Exelon is a Fortune 100 company and by customer count, the United States' largest energy generator, transmitter, and seller. It owns six different utilities along the East Coast and in Illinois, and is responsible for electricity and natural gas delivery to approximately 10 million customers. When customers complain about a power outage or their monthly bills, or when Exelon wants to ask customers to reduce energy use in an effort to manage the power grid, naturally, both parties desire a quick and effective communication solution. That's why Exelon is currently using Oracle Mobile Cloud Enterprise (MCE) to build a chatbot that uses natural language processing and artificial intelligence to understand and respond to customer queries across a number of different messaging platforms.
Currently, over 4.1 billion people use messaging apps. Although email refuses to die, and in some cases, people still actually do call each other, mobile messaging has exploded, and with the popularity of apps like Facebook Messenger, Slack, and WeChat, many businesses realize that they must now engage customers in this preferred communication channel. This engagement, however, is easier said than done. Thanks to the on-demand nature of today's information, customers expect to have any questions answered quickly, using relevant data, and to have those answers personalized. That's where chatbots come in. Chatbots that use natural language processing and machine learning, like Oracle Intelligent Bots, can adapt to how different people ask similar questions, analyze the intents of these questions, and provide relevant, contextualized answers to each customer. What does this mean, exactly? When a customer asks "how much do I owe this month?" a chatbot will reply "You're bill is $65.47," instead of providing a similar experience to that of a "dumb" phone tree where multiple selections must be made before arriving at a canned answer.
Exelon built its portfolio in several acquisitions across the energy sector, and each subsidiary has its own back-end systems, from billing to power outage monitoring. Connecting these systems together isn't easy, especially when the goal is to build a consumer-facing user interface that can respond naturally to human language and provide personalized answers within seconds. That's why Exelon used micro-service and API features built into MCE to expose their back-end systems so that they could connect easily with front-end user interfaces like chatbots. As a part of MCE, Oracle Intelligent Bots allows users to not only build, test, and deploy AI-powered chatbots quickly (in Exelon's case, the prototype took less than two weeks to complete), but it also eliminates the complexity of writing different code for different channels. With Oracle Intelligent Bots, "we don't have to write the same logic six different times for six different channels," says Rajesh Kumar Thakur, Exelon's Principal Architect, "that's what Oracle is offering us."