Have you met Wanda, your digital assistant?

Posted by  Claus Jepsen

Read any technology websites these days, and you’ll find chatbots* are a hot topic. It’s not like they’re new – think of Siri and Cortana – but suddenly they are in the public view and are becoming a lifehack norm. Users are asking, “If I can have these features on my Smartphone, why can’t I use them at work?”

There shouldn’t be a digital downgrade at work, application-specific bots are a priority for us. As I’ve said before, if you can buy a cup of coffee from a mobile app, why can’t you do the same in your enterprise software?

That’s where Wanda, your digital assistant, comes in. Wanda can fill out your timesheets, make purchases, and interact with your Outlook calendar and emails. She is busy learning more tasks to automate our customers’ workflows based on past behavior, enabling them to focus on higher level tasks and lessening errors in data entry – a predictive one she is!

Naysayers might think enterprise bots are a gimmick, but actually the opposite is true. Users will make less errors, be freed from time sucking mechanical tasks and have more time to focus on running their businesses.

Customers and analysts who attended Unit4 Connect 2016 in New Orleans met Wanda for the first time. She very ably processed a purchase from requisition to approval, then shepherded the transaction through accounting to payment. She also completed a project manager’s timesheets, correcting her assumed entries based on conversation, then submitted the timesheet to HR. What used to take hours of paperwork was completed in 10-minutes.

Wanda will soon make her debut in early 2017. In the meantime, I leave you with this thought: if Wanda gave you back one hour each day, how would you choose to use it?


*What exactly are bots? 

"A bot is an autonomous machine interface that's built to serve a purpose that traditionally was served by a human," says Michael Facemire, a principal analyst with Forrester Research.

Bots can stimulate human conversation, but their greatest strength lies in the capability to simplify business processes that don't require human intervention, according to Adam Fingerman, chief experience officer at Arctouch, a mobile app design and development company. "From a utility point of view, bots will have an even bigger impact on how we work than how we live," he says.  

Source: Taking a closer look at bots, itnews.com


Claus Jepsen

Claus Jepsen

Claus Jepsen is Unit4’s Chief Architect and Head of the Innovation Labs focused on building cloud-based, super-scalable solutions and leading technology and feature incubation and innovation projects. Claus and his team have recently been focusing on researching, designing and building next-generation user experience for enterprise software, most noticeable is Unit4’s digital assistant Wanda and supporting technologies.

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