IntraSee is excited to be at Alliance 2019 at Disney World from March 3-6! Stop by our booth (912) for a chance to win a special prize and learn more about improving your user experience or implementing an Enterprise chatbot for your campus or HCM systems. A true Enterprise chatbot can not only provide an alternative and easier user experience to your web applications, but it can also bring considerable cost savings in help desk calls and other operational costs.

Not only will we be on the exhibit floor showing demos, we also have a great presentation on this topic where we review what we have learned over the last year implementing chatbot solutions.

Session Name: Enterprise Chatbot Case Studies: What has been learned
Session Number: 6396
Location: Dolphin, Asia 5
Schedule Details
: Mon, Mar 04, 2019 (08:30 AM – 09:30 AM)

Our booth is always very busy at the Alliance conference, so we recommend clicking the Contact Us button below and we will get you scheduled for a personal demo in our lounge area at a time that works well for you.

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Modern Business Experience 2019, formerly known as HCM World, is in Las Vegas March 19-21, 2019. MBX as it is also known, is a combination of the HCM, Finance and Supply Chain World shows. IntraSee will be in attendance showing off a live Oracle Digital Assistant, and how it can better service your employees and managers while providing huge operational cost savings and improved organizational satisfaction.

A lot has changed in a year with chatbots and Oracle’s PaaS solutions. Stop by our pod to learn more about how chatbots can help your organization. We will be demonstrating Oracle’s Digital Assistant communicating with Oracle HCM Cloud, PeopleSoft, and other SaaS applications like Kronos and Taleo.

Alternately, if you can’t make it to MBX 2019, you can always contact us below and we’d be happy to set up a web conference or come to see you in person.

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It was a pleasure to attend another fantastic Gartner conference in Las Vegas (November 26-29, 2018). And while Amazon had their own mega conference (re:Invent 2018) down the road at the Venetian, the smart set were taking a broader look at the future with the team from Gartner.

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.

So here we go: Gartner’s key messaging from November 2018.

“IT organizations need to stop thinking in terms of projects, and start thinking in terms of products.”

– Gartner

This was the keynote theme for 2018. Last years theme was that IT needed to discover the word “yes” in their vocabulary. This year Gartner focused their messaging on redefining how IT needs to partner with the business community. Primarily, the advice was that IT needed to stop seeing the world in terms of projects, and instead embrace the concept of products as a means of implementing solutions. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a technology conference without the introduction of new a catchy phrase: PRODUCTology.

The concept is pretty straight forward and seeks to explain a lot of bad history when it comes to how IT has attempted to implement the dreams of the business community over many decades. And can be summed up as: projects are bad, products are good.

And the explanation makes a lot of sense. Projects are, by their nature, things of a finite duration. Risk needs to be managed. Scope needs to be controlled. Expectations need to be set. And then, when the project is complete, everyone moves on to the next project. Leaving in their wake a sterile, half-baked solution, that in a matter of months begins to age and crumble. The technology equivalent of a potted plant that never gets watered.

Meanwhile products are forever (well, at least until their replacement comes along). By their nature they are born of innovation and designed to be an entity that continues to grow and morph over the years as demands change and new ideas come to mind. Products have owners that care about them and lovingly tend to their good health, while also making sure they are meeting the requirements of the people using them. Products have roadmaps, they have interested parties, and they have a purpose.

In the consumer space, products are what make the world go round. While in the IT world it’s projects. And that is what needs to change according to Gartner (and we agree). If the business world wants to see their Enterprise systems become more consumer-like, then PRODUCTology is where it all starts.

“IT needs to come to the business community with ideas, as a trusted partner, and not be seen as an order taker.”

– Gartner

Gartner also spent a good deal of time urging the IT community to be more proactive with how they engage with the business community. Instead of waiting to be told what they needed to deliver, IT should be coming to the business community with innovative ideas on how to meet the demands of the era of disruption that we are now entering. Once the business community sees the IT group as an engaged and enthusiastic partner, then the nature of the relationship will completely change. And in ways that will benefit the entire organization. Gartner’s observation was that when IT and the business community collaborate well together, good things happen.

