February 24, 2020
After receiving many enthusiastic responses from multiple customers (including Transavia) who started implementing our Human Resource chatbot Hablo, we rolled out our own chatbot for internal use. We saw many opportunities for automating our internal conversations. Specifically for human resource purposes such as onboarding, recruitment, payroll, et cetera. That’s how Ivy was born.
Aligned with our core values of innovating fearlessly, staying hungry and evolving together, we aimed higher than the average chatbot. Our team aspired to create a true Virtual Assistant. One that would act as one entry point for all employee questions. She had to provide value in ways no one could fully foresee. For this to work, Ivy needed to be integrated into all of our backend systems and personal applications. We gave one of our brand new developers, Pepijn Elferink, the main responsibility for developing Ivy.
“Being thrown in the deep end and leading the Ivy project was a great opportunity,” said Elferink. “It’s great to see the satisfaction from my colleagues. Their mundane tasks have been taken off their hands. This experience – enabling co-workers to be more human by offloading repetitive manual tasks to Ivy – is our exact company vision brought to life. We are practicing what we preach.”
So, what can Ivy really do? For starters, she handles every basic F.A.Q.-question. To make this happen, Elferink used Google’s Machine Learning-models to analyze our entire HR knowledge-base to automatically extract questions and answers.
Elferink’s next mission was to integrate Ivy with our entire landscape of applications. After some serious struggles with the API’s of Slack, Monday and Google Calendar, Elferink managed to make Ivy interact with most of our systems. Now, our team-members communicate with Ivy in Slack and ask her to schedule meetings in Google Calendar or to create tasks in Monday. This led to a very fast adoption of Ivy company-wide.
Elferink’s final task was to ensure that Ivy’s personality traits reflected our beliefs and values. So, he forged her responses, attitude and persona into a helpful, professional and firm but polite Virtual Assistant. Ivy always thinks a few steps ahead and ocassionaly engages in smalltalk or cracks a joke to amuse her human colleagues.
With Ivy, we have now created our own Artificial Intelligent Virtual Assistant. One that not only processes simple questions and tasks, but also seamlessly integrates with all systems and communication channels. Ivy is a very welcome addition to the team and easily adapts to the fast growing organization. She is available 24/