Chatting with IFS Applications is as easy as chatting with friends - IFS Aurena

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What if you’re ill, laying on the couch with a high fever, really not feeling well with a bucket next to you and now your boss expects you to report sick in your business software, IFS Applications?

Reporting in sickWe have all been there. And before, it would either mean you needed to dig out your laptop, boot it up, log in to IFS Applications, find the right page and report sick, or you would call the office secretary who would do it for you. But if it’s 10 pm that won’t work. So back to the laptop and sending an e-mail perhaps. What if you could just talk to someone, at any time of day, and the work is automatically done?

That’s now possible. Just open Facebook Messenger, Skype, Skype for Business, or whatever your favorite messaging app is, and tell the IFS Aurena Bot you’re ill.

Of course, we’re not ill every day, but every day there are many different transactions you need to do that might be better done in a conversational way than through traditional screens. Perhaps it’s updating a sales opportunity in your customer relationship management (CRM) solution or checking your leave balance. Sometimes it’s faster and easier just ask or tell the system to do it.

IFS Aurena Bot

With the release of IFS Applications 10, we have announced the IFS Aurena Bot. And no, the IFS Aurena Bot is not an almighty artificial being that resides in the digital fibers of our existence. The IFS Aurena Bot is exactly what it says it is. It is a bot capable of helping you with performing a range of relatively simple but effective tasks in IFS Aurena.

IFS Aurena

 

It doesn’t have a mind of its own, but it’s leveraging artificial intelligence technologies like natural language processing and machine learning to figure out what the words you write mean and initiating the relevant conversation. As it is used more, it will learn to understand you better.

Multi-channel

The IFS Aurena Bot is available through multiple channels on a variety of devices. Depending on the preferences of your organization, it can be made available through corporate channels such as Skype for Business or more typical consumer channels such as Facebook Messenger or regular Skype.

IFS Aurena Multi-Channel

 

The actual capability of the channel determines the range of features available in the IFS Aurena Bot. For example, some channels support text only, while others support advanced markup including images and multiple-choice buttons. This has an impact on the ability to show advanced visuals such as charts or good-looking tables. Another difference often seen between channels is the speech-to-text capability, enabling that feature for the IFS Aurena Bot or not.

IFS Aurena

In addition to these channels, the IFS Aurena Bot is also available inside the IFS Aurena user experience for IFS Applications. Even when you’re not laying ill on the couch or driving your car after a sales meeting, there are still many useful conversations to have while actually logged into the application. Whether it is because you don’t know too well as to which page to navigate or whether it is easier just to provide the unstructured data, there are many interesting examples. Let’s look at one.

Sitting behind your desk with a cup of coffee in your hand, you decide to take a long weekend to Paris. Now, you want to know your leave balance and put in a leave request. Instead of going to the appropriate page, you simply ask the IFS Aurena Bot two things. First, “What’s my leave balance?” The IFS Aurena Bot will return your leave balance and, if possible, you can now ask the bot, “Can you put in a leave request from May 18 until May 21?”

Once the transaction is completed, it will even offer you the possibility to navigate to the “My Absence Calendar” page in IFS Aurena where you can see the results inside of the application.

Benefits

So, why are we doing this? Why are we incorporating chat bot technology into our products, now specifically into IFS Aurena?

  • Anytime, anywhere: no longer bound to the application, the user can interact through many channels and devices, with an always-on chat bot.
  • Increase user satisfaction: by increasing the speed and responsiveness of interaction
  • Reduce training effort: the user also no longer has to go through training or look up the good old “How did I do this again?” for tasks they aren’t doing on a regular basis
  • Higher quality of data: the bot is doing data entry and will ask for the information it misses
  • Natural language communication: no longer filling out fields, but interacting in the most natural way we’re used to—our language

What’s next?

It’s easy to paint a picture of endless possibilities. We don’t. For a chat bot like this to become a great success there are a couple of important ingredients.

Pick the right dialogues

First, you need to keep your dialogues simple but real. You have to walk before you can run. With the IFS Aurena Bot, we’re looking at scenarios that have clear business value but are simple enough to build for real.

We have started with specifically selected HR and CRM casual user scenarios, as these areas have been built into IFS Aurena functionality. As we continue to innovate in and build out IFS Aurena, we will continue to build out new scenarios in IFS Aurena Bot.

Work with customers

We believe in involving customers in every stage of development. The IFS Aurena Bot is currently used by selected customers in a preview program, providing us with valuable feedback and making sure that IFS Aurena Bot is up to the tasks when it becomes available for all.


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