When you hear or read about Enterprise Virtual Assistants, what exactly comes to your mind? “Oh, they are a fad”, “Do they even exist?”, “It’s too complicated to adapt”.
Gartner estimates that 25% of digital workers will use virtual employee assistants by 2021.
Before jumping the gun, let me give you an example of Alexa or Siri. You must be talking to them daily to set up an alarm or add groceries to the cart and more. Imagine having the same comfort within your enterprise, and enjoying similar such experiences at your workplace. As an employee, it will only make you too happy to attend to your work.
Enterprises always strive to create a better workforce. That’s because it’s assumed that a well-managed workplace makes employees stay more focussed and productive in whatever they do. With all the talents and multi-skilled employees around, the millennials constitute the lion’s share of the modern workplace with all their hyper-productivity and smart working techniques. And it’s the millennial component of the enterprise workforce that’s forcing a shift from process-centric to consumer-centric interfaces - basically tools such as messaging, touch & voice interfaces and such like we are all familiar with.
According to a McKinsey report, an employee spends about 10 hours a week searching and gathering information at work.
Today’s typical enterprise has multiple internal apps and 10’s of large enterprise systems, which the employees need to navigate on a daily basis for searching enterprise documents, scheduling meetings, assigning and tracking tasks, etc. Every enterprise of such nature direly needs a transformation from the current “zigzag” pattern to a “single, real-time interface” model powered by AI+NLP+ML engines that connects all enterprise systems and turns the workforce into a truly productive juggernaut.
Also in recent days, the C-level executives are expected to run smart teams that can handle the operations at a larger scale and provide consumer-centric experience. They are looking to adapt intelligent technologies as a standard, allowing employees to access anything, any time and on any device.
All this is leading to a situation where the enterprise virtual assistants will soon become an inevitable part of our corporate functions and processes.
Not convinced? Think for a minute how virtual assistants have already simplified our lives, and in so many ways. Simple commands from employees such as, “how is my day looking,” or “schedule a meeting this Friday” or “find me an email from John”, all will be done in an instant, expediting the average workday for more productive goals. Or how employees are finding it exciting to talk to their enterprise virtual assistants that act as personal assistants and accomplish tasks assigned to them at any time from any device. Who would not love to have an assistant that never falls sick, is never tired and on the job 24*7 and one ping away to run their command?
And in times of emergencies, this need is felt even more acutely. Consider a pandemic like COVID-19, which has completely disrupted enterprise workflows and forced organizations to run their operations remotely through distributed teams. While there’s a real threat of slowing productivity, the enterprises can overcome these troubled times with virtual assistants in place. (Read this blog to know-how. There are a few enterprises that have also come up with COVID-19 virtual assistants for meeting the most urgent needs of employees working remotely.)
Meanwhile, let’s look at ways to introduce virtual assistants at your workplace.
First, dispel fears associated with personal assistants
For an operations team in any organization, there’s a fear of disruption or losing jobs with the introduction of AI or any other AI-powered technology. So it’s important to take the operations team into confidence and demonstrate how AI assistants rather help them perform their tasks better, with greater efficiency and trained intelligence. By automating a lot of routine tasks, the operation resources can focus on more complicated tasks and plan roadmaps for the future.
According to the Gartner report, "one in five workers will have an AI-powered assistant as their co-worker by 2022."
Similarly, employees may be circumspect that conversations with virtual assistants would be dry and perfunctory. It’s only natural. Employees should feel a sense of connectedness chatting with virtual assistants; while not comparable to the experience of interacting with a human, conversing with an assistant can still be fun. Also, in instances where the assistant is unable to solve the query, it has the skill to escalate the conversation to a human agent. A virtual assistant has the power to build a strong employee-operations team (IT and HR) and thus transform the workforce.
Second, demonstrate concrete productivity benefits of personalized assistants
AI and NLP powered assistants are revolutionizing the concept of self-service. Enterprises can create instances where an employee when he needs an antivirus in the laptop, a new mouse can get it without the need to raise a support ticket, or visit any FAQ page.
Instead of this, can we say VAs understand natural language and say we need to frame a proper or grammatically correct sentence to interact with VA? He is new to the office and wants to know where the induction is going on. So, he will simply ask the assistant, “Where is the HR induction?” and the NLP engine will do the rest - determine the employee’s intention, extract information from the utterance and carry on a conversation with the employee to execute and complete the task.
Top it off, showing multi-skilled enterprise virtual assistants are really reliable
Enterprise virtual assistants are essentially multi-skilled. Employees can bank on them for any requirement - be it people-related, recruitment, finance, IT helpdesk, enterprise knowledge base, and other operational requests.
This is because it’s getting really difficult for the employees to scroll through different bots for different tasks. And the most annoying part is remembering their names. Have one virtual assistant that interacts with all other bots and get the tasks performed. For example, an employee wants to check his leave balance before planning his vacation. An enterprise virtual assistant can not just highlight the leave balance; it can check the leave policy by scrawling through policy documents or FAQs, tally the employee’s calendar, provide him options and accordingly raise a leave request to his manager keeping the HR in the loop. This demonstrates that an enterprise virtual assistant can completely self-service the requirement by transacting with multiple enterprise systems.
Enterprise AI-powered virtual assistants also learn and personalize their responses on their own. While handling multiple skills, the assistant also provides suggestions to the employee like: “I found this”; Did you mean this?”, and more.
Virtual assistants are in for a long haul in the enterprise workplace, and there will soon be a time when you will no longer need to run or write emails to your finance team for reimbursement and more. Instead, a virtual assistant will handle everything for you. This will fuel productivity, increase efficiency levels, streamline workflows, and reduce costs.
So what’s stopping you from joining the bandwagon? Why wait when you can enroll for an Enterprise Virtual Assistant Platform that specializes in this technology and makes your organization a Happy Workplace.