What a-bot us? Bots and AI in the workplace

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сентября 19, 2018

Moving productivity forward with artificial intelligence, bots and natural language and creating a human-centric work environment

Just as a popular song from Pink asks, today’s experienced workers are also asking, “What about us?”, for a more human centric experience for themselves at work; one that doesn’t require them to spend hours to months learning new technologies to ironically become more efficient.

The answer may well be the use of “bots” as digital twins for workers.

Digital twin image for blog

Users failed to see the benefit of UC&C
The first Unified Communication and Collaboration (UC&C) services appeared about 20 years ago, as businesses and organizations began adding new tools into the workplace to boost productivity. The benefits of these solutions were obvious to the business but not necessarily to the user who faced the daunting task of learning new technologies with new interfaces and user experiences.

Natural experience that recognizes needs and preferences
Workers needed an interface that naturally recognized their unique needs and preferences while helping them make quick sense of the data and information flows competing for their attention.

I believe that bots, natural language processing, artificial intelligence (AI) and other advanced technologies have the potential to revolutionize how workers interface with UC&C solutions.

Sometimes you can have too much
Why has the user experience with UC&C solutions remained largely the same for all these years? In brief, the system has little proactive contextual intelligence, it delivers too many services and too much content all at the same time. Users must search for what they need before finding the right resources. Plus, the user is inundated by emails, files, meeting notifications, and audio and video sessions, and it’s difficult to prioritize and find the right resources to deliver the best results.

We’ve also reached the point where one size does not fit all users. They are pressed for time, yet must be more productive. Users have created resistance to new tools because of the time it takes to learn them and get tangible benefits.

The process may also present roadblocks for more senior and experienced workers who might encounter social, cultural and technical challenges as they attempt to integrate new tools into their workflows and habits. Ensuring technology adoption goes smoothly for all workers requires an approach that’s more human, natural and intuitive.

Older worker for blog body

Change the user experience with bots
This is where bots come in. Bots automatically carry out tasks and find information without effort and without waiting.

What exactly are bots? In general, bots are software applications that run automated tasks over a network, usually the Internet. Bots typically perform tasks that are simple, structurally repetitive and are performed faster and more accurately than a human.

An example of bots includes Apple’s Siri or Google Home. These are virtual assistants with natural language processing capabilities that can find answers to spoken requests. Other bots help people schedule airline flights or place orders online; they can aggregate news or other information according to your predefined interests and can customize music playlists according to your tastes.

Moving productivity forward with artificial intelligence, bots and natural language and creating a human-centric work environment

Bots can be designed with AI to learn from the behavior and preferences of users, and over time gain the ability to anticipate the users’ needs and expectations.

Single action bots
Most bots are designed for a single purpose (one action per bot). In the future, I believe individuals will have a single bot authorized to make decisions on their behalf (one bot per person). Bots will operate like a digital twin, because we will have 100 percent confidence in our bots’ ability to stand in and make decisions for us.

My bot will allow me to spend less time managing repetitive tasks and actions, freeing up more time for me to do what is really valuable or what I simply enjoy.

Moving productivity forward with AI, bots and natural language
Bots and other advanced technologies allow us to leave the generic “user centric” era behind and embrace the “human centric” era. We are all different and we need to have collaboration and communication systems that adapt to our different behaviors, expectations and preferences.

In a workplace enabled with natural-language bots, workers are no longer limited to clicking on buttons on static interfaces. We can use voice commands and requests to interact with bots, asking for help with daily needs and issues. Guided by artificial intelligence, bots will also be able to anticipate our needs, according to the given context.

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How do you introduce bots into your business?

Concentrate your efforts on removing barriers to adoption, and be sure that everyone in the company is involved, motivated and trained—not just the decision makers. Offering natural ways of interacting with tools helps ensure workers are not forced to waste time and feel impatient just figuring out how the tools work. In the beginning, design your bot to address a single type of problem and, to avoid disappointment, keep the initial use cases simple.

Make sure that workers using bot-enabled solutions feel they are gaining real benefits from the technology and are in position to share it with others before moving on to the collaboration phase.  

What services and efficiencies does a digital twin provide?
Let’s say that someone calls me on my business phone while I’m in a meeting and I can’t answer. The digital twin (DT) monitoring my phone can answer for me, telling the caller that I’m not available because I’m in a meeting. My DT can ask the caller to identify the purpose of the call, and — because my bot also has access to my calendar — offer the caller a time when I’m free to talk. After the caller selects a time slot, my DT sends me an SMS notification, which I can accept or decline. My DT then puts the appointment on my calendar with the caller’s name and purpose of the call.

