ITSM chatbots: what is it and why are they needed

According to the Deloitte report , AI platforms will allow government organizations to save 1.2 billion hours and $ 41.1 billion per year on Service Desk and service management by automating routine tasks. At the same time, analysts note that chatbots will help to use the capabilities of AI systems to automate business processes.

In this article, we talk about the benefits of chatbots for enterprises and ITSM processes, as well as what AI solutions are offered in ServiceNow.


/ The Flickr / Simon / CC
The ServiceNow held A survey of IT company executives: 87% of them say that automating business processes saves time, money and human resources. According to respondents, the benefit is manifested in an increase in the speed of decision-making (according to 83% of respondents). Another 69% of respondents find the benefit of automation in revenue growth, and 64% - in improving the competitiveness of the organization.

For example, Navistar International Corporation, a North American manufacturer of buses and trucks, is confident that machine-based software will be able to quickly recommend to customers which truck is best based on an analysis of their needs.

Through the use of artificial intelligence systems, Navistar could, for example, replace their fleet with unmanned trucks and gain an advantage in the market. And adding security features and better drone maintenance will create additional cash flows.

Why chatbots are useful


Gartner and ServiceNow note that chatbots will help to use the capabilities of AI systems at the level of business processes and interact with the audience or customers. Gartner estimates that by 2020, 25% of customer service and support services will integrate virtual assistants. Experts argue that chatbots will reduce the latency for loading pages and reduce the amount of resources that are needed to perform basic queries.

Marcel Shaw, an ITSM and ITAM expert, identifies three areas where chatbots can completely change how IT services are managed.

Assistance in solving the problems of workers

In one of our previous posts, we wrote that it is difficult for IT departments to distinguish between incident and problem due to confusion in ITIL terms. However, chatbots are not afraid of this confusion: they automatically distinguish between incidents and problems based on previous scenarios of their processing.

In addition, chatbots can analyze the behavior of users who often contact support, and automatically find solutions to their problems. And AI system employees will help fill gaps in knowledge by providing recommendations based on an analysis of their work.

Vice president and general manager of HR-departments ServiceNow Deepak Bharadwaj (Deepak R. Bharadwaj) considers that “soon virtual agents will help employees find the information they need.” This is confirmed by a survey of managers and employees of HR departments: 92% of HR specialists said that virtual assistants can simplify the search for the necessary data. At the same time, two-thirds of the managers surveyed believe that their employees will not experience difficulties when working with AI systems.

And Stephen Mann, chief analyst at ITSM.tools, believes chatbots allow employees to spend more time on interesting and complex, rather than routine, tasks. Mann calls the chatbots themselves “low-cost team members who never sleep and provide 24/7 technical support.”

Back-end automation

If we talk about working with ITSM-based back-end processes, chatbots with machine learning modules will be able to recognize problem patterns and eliminate malfunctions based on past experience. Therefore, information about previous problems (for example, server failure, cyberattacks), coupled with integrated technological solutions (security tools and monitoring the status of systems) allow us to automate the processes of eliminating back-end problems.

Integration of the ITSM chatbot with other solutions for managing development or maintenance will allow you to recognize potential problems and solve them faster using existing cases. If you integrate the chatbot with the IB solution, then the AI ​​systems will be able to detect non-standard activity, for example, frequent browser malfunctions. When a chatbot logs data about problems in the browser to the log, it makes forecasts of the development of this problem and recommendations for its elimination. Further, a chatbot, based on past experience, determines what caused the failures: network problems, cyber attack, or something else.

In addition, chatbots can be integrated with other services and applications of the company. Rajesh Ganesan, Product Manager, ManageEngine, says thanks to chatbots, “an organization can combine its tools with applications such as WhatsApp. This allows IT departments to provide better services to customers. ”

Knowledge Base Management

If you provide AI systems with access to knowledge bases, they will study the problem-solving patterns that employees of the organization use. Chatbots will be able to answer questions related to IT systems, educate users and give them recommendations. The final goal is to help users independently find the information they need without contacting technical support. In addition, AI-systems will help to regularly update the knowledge base and supplement it with new scenarios and solutions to problems.


/ The Flickr / kuhnmi / CC

What are the solutions at ServiceNow


Along with the Kingston release (which you can read about in our blog), ServiceNow has released an ITSM chatbot that combines ServiceNow Connect and IBM Watson Conversation.

The chatbot is preconfigured for several ITSM processes: from creating incidents and checking their status to searching for configuration units via CMDB . Using the ServiceNow web interface, you can create your own ITSM user cases for chatbot.

The ITSM chatbot is equipped with widgets for the service portal, as well as a control panel that allows you to monitor usage efficiency and view chat logs.

The technology has already been tested at the University of Alberta. 2 weeks after integration, the chatbot correctly processed 30% of the received requests. And after 2 months, the chatbot was able to manage 30 IT services. University IT specialists intend to unleash the potential of the tool and increase the accuracy of query processing to 80%.

You can see how the solution works at the university in this video.
A detailed video review decisions by ServiceNow and IBM can be found at this link.

Another ServiceNow product, Qlue, is still in the pipeline. In May 2017, ServiceNow announced the acquisition of Qlue, an AI company. The purchase will allow ServiceNow customers to use the Intelligent Automation Engine to solve everyday tasks with the help of chatbot features. Rahim Yaseen, co-founder and chief technology officer at Qlue, explains: “Chatbots will be able to perform simple, repetitive tasks and provide personalized on-line services to ServiceNow customers.”

Qlue can “answer” frequently asked questions (for example, “What is the status of my order?”) Or solve problems like the Internet connection is slow. ServiceNow plans to adapt Qlue to the tasks of different departments: from IT to HR and customer service.

The exact release date of Qlue has not yet been announced, but the creators are already working on implementing the solution in Now Platform.

In addition, ServiceNow announced their investment in the BuildOnMe startup, which is developing AI-based applications for Now Platform. As reported in Business Wire, BuildOnMe-chatbot Bob (BuildOn Bot) became the first HR-assistant, integrated into the Now Platform. Bob is able to help HR staff work with a knowledge base. At the same time, you can chat in human language to the chatbot.

For example, if an employee writes him the phrase “I recently had a baby,” Bob will display documents with information on the length of the parental leave and the amount of benefits that are used in this company. Bob can also handle employee requests related to vacations, days off, and other similar cases.

BuildOnMe also offers the BuildOn Claims AI system for claim management and a self-service portal for insurance and legal entities. Among the tasks that BuildOn Claims can solve are the following: automatic routing of calls, identification of fake documents and interaction with clients using a chatbot.



Other materials about working with ServiceNow from the corporate IT Guild blog: