Digital Assistants are revolutionising how businesses use ERP software
From the Editor
Used in business, could these useful tools fundamentally change how you work, and how would they do this?
We're taking a look at digital assistants to see what they offer your organisation if anything.
What are digital assistants?
Digital (or virtual) Assistants are everywhere these days. On your phone, in your home and beyond, but what are they and what are they really for?
Basically, they're just clever shortcuts in software. Handy tools to help people find places to eat, set reminders, and so much more.
What's more interesting is how such sophisticated software is used so naturally without any training. With assistants like Alexa, Siri and Bixby using smart tools like AI, machine learning and natural language processing to understand people and adapt to them individually. All while seeming friendly and easy to use.
They've become almost irreplaceable parts of our daily lives, yet when it comes to our work, they're virtually (pardon the pun) invisible. Why is this?
Holger Mueller of Constellation Research has written a paper on how
Unit4 pushes the ERP Platform to the next level with digital assistants.
Can they do anything for business?
The quick answer is yes, lots. But what and why aren't we using them?
The real challenge for businesses wanting to use digital assistants is how far. How far do you want to go? The more you restrict their access, the more you limit their usefulness.
Although, if tied to the right ERP software covering all areas of your organisation, they can start to become useful in all areas of your organisation. Here, they move way past simple actions like finding places and setting reminders. With the right set up, they can begin to automate tasks and do away with highly complex workflows and processes.
If you then add this to the "always on, never down" availability they offer, you begin to offer staff a whole new way of working.
What then makes this really exciting is their "conversational" People Experiences. Meaning people don't need training, they can simply pick up their phones and get stuff done. Just by having a "conversation" with the assistant.
Too good to be true? In theory, this all sounds brilliant, but can digital assistants actually do this? Yes, here's how.
How does that affect my day-to-day?
It's at the day-to-day, task level that digital assistants really transform People Experience. Helping you be more efficient and productive with your time.
They do this by automating simple everyday tasks, but it's how they do it that makes the difference. What this means is that you use them to do jobs that might have previously taken lots of steps, just by asking. Or potentially before you ask, once they get to know you.
For example, Wanda, Unit4's digital assistant, is one of the first digital assistants for business and works across your entire ERP platform.
This means you can do travel and expenses, timesheets, purchasing and more from your phone. You just need a messenger app. No training, no special terms, just ask and it will do.
Great, but I need a lot more help?
What's more exciting for users of digital assists is that all this functionality is only the beginning.
Enterprise digital assistants are only going to get smarter and more powerful. Able to do and understand more. Learning to tackle even more complex tasks and becoming deeply ingrained in your everyday.
Also, with the growth of voice activation, their conversational abilities are becoming even more natural. Helping you work faster than ever and move beyond needing to log in or access anything or possibly type.
Meaning your staff will have all the support they need in a form they can genuinely engage with and use.
By adopting digital assistants, you will revolutionise how you manage every aspect of your work.
Making every task more natural and easier to accomplish. And this is only the beginning, as their usefulness will only grow as they learn.
Making them indispensable for future-proofing what you do and how you do it. Because for those wanting to give their people the tools they need to succeed the revolution is here.