“IT can shape demand and become a thought leader.”

– Gartner

For IT to become a thought leader, Gartner recommended the use of external sources for inspiration. From Google, to Github, to Gartner themselves. There’s a plethora of information that IT can make use of, plus lots of vendors only too willing to demonstrate what they can bring to the table (which includes IntraSee by the way). IT should be looking to bring these resources and vendors to the attention of the business community as a means of creating a dialog about the art of the possible.

“If IT focuses on successful delivery, without trying to create everything themselves, then the business community will fund their initiatives.”

– Gartner

Gartner also believes that IT needs to stop trying to recreate wheels that have already been built. It’s not the job of IT to build anything. But it is the job of IT to ensure that “things” (ideally products) are built, and implemented, correctly. And that may mean a collaboration with a vendor that has a solution, but which needs configuration and extension that IT needs to be involved in. But that does not necessarily mean that IT needs to be building the code (which now has to be maintained). Once IT gets out of the code maintenance world, and into the innovation and enablement world, great things will happen for the organizations they support. What’s important isn’t how things get done, it’s what gets done that counts.

“Don’t try and build chatbots yourself. Building bad chatbots is easy. Building great chatbots is very hard. Find a vendor that understands your domain and can demonstrate excellence.”

– Gartner

And if there’s one thing that Gartner strongly recommended IT should not be trying to build, it’s chatbots. Instead, IT should be evaluating chatbot vendors and by a process of evaluation and demonstration figure out which ones truly match the hype, have the domain knowledge, and work securely with your existing Enterprise systems. Trying to build a “brain” from scratch may lead to a “Frankenbot” that consumes your organizations resources for many years.

The more research that IT does in this area, the less the chance that expensive, embarrassing, and time-consuming mistakes will be made.

“Don’t create ‘Technical debt’”

– Gartner

This isn’t a new concept. “Technical debt” refers to any code added now that will take more work to fix at a later time—typically with the purpose of achieving rapid gains. Shortcuts, hacks, and poor design choices will all lead to huge costs later on. Costs that aren’t just financial, but also reputational too. IT often creates technical debt for itself because of a desire to build things it doesn’t need to build. Then gets sucked into a maintenance and rewrite cycle that stymies its ability to take on new requirements from the business community.

Gartner very strongly believes that taking on unnecessary technical debt causes IT many issues that it needs to avoid.

“95% of bots in the market are s***”

– Gartner quoting Chatbot Summit 2018

Microsoft Clippy

Figure 1: Don’t implement your own chatbot version of “Clippy”

At IntraSee we would concur with this statement by Gartner 100%. The chatbot market right now is flooded with vendors who have massively subpar solutions. Many of them don’t have any experience in the Enterprise space, and have no domain expertise at all. Even an industry stalwart like IBM, with its Watson product, has failed to take a good idea and turn it into a viable Enterprise chatbot.

At IntraSee we firmly believe that a chatbot that is built by automated means, that can plug into your existing Enterprise systems, and comes delivered from day one with domain expertise, is the only way to deliver a chatbot solution.

And, we would say that this is something you need to see to believe. So, while you are looking at other chatbots in the market (which we encourage you to do), we would strongly advise you look at what we do too. You’ll see the difference immediately.

So please contact us to arrange an online demonstration of an Enterprise chatbot in action. And welcome to the world of PRODUCTology!

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The week of October 22nd was a fun time to be in San Francisco at Oracle OpenWorld. As usual there was an overriding theme that dominated the conference, and this year it was robots. Robots that manage entire Cloud architectures, and robots (aka chatbots) that engage in complex conversations with humans.

2019 appears to be set as the year autonomous robots take hold of the Enterprise, making it more secure than ever, and cheaper to operate than ever.

As is often the case, Larry Ellison led the charge by calling out all the features that differentiate a gen 1 Cloud vs. a gen 2 Cloud.

