Over at our Digital Transformation blog, we write about the effect that technology is having on organizations worldwide, from the nuances of the cloud to the ubiquity of mobile to the rise of connected consumer and enterprise experiences. Both of these two technologies alone have been enough to transform business priorities for the foreseeable future.
As these two technologies continue to evolve and mature, there are more innovations right around the corner. The latest comes in the form of the messaging bot, a recent idea launched by social networking giant Facebook which offers users the opportunity to chat with a bot to get pertinent information like the weather or sports scores. While past interactions with bots required the installation of separate applications, Facebook intends to change the game by implementing these bots right inside their chat application, Messenger.
What’s the Big Deal?
I got very excited the other day while brainstorming the idea of messaging bots with our Director of Cloud, Joel Thimsen. Though bots themselves aren’t new, the disparate nature of engaging with them in the past and the fast-paced development world of today present unique use cases. Since we work on implementing IBM Digital Experience and Cloud technologies, it’s easy to consider the following two examples:
- An enterprise brand creates a connected experience with IBM WebSphere Portal to engage employees. With HR being extremely busy, the IT team develops a chat bot that can help answer basic questions from employees, including the location of past pay stubs, vacation time, healthcare benefits, and tax forms.
- An agile enterprise development team is on a tight deadline with the task of updating their customer-facing application. Though complementary applications like IBM UrbanCode can assist with quality assurance and error checking, the IT Manager adds another layer by developing a chat bot application on IBM Bluemix that identifies errors within the code, right down to the line and syntax, saving developers hours of error fixing, enabling the application to be delivered on time.
There are more examples, with platforms like China’s WeChat already offering developers the API capabilities to create banking and finance chat bots to help consumers with their financial needs. In fact, research firm Forrester predicts that messenger platforms will only become more marketing and e-commerce centric in the future, as marketing needs evolve towards connected experiences.
For now, it’s a really exciting idea — and one that definitely has legs as technology and IT needs continue to evolve.
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.