image
Cybersecurity
Delinea’s Joseph Carson recognised with OnCon Icon Award
Delinea chief security scientist and advisory CISO Joseph Carson has been recognised as a Top 50 Information Security Professional in the 2022 OnCon Icon Awards.
Story image
Malware
Colt launches new SASE Gateway solution with Versa
Colt Technology Services’ customers now have access to an integrated full SASE solution that brings together SD WAN and SSE features.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Vectra AI named as AWS security competency partner
Threat detection and response company Vectra AI has announced that it has become an Amazon Web Services Security Competency Partner.
Story image
Supply chain
Supply chains continue to be disrupted, enterprises embrace circular economy
“Businesses urgently need to find a solution that can help them to manage this disruption, and transition to a circular economy."
Story image
Samsung
Monitors are an excellent incentive for getting employees back
The pandemic has taught us that hybrid working is a lot easier than we would’ve thought, so how can the office be made to feel as comfortable as home? The answer could be staring you in the face right now.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Eight top DevSecOps trends to support IT innovation in 2022
The use of DevSecOps practices is growing, as it is increasingly seen as the best way to produce high-quality and secure code. So what are the current trends?
Story image
Sustainability
Honeywell named Frankston facility services provider
Honeywell has been named the joint facility services provider for Frankston Hospital’s AU$1.1 billion redevelopment.
Story image
Aspire
NEC expands Open RAN ecosystem with Aspire Tech acquisition
With its agreement to acquire Aspire Technology, NEC Corporation has further increased its capacity to deliver End-to-End Open RAN ecosystems.
Story image
Identity and Access Management
Ping Identity named a Leader in Access Management
Ping Identity has been named a leader in the 2022 KuppingerCole Leadership Compass report for Access Management. 
Story image
Development
Intel Labs unveils integrated photonics research advancement
"This new research demonstrates that its possible to achieve well-matched output power with uniform and densely spaced wavelengths."
Story image
Cybersecurity
Without trust, your security team is dead in the water
The rise of cyberattacks has increased the need for sound security that works across any type of business, but with any change, buy-in is essential. Airwallex explains why.
PwC
PwC's Consulting Business and PwC's Indigenous Consulting are proud to play an important role in helping Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience build IMAGI-NATION, a free online university for marginalised communities around the world.
Link image
Digital Transformation
Discover the 5 signs your business is ready for a cloud-based ERP. Is your business being left behind as more of your competitors switch to the cloud?
Link image
Story image
Enterprise Resource Planning / ERP
Five ways your ERP is letting you down and why its time for a change
Wiise explains while moving to a new system may seem daunting, the truth is that legacy systems could be holding your business back.
Story image
Digital
Ivanti puts spotlight on power of employee digital experiences
The report revealed that 49% of employees are frustrated by the tech and tools their organisation provides and 64% believe this impacts morale.
Story image
Accounting
Four factors to consider when choosing the right job accounting solution
Progressive job-based businesses can achieve success by strengthening their ability to quantify every cost attributable to the delivery of an outcome for a customer.
Story image
Cybersecurity
How organisations can mitigate IoT and IIoT security risks
IoT and IIoT come with inherent risks because they are often deployed faster than they can be secured, putting organisations in danger of cyber threats. Here are tips on how to mitigate those risks.
PwC
WSLHD and PwC’s Consulting Business came together to solve through the challenges of COVID-19. A model of care was developed to the NSW Health Agency for Clinical Innovation guidelines with new technology platforms and an entirely new workforce.
Link image
Story image
Payroll
How New South Wales state departments achieved cloud migration success
State departments in New South Wales are heading to the cloud to achieve better workflow solutions, and one company is paving the way for their success.
Story image
Macquarie Data Centres
Macquarie deal to pioneer CO2-cutting data centre tech in Australia
Macquarie Data Centres has signed a multi-year deal with ResetData, an Australian first provider using Submer data centre technology. 
Story image
Research
New study reveals 51% of employees using unauthorised apps
The research shows that 92% of employees and managers in large enterprises want full control over applications, but they don't have it.
Story image
Management
MYOB snaps up Sydney-based management software specialists
MYOB has announced the acquisition of Sydney-based business management software and support specialists, GT Business Solutions.
Story image
Metaverse
How the metaverse will change the future of the supply chain
The metaverse is set to significantly change the way we live and work, so what problems can it solve in supply chain management?
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Bitdefender, Cohesity, Fortinet & MODIFI
We round up all job appointments from June 27-30, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Accenture shares the benefits of supply chain visibility
It's clear that gaining better visibility into the supply chain will help organisations avoid excess costs, inefficiencies, and complexity to ultimately improve their bottom line.
Story image
Data Protection
Five signs your business is ready to move to the cloud
Many organisations are thinking about moving to the cloud. But what are the signs you are ready, and what are the reasons to move?
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Siemens expands NVIDIA partnership for industrial metaverse
Siemens is expanding its partnership with NVIDIA to enable the industrial metaverse and increase the use of AI-driven digital twin technology.
Story image
Wiise
Four things wholesale distributors need to consider for FY2023
In a post-pandemic world, there are many things for a distribution business to juggle. ERP solutions company Wiise narrows down what companies should focus on.
Story image
State Library of Victoria
State Library of Victoria entrusts Oracle support and security to Rimini Street
“Our finance team are very happy with the support and security that Rimini Street provides, which keeps our assets and our customers secure."
Story image
Cybersecurity
Tech and data’s role in the changing face of compliance
Accenture's study found that 93% of respondents agree or strongly agree new technologies such as AI and cloud make compliance easier.
Project management
Discover the 4 crucial factors for choosing the right job-costing solution. Is your team struggling to cost jobs and keep projects running on budget?
Link image
Supply chain
Discover the 4 critical priorities for wholesale distribution businesses in FY23. Are you worried about how supply chain issues may affect your business in 2023?
Link image
Productivity
Discover the 5 ways your ERP may be letting you down. Is your current system outdated, difficult to manage, and costing you a fortune?
Link image
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Juniper study reveals top AI trends in APAC region
Juniper's research shows an increase in enterprise artificial intelligence adoption over the last 12 months is yielding tangible benefits to organisations.
Story image
Solutions
Progress launches latest version of network visibility solution
In Flowmon 12 network solution, Progress has expanded its support for public cloud provider flow log monitoring and launched new features.
Story image
SOTI
Australian consumers loyal to retailers who deliver speed and visibility
SOTI finds extensive order visibility and speed are the most important factors for turning one-off customers into loyal, long-term buyers.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Salesforce announces new innovations for financial services
Salesforce has launched expanded financial services that offer more targeted and trusted automation to help teams unlock insights, deliver better customer service, and drive operational efficiencies.
Story image
API
Industry-first comprehensive risk-based API security enhances protection
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have become a crucial part of operating web and mobile application businesses and are causing significant economic growth in the digital sector.
Story image
Airwallex
How Airwallex helps businesses achieve globalisation success
As markets continue to shift, businesses need to be able to provide the same quality of service for customers regardless of where they are located around the world.