It was a different world back in the 1960’s, and the TV series “Mad Men” did a great job of taking us all back to a point in time when people did things very differently than they do today. In the show, Don Draper (played by Jon Hamm) was fortunate enough to have Peggy Olsen (played by the inimitable Elisabeth Moss) as his executive assistant (aka secretary). Interesting note: by season 7 the tables were turned and Don reported to Peggy. 

Peggy’s job as an executive assistant was to smooth out Don’s life, to the extent that all he had to do was attend to the “important stuff” while she took care of everything else. And made sure that he did all the things he needed to do to become successful, and all in a timely fashion (“Hey Don, before you head out can you …. “). That was the essence of the executive assistant, and only the rich and powerful were assigned this luxury, as the cost would have been prohibitive to provide one for every single person in the organization. 

So, what exactly did Peggy do? Well, lots of things! Calendaring, scheduling, reminding (lots of this!), organizing, running of reports, troubleshooting issues, strategic counsel, managing expense accounts, implementing new processes, managing the data in multiple systems (especially payroll), onboarding, offboarding, communications, and coordination of events. 

And did we mention having to remind Don constantly, but delicately, of what he needed to do? That was a full-time job all in itself. And Peggy also helped Don complete things he was too busy to do himself, or could never do properly even if he did have the time (generally due to three-hour business meetings over lunch and cocktails)?

Being an executive assistant meant you had to be really smart, super organized, and have astonishing communication skills. It wasn’t like Don provided a detailed list to Peggy of what he needed each day. Generally it was a few words blurted out as he exited the door. Peggy then had to decipher a brief utterance and figure out everything she needed to get done. No wonder that eventually she ended up being his boss after he left on a leave of absence that she no doubt had to organize for him. 

So that’s what executive assistants did, and still do today. And what about digital assistants (the reason for this blog)? Well, a good one does pretty much the same thing as Peggy! Only they do it for every single person in the organization, 24/7 and 365 days a year. And for tiny fractions of money. 

This is why we are entering the next industrial revolution. Your entire workforce can now focus on the “important stuff”. With no need for departments full of people to help them when they get stuck, or head in the wrong direction.

But to understand the fork in the road we are at today, it’s important to differentiate between chatbots and digital assistants. And to do that we need to look at what happened, and the mistakes made, from the mid-90’s onwards. 

The advent of the internet in the mid-90’s sparked the beginning of an era of bad web site development and poor user experiences (especially in the Enterprise). From the infamous “link farms” that forced the user to guess (like whack-a-mole) which was the right place to click. To sites that were so confusing that the average person would just give up and call someone after wasting countless minutes searching for what they needed. And even then, things often went from bad to worse. The person (eventually) answering the phone often didn’t know the answer and would pass you to a department where they thought someone else would be able to help. All accompanied by massive wait times and mounting frustration. Being bounced from one support person to another was not productive and it certainly wasn’t fun. Ultimately it was an expensive waste of time where nobody was a winner. 

And this is why the most expensive aspect of Enterprise systems isn’t the actual software, or hardware required to run them. It’s the people who need to support these systems (functional and technical) that make up the greatest cost. 

And now we are headed into a new era of conversational UI. And, guess what? The people who brought you the “link farm” are now trying to sell you the “chatbot farm”. This is a long, long, way from Don and Peggy. Don had one executive assistant for a reason. She understood everything, and she could do almost everything. And for the things she couldn’t do, she always knew who could. And her job was to just make sure things got done properly and on time. 

So, what is a “chatbot farm”? A chatbot farm is an army of chatbots with super narrow knowledge of specific subjects. They will be (if organizations take the wrong fork in then road) the “link farm” of the future. Forcing the human to guess which chatbot knows how to help on which subject, and then hope for the best. And it gets even worse if the requirement to satisfactorily complete a task means that you have to discuss multiple subjects. If that’s the case, then welcome to the concept of digital dead-ends.  

But, imagine an alternate universe where, instead of an army of disconnected chatbots with crude functional capabilities, we have one super chatbot that knows everything about your Enterprise, and which also understands the nuances of human conversation. Well, ladies and gentlemen, meet the digital assistant (let’s call it Peggy).The answer to all the problems you never knew you were about to encounter. 

To illustrate this concept, in the figure below imagine the dots are skills (small groupings of “intents”, aka things the chatbot can do). The problem with delivering skills as stand-alone features tied to individual chatbots is that this just provides linear access to what that skill can do (which in itself may not be fully comprehensive of all the things associated with the topic the human is interested in). And also assumes that the human asking the question knows which chatbot to engage with in order to complete the task at hand. Hint: they won’t have a clue! This tower of babel is represented in box 1.

In box 2 we see a representation of how the actual brain works and how an executive assistant sees the world. And, therefore, how a digital assistant (properly tooled and configured) operates. Box 2 is the digital version of Peggy Olsen.The ultimate, as Gartner would refer to it, “downloadable worker”.

Chatbot Skills vs. One Digital Assistant

Figure 1: A tower of babel or one clear voice?

From an IntraSee perspective, we have spent years building a “digital Peggy Olsen”. And, even better, a configurable version that can be tailored to your organization.

“Digital Peggy” is configurable because it is auto-generated by a complex AI and meta-data driven middleware that resides on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). Peggy also utilizes Oracle Digital Assistant (ODA) as its core conversational UI technology, which it auto generates at design time via a single push button. 

Then at runtime it interacts with both OCI, ODA, other AI elements, and a massive skills library (created by IntraSee, Oracle, and custom built by clients) which also plugs into Cloud and on-premise adapters (created over a 10 year period) to manage and interact with all the systems necessary. 

Peggy is also super-scalable, and handles things like disambiguation, such that Peggy never leaps to assumptions as to what someone is asking it, and instead can ask follow-up questions to make sure Peggy understands the “ask”. Just like humans do. Well, the best ones anyway. Don Draper didn’t always make himself completely clear in what he wanted, and Peggy just needed to make sure before she took action. Plus, digital Peggy also can quickly be taught to understand terminology and acronyms used in your organization. And starts on day 1 with a general understanding of common business terminology. Almost as if “it” had been working with you for the past twenty years. 

And one more thing. Digital Peggy can speak around a 100 languages. So, welcome to the world of digital assistants, and welcome to the next industrial revolution. It’s ready and available now. 

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At the Las Vegas Gartner summit in December 2019, an important session was presented on the subject of “digital dragons”. Given where the world will be in 2020, and where it’s clearly headed after that, we felt that this was the most impactful session of the entire conference, and really deserved focus unto itself. We’re also fans of the wonderful Bruce Lee movie, “Enter the Dragon”, so we couldn’t resist the opportunity to pay homage to our favorite martial arts icon. 

So, to break down the blog into bite-sized chunks, while also calling out dialog from the excellent movie script (plus quotes directly attributed to Bruce Lee himself), here’s the top 10 things we feel the world needs to understand when dealing with digital dragons.

But before we start, let’s first define exactly what is a digital dragon. 

Digital dragons are a subset of a group long known as digital giants. Digital giants are technology focused companies that are extremely big (market cap exceeds $25 billion). Companies like Netflix, Oracle, Twitter, Microsoft, etc., are all considered to be digital giants. 

What sets digital dragons apart from the giants is that dragons don’t just focus on a narrow set of technology-based industries. Instead they focus on a wide range of industries, like retail, healthcare, insurance and banking. So, while giants spend their entire lives grappling with other giants in the same industry, the goal of the dragon is to ultimately compete with, and conquer, every competitor in every industry. 

This makes digital giants pretty benign creatures, while digital dragons are positively scary if not handled with care. The two prime examples of digital dragons? Amazon and Alibaba. Though there are companies that look to be morphing from giants into potential dragons. Examples being Apple and Google. 

So, here goes, our top 10 insights into the world of digital dragons.

1. Han: Very few people can be totally ruthless. It isn’t easy. It takes more strength than you might believe!

It has to take a lot of discipline for a company like Amazon to build relationships with organizations that ultimately they want to compete with by entering and conquering their markets. Most giants don’t have that same sense of ruthlessness, and respect their customers too much to enter their market as a competitor. As much as people may bristle at Larry Ellison’s combative style, he’s way too ethical to go after the market of companies he’s been doing business with for decades. But for a dragon, this is the essence of who they are. The evolution of a digital dragon can be described in three stages:

Game of Thrones stages of dragons

Figure 1: The three stages of the digital dragon

Stage 1 is the cute and cuddly phase. The dragon is new to the market and looks like it will be a useful addition that brings value for the consumer. Stage 2 is when the dragon is more fully formed, its capabilities look to be better than everyone else, and there’s a sense that it will end up the leader. But still, it assumes the guise of a model citizen. Stage 3 is when it brings its epic size and agility to disrupt and forever change the market by using its hyperscale abilities and clean, precise, process models to drive out all competitors. 

Already we see Amazon entering the healthcare market, and the world of banking and finance is undoubtedly next. Note: Amazon already has some limited banking capabilities. 

It’s not a dragon’s place to enter a market and be one of the pack. Ultimately if a dragon enters your market space it’s because it sees opportunity and expects to win. And in case you hadn’t noticed, dragons always play the long game. They have massively deep pockets and the patience to match. With hyperscale modern platforms, powerful eco systems, data mastery, and huge R&D investments, they are primed to win wherever they go. 

2. Lee: Never take your eyes off your opponent, even when you bow. 

Gartner’s advice is that most organizations need to create positions in their company dedicated to monitoring the activities of dragons and responding accordingly. Even giants like Oracle and Microsoft have joined forces to combat the growth of Amazon AWS. But if you are an organization in the healthcare or finance sector, and you don’t yet have a strategy for how you will deal with your new competitor, then you’d better get one fast. 

In the retail and package delivery sectors, Amazon has already turned the respective industries on their heads and has changed the way the game is played. For Walmart, Office Depot, Fedex and UPS, it’s a real struggle every day to deal with the new economics in their worlds. 

3. Williams: Mr. Han, suddenly I wish to leave your island.
Han: It is not possible.
Williams: Bullshit, Mr. Han-man.

Amazon AWS is the machinery and set of programmatic processes that runs the heart of the Amazon empire. For many years it has been the cloud infrastructure of choice for countless organizations across the world. Born out of a need to sell books on the internet, it is now the most widely used infrastructure on the planet. And has financed and powered, like a giant furnace, the growth of Amazon. Even we at IntraSee used AWS for a while, though not anymore. We are now firmly entrenched on the Oracle cloud infrastructure (OCI). 

For us it was easy to move off AWS. We never built applications using their suite of PaaS services (Platform as a Service). So, there was no “glue” to adhere us to a platform we decided to move away from. 

But for many organizations, the move off of AWS is not simple at all. Anyone using all the AWS proprietary tools now has to somehow rebuild them all on a different platform. And that takes time and money. Amazon AWS is a “sticky” platform, and getting off that island isn’t as easy as it sounds. 

All companies using Amazon AWS today need to define their own exit plan. And if you are in certain targeted industries then you most certainly should be executing that plan right now. Funding your #1 competitor isn’t a smart idea. 

Retail, healthcare, package delivery, finance & banking. It’s time to move on to a different cloud platform for anyone in those industries. Given the friendly nature of digital giants, Oracle and Microsoft are a much safer bet for almost anyone. 

And, what’s more, if you are running Workday on Amazon AWS, maybe you should be moving on from that too. And even more so if Amazon ever acquired Workday (an acquisition that makes all the sense in the world for Amazon).

Not to be alarmist, but exit plans need to be made in order to safeguard the future. Not having a plan means not having an insurance policy.

4. Shaolin Abbot: I see your talents have gone beyond the mere physical level. Your skills are now at the point of spiritual insight. I have several questions. What is the highest technique you hope to achieve?
Lee: To have no technique.
Shaolin Abbot: Very good. What are your thoughts when facing an opponent?
Lee: There is no opponent.

As much as dragons bring danger, there is an impressiveness to them. They exist as dragons because they’ve accomplished things nobody else ever has. And they’ve done it with hard work and brilliant planning, such that they are now highly evolved entities that are almost impossible to compete with. And that’s how they see themselves. Dragons don’t fear the competition. Dragons don’t even see any competition.

The dragon’s belief is that all they need to do is apply the ways of the dragon and they will always win. The skills of their opponent don’t matter at all. The only thing that matters is their own execution and the ability to adapt and evolve at massively rapid speed.

5. Roper: Opium… uh oh.
Han: We are investing in corruption, Mr. Roper. The business of corruption is like any other business.
Roper: Oh yeah. Provide your customers with products they need and, uh, charge a little bit to stimulate your market and before you know it customers come to depend on you. I mean, really need you.

This is the essence of where we are today. Amazon AWS became massively popular because almost anyone could afford to buy it, and for its ease of implementation. And now, because of the vendor lock-in nature of AWS, lots and lots of people now depend on it. 

And to feed the enthusiasm for building things already built by someone else, acquiring more technical debt, and adding more stickiness to AWS, there’s AWS re:Invent. 

An annual conference, held in Vegas, dedicated to all things AWS. Seven years ago, about 8,000 people attended. These days its 50,000+. And yes, there is an excitement that surrounds it, and people are genuinely jazzed to find out what new things they can use that are part of the AWS stack. Whether any of the things they build are a good thing for any of the organizations that send their people to it, well, that’s never discussed. 

For anyone looking for strategic advice, that was to be found at the Gartner conference held down the road in the same week. The success of AWS is based purely on consumption. Not value add. 

6. Lee: In the middle of chaos lies opportunity.

As much as there is danger associated with a dragon, you really have to admire how the dragon sees the world. There is much to be learned from them, and pretty much every organization in the world can take lessons from Amazon and apply them to their own situation. 

A core belief of every dragon is that where other people see chaos, they see opportunity. Chaos, to them, means that consumers are not being properly serviced. And dragons know how to service consumers.

At IntraSee we feel exactly the same way about chaos. Chaos is the canary in the coal mine. It’s a sign that something is missing in the market. And, as an aside, chaos is why conversational UI’s will transform the inner workings of the Enterprise. All you need to do is take something chaotic, make it simple and scalable, and you’ve solved the problem. And nothing is simpler than a conversation. 

Amazon took on the vast complexity of online shopping on the internet and turned it into a simple click through experience, for over one billion products sold by over 2.5 million sellers! All selling using the exact same framework and user experience. They believe they can do the same thing to delivery and supply chain, healthcare, banking and finance too. And it’s highly doubtful they’ll just stop at that. 

7. Shaolin Abbot: The enemy has only images and illusions behind which he hides his true motives. Destroy the image and you will break the enemy.

The dragon’s path to success relies on important people at other organizations not paying attention. This is precisely why Gartner recommends that every organization needs to appoint “dragon watchers”. And for some organizations this will be an entire department, and the head of which will be C-level. That’s how important this all is. 

While IT is making decisions to add more AWS services, your organization may be better served by reducing the number of those services. Maybe down to zero. But that is dependent on the right people paying attention to what is going on. 

Dragons feed off volume. The only way to truly compete with a dragon is to deny them that volume. Which may mean switching to Oracle or Microsoft cloud offerings. Or, like Walmart, refuse to do business with vendors that use the AWS stack.  

8. Lee: Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own.
Lee: Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.

In many ways the dragon is an ego-less beast. It doesn’t cling on to bad decisions for the sake of the ego of the person that made that decision. And it doesn’t bother itself with frivolous details that it deems unnecessary. Many organizations can learn from this approach and focus themselves on a cleaner and more precise way of running their Enterprise systems. is a prime example of a web site that eschews all fads, refuses to be cool, applies a stringent framework to the complete user experience, and yet manages to work for the sale of over one billion different products and 2.5 million sellers. 

The next time someone in HR tells you that their department needs their own web site designed to their standards because of their unique requirements, remind them of that. 

Dragons are built from frameworks. This is the DNA of dragons. Without frameworks there is no hyperscale, there is no competitive advantage. They would be just big lumbering giants. 

Frameworks allow organizations to meet multiple demands quickly, cost effectively, and with high user satisfaction. Frameworks eliminate technical debt. Frameworks should be applied to everything. This is the lesson of the dragons. 

Practically speaking, for example, don’t implement multiple digital assistant vendor solutions for your Enterprise. Implement one solution using one technology stack that works for everything. And ensure it’s using a framework. That’s how dragons do things. And if you can’t be a dragon, you can, at least, act like one. 

9. Lee: I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times. 
Lee: The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.
Lee: Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.

Another defining characteristic of the dragon is that it perfects every single thing it does. Every process is fine-tuned, sometimes over many years, until it cannot be improved upon. New processes and ways of doing business receive the exact same level of attention. Processes are then seamlessly integrated into one another, and use of a framework ensures that nothing can deviate from this defined and formalized level of perfection. Best practice isn’t an aim. Best practice is an action baked into the framework. 

