Digitization affects companies regardless of size and industry. Thus, it’s key to prepare for the unknown future accordingly. This article aims to demonstrate, how digital assistants can assist you at work.
Digitization: Beyond the buzzword
The challenges of digitization are present in the minds of most companies: According to a survey conducted by Deutsche Telekom, it’s the CEO’s responsibility to drive digitization in 63 percent of the companies surveyed. Only eight percent of companies have yet to deal with digitization. In addition, most companies plan to significantly increase their digitization-levels by 2022.
Everything’s digital, isn’t it?
Digitization pervades all areas, processes and hierarchical levels: The (1) relationship with customers and (2) digital business models are obvious fields of action, including the associated challenges in (3) IT security and data protection.
However, a central aspect isn’t visible from the outside: Companies are becoming more digital from the inside as well; (4) Internal processes are at the epicenter of digitization.
Tools and software for digitization
There’s a variety of tools available to represent processes, tasks and the business model electronically (i.e. “digitally”): Teams and entire companies can collaborate more efficiently using amazing software-tools to reduce friction.
However, this is exactly where digitization affects people negatively: Employees are stressed by the “flood” of information and tasks, that digitization entails in the form of emails, task management tools, digital collaboration and chat programs.
Too much software is not a solution either
So why are we burdened by software, that promises relief and flexibility? The main factor is the high number and complexity of different applications, tasks and processes in everyday working life. It is becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of your work, and to use the right tools efficiently. As a result, the ability of employees to concentrate on their core task gradually decreases – which in turn demotivates and decreases satisfaction.
Support by digital assistance systems
The key to solving this problem, though counter-intuitive, is the use of technology. It’s not about yet another software solution existing alongside many other services, though. It is rather about a central solution, which is placed between the user and his tools and software solutions, thus reducing the complexity from day one: A digital assistant, supported by an artificial intelligence.
From a technical point of view, this endeavour is rather complex: On the one hand, an assistant has to understand the challenges in the professional environment and adapt to the company and the tool and software solutions used. On the other hand, a user-friendly and multifunctional user interface is needed, ideally linking your devices (e.g. desktop and mobile).
In an ideal world, a digital assistant is able to (semi-) automate non-value-adding and recurring tasks. Digital Assistants can be used as professional companion apps (“Mobile Companion Apps”) in various occupational fields. The following section describes three areas in which a digital assistant can be used.
In which fields can a digital assistant be of help?
Digital assistants for decision makers
Decision-makers often have the privilege of being assisted by an actual human being. This “human assistant” handles tasks, coordinates appointments and aggregates information for the respective supervisor.
Work is becoming increasingly complex, the speed of information flow is rising radically, so that – rather sooner than later – a single human assistant will simply not be enough to provide the best possible support for the decision maker.
Here, digital assistants can act more efficiently – because of their computing power and the use of artificial intelligence.
Digital assistants in sales
Sales and field representatives need to know the market and (potential) customers for their own services. Here, a high resistance to stress and a deep understanding of the services and especially the contact is essential. Information and data on contact persons and companies are needed in a very short time. To ensure this, human sales assistants research on various platforms, and collect and prepare information for each sales and field representative.
With the help of a digital assistant, the efficiency can be increased by providing information and data on contact persons digitally and centrally as well as automatically scheduling appointments with contact persons. In addition, information from software and reporting tools can be aggregated, so that the sales and field representative can easily access all the relevant information on the way to the contact person without investing much time and effort.
Digital assistants in customer service
The best-known digital “assistants” in customer service are chatbots, which are available on websites and platforms in order to enable customer service directly and automatically. However, these chatbots usually have a limited functionality and are more comparable to chat programs, which are still largely served by people in the background.
Such wizards are “only” implemented for question-answer use cases – analogously to FAQs, though more interactively. Although such solutions are increasingly being provided with artificial intelligence and natural language processing, these assistants only add significant value if the interaction crosses the enterprise-customer threshold and is deeply rooted in the enterprise.
How can a digital assistant be used in a professional environment?
The advancing digitization arouses interest in solutions for the digital transformation of SMEs, especially since smaller companies and medium-sized enterprises risk losing the their competitiveness.
With digitization, not only processes and business models are changing, but also the way people interact with computers and machines. In 2017, the smartphone celebrated its tenth birthday and – within a decade – coined an era of new usability-concepts.
The possibilities of speech and text recognition are still in their infancy, but they do bear the enormous potential to change human-computer interaction. Digital assistants can cover a wide range of functionalities in order to support the user or the employee on a daily basis.
Proactive information flow
Digital assistants can act proactively by providing information and services in an automated way, eliminating the need for employee interaction, if desired. To do so, an assistant has to be “smart” and make use of artificial intelligence. A recent representative survey of German companies with at least 20 employees shows that 49 percent of the respondents consider artificial intelligence as rather / very significant, but only 9 percent use this technology.
Make use of machine learning!
With Neo, we can make machine-learning and artificial intelligence instantly accessible to companies, without requiring them to have the technical know-how, while providing end users with tremendous added value: More time for value adding tasks by taking on routine tasks from the assistant.
One interface to all your tools
For the first time, various application fields come together in one place with our digital assistant “Neo” and are being made accessible to the user via a so-called conversational interface.
Neo enables employees, executives, and salespeople to focus on what’s really important (valuable and meaningful) in their jobs and to be more productive – because Neo automates and connect their tools, software, and machines, distilling information into a simple format: A conversation. With Neo as a digital assistant, time-consuming email ping-pong is no longer required for scheduling meetings, meeting-preparation do not require hours of research, and for KPI reporting, database queries do not have to be performed manually:
All this (and much more) is just a question away.
If you want to use a digital assistant like Neo in your business, contact us and we’ll discuss your use cases!