It’s been a terrific week at Oracle OpenWorld and we’ll be publishing a blog next week to summarize what we learned while we were there. But today we’d like to focus on the awards that our customers won this week. So here are the highlights…
Oracle Cloud Platform Innovation Award: Oracle Digital Assistant
We are very proud to announce that Honeywell were the winner of this very prestigious award, and that Southern Company was a finalist in this cutting-edge category.
“We’ve been working closely with our partner IntraSee to create an HR digital assistant for our global employee base and Oracle Digital Assistant was the natural choice for us because of its ability to securely operate in our hybrid cloud infrastructure,” said Mark Burgess, senior director, HR Technology Solutions, Honeywell. “Our aim is to have it be the preferred method to get questions answered 24×7, access to policies and an amazing end-to-end approach for completing transactions with more speed and accuracy. We knew we wanted our HR digital assistant to be available where employees spend their time online, and an integration with Teams was therefore essential. Our vision is to have it become to employees what J.A.R.V.I.S. is to Iron Man.”
Our ground-breaking work to integrate Microsoft Teams with Oracle Digital Assistant, for conversational interaction with on-premise and Cloud Enterprise systems, was also a major factor in this press release from Oracle. It illustrates the potential power of the Oracle/Microsoft partnership and how it is fueling the opportunity for the practical application of AI in the Enterprise software world. Thanks to a deeper connection between the companies, Oracle/Azure Cloud Platforms can now be used in conjunction to reduce software operating costs and increase user satisfaction, while also delivering GDPR compliance and meeting complex enterprise security requirements.
Plus, Paco Aubrejuan, at his always excellent keynote session, announced IntraSee as a key member of the Oracle/PeopleSoft chatbot ecosystem, and featured Honeywell as a prime success story (and we’ll cover more on that in our conference blog next week).
PeopleSoft Innovator Award: User Experience – Cloud
Orlando Health was a winner in this category.
For Orlando Health we deployed the PeopleSoft Interaction Hub into the Oracle Cloud (OCI/IaaS) and connected it to their on-premise systems to provide guided processes for managers to complete critical PeopleSoft HCM position requests using the Fluid user interface. While also improving the overall user experience, automating manual processes, improving visibility to key data, and saving time and money with lower support and training costs
So, if you’d like to win awards, improve your user experience, use the latest Oracle Cloud technologies (even if you have an on-premise solution), and save your organization lots of money, please contact us 😊
A recent blog from our good friend at Oracle, Matthew Haavisto, announced that “classic” navigation will cease to be supported in PeopleTools 8.58. And thus ends the era of breadcrumbs within PeopleSoft! Some people will be sad to see them go, but the timing couldn’t be more perfect. The fact that breadcrumbs were ever needed was an indictment of everything that took place from the beginning of the web site revolution of the mid 90’s onwards. Gargantuan web sites with thousands of pages undoubtedly caused confusion, disorientation, and billions of wasted hours while humans were forced to hunt-and-peck to find what they were looking for.
Using methods trail-blazed by Hansel and Gretel (breadcrumbs) only highlighted that something was very wrong in the world of software development. There had to be a better way to help people “navigate” a world of chaos.
And the good news is that today there finally is. And it has nothing to do with dropdown mega menus, slide-out help, site maps, personalized feeds, online training, or even search engines. Instead it harkens back to the true sense of the word “classic”. And can be summarized with one word, “Hi”.
For thousands of years people have been using conversations to determine what they need to know and how to do things. This is the real “classic” tool for communication.
Pointing and clicking were merely devices used by software developers who expected humans to understand machines, when deep down, they always knew that to do their job properly that machines needed to understand humans.
Today chatbots/digital assistants offer a navigation-less way for people to interact with massively complex Enterprise software systems. In this new paradigm there is no navigation, the human just speaks what they want, and the technology does the rest.
This new form of “navigating” the contents of massive computing systems shouldn’t be a shock to anyone. In 1968 Stanley Kubrick introduced a talking computer (essentially a digital assistant called Hal 9000) in “2001: A Space Odyssey”. In 1984, when Steve Jobs launched the original Mac, it’s ability to say “Hello” at the press release was considered a key part of the event. Even though the Mac didn’t have any AI abilities whatsoever, this was clearly a hint by Jobs that ultimately this was what he saw computers really being capable of. Years later, with the introduction of Siri on the iPhone, he was able to see the early (though very flawed) realization of a long-held dream.
In 2011 IBM even raised a false hope that Hal 9000 was about to be a reality, when in fact it was just a teaser for what other organizations would eventually deliver.
Today, in 2019, we now live in a world where most people use one application on their phones more than any other: their text-messaging application. This further reinforces the idea that people just want to have conversations using a single application. The days of “there’s an app for that” are long gone, and why combining chatbots/Digital Assistants with text messaging applications is now the preferred method for people of all ages.
Over 58% of people surveyed feel more confident messaging a business than calling them on the phone. The same number feel more confident messaging than filling out a form on a website, and more than 55% feel more confident messaging than emailing a business.
56% of people surveyed would rather message a business than call customer service.
