Critical Success Factors for PeopleSoft Chatbot Deployments

In a short time, Oracle has delivered several chatbots for PeopleSoft HCM and Finance applications that leverages the AI powered Oracle Digital Assistant (ODA) PaaS cloud. By subscribing to ODA service, PeopleSoft customers can easily deploy and extend these pre-built chatbots.

In these early days of adoption, many customers are still evaluating the business value offered by chatbots for back office application like PeopleSoft, to justify their investment in ODA PaaS cloud. Chatbots offer an intuitive, conversational user experience compared to a traditional web UI. A well designed and integrated chatbot can offer rich user experience, high efficiency, and significantly lower customer support cost.

In this article, I discuss the 3 aspects of chatbots that are critical success factors and when executed well, can provide a transformative deployment that offers business value and enriched user experience.

Channels

In chatbot lingo, “Channel” refers to “How” the chatbot is accessed by users. PeopleSoft delivered chatbots are accessed using a “Web Channel” from within the PeopleSoft application. This supports a straightforward scenario where users, instead of navigating to multiple pages, can get the information and perform the tasks from a single chat window.  However, this only barely scratches the surface of possibilities of deploying chatbots. Oracle Digital Assistant provides AI-powered voice recognition and native multilingual support across multiple channels that can far expand the reaches of PeopleSoft chatbots.

Twilio SMS: This channel provides a SMS gateway to the chatbot. It offers great value for customers who have workforce that are mobile or working from remote locations or limited access to computers and internet. They could easily send text messages to book leave, check payments, or validate benefit enrollments.

Slack/Microsoft Teams: These channels help integrating the chatbots to existing enterprise collaboration platforms. They provide an easier method for performing self-service tasks in PeopleSoft without having to access the web UI.

In addition to these enterprise channels, ODA offers channels such as Facebook, Cortana, IOS, Android etc.  and Webhook to integrate with live agents. More importantly, ODA continues to expand its reach, providing more possibilities for an integrated user experience. PeopleSoft’s chatbot integration framework offers user authentication services that is available-out-of-the-box for Twilio SMS channel, and that can be easily extended for other ODA channels.

While deploying PeopleSoft Chatbots, do not be limited with the delivered web UI option and explore channels that would best fit your organization’s IT ecosystem and offer best value for your workforce.

Skills

In chatbot lingo, “Skills” refers to “What” the chatbots can do. PeopleSoft delivers skills that address a set of related business functions like Absence bot, Benefits bot, Expense bot etc. Application Services Framework in PeopleSoft that is used to build these bots are available for customers to expand delivered bots and create new bots to meet any custom requirements.

While deploying PeopleSoft chatbots thru the ODA platform, the “Q&A” or “FAQ” capability in ODA can significantly enhance the value of PeopleSoft chatbots. A well-designed “Q&A” can greatly reduce the helpdesk calls by addressing the frequently asked “How To” questions that are contextual to the tasks performed. An intuitively designed dialog flow that combines Q&A and system actions will provide a wholesome experience by guiding the users to efficiently complete a business activity. For instance, an employee who recently had a child may need to perform multiple tasks in HR system.

Consider the efficiency gained by the employees and the administrative staff, when all these tasks can be seamlessly performed from a within a single chat window without having to navigate multiple applications and helpdesk calls.

While deploying PeopleSoft chatbots, place high importance on the “Q&A” and “Dialog Flow” aspects to build a seamless experience of interconnected business functions. The efficiency gained here will pay for the investment in chatbots.

Integrations

Most organizations have multiple applications for different busines functions that may run on different technology platforms. Offering a wholesome user experience to employees using chatbots could involve integrating the ODA platform with multiple applications. If a customer runs multiple PeopleSoft applications like HCM and Finance, they can easily deploy the delivered chatbots in the same ODA instance. In addition, ODA integrates with applications using standard REST API protocols, offering high flexibility to integrate with any other enterprise applications either on-premises or on cloud.

ODA licensing cost is based on either the number of conversations using the chatbot or the number of users and neither of metric limits the number of channels, skills or integrations deployed by the customer. Customers can get best value out of their investment in ODA by leveraging all these 3 aspects of chatbots to their best ability.

Conclusion

PeopleSoft’s Chatbot Integration Framework and the growing list of chatbots provide a leg-up for customers to leverage the capabilities of ODA platform cloud service. This delivery approach from Oracle for Peoplesoft chatbots is as close as it will get to a plug-and-play model. PeopleSoft customers can unleash the true potential of these pre-built chatbots and the ODA platform through a methodical approach in identifying and connecting to right channels, extending the pre-built skills with Q&A and Dialog Flow and integrating with necessary back-end systems.

For the latest information on PeopleSoft Chatbots visit – https://docs.oracle.com/cd/E52319_01/infoportal/chatbot.html

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