“Today I want to talk about the second generation of our cloud, featuring Star Wars cyber defenses to protect our Generation 2 platform. We’ve had to re-architect it from the ground up. We’ve introduced Star Wars defenses, impenetrable barriers, and autonomous robots. The combination of those things protect your data and protect our Generation 2 Cloud.”

– Larry Ellison

Having worked with Oracle’s Cloud architecture for a number of years now, we can say that we’ve seen a massive change from Oracle’s gen 1 (aka classic) Cloud architecture, to todays automated gen 2 architecture. As Larry went on to say:

“I’m not talking about a few software changes here and a few software changes there. I’m talking about a completely new hardware configuration for the cloud. It starts with the foundations of the hardware. We had to add a new network of dedicated independent computers to basically surround the perimeter of our cloud. These are computers you don’t find in other clouds. They form this impenetrable barrier. It not only protects the perimeter of the cloud, these barriers also surround each individual customer zone in our cloud. Threats cannot then spread from one customer to another.”

– Larry Ellison

And of course, the key to all this is AI and autonomous bots.

“Then we use the latest AI machine learning technology to build autonomous robots that go out, search and destroy threats. We’ve added lots and lots of more robots to protect every aspect of the cloud. It’s got to be a case of it being completely automated, completely autonomous.”

– Larry Ellison

Naturally, it wouldn’t be an Oracle conference if Larry didn’t call out Amazon for all their failings (price, performance, reliability, and security).

“They [AWS] don’t have self-tuning, they have no autonomous features, it’s not available. They don’t have active data guard. They have no disaster recovery. They have no server failure recovery. They have no software failure recovery. They’ve got no automatic patching. They’ve got none of that. We automatically patch and the system keeps running. In that case, we are infinitely faster and infinitely cheaper.”

– Larry Ellison

This is, most definitely, important stuff. As organizations are recognizing now, infrastructure matters. With Oracle owning the SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS layers, it can ensure security and reliability at every level.

What is also very significant is Oracle’s commitment to innovation and empowerment of its client-base. It now has a massively advanced PaaS layer that customers can take advantage of to flourish in an era of change. Which is in complete contrast to Workday’s approach, which is to lock their clients into a technological alley that stifles any attempt at UX innovation via automation. Workday’s euphemism for this is to describe it as “curation”. But in an era of change, curation is the enemy of progress.

And this brings us to the other hero of Oracle OpenWorld: Chatbots! In this new era of automation Oracle has now released its gen 2 chatbot technology. Now wrapped up in a package called Oracle Digital Assistant. This is a lot more than just a rebrand of what was called Oracle Intelligent Bots (OIB). It’s now a technology platform that enables true chatbot concierge capabilities.

This means that one Oracle chatbot can now seamlessly be a broker (concierge) for many Oracle chatbots. Such that the human user need only converse with one chatbot for any question it may have, regardless of how many chatbots and systems there are “behind the scenes”.

At IntraSee we specifically chose the Oracle chatbot framework for this and many other reasons (including being able to run on a secure infrastructure). Because we can automate the actual creation of an Oracle chatbot, we can also automate the creation of a concierge chatbot, while also being a service chatbot to another Oracle concierge chatbot.

In summary, we couldn’t be happier with Oracle’s direction for its infrastructure (IaaS), and also it’s chatbot technology framework (PaaS). 2019 will undoubtedly be the year for automation in the Enterprise. And for that you need automation at all layers of the Enterprise, and Oracle now has that (IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS). So, we would say that this was a terrific conference that sets the stage for an absolutely fascinating 2019.

Our prediction is that by the end of 2019 that chatbots will be considered the standard UI for the Enterprise for almost all self-service and help desk features, and that web-based applications will start to be seen as the province of the “back office”.

Also, on a personal note, we did get to speak at the conference jointly with Oracle on the subject of chatbots. It was a fun time and if you’d like to get hold of a copy of the presentation, you can now request it.

And, of course, if you’d like to see a demo of what the future (2019) looks like, please let us know and we’d be happy to oblige.

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