Your bot exists today
These bot functionalities are already available in many ALE solutions including Rainbow, a communication platform as-a-service (CPaaS) technology. This is just the beginning of ALE’s integration of bots and AI into our communication solutions and technology.

With bots as digital twins, embrace the “human centric” experience!

So, when your workers ask, “what about us?” there is an easy answer to their question with ALE communication solutions enhanced with bot functionality that can be customized to their needs. Read more

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Moussa Zaghdoud

Executive Vice-President (EVP) of the Cloud Communication Business Division (CCBD).

Moussa Zaghdoud, as Executive Vice-President (EVP) of the Cloud Communication Business Division (CCBD), is responsible for the end-to-end cloud strategy, solution definition, offer management and business model definition for the Alcatel-Lucent Rainbow Cloud Service Offer.

Moussa joined Alcatel as a multimedia expert to define the ALE ecommerce and web business portals. Previous positions with the company include: IT project and program manager, product line manager bringing new UC and mobility services to the market, director for innovation with the invention of the first Rainbow kernel. In parallel, Moussa has created two Cloud startups providing virtual call center services and predictive routing services to enterprises.

Moussa holds two Master’s degrees in Industrial Sciences and Automated systems from Louis Pasteur Universality, Strasbourg – France and a degree in Physics.

About the author

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SKM gains employee efficiency, accessibility with ALE communications products

Students foresee the future of communications

Students foresee the future of communications – and it’s not yet another tool!

5 best practices for guest Wi-Fi access

Pay attention to security, bandwidth and application visibility when rolling out a wireless network upgrade

Digital transformation: Collaboration across the blended wo…

The technology trends of today — big data, artificial intelligence, robotics, and the Internet of Things — are feeding into the fourth industrial revolution. Today, we are connected to unprecedented processing power, storage capacity, and access to knowledge.

Contemplating A New Wi-Fi Investment? Here Are the Key Tech…

21 billion.That’s the number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices Gartner predicts will be in use worldwide by 2020.

Will you end up Irate or E-rate? Get smart about E-rate FY2…

My wife once said to me, “It’s not how much money you have, its how you spend it!” That sage advice is as relevant for E-rate FY2018 as it is for running a household; understand your requirements and find the right product(s) to meet both your budget and needs. 

Security Alert! Your Wi-Fi is affected by KRACK!

Serious security weakness discovered in WPA2 in the last day or two presents a serious security issue for Wi-Fi networks and the devices that use them.

Tipsheet: Achieving Success When Transitioning to the Next …

In our blog here, we've been exploring the evolution of enterprise communications and the trends that have influenced change throughout the years.

ALE didn't WannaCry

How ALE managed the WannaCry cyber attack and our Service Desk experience using Rainbow cloud based Communication platform.

Tipsheet: Successful Technology Advancements Must Align wit…

Enterprise communications have changed greatly over the last century, as you may have read in our brief travel through its history -- a rapid evolution made possible by technology and vendor advancements.

Demythologizing Cisco Part V: “Cisco Leads in Total Cost of…

Cisco often claims that it may charge a little more (a little?!) for its network switches than the competition, but when all things are considered, Cisco leads in Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).  Really?

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Creating the Future of Healthcare Together: 2017 Hacking He…

You could see, hear and feel the energy from the moment you walked into the room at the 4th Hacking Health Camp, sponsored this year by ALE.

Navigating the back roads of digital transformation: connec…

A digital transformation is happening. Discover more about ALE's Connected Products and Big Data Initiative.

Love SPB? We've got you covered.

SPB is a fantastic open standard, and if your current vendor isn't meeting your expectations, ALE offers you an alternative.

The Dark Side of the IoT: Potential Threats Abound

With the Internet of Things coming to every business in one way or another, it's critical that organizations brace themselves for the risks that come with an around-the-clock network of devices exchanging data. And make no mistake: The risks are numerous, and the list is getting longer all the time.

Rugged SPB: A must have for road and rail

The OmniSwitch 6865 is the latest edition to the OmniSwitch family. And it's very special, as it's the world's only ruggedized Ethernet switch that supports Shortest Path Bridging (SPB, aka IEEE 802.1aq).

5 key issues SMBs are grappling with

Did you know that Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) are responsible for 2 out of every 3 jobs around the world?

It’s going to be a hybrid world, and here’s why

One key takeaway from an IDC Enterprise survey in late 2015 on the state of UCandC adoption among businesses was that 54% of enterprises, large and small, said they were preparing to adopt hybrid UCandC by 2017.

