Fingent | Delivering Cutting-edge Technologies | Varghese Samuel

Fingent | Delivering Cutting-edge Technologies | Varghese Samuel

Varghese Samuel

Chairman and CEO

Fingent is a Global IT company providing strategic IT business solutions and services for complex business problems, in multiple industry sectors including retail, healthcare, finance, education, and more. Their technology and industry expertise enables them to deliver cutting-edge internet technologies and scalable, secure, and easy-to-use web applications that work across multiple devices. They believe that the judicious use of technology, together with a good design can reduce complexity, connect individuals, and provide valuable insights, all of which ultimately help businesses succeed.

Most reportage about the near term impact of Artificial Intelligence or AI these days, verges on one of two extremes – fear mongering over mass unemployment on one hand, or radical transformation on the other. At Fingent, we believe that the near term impact of AI lies not in either of these blunt polarizing extremes, but in a nuanced middle. Jobs that seemed hard to automate, like service desks, journalism or law, are slowly adopting Machine Learning. However, even with the recent extraordinary advancements in AI, the near future will see humans and AI working together to generate greater value than either could alone. This case study dives deep into one such scenario, where an internal HR help desk is managed by a Machine Learning bot, with support from people who did the work before it took over. It demonstrates how human-AI collaboration can work effectively to generate significant value.

The PeopleOps (HR) team at Fingent plays an integral role in fulfilling Fingent’s mission to build people up by creating the environment that enables a people centric high performance culture. As we grow in numbers, the role of PeopleOps becomes even more crucial. Newly hired employees often ask many questions to the PeopleOps team directly. In contrast, long-serving employees prefer to find answers using self-service tools, such as an employee management portal or a set of FAQs. This forces the PeopleOps team to reduce their focus on planning and strategy as well as building a personal connection, as they spend more time on low-value activities. What the HR team faces finally is frustration due to overwork, inefficacy, and low morale.

“How does your HR team offer timely assistance to employees while working remotely? How do they manage additional responsibilities such as checking on the health and wellness of employees during a pandemic and overcoming virtual communication challenges?”

A few months back, Fingent also faced the same question. We had to switch to remote working swiftly in the middle of March 2020.

Our HR Team was pressed to transform their service delivery model. They were spending a lot of time on routine, repetitive, and transactional tasks at the expense of more strategic activities like planning for growth, competence building, people engagement, learning and development, etc.

When employees need more support from the HR team during the pandemic, the latter is forced to spend their time on routine and mundane tasks. This situation increases stress for both employees and HRs.

For instance, providing moral support or arranging emergency medical aid for an employee who tested positive for COVID-19 is more crucial than answering a common question like “How many casual leaves do I have?” or “Is there a holiday on next Monday?”

Unfortunately, much of the HR time is wasted in managing routine activities like answering common employee questions. If answering a query wastes 10 minutes of an HR associate, it’s equal to wasting their one full workweek annually.

Hiring more people to do low-value and monotonous jobs did not align with our values. Though a self-service portal could help the employees, it cannot effectively spare our PeopleOps team from the rote tasks.

The solution?

Developing an HR chatbot using Artificial Intelligence will improve the productivity of our HR team. A chatbot almost serves as a virtual employee working 24/7 without incurring heavy expenses. We realized that our PeopleOps (People Operations) team can minimize their workplace struggles using an AI-powered virtual assistant.

Multi Utility Smart Assistant, aka MUSA, is an AI-powered virtual assistant (a chatbot) integrated with Fingent Hub – Fingent’s internal employee management system. MUSA enables employees to get answers to common queries related to HR and IT DevOps processes at Fingent.

The virtual assistant helps our employees with questions pertaining to their leaves, company policy, hardware or software issues, IT requests, and many more.

Let’s say an employee wants to know about their remaining leaves or upcoming holidays. Ask MUSA! He will find it for them.

Our AI experts make MUSA undergo rigorous and continuous training so that it develops the capability to answer most of the HR and IT questions posed by our employees.

Realizing the development and integration of an AI Virtual Assistant (chatbot) to Fingent’s internal employee management application is the best solution to address our PeopleOps challenges, our think thanks and SMEs evaluated several AI tools that could help us with the chatbot development.

Why Fingent chose IBM Watson?

IBM Watson Assistant provides users with fast, consistent, and accurate answers across any device or channel, such as websites, messaging channels, customer service tools or mobile apps. Watson leverages AI to learn from customer conversations, thereby improving its ability to resolve issues the first time. This helps eliminate common business challenges such as the frustration of long wait times, tedious searches, and unhelpful portals. Watson Assistant is 14.7% more accurate than competitive solutions.

Watson’s simple and intuitive interface requires no developer experience. Since the chatbot comes with a visual dialog editor, a person without any coding experience can also develop it. Using Machine Learning, Watson automatically identifies the topics from previous chats. It offers pre-built content and analytics capabilities to make user interactions seamless and robust.

Watson can be easily connected to any channels you use, be it your website, mobile app, kiosk, or messenger apps. Watson offers several out-of-the-box integrations to accelerate the deployment. Watson Assistant can be connected to any of your apps using APIs and can be deployed in your private cloud or on-premises. It offers the flexibility to create customized connections to any platforms like Salesforce, Avaya, Cisco, and so on.

Fingent Award

At Fingent, we believe that the near-term impact of AI lies not in either of these blunt polarizing extremes, but in a nuanced middle.

Varghese Samuel

Chairman and CEO