I recently witnessed the setup of my brand new Windows 10 Laptop and was surprised when Cortana guided the installation with voice recognition! This was happening before OS is there on the laptop! … I wouldn’t have imagined this 5 years ago and set off imagining how the experience would have been if the setup designer decided to completely remove any mouse/keyboard inputs. Further, what if Cortana had matured to converse with me naturally without any Pre-Coded questions being asked in sequence! Instead of saying yes or no I dabble about how good the laptop looks and Cortana responds with affirmation or otherwise but gently getting me to respond to the key questions needed to be answered before the full blown OS installation could start… It sounds cool but in future releases this may be the reality!
Back to the topic of Enterprise Applications, Conversational experiences are being continuously developed and improved upon with the bots learning how to converse from both pre-built flows and historical conversation logs. In the enterprise context it now becomes important that CIOs & CTOs start thinking about how their Business Applications can be used on these Conversational Platforms. Enterprise Leaders need to think carefully about how this gets architected and deployed so that it does not become something mechanical and irritating like traditional IVR Solutions. To Succeed in the endeavor we need to look not just at the New Cognitive Platform but also the Services expected to be enabled on the bot and keep the experience exciting so it does not meet the same fate as IVR in terms of experience.
I see the following SUPER aspects of the Solution to be first Scrutinised carefully before project initiation:
- Service – Look at where the Service is currently performed and check for viability of being able to Integrate with the Cognitive Platform
- User Experience – Look at how complex is the service to be executed over Automated Interfaces like Phone, Virtual Assistants and Chat UI
- Peripherals – Look for the peripherals where the services have been provided currently and check if the same can be reused or replacement would be required. Oversight here could lead to Urgent and Expensive replacement later and decreased User Adoption.
- Environment – Different Services are performed in different work conditions and careful consideration should be made so appropriate services are not provided in certain conditions. For example, speaking out Bank Balance on a Loud Personal Assistant as Speech could embarrass users and lead to privacy concerns of a different nature.
- Reliability – Here the Cognitive Platform itself should be judged in terms of fragility not just in terms of uptime but in terms of handling edge cases. This is where the continuous unsupervised learning capability needs to be looked at very carefully and evaluated to ensure that the Platform builds up cognition over time.
Here is an approach of how Enterprise Leaders can start moving their workforce to embrace Cognitive Applications
Step 1) Service Audit – Perform an Audit of Services Being performed and the related applications.
Step 2) Cognitive Index Evaluation – User the SUPER aspects to Evaluate the Cognification of each service.
Step 3) Build Road Map – Categorise the Services in terms of ease of introduction and ease of development and batch them in phases.
Step 4) Identify Rollout Strategy – Based on complexity and number of possible solutions and channels under consideration, one or more POCs may need to be initiated followed by bigger rollouts. In case of multiplicity of Business Applications needing to be integrated, then Business Abstraction Layer Solutions could be brought in to significantly boost Integration time.
Step 5) Monitor and Manage – While the Cognitive Solution brings reduction in service tickets to IT, injection of capabilities like ‘Undirected Engagement’ could lead to monitoring and management of conversations in terms of Ethics, Privacy and Corporate Diversity Policy.
What do you think?