Expert Advice for Medium and Midsize Businesses

Delivering Conversational AI to Your HR Experience

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A digital assistant is an intelligent chatbot that can answer questions and proactively engage users in an individual, contextual manner.

Oracle Digital Assistant can help your small-to-medium business (SMB) operate more efficiently. Businesses can automate key processes and offer important productivity tools to their teams. According to a January 2019 press release from Gartner, the firm predicts that 70% of organizations will integrate artificial intelligence (AI) tools to support employee productivity by 2021. Here’s a closer look at how innovative SMBs can use AI-powered assistants to improve every aspect of the employee experience—and what they can do for your organization.

What’s the Difference Between an Assistant and a Chatbot?

When you hear the terms virtual or digital assistant, Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant probably come to mind. These consumer-focused bots have shifted the landscape toward making personalized, voice- and text-based experiences more accessible. Consumer bots are useful for asking questions, like asking about the weather, traffic, or the latest score on the big game. That’s great for consumer use cases where the information is not particularly sensitive. When it comes to back end systems, such as personal information stored in your HR environment, these general purpose assistants may not meet your privacy and security needs.

Consider the common task when employees need to manage their company compensation and benefits—viewing their pay slip and potentially making adjustments. It can be a tedious task for an individual and could generate multiple inquiries that create frustrations and drain your staffing resources. A digital assistant, readily available through a natural conversational interface such as SMS text, can securely access the relevant information, and even help them process complex application transactions. Unlike mobile apps or websites, there is no mobile app to download, no new interfaces to learn and navigate. The ideal conversation with a digital assistant would be the same as talking to an HR representative – except this one is available 24x7. Automating inquiries and helping your staff help themselves frees up resources and lets your team stay focused on more high-value activities.

The Power of a Multi-Skilled Assistant

An important capability of the Oracle Digital Assistant is its ability to represent multiple application skills with one assistant. How many mobile apps have you downloaded to your phone that you never open, or quickly delete after finding them less than useful? Planning a business trip alone can require an airline app, a restaurant reservations app, and a hotel app. With Oracle Digital Assistant, you can access multiple systems (HR, ERP, CX, etc.)  from one digital assistant. For example, an employee might begin their interactions by asking a question about their vacation balance or available healthcare coverage, which draws on information from HCM cloud. Subsequently, they may check on the status of an expense report, which would tap into the ERP system. There’s no need to switch apps. The digital assistant understands the individual context of the conversation and connects to the appropriate application. From the employee perspective, it might be natural to then quickly switch gears and ask for data from your CRM system to help prepare for their next client call.

Oracle Digital Assistant can draw on information from Oracle applications—as well as third-party apps—offering a comprehensive experience that moves as fast as your star employees.

How Else Can this Help Streamline Human Resources?

Across your organization, the assistant can help with different aspects of the HR process. The digital assistant offers candidates a more engaging, personalized experience.

Trying to recruit top talent? Guide them through the interview process, answer frequently asked questions, and be available with a real-time application status update at any time. Or perhaps you’ve hired a great candidate and want to make their onboarding experience seamlessly easy. The assistant can lead them through every step of the process, so they’re always supported—even when your employees are focused on other tasks.

As a business-focused technology tool, digital assistant offers two important features: privacy and security. Since the assistant has been developed by Oracle and is SaaS native, it offers your HR team, IT experts, and users a layer of protection. There’s no risk from integrating a third-party application into your most sensitive systems. And, perhaps equally important, this purpose-built tool is completely focused on productivity, without the risks of gathering user data for advertising or marketing purposes.

Do You Need an AI Specialist on Staff?

Here’s the best part of Oracle Digital Assistant: it’s easy to roll out with your existing technical team. There’s no need to have access to AI specialists to build your own digital assistant skills. That’s what makes it a great addition to any small-to-medium business productivity toolkit. The Oracle SaaS teams (HCM, ERP, CX and more on the way) have pre-built their own turnkey assistant skills on the Oracle Digital Assistant platform. That means you can start using prebuilt assistant capabilities right away! And since it’s built on Oracle Digital Assistant platform, if you have custom needs for your business, you can clone and extend those prebuilt skills to handle your unique needs. Third-party apps?  You can create your own assistant skills as well, and they can all be accessed from one assistant.

But wait, there’s more. Our next release will roll out a new Conversation Designer feature, making it even easier to visually design conversational flow. It’s point-and-click easy! Oracle’s mission is to simplify the process to offer conversational AI for any business, secure and at scale, while offering tools that are easy to build, develop, deploy, and maintain.

Your team is crucial to the success of your small-to-medium business (SMB), and the right tools can help them get more done. From a winning candidate experience to employee productivity support, the HCM Cloud integration helps growing companies take their internal user experience to the next level. Explore how this tool can bring the intersection of AI, natural language processing, and HCM capabilities to your organization today.

Learn more about Oracle Digital Assistant and how it can help your growing business.

By Carlos Chang, Senior Principal Marketing Director - Fusion Middleware, Oracle

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Comments ( 1 )
  • Stevan Caldwell Tuesday, June 4, 2019
    Great article Carlos!

    By deploying IA technology, organisations have an opportunity to deliver amazing CX and truly differentiate both in the marketplace with customers and prospects and internally where time wasted on administrative tasks can be better spent on the work.
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