When asked why they message businesses, over 64% of people surveyed across 4 markets say it’s because they’re “always messaging anyway.”
The message to organizations globally is very clear. Old-style web navigation is a thing of the past. The new UI that people overwhelmingly prefer is a simple text messaging UI. No menus to hunt for, no complex web forms to complete, no figuring out which field to click into, no popups, no having to learn how multiple systems “work”, and no wondering if you did everything right.
Figure 2: Turning complex apps into simple conversations
At IntraSee we are happy to bid farewell to breadcrumbs. And, also, all the other impediments to the user experience that frustrate and challenge the use of Enterprise systems today. And we welcome the new era of a navigation-less UX that works the way people would like it to work.
Special Note: In the Enterprise world, organizations often have their own standards for which messaging application they prefer. Skype for Business once was very popular but has now been replaced by Microsoft Teams, which just recently surpassed Slack in terms of usage.
Other than the excellent UI that Microsoft Teams provides, it also has the advantage of running in the Microsoft Cloud (Azure). For organizations where security and data privacy matter (that should be everyone btw!), an architecture that supports Oracle Digital Assistant (ODA) running in the Oracle Cloud, integrated with Microsoft Teams running in Azure will provide a premium level of security. Especially now that Oracle and Microsoft have enabled secure connectivity between their respective Clouds.
If you’d like to see a navigation-less UX in action, please contact us for a live demonstration.
Join IntraSee at Oracle OpenWorld, in San Francisco, CA, from September 16-19, and learn how we are rapidly deploying AI chatbot platforms to support HR enterprises and higher education institutions. By automating every aspect of Oracle Digital Assistant implementation, companies are taking advantage of the benefits of AI faster than ever.
Meet us in The Exchange, booth 510 (pictured below) for your chance to win an all new SONUS Move.
Monday, September 16, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm PT
Tuesday, September 17, 10:30 am – 5:30 pm PT
Wednesday, September 18, 10:00 am – 4:30 pm PT
We also have a great co-panel session with Oracle and IntraSee CEO, Paul Isherwood, on digital assistants and chatbots:
Session Name: The Rise of the Enterprise Chatbot: One Voice for All Your Applications Session Number: PRO5703 Location: Moscone West – Room 2004 Schedule Details: Mon, Sep 16, 2019 (12:15 PM – 1:00 PM)
Here are other sessions that we recommend that you don’t want to miss:
Session Name: Overall PeopleSoft Product Update and Strategy Session Number: GEN4993 Location: Moscone West – Room 2006/2008 Schedule Details: Mon, Sep 16, 2019 (11:15 AM – 12:15 PM)
Session Name: Oracle Speaks: Conversational AI for Enterprise Apps with a Chatbot Assistant Session Number: GEN5607 Location: Moscone South – Room 209A Schedule Details: Tue, Sep 17, 2019 (01:45 PM – 02:30 PM)
We can help your organization cut costs that result from answering and resolving HR questions. The average cost of a HR help desk ticket is dramatically reduced, while employee satisfaction increases. Download our use case sheet to see how our twelve-week pilot provides value to an organization on day one in production.
At IntraSee we are super excited to announce that version DA-19.2.1 is currently being rolled out to all our customers. Also, 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-19.2.1:
Microsoft Teams channel support for ODA (with full single sign-on).
Complete GDPR compliance (not even email addresses are stored).
Fully automated utterance supervised training.
Fully automated utterance testing (with full explanations on any mismatches).
Additional administrator dashboard ad-hoc reporting and analytics to improve oversight and reporting of chatbot usage.
Additional configurable semantic analysis when matching questions to answers.
General improvements to the configurable Vocabulary Engine.
Additions to the Skills Library (more delivered HCM & Campus skills).
Extension to FAQ+ Wizard to include transactional and reporting intents, as well as data elements from over 10 SaaS systems and 2 on-premise systems (PeopleSoft & OBIEE).
Embeddable complex web forms inside a conversation (useful for things like address change, or advanced MSS transactions of optional input fields).
Product Update Notes
Many of the product changes we focused on in this release were centered around making the overall chatbot solution simple to maintain by business analysts. Our key philosophy is that AI is massively complex and therefore requires a middleware layer to simplify it, such that functional experts can easily maintain and add to its skills. Therefore, if we focus on the middleware, our customers can focus on the business use-cases without having to create hundreds of thousands of lines of code, or having to become AI experts.
Additional automation and configuration were the keys to achieving these goals, plus improvements to the semantic analysis capabilities of the Vocabulary Engine. Our aim was to add even more means for a business user to train and direct the Digital Assistant, to ensure super-accurate matching of questions to answers – as well as adding to the scalability of the intent matching capabilities. Such that we are confident we can scale up to, and beyond, thousands of questions and still maintain accuracy of matching.
The main UI additions for this release were to add the option of embedding complex web forms (with lots of business logic) into the middle of a conversation. Plus adding support for Microsoft Teams as a channel, with all-important single sign-on included. The following screenshot 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.
Sample conversation in Microsoft Teams using Oracle Digital Assistant
Figure 1: Charlie the Chatbot in MS Teams speaking Spanish and English
Contact us below to learn more and setup your own personal demo: