Bots in the Enterprise
What do bots and enterprises have in common?
A bot is basically a piece of software that automates tasks, be it downloading a file, sending an email, scheduling an appointment, ordering stock, or paying for a purchase. Historically, bots had a bad rap as they were occasionally used to fool software systems into thinking they were used as intended (by humans). Although we are far from the point of AI taking over the world, recently, messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, Kik, Whatsapp, WeChat, Line and Slack are surpassing social networks in usage and making use of time-saving smart bots to automate commonly called functions.
The beauty of bots is in their ability to quickly process big amounts of data and make sense of it for us, which can be handy when decision-making needs to be speedy and efficient. They are also meant to make interactions with machines resemble talking to an actual person (e.g. your personal assistant), as the keywords used to invoke them are often intuitive and conversation-like. Alexa, Siri, and Cortana are all examples of voice-enabled bots that aim to make our lives easier and help us get jobs done by engaging in intuitive, conversational-style interactions with artificial intelligence algorithms.
Empower your staff with chatbots
Bots have been called the ‘’new apps’’ by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Typically, there is AI (NLP) technology embedded in chatbots so that they may understand the context of the conversation in a chat and what the user may be trying to accomplish without them having to request actions explicitly.
Productivity applications like Slack now incorporate machine bots for pretty much anything you can think of. They can accomplish useful tasks, such as set timers, post photos, translate text, ask Wikipedia questions, and order ice cream, lunch or a Uber. There are also bots that are less-than-useful and rather bizarre, like Oskar, which tracks how happy your colleagues are, and Huskybot for people who need Siberian huskies.
Enterprise software bot integrations
A limitless range of modern industries can benefit from adopting smartbots, including but not limited to retail, wholesale, public administration, healthcare, and travel, to mention a few. When bots are integrated with various enterprise software, a number of manual processes can be automated and significantly sped up, which results in lower costs and efficiencies realised across multiple levels of the organisation.
Bots in social media
Your digital marketing campaigns also stand to benefit from the adoption of bots. The Slack bot Yala posts to multiple social media channels on your behalf and encourages staff involvement by prompting team members to contribute social media posts. Other social media bots like Twitter, Cetagram, FollowingLike and Massplanner autonomously perform actions, such as tracking online company mentions, tweeting, retweeting, liking, following, unfollowing, or direct messaging other accounts.
Building enterprise bots for your enterprise
Bots are slated to become prevalent in the next generation of enterprise applications. Although they are already used in most messaging apps and some productivity apps today, additional technical enhancements are needed to make bot platforms enterprise-ready, which is where expert app and bot developers like Verhaert Digital come into play. Security, authentication and encryption, ERP system integration, cloud hosting, and archiving are among the issues that current bot technology needs to overcome, in order to be useful in mainstream enterprise applications.
Microsoft, Facebook, Telegram, Slack, Kik and Pandora have all developed their own bot frameworks and Bot Builder SDKs to enable third-party providers to develop bots that enhance their solutions with various functionality. Using simple APIs, business data from bots can be accessed and BI from it extracted, bot events can be addressed and business actions – executed. As early bot platform limitations get resolved, bots will boast even wider applications in business, and should be considered by any organisation which aims to increase employee efficiency and business productivity.
Copywriter: Ina Danova