The legend that robots would one day replace human workers just became real. A Canadian company has managed to automate its management and administrative processes to such an extent that it does not have an HR department at all. A 700-member company, it has deployed an automation system that tracks things like billable hours, workflow and employee attendance, as well as managing recruitment and training. While this may still be a one-off instance, it highlights the future of robotics technology, especially in the non-industrial environments. For years, the idea of a robot was an awkwardly moving humanoid figure made of metal and steel and one that talked like a machine. When robots came to be used in factories and industrial floors, they were “caged animals” subjected to do only a few specific tasks which were either too heavy or too dangerous for humans. However, thanks to some significant breakthroughs in robotic automation and technology, new age robots are smarter, cheaper, faster and come in all shapes, sizes and forms. The modern robots can now help you track your business, book your travel tickets, set-up an appointment for you, talk to your customers and interact with your enterprise systems. Tagged as an “intelligent work assistant”, robots are set to become a mainstay of the “office of the future”, making them smarter, faster and more agile.

What is a bot?

Bots, short for robots, are computer programs that run automated tasks/scripts on the Internet. Robots can be designed and used for multiple purposes ranging from industrial robots, manufacturing robots, chatbots and humanoid robots. Till date, robots have been generally deployed for carrying out tasks which were either structurally repetitive, hazardous for human workers or needed high degree of precision which is beyond human capabilities.

As a concept, robots have been around forever. The humongous robotic arm has literally dominated the industrial assembly lines for almost half of the last century. It was in 1961 that the first industrial robot, Unimate, was deployed in the General Motors assembly lines. Then why is it that robotics has once again become a sought after technology in transforming world economies?

The 3 major reasons for this unprecedented growth are:

  • The growth and ubiquity of IoT devices
  • Falling sensor prices
  • Convergence of technologies like voice and object recognition, 3D sensors, AI and DL

The Rise of Versatile Robots

Yet another reason for robotics becoming central to global economic transformation is its adaptability in almost every domain be it enterprises, offices, hospitals, fulfilment centres, restaurants, manufacturing units and logistical warehouses. Plus, their use in key customer service areas like chat support (chatbots), product delivery, security & surveillance (drones) is what is making them gain huge and instant traction. Their ability to work 24×7 with the same efficiency and quality, cost-effectiveness and reliability are some of the biggest factors that is shifting the balance of power in its favour.

Quest nFlow: AI-Driven Omni-Channel Conversational Platform

With robotics becoming such a crucial part of enterprise workflows, it is only obvious that companies must seek to leverage it to their best advantage. The nFlow a multi-channel  conversation platform from Quest Global, enables companies to deploy and integrate chat bots for diverse industries and service areas. With nFlow, companies can automate customer service and support, streamline administrative processes for greater efficiency, and get access to data analytics and on-demand content delivery.

► nFlow for New Service Registration

Usually registering for a new service, like for e.g. opening a new bank account, can be an arduous task. It usually involves spending a lot of time, a great deal of paper work, sifting through technicalities of account details and types, not to mention the multiple trips to the bank.

Here’s how nFlow helps:

Step 1: Customer goes to the bank website and a chat window pops up

Step 2: Customer tells the agent that she wants to open a new account and is confused about the variety of options available with her

Step 3: The agent asks her few questions and suggests an account best suited for her. The customer likes the quick and personalized service offered to her

Step 4: The customer goes ahead and fills up her basic contact information for account creation

Step 5: On the next screen she is given an option to pick up the nearest bank location and appointment time for documents verification, signatures etc.

Step 6: The customer selects the nearest bank office which suits her

Step 7: She then goes ahead with the selection of date and time to visit the branch

Step 8: 24 hours before the time of the appointment she receives a text message as reminder

nFlow powers this type of conversation, where users can define:

  • Conversation flows
  • Driven by Natural Language Processing, the agent makes informed decisions
  • Transfer to a real agent if needed
  • Auto learning capabilities that allows continuous system improvement

► nFlow for Tech Support

In events like sudden breakdown of machines, electronic items or systems, customers usually need to bear long tech support calls, inefficient executives or delays in problem resolution. This can make customers brand wary, leading to negative brand publicity and reviews, which could hit the brand sales, revenues and credibility.

With nFlow, companies can avoid such scenarios by deploying a “quick-response” system that can lead to a smooth service and support process, instant turn-around, speedy resolution and in-effect, a happy customer.

An event of a sudden breakdown of the Cable TV on a Sunday can be a huge downer. Especially, if it is also the day of the all-important baseball final. With already frustrations hitting the roof, everyone wants to ensure that the problem is resolved before the game begins.

Here’s how nFlow helps:

Step 1: Customer opens the cable company mobile app

Step 2: He goes to support option and the application guides him to troubleshoot the set-top box

Step 3: After running a full diagnostic, the app determines that Mike’s set-top box requires technician’s visit and immediately connects him with a support desk agent

Step 4: A technician immediately arrives at Mike’s home and fixes the connection. Mike is satisfied with the immediate resolution of his problem

► nFlow to Access Company Data

Managers or executives working in areas like finance, accounting, sales, administration or even HR, often need to pull up data for creating and presenting reports on things like latest financial status, defaulters, EMIs, region-wise sales etc. This can be exhaustive since the executives often need to rely on different data sources. They lack access to a system that can provide them with a uniform and analysed view of different data points.

Here’s how nFlow helps:

Step 1: Managers can log into the internal organization website. Their role/access control is automatically determined by the system

Step 2: Managers can then type in the data that they are looking for – “Give me financials on Loan Processing”

Step 3: The system gives them an option to select from – last 30 days, last quarter or last year

Step 4: They select the required option – “last quarter”

Step 5: The system immediately shows the report on the dashboard

Step 6: Managers can download the report as a PDF file from the agent and immediately send across to the required stakeholders

► nFlow for Facilitating Employee Work in Industrial Setups

In large industrial sites or warehouses, employees often need to handle complex machines and equipments. nFlow helps manufacturers and employees manage their tasks better and more efficiently.

Here’s how nFlow helps:

  • Step-by-Step Procedural Guidance: In a situation where an employee is unsure about the mechanism of a machine or a new set of equipments, nFlow can enable access to key data like step-by-step procedural guidance and workflow information anywhere anytime.
  • Voice-Assisted Troubleshooting: In case of a sudden machine failure, employees must often go through an exhaustive troubleshooting process that includes referring to complex manuals or training guides. With nFlow an employee can now simply call upon the virtual assistant and explain the problem. Users can do a voice call or message a bot and instantly get their queries answered, saving precious time.
  • Automate Tasks: Production lines often have repetitive tasks like applying seals or adhesives which can be very monotonous for human workers. nFlow allows manufacturers to automate such repetitive functions and save precious resources.

With robotics set to become a $135 billion market, robotics technology will become an essential driver and a major game-changer in every realm of business as well as our day-to-day lives.

Quest Global is a trusted engineering services and solutions partner to many of the world’s most recognized Fortune 500 brands in aero engines, aerospace & defense, automotive, medical devices, oil & gas, power, hi-tech, industrial and rail with more than 11,000 associates. For more than 20 years, Quest has been a trusted partner providing comprehensive support across the complete product engineering lifecycle to help our customers improve efficiency, increase quality, create new products and open new markets.

Quest offers digital capabilities across the product lifecycle. We empower enterprises to accelerate their digital transformation journeys with our expertise in digital technologies like IoT, AI, DL, AR/VR and security and our digital solutions for energy management, multi -channel communications platform and asset tracking.

Written by Quest Global

on 20 Dec 2018