Chatbot for Approvals that Accelerates Decision Making for HR and Procurement

Have you ever waited for a boss to approve your leave application? Then, you know that restless feeling as you pray that you get a fast response. It is not that your boss does not want you to relax.  It is just that in an era of communications overload, it is easy to miss such requests.  Meanwhile, you cannot buy those air tickets.  Have you ever been in the shoes of a Manufacturing Manager and realizing that you will not be able to meet your Production goals as a key component is missing? The part that you had made a Purchase Requisition for was unfortunately never approved by the Procurement Manager.

In order to avoid such scenarios, our customer, a Global Beverage company, has deployed an “Approvals” chatbot. This chatbot integrates with SAP and is deployed on the Unvired Chyme Messenger.  It is built using the Chyme Bots Platform that has Natural Language Processing (NLP) capability. The chatbot was designed with a customized branded persona (formal tone, language, and style) in accordance with the customer brand guidelines. Highlights include:

Use Cases:

  • Procurement: Notification of new POs, View PO details, and take an Action (Approve/Reject)
  • HR: Notification of applied Leave, View leave details, and take an Action (Approve/Reject)

Business benefits are faster Decision making and increased Productivity.  The Supply Chain is expected to operate smoothly as out of stock material is minimized due to timely approvals of POs. Equally importantly, the employees are happy with their leave getting approved promptly.   The success of this is best demonstrated by the thousands of users who have adopted the “Approvals” chatbot.

We would love to hear from you.  If you want to learn more or share your feedback, please write to sales@unvired.com

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A Procurement Chatbot on Workplace by Facebook for a Global Beverage company

Feeling overwhelmed by procurement-related queries from your employees or suppliers?  Or even your customers?  Is your Procurement Call Center/Help Desk inundated with questions about Order Status, Payment details, or Shipping status that prevents them from focusing on more strategic tasks?  If that is the case, perhaps, it is time for you to consider deploying a Procurement chatbot like our global Beverage customer in South Africa did.  Here are the highlights of their Procurement Digital Assistant/chatbot journey:

Use Cases

  • Answer queries related to Purchase Requisitions, Order Status, Shipment, & Supplier Status
  • Look up Customer & Supplier AR, Credit, and other details
  • Check for Stock lookup and Price details

Points to Consider

1. Maximize Adoption: The challenge for the customer was to determine which channel to deploy the chatbot.  They wanted to eliminate friction in the adoption of the chatbot.  After some deliberation, they decided to deploy the chatbot on Workplace by Facebook as it was their collaboration platform that was already adopted by users.

2. Integration: The chatbot was integrated with their backend systems, namely SysPro/SQL server database.

3. Bot Personality: The chatbot was designed with a customized branded persona (formal tone, language, and style) in accordance with the customer’s brand guidelines

Business Metrics

  • Used by hundreds of users
  • Procurement related queries are answered in real-time basis compared to 2-7 days of processing time previously
  • Empowers Suppliers and Customers to perform queries directly rather than call the Contact Center
  • Improved Operational efficiency
  • Reduced Support hours and Costs of repetitive tasks

We would love to receive your feedback.  If you have any ideas to share related to Chatbots please write to us at sales@unvired.io

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Use Cases of Chatbots in Healthcare Industry

We have been hearing a lot that chatbots will reduce human jobs in coming years. We are already seeing this trend in industries like Manufacturing, Engineering, and Customer Service among others but can Chatbots replace Doctors and Nurses in Healthcare? The answer is ‘Very Unlikely’ given the fact that each person is unique in health and lifestyle and a simple mistake in the medical treatment can be dangerous to human life.

Yet, chatbots have become a trust-worthy virtual assistant who can handle the helpdesk and administrative tasks to save time and cost while improving the quality and effectiveness of healthcare services. Chatbots have the potential to revolutionize the healthcare industry by offering 24/7 helpdesk support and personalized experience to patients which is the major challenge for healthcare providers. Chatbots can help patients to get quick answers to their health-related questions among many other use cases.

Here are some of the use cases of Chatbots in the healthcare industry which can improve the quality and effectiveness of healthcare services:

  • Scheduling Doctor’s Appointment:

    Who has not experienced long waits on the phone to schedule an appointment with a doctor but what if we can schedule the appointment over text/messaging apps without interacting with a human? Yes, Chatbots can ease the business process and give a personalized experience to patients while scheduling an appointment. They can also send reminders about the appointment to the patients.

