As a global technology leader, it’s important that T-Systems explores breakthrough innovations within its own business. Often, services are tested and refined within the company, and then released out into T-Systems’ client environments as fully-fledged offerings.
With this in mind, it stood to reason that T-Systems would be one of the earliest adopters of ‘Pipa’, formerly known as ROBIT, a revolutionary chatbot developed by T-Systems’ own subsidiary, Intervate.
27th November 2016 – Customer Story, Dave Stevens, Business Development Executive
Intervate’s Dave Stevens explains that Pipa – which is accessible via the Skype for Business interface and as a web chatbot on the Microsoft bot framework – offers two primary features in her first iteration:
- Integration into SAP, to enquire about invoicing and statements… with the user already authenticated into Skype for Business or in the web interface, Pipa understands the permissions of every user, and helps staff requesting documents from deep within the legacy SAP environment. Staff no longer have to wade through complex back-end systems; instead, they can retrieve documents with just a simple chat conversation. Conservatively, we estimate that this saves Account Managers 7-8 hours per month – time that used to be spent searching for documents. In a team of 25 account managers, this adds up to a significant annual saving of over 1500 man hours.
Booking meeting rooms… across the various T-Systems and Intervate regions, meeting room systems tended to differ and weren’t always integrated with one another. With Pipa, these systems are consolidated into one helpful, chat-based interface. Based on a short conversation to understand your requirements, she’ll find appropriate rooms. Staff can even invite colleagues & customers to meetings using Pipa, and sessions will be automatically synced to one’s Outlook calendar. If a previously-unavailable room becomes available, she’ll send you a message to let you know.
“These are simple, but surprisingly useful services that allow us to get to grips with chatbot technology in a practical way,” adds Stevens. “We’ve already moved beyond the ‘gimmick’ phase, and received highly positive feedback from early users, and tangible benefits”.
“It also serves as a great lead-in to a new way of working, where staff are able to be more remote, more flexible, and yet still access the entire spectrum of corporate services using interfaces that are familiar and easy to use.”
Looking further ahead, Stevens says that Pipa will grow in sophistication, and will likely benefit from the rapid advancements of Microsoft’s Cognitive services framework. Pipa is already able to answer common queries in over, 60 supported languages, by indexing a data source provided to the Pipa Engine. In time, she will connect with other specialist chatbots, from different fields, ‘borrowing’ their intelligence (and lending some of her own). This future state of ‘bot convergence’ will serve up some exciting opportunities, forever changing the way we work and the way we connect with organisations.
Building based on scenario’s or templates is what we are working on next – we recognise that many company’s have the same challenges, which may differ in terms of exact process but the outline is the same – check out the video below where we demonstrate using Pipa in a Helpdesk scenario.