Sloppiness is not tolerated. Only a relentless will to apply all lessons learned consistently will satisfy the dragon. Day in and day out. When the CEO takes a personal interest in solving everyday customer problems, you know where the culture bar is set in an organization. 

10. Lee: Be happy, but never satisfied.

Last of all, the dragon is a happy and successful creature. They are kings of their industry, but they are never satisfied. Their DNA drives them on to become even more successful no matter the impact. Jeff Bezos is one of the richest people on the planet, and on some days the richest. But that doesn’t mean the pace drops. New frontiers beckon, and the path is clearly set on a number of industries that he perceives to be full of chaos and much needing of a dragon to bring better customer service. 

Only time will tell how successful the dragons, both Amazon and Alibaba, will be in the 20’s. It’s a new decade and alliances are already forming in an attempt to staunch their progress. So, some people are paying attention. But, right now, not as many as there should be. 

At IntraSee we want to wish you the very best of luck in 2020, and please contact us if you’d like to discuss anything in detail. It’s a fascinating new era we are about to enter. AI, dragons, conversational UI’s. We couldn’t be more excited! 

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It was a pleasure to attend another terrific Gartner conference in Las Vegas this month (December 2-5, 2019). And while there was an Amazon AWS conference in town the same week, the smart kids were all enjoying the Gartner show. 

So, what we’d like to do is break down the key messaging that we got from the conference, based on the tracks that we followed, and provide our point of view on what we think this will mean out in the real world. 

So here we go: Gartner’s key messaging from December 2019.

This is the last decade of applications

In the same way that dinosaurs once ruled the world, all good things come to an end one day. And so it is with the lengthy, and ultimately unsatisfying, era of the application. Gartner has now given notice that IT departments need to start to ween themselves off of building applications, and that in 10 years the gig is over, and everyone needs to learn new roles. 

Hint: Better to start that move now than wait until the last minute. AI, the Composable Enterprise, and Conversational UI’s are the ways of the future (that is already part of the present today).  

Evolve or perish and fly

One of the things we love about Gartner is that they always put a positive spin on things. This is one of the reasons their conferences are always fun. So instead of telling people they’d better evolve or go the way of the T.Rex, instead they highlighted the positive aspect. That evolution is an opportunity, and not something to be feared. The messaging was that the new era we are entering is an opportunity for organizations to sprout feathers, shrink their size, and learn to fly. 

Instead of vast teams of developers building code (and technical debt), we will see the emergence of experience designers, process stewards, and knowledge curators. No code solutions will be the way of the future, which, in turn, means no need for coders. 

Hint: People with business and process knowledge will rule the new roost.

Don’t acquire technical debt

What have we always been told by our parents? “Don’t’ jump out of the frying pan and into the fire”. The move to the Cloud was supposed to be an opportunity for organizations to shed technical debt and move to a more streamlined model. The advent of AI, if not managed correctly, will be the dawn of a new era of organizations amassing more technical debt than ever before in a mad rush to keep up with the Jones’s. 

Building AI solutions that have already been built is not a good idea. Building a brain for your Enterprise isn’t easy. The cost is astronomical and involves a maintenance commitment that very few organizations can support. Gartner recommends that organizations look carefully into various vendor solutions to determine what is available “off the shelf”. 

Hint: if you want a better car than your next door neighbor, it’s easier to lease one than go to the time and expense of creating your own car factory, and assembly line, and building one yourself. 

Use “downloadable workers”

So, while creating your own “worker” from hand using various development tools seems like a lot of fun, and was undoubtedly the focus at the Amazon AWS conference (cue the “Weird Science” jokes), Gartner rightly states that you shouldn’t try to reinvent the most complex wheel imaginable: the human brain. Instead, Gartner predicts a future of “downloadable workers”. A “downloadable worker” is a chatbot/digital assistant that has already been created by someone else (and which, if done right, took them years to do). It comes delivered with all the skills needed to operate in your Enterprise and can also typically speak many different languages. And what’s more, downloadable workers don’t call in sick, don’t take any time off, and can handle millions of conversations at tiny fractions of the price of actual humans. 

This checks all the boxes of how to do things right: “don’t build things already built”, “don’t acquire technical debt”, “don’t build things you have no clue how to build”. 

Hint: don’t buy a “downloadable worker” that is hard coded and can’t be configured. Select a middleware-created “worker”. You’ll be glad you did, and Gartner recommends that too. 

Dashboards suck!

Gartner really came down hard on the UX feature that many vendors love to push as the answer to a happy and motivated workforce. According to Gartner, dashboards are just a tool for people to “game the system” and offer almost no real value. So next time you decide to choose a new vendor for your HCM system, try picking one that supports conversational UI features (Oracle), and not one doubling down on a failed UX strategy (Workday).

Yes, instead of dashboards that look like the cockpit of a Boeing 747, extensive study has discovered that people just want Enterprise software to be easy to use (and this shouldn’t be a shock to anyone). Infusing AI into the user experience is the key to meeting that goal, and will ensure that your organization truly engages in the various systems you have spent a small fortune implementing and maintaining. 

Hint: A well created conversational UI is the answer to this goal, and what Gartner recommends. 

Tread carefully in the era of the Digital Dragon

Citing both Amazon and Alibaba as the most developed, and dangerous, “Digital Dragons” that exist today, the general advice was to tread carefully with how you engage with them. As attractive as some options my look today, they may not look so attractive when the dragons are competing with your organization and you suddenly realize you’ve invested in the demise of your own future. 

This doesn’t mean that Gartner advised to always avoid them, they just detailed various strategies that organizations may utilize such that they can grasp opportunity when it exists, but also retreat when the time comes that the opportunity has turned into a threat. 

We felt that this was such an important subject that we are currently working on a future blog dedicated to the topic. 

Hint: It may be a better long-term bet to utilize a cloud infrastructure using Oracle or Microsoft than one using Amazon AWS. 

This wraps up our summary of the Gartner conference, for now. It was a lot of fun, and we do think Gartner has a great handle on the future. If the concepts are interesting to you and you’d like to find out more, please contact us:

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We remember being on site at the Apple campus the day the iPhone was announced by Steve Jobs in 2007. It was a seminal moment in history that we’ll never forget. But it wasn’t just the product that impressed us, it was the way Steve described it. With his usual penchant for talking in threes, he articulated three things that people needed, and teased that he was actually announcing three products. But the real genius was that it wasn’t really three products, it was one product that combined three features that he knew people would always want bundled together.  A phone, a music player, an internet device.

Fast forward to 2020, we feel the same way about AI, and have worked tirelessly to accomplish something very similar but in a completely new field. A field we believe will have far more impact on humanity than even the iPhone did. So, paraphrasing Steve Jobs iconic moment, we are announcing three things available now, which we think will redefine how people interact with Enterprise systems forever more. 

In 2019, we introduced a revolutionary Enterprise Digital Assistant, it changed the entire way employees, managers, students and advisors can interact with their Enterprise systems. Well, today we’re introducing three revolutionary products of this class. The first one is a fully automated and configurable AI wizard that both creates, trains and tests hundreds of skills in a matter of minutes. The second is an AI robotic tool that automates complex tasks across multiple systems. And the third is an AI event management system that automates notification and completion of key events in your organization.

So, three things: an automated AI wizard tool; a revolutionary robotic process automator; and a breakthrough event management tool. An AI wizard, an AI process automator, and an AI event manager. An AI wizard, an AI process automator … are you getting it? These are not three separate products, this is one product, and we are calling it the IntraSee Digital Assistant. Today, IntraSee has reinvented the Digital Assistant, and here it is.

Cogs loading skills into a brain
Figure 1: Visual representation of a Digital Assistant that understands your Enterprise systems on day one.

So, what does this practically mean? It means that version DA-20.1.1 (currently in beta, and debuting January 2020), now provides the full spectrum of Enterprise skills that are required to fully automate how anyone in your organization can interact with the myriad of confusing applications that make up your Enterprise. All running on Oracle Cloud infrastructure, using Oracle AI technology, Hybrid Cloud compatible, and GDPR compliant

And, commencing January 2020, this now includes three core features in one Digital Assistant:

1.  A fully automated and configurable AI wizard that both creates, trains and tests hundreds of skills in a matter of minutes.

The creation of artificial intelligence (AI) is complicated, and even in the hands of experts cannot be built reliably by hand. Even worse, the more AI is built by hand, the more unstable it becomes. This is the core of the AI scalability issue. 

Having an AI tool that can do 10 things really well, but completely falls apart when asked to do 100 things really well, is not a tenable solution, or one you should invest in. 

This is why we created an AI wizard that any business user can use that automatically creates an efficient AI model that can scale into the thousands. Furthermore, it is self-training, and self-testing. With simple configuration “dials” that allow all scenarios to be tested and validated. Both in the past, and also looking into the future. 

2.  An AI robotic tool that automates complex tasks across multiple systems.

Providing web links for “answers” isn’t AI, it’s just another type of search engine. 

What separates a true Digital Assistant from a simple chatbot is the ability to automate complex conversations that complete tasks across multiple systems, on-premise or Cloud-based. 

And to do so in a way that it is simple and easy for the human it engages with, such that tasks that were once the confine of people like HR Generalists, are now easily completed by anyone in your organization, and in their language of choice.

3.  An AI event management system that automates notification of key events in your organization.

Organizational confusion over “what to do next” is rife across all industries. Multiple systems are generating their own workflow, and unique events such as onboarding, performance cycles, and enrollments are occurring throughout the year. 

Just knowing who should be doing what, and making sure it gets done, is a massive time-sucking task for all organizations. 

This is why we auto-create a Digital Assistant that understands all these things, and manages interaction with the people in your organization to ensure things are completed when they need to be completed. All via automated robotic interaction, and in a way that gently nudges your people in the right direction without being overly intrusive. 

Combining these three things into one Digital Assistant is truly ground-breaking. And if you’ve tried to build one yourself, then you’ll already know that. 

If you’d like to see what the future looks like, and would like an affordable and easy shortcut, then please contact us for a live demo. 

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At IntraSee we are super excited to announce that version DA-19.3.1 is currently being rolled out to all our customers. As usual, many thanks to Oracle for all their support and collaboration as we utilize their excellent Oracle Digital Assistant (ODA) technology via our Hybrid-Cloud compatible, GDPR compliant, and world leading meta-data driven middleware solution.

Our goal of automating every aspect of ODA design, build, test, and deployment wouldn’t be possible without having such an awesome partner to work with. So, with that said, here are the highlights for IntraSee DA-19.3.1:

  1. Ability for the Digital Assistant to proactively remind and assist the user with approving/rejecting workflow/tasks from over 10 SaaS vendor systems, plus multiple on-premise systems (including PeopleSoft)
  2. Enhancements to Microsoft Teams channel support for ODA
  3. More human-like conversational flows
  4. Fully automated predictive utterance testing, and automated daily utterance analysis reports
  5. Improved handling of case creation and live person transfers
  6. Improved performance of all response times
  7. Configurable notifications for all conversation flows
  8. Configurable ability for managers/advisors to assign tasks to employees/students
  9. Additions to the Skills Library (more delivered HCM & Campus skills)

Product Update Notes

Many of the product changes we focused on in this release were centered around adding more features around workflow/task management and notification. Having the Digital Assistant be able to track workflow in many SaaS and on-premise systems and proactively remind and guide the user through to completion is an important product milestone. Much time is wasted in many organizations having highly paid departmental experts having to monitor and chase up with managers to get them to approve/reject important tasks they need to attend to. Now this is fully automated and the Digital Assistant can handle the entire process with the manager/employee.

Also, via a conversation, managers can now assign tasks to their team members, such that the Digital Assistant will then ensure they get completed.

Note: Remember, the most expensive aspect of your Enterprise system isn’t the software cost. It’s the cost of the humans that support it. Reducing the demands on their time will massively reduce your operating costs. 

Additional features were also added to make conversations more human-like by adding contextual verbiage as part of the conversation to better guide the human. We also added improved logging of cases in any help desk system (including Salesforce), as well as an improved transfer to a live agent if the Digital Assistant detected the human needed interaction with a help desk person to resolve their need.

The main UI additions for this release were to enhance support for Microsoft Teams as a channel. Given the huge adoption rates of Microsoft Teams, and the high level of security this provides, we expect this channel to quite possibly eclipse the web channel for many organizations in 2020.

The following video shows a conversation in MS Teams with Charlie the ODA chatbot, speaking both Spanish and English. Out of the box ODA will speak over 100 languages, so this is a terrific and simple way of enabling multi-lingual self-service for your organization.

Figure 1: Animation of the Digital Assistant in Microsoft Teams speaking Spanish and English

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