  • 24/7 Support to Patients:

    This is something we miss in the current healthcare system. Chatbots never sleep and they can provide 24/7 support to patients. Chatbots can answer simple and frequently asked questions (FAQs) anytime. It may not offer a diagnosis but can monitor the health status and notify a Nurse immediately if the parameters are out of control.

  • Medication Reminders to Patients:

    Patients often forget to take medications and nutrition supplements as prescribed and it can risk their health. This is where Chatbots can be very helpful to send medication reminders at a prescribed time to take the drugs. Chatbots can also send the reminders for re-prescription of medicines, routine checkups, and other health-related

  • Billing and Registration:

    An intelligent Chatbot can take care of billing, inventory, and insurance claims management through integration with backend systems to generate the invoices for the payments. Health Insurance providers can deploy a bot to answer questions related to insurance coverage, claims, and procedures.

  • Paperless System:

    Chatbots can be integrated with EHR/EMR systems to create and maintain the medical data of the patients. These documents can be accessed by the patient or the doctor whenever there is a need.

Chatbots offer the great user experience to the users but the key is to develop and train the Chatbot to communicate accurately. As the advancement in Artificial Intelligence (AI) progresses, these chatbots will be more knowledgeable and offer a more human experience in future.

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3 Ideas for Designing for Chatbots

Chatbots are the rage, but we are in the early days.  We are still not sure about how best to design for bots.  Yes, while conversational interfaces have promised to redefine the User Experience, the challenge facing us is to identify the right Use Cases and the appropriate design.  After reviewing the nascent literature on this, talking to customer end users, and based on our own experience of building chatbots for enterprise systems, here are 3 ideas for Designing for Chatbots:

  1. Minimize Input: The user experience should be the priority.  Expecting users to enter free text has the potential for failure.  Instead, it may be best to have users give structured input.  For example, our developers at Unvired have designed a Command Infrastructure that eliminates lengthy free text input.  For example, Users can select Approve or Reject a Purchase Order in SAP or View Sales order from Oracle EBS with a Get Order Details simple chat command.
  2. Hybrid Approach: In some cases, the user may want to talk to a human at some point in the conversation with the bot. Good design should enable a human to jump in at any time.  Say, for example, you are ordering flowers on Facebook Messenger using a chatbot, but are frustrated because you cannot find what you are looking for.  There should be a way out to reach out to a human.
  3. Simple: The design for chatbots should be simple. One of the advantages of bots is that the need for say, a 3 screen application is eliminated.  There is no GUI.  Bots interactions should be kept simple and short—the user should give minimal input, and receive the output.

Let me know if you have other ideas for designing for bots.  These are early days, and we can all learn from each other.

 

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Chatbots for SAP: Talk to SAP and Disrupt the User Interface

Lately, there has been a lot of buzz around bots.  Bots are the lightweight programs that will make our work easier, and help us escape the multitude of apps that users have to navigate.  Bots have a simple text interface that eliminates the need for a Graphical User Interface (GUI).  Bots talk to systems, applications, and things- hence the term chatbots.   Much has already been written about bots, machine learning, AI, Natural Language Processing, and so this blog discusses a very specific sub-topic: Chatbots for SAP.

Interfaces with SAP come in many forms—the SAP GUI, Personas, and SAP Fiori among others. That is till now-enter the conversational interface.  At Unvired, we have developed chatbots for SAP to enable various Use Cases:

  1. SAP ERP-Workflow: How about SAP messaging you an alert that a Purchase Order needs to be approved?  You look at the details and approve.  Your text “Approve” gets the PO approved in SAP
  2. SAP ERP-Sales: The Sales leader needs to report to the CEO the latest sales figures. A quick text to SAP and the answer comes right back. How about looking at a sales chart—that can be viewed too.

There are so many chatbots for SAP that would be a must-have—for SAP ERP, S/4 HANA, SAP CRM, Cloud for Customer (C4C), SuccessFactors, and others.  Customers in industries including Manufacturing, Chemicals, Financial Services, and Real Estate have indicated interest in exploring Use Cases for chatbots.

Chatbots for SAP enable receiving alerts from SAP, taking actions/decisions on those alerts, and searching/querying all with the intent to streamline workflow and make work easier.

If you are an SAP customer or SAP partner and want to collaborate with Unvired to build chatbots for SAP, please send me an Email or email me or comment on this post.  We would love to jointly define some Use Cases for chatbots.  These are exciting times indeed.  As always, looking forward to others sharing their experience with and thoughts on bots.

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