HFS Research Highlights Five Critical Requirements for Designing a Hybrid Workforce of Digital and Human Employees

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New report reviews best practices from enterprise leaders for deploying automation and cognitive AI when creating hybrid workforces to maximize business value.

NEW YORK, February 18, 2020 — HFS Research, in collaboration with IPsoft, the leader in enterprise AI, last week released a new report detailing the five most critical requirements when designing, building and deploying Digital Employees in order to achieve maximum business value within a company.

Download the report here.

We’re deep in a transition from traditional labor and physical business models towards those that are touchless and digital. However, many businesses are struggling to make the shift, with a study from HFS Research, supported by KPMG, revealing that a combined 40% of 2,000 C-level enterprise leaders say that their most immediate business pressures are shifting from physical to digital experiences, and providing personalization and customization of products to customers.

In the new report, Propel Your Business Operations ‘Straight to Digital’ with Digital Associates, HFS Research advocates that enterprises should use conversational AI-powered Digital Associates (another term for Digital Employees) to move “Straight to Digital” and tailor solutions, products and overall customer experiences. Digital Associates (Digital Employees) are tools that combine conversational and cognitive learning capabilities to drive business outcomes, such as reducing costs, improving productivity and providing better customer experiences.

The report also provides a critical roadmap for organizations looking to take advantage of these automation and cognitive AI technologies.

Five Critical Requirements for Designing a Hybrid Workforce

Speaking to five enterprises that have introduced digital employees into different business processes, from customer services to IT service desk management, HFS Research identified five critical principles for designing a hybrid workplace and deploying AI-powered conversational systems.

Despite the wide variety of use cases, the report states that these five important principles will “help [companies] define and execute on a strategy that benefits all of the stakeholders in [their] ecosystem rather than just having a ‘tick-the-box’ approach to the technology.”

The five principles for designing a hybrid workplace and deploying AI-powered conversational systems are:

  1. Empower your employees with digital [employees] to provide superior customer service, for example, with the digital employee acting as a whisper agent to guide the employee to improve consistency and accuracy.
  1. Train your digital [employees] to achieve the desired outcomes and set them up to deliver against future use cases. As with human employees, investment should be made in identifying where the digital employee can create the most value, and the information and processes that will enable them to achieve this. 
  1. Design digital [employees] to be “channel agnostic” to make experiences touchless and seamless. People don’t tend to think in terms of channel, they just want issues resolved (whether it’s a password reset or product refund). Create a central, seamless hub from which users can get the immediate support they need, whether they want to use text or voice to interact. 
  1. Apply smart design tactics to remove high friction, low-value human interactions. Identify interactions that are time-consuming, repetitive and low-value that digital employees can completely take over. Then, design the automated process based on how the human would interact to this query to deliver a seamless end-user experience. This means human representatives can focus on interactions with greater value to the customer or with higher revenue potential for the company.
  1. Leverage digital [employees] to drive compliance and security throughout your organization by having them validate self-serve processes that might otherwise have taken human employees countless hours of resolution time. This also helps increase the security of processes information and reduces the risk of errors that can trigger security and regulatory issues, particularly in highly-regulated industries like healthcare and finance.

HFS Research also confirmed the value of using Digital Employees to augment the capabilities of human employees. The study determined that companies deploying Digital Employees strategically to empower human employees deliver better customer service than those that use AI solely as an opportunity to reduce headcount.

Chetan Dube, IPsoft Founder and CEO commented: “We’re seeing increased integration between human and digital employees in the workplace to drive positive experiences and outcomes for all of an organization’s stakeholders – customers, partners, employees and shareholders alike. This new study from HFS Research has revealed how important it is for organizations to move ‘Straight to Digital’ to remain competitive through reducing costs, improving productivity and providing better customer experiences.”

“Based on our experience working with global leading organizations, we recognize the five critical requirements that HFS Research has identified as integral to the success of any hybrid workforce initiative. Our partners have pioneered this approach and achieved tremendous results when aligning human and digital employees for collaborative work experiences. These trailblazers have helped establish the roadmap so that organizations across all sectors can be confident in achieving a tangible Return on AI Investment (ROAI).”

IPsoft’s Digital Employee, Amelia has repeatedly been identified as industry-leading by independent analyst firms, including Forrester, Everest Group and Ovum.

Join the Conversation on ‘Straight to Digital’

To expand on the issues and insights in the report, HFS Research will be hosting a free webinar on Friday, Feb. 28th at 11 am ET/4 pm GMT to review how Digital Associates can deliver operational and business value within any organization. The webinar also will include enterprise leaders discussing their “Straight to Digital” journeys.

About HFS

The HFS mission is to provide visionary insight into the major innovations impacting business operations: Automation, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Internet of Things, Digital Business Models and Smart Analytics.

HFS defines and visualizes the future of business operations across key industries with its OneOffice™ Framework.

HFS influences the strategies of enterprise customers, to help them develop OneOffice backbones to be competitive and to partner with capable services providers, technology suppliers, and third-party advisors. The "As-a-Service Economy" and "OneOffice" are revolutionizing the industry.

About Amelia

Amelia is the enterprise leader in Trusted AI. As a pioneer in AI, Amelia has a proven track record of innovation in automation and Conversational AI. Amelia’s platform captures the rapid innovation of AI ecosystems and transforms these innovations into enterprise grade products ready for customer consumption. Enterprises use Amelia to drive revenue in conversational experiences and enable productivity through operations automation. Amelia is consistently recognized by third-party analyst firms as a market leader. With offices in the US, Europe and Asia Pacific, enterprises trust Amelia’s products and solutions to serve customers on a global basis. See how Amelia is powering the future of work at amelia.ai.

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