If you were to ask several leading analyst firms which vendor of intelligent virtual agents (IVAs) offers the most advanced solution, IPsoft’s Amelia is regularly at the top of the list. We prefer the term “digital colleague” to IVA and we’re proud of the technology we’ve created. One factor that we believe separates us from the greater market is our commitment to creating a hybrid workforce. In essence, we believe humans and digital colleagues are not in competition. Hence the word “colleague” in “digital colleague.”
There’s a critical business reason for building solutions like Amelia that work alongside, rather than replace, humans: AI is no substitute for human ingenuity. We want to free employees from unfulfilling work so that they can tap their uniquely human qualities — empathy, critical thinking and creative problem solving. By doing so, we allow humans to take on more high-value roles within their organizations and companies.
Digital Colleagues Versus Chatbots
Other vendors offer scripted chatbots that replace customer-facing service agents, but what happens when a chatbot gets confused, or if a customer asks a question that requires a creative response. Would you rather have your most important clients working with a human to solve a unique problem, or a chatbot that’s only programmed to respond to frequently asked questions?
Conversely, you do not want your most important clients waiting on hold indefinitely in order to access a locked account, or to gain Wi-Fi access while visiting your corporate headquarters. In these instances, digital colleagues are the ideal solution. They’re available on-demand and ideal for repetitive high-volume issues and requests.
Humans and Digital Colleagues
Our digital colleagues can assume entire roles, such as insurance adviser or IT operations specialist, but we do not purport that these solutions should entirely replace your human insurance advisers and IT operations specialists. Instead, our solutions eliminate the unnecessary complexity between humans and enterprise systems. Whether they’re human workers or customers, our digital colleagues empower all users — regardless of technical proficiency – to easily access information and services.
For example: In an instance that requires a creative solution, our digital colleagues know when to proverbially “raise their hands” to ask a human for assistance. That’s because our digital colleagues never go beyond their remit to attempt to solve problems for which they have not been trained. When a digital colleague realizes that it’s being asked to do something outside of its purview, it requests human collaboration. A human is then able to work alongside the digital colleague to quickly find the ideal resolution.
Our Success Speaks for Itself
Our digital colleagues have worked in collaboration with insurance agents at Allstate, solved IT issues for Becton Dickinson, and answered customer queries at SEB — some of the many instances in which IPsoft’s technology complements human efforts with machine speed and data recollection.
HfS Research agrees with this approach: “Vendors are developing cognitive agents designed to deal specifically with complex industry and enterprise requests at scale; the best-known example today is IPsoft’s Amelia agent,” the research group writes in its report Untangling the Gordian Knot: The HFS Dummies’ Guide to Enterprise AI.
Forrester has a similar view: “IPsoft provides conversational AI for complex use cases. Though its product could answer simple, FAQ-type questions, it’s a more natural fit for brands looking to provide conversational automation for deep business processes or multi-intent situations,” the analyst firm writes in The Forrester New Wave™ Conversational AI For Customer Service, Q2 2019.
By providing digital colleagues to work alongside human ones, your company is enabling your workforce to be successful at tasks that deliver far more business value — with personalized, highly skilled customer service — versus ones that are repeatable and of lesser value, such as unlocking accounts and granting Wi-Fi access.