Fore! Sometimes great ideas are easier to spot than errant …

Have you ever bought something expensive thinking you were going to use it a lot, but ended up only using it occasionally?

Mobility is Everything

No longer a mere component of enterprise IT strategy, mobile has become the primary driver of every IT decision made today.

Smarts to Keep up with the IoT in ITS

At the end of the original "Back to the Future" movie, Marty cautions Doc Brown that there isn’t enough road for the DeLorean time machine to achieve the necessary 88 MPH to catapult them into time travel, to which Doc responds, "Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads."

Network planning can be easier you think

Abilene Christian University (ACU), is a medium-size, private, selective, residential university with an enrollment of 4,900 students and supported by 850 faculty and staff to create a dynamic and technology-rich learning environment.

Make IT simple

We have reached a complex and transformative stage in digital business.

Cyber security: Then comes the source code

... And it claims its share. 

DECT: a viable alternative to walkie talkies

Walkie-Talkies are a great communication tool for a variety of businesses.

Implications of new IT models

The dot-com crash brought about a lot of changes, including new ways of thinking about business technology.

What if you only paid for the network services you actually…

Today, companies and firms, whatever their size or business model, need to stay connected.

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7 recommendations to increase patient satisfaction in hospi…

New expectations from consumerism have forced healthcare providers to rethink their patient engagement strategies.

This is useful or nevertheless cool

In the business environment in which we work, aimed at companies and influenced by continuous technological developments, it has always been quite complicated to overcome certain barriers standing between what suppliers propose and what the customers finally decide to acquire.

All roads lead to hybrid! The need for dual-speed IT

If it feels like running IT for an enterprise has become a schizophrenic undertaking, there's good reason.

Be penny wise and never pound foolish again

Be penny wise and never pound foolish again!

The IoT is riding on a road near you

We have known for a century, thanks to Einstein, that "matter" is energy (or at least can be converted to energy, and vice versa).

Are you being held hostage by your network?

If you answered "no," then maybe you haven't really thought about it.

Infrastructure under attack

Today's network infrastructures are under attack.

SPB: Farewell to Spanning Tree?

Shortest-path-bridging is increasingly expanding its reach beyond the data center and is providing network administrators a new alternative for service separation, while at the same time reducing or eliminating the use of spanning tree in their networks.

A cure for traditional infrastructure

Are you suffering from traditional IT infrastructure? It's a funny question, admittedly, but some of you are no doubt violently nodding your heads in agreement.

Network transformation: the trends for 2016

Transformation: that's the word I would use to describe current business technology trends.

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Prepare your hotel operations for mobile guests

Mobile guests are changing the experience game in hospitality.

Demythologizing Cisco part III: Is Cisco the only safe choi…

I can’t remember the first time that I heard the term FUD, but the strength of its impact has always struck me as remarkable!

4 steps to deliver a connected digital guest experience

Where does your guest's experience start? Online? On the phone? At the hotel door?

Implementing a lean mentality in IS/IT

A year ago I accepted a challenge to establish a new team in my IS/IT organization dedicated to defining and improving ALE business outcomes.

5 things every business should know about communications

Who has the biggest impact on today's business leaders? Without a doubt, the CIO and his IT teams.

Enterprise social networks increase user satisfaction

A closer look at how using collaborative sites has helped ALE teams and peers to share information and foster collaboration.

Top 5 tips for choosing an IP PBX for your small business

The key considerations for any SMB business owner before investing in a new phone or UC solution are whether this will improve profitability, productivity or reduce operational cost.

My customers believe I'm a magician

A good technology can feel like magic when it improves your business.

Confessions of an open plan office worker

Why Near Field Communication (NFC) is important in the Open Workspace

Cisco: the only safe choice?

This is part 2 of a series titled "Demythologizing Cisco"

Demythologizing Cisco

I recently returned to the high technology industry after a nine year detour into the world of philanthropy.

Trust new currency

I heard something recently that made me stop and take notice.

What do 7 of the top 10 luxury hotels have in common?

Technology and travel in today's world, the two are mutually exclusive.

Aging systems: the risks and hidden costs

No one is surprised when I try to draw every last ounce of value out of an asset or application.

The curious case of the invisible deskphone

A tech executive I know was fond of saying "technology is successful when it is invisible."

Tap is the new click

A few years ago, online changed the way we booked our tickets, paid for groceries, transacted with the bank and many more daily rituals.

Who's eating Cisco's lunch? ALE is!

Today while listening to Jim Cramer talk about Cisco's results..

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CPaaS- The heart of digital transformation

Schools can use cloud-based communications to deliver true personalized digital engagement with students and faculty.

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