It’s that time again. Predictions for the next year are rolling in and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is on everyone’s radar. I expect that will re-ignite the fear that AI technology will replace people. Fear sells articles and the idea of machines not just taking over people’s jobs, but turning evil is what movies are made of. Rest assured, that is not the intent.
The benefits today of AI, natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) are that repetitive tasks can be simplified as intelligence is applied to a process or action. There will be an increase in precision, accuracy and speed. In some cases, AI will be deployed in hostile environments allowing you to complete dangerous tasks, and face challenges that may otherwise injure or kill a person. At the highest level, there are many incredible applications yet to be developed.
Let’s talk about more daily, business applications. Serviceaide has a product called Luma Virtual Agent (Luma VA) designed for service management. Luma VA provides end users with better service experiences and enables service management teams to focus on higher value activities by offloading time-consuming tasks. A virtual agent is going to provide a better experience. It is going to allow better self-service which impacts productivity.
An example of a customer use case is with a state government, the IT services group. In this case, the IT team acts as the managed services provider (MSP) to all the government agencies, supporting desktops, PCs, software, applications, , servers, etc. They had a central service catalog, but very low self-service, which resulted in a lot of directional phone calls and office visits. With a virtual agent, they’re looking to divert 25% of the call volume, which is about 1,000/month. If you consider the impact on staff, that requires between five to eight people to handle that call volume. (Note, for other use cases please see our resource page for additional customer examples).
The creation of an intelligent virtual agent is a great example of the power of AI on several counts. The first is the benefit it brings to a business or organization. It allows you to streamline and improve service that results in greater productivity and end user satisfaction. There are real savings involved by increasing first contact resolution and reducing cost per ticket. The second benefit is one directly related to people. Most IT staff are frustrated and busy with high volume, mundane tasks. By automating routine tasks, you free up time for your staff to work on higher value activities, which bring business value and allow IT to play a more strategic role. Another benefit to reducing the mundane tasks, is your employees have greater job satisfaction, career opportunities and loyalty. Embrace AI – both what is available today and the promise of what will come. The role of AI, in the form of a virtual agent, should be thought of as a partnership. Bring a virtual agent on to your IT team. Not to replace people but to accelerate opportunities to drive more strategic collaborations across the enterprise. Improving service management is the foundation of a digital transformation.