Software editors: make your users' lives easier
Collaborative tools and social networks have rapidly multiplied in companies, communities and at home, without always taking into account the user experience.
These different applications all partially recreate the equivalent of exchanges that would take place physically. This is what we call the digital workspace.
What’s the digital workplace?
The Digital Workplace is a working environment similar to a physical office or meeting room, but in a digital environment.
It must therefore be very flexible in order to adapt to very diverse organizations, both professional and personal (e.g. telecommuting).
It concerns all employees, even those who do not have a screen, because they are away from home for example, or because their missions do not require it, or even prevent its use.
As you can see, communication between each user, their applications, their data, their colleagues and their organization in general is at the heart of the digital workspace concept. It must help federate energies and focus attention on the projects and missions of the organization that implements it.
Putting people at the heart of the digital workplace by speaking their language
Human beings do not communicate in HTML, REST APIs or any other computer protocol.
We think, inform and exchange with another medium: natural language, the one we use every day.
It is therefore normal that the use of natural language is one of the keys to achieve an efficient, friendly and easy-to-use workspace, which will facilitate its adoption.
It is true that not all actions can be verbalized simply, but there is great progress accessible for most requests and exchanges, obviously with our colleagues, but also with our digital solutions: applications, objects, etc.
Software editors: make your users’ lives easier
Picture this. Users of your solution use a digital workspace (e.g. MS Teams). They have organized this space according to the projects they are involved in, the groups they interact with, their interests, etc.
Leaving this environment to use another service, often through a website or mobile app, will require effort. Leaving the workspace, finding the link to the website or application, identifying oneself, remembering the interface and finding the automatisms necessary for a good use of the solution, etc.
It will be quicker and more natural for the user to consider that the application is part of his correspondents and to send him a message “as it comes”, directly in the language of his choice, from his digital workspace.
The figure below shows some examples of interactions in the case where the application is a Human Resources Information System (HRIS). Anyone can easily extrapolate it for other applications (Finance, Payroll, ERP, etc.).
What are the essential qualities for a good digital experience based on natural language?
Providing a quality solution is not an easy task. Let’s detail here the aspects of automatic language processing, integration with applications and security.
1. The foundations: NLP (automatic language processing)
Accuracy. Nothing is more disappointing than a chatbot that doesn’t understand the majority of the requests it receives, or that doesn’t answer at all.
The performance of generalist NLP is impressive in a personal context (they know a bit about everything), but is not enough in a professional context (where you need to know everything in a limited environment).
It is necessary to use other techniques to reach a sufficient level of accuracy.
Omnichannel. The same natural language queries should be able to be handled independently (or almost independently) of the communication channels that support them.
The organization’s collaborative application (MS Teams, Slack, etc.), more public social networks (Messenger, WhatsApp) or simple SMS.
Multilingual. Some environments only require one language, but in an interconnected world more and more organizations have workforces located in multiple countries and need to provide the same level of service across all their locations.
2. The walls: integration with supported applications
NLP is integrated with digital platforms and with one or more business applications for which it provides a new user interface. The quality of these integrations is essential for :
- Security (authentication, various rights) and legal aspects related to the use of platforms;
- Accuracy in the understanding of requests (for example, the treatment of proper names in this context is very specific);
- The distribution of tasks and responsibilities between the business software and the TAL function (e.g., checking that the request is legitimate according to the person who made it).
3. The keystone: security, privacy and resilience
In such sensitive areas, nothing can be done without careful attention to security, confidentiality and service resilience.
This topic is too technical to be detailed here, but we can still mention the following points:
- Ensure encryption of all communications between the various functions and rigorous key management;
- Do not store personal data and ensure compatibility with the RGPD (General Data Protection Regulation);
- Choose several hosting centers and set up automatic failover (and/or load balancing) to withstand a network failure or even a major incident in one of the centers (e.g. fire).
The technologies developed by Agora Software strengthen the link between business applications and their users, by offering integrated access to these applications from their digital workspace, to :
- Perform business transactions directly from their preferred environment;
- Automatically answer recurring questions;
- Transmit useful information, notifications…
And the benefits are many:
- Simplify users’ lives
- Build customer and employee loyalty
- Develop the editor’s brand and the company’s employer brand
- Relieve the back office
If you were interested in this article, you might also want to read Borderless processes for extended enterprise or go directly to our Cities and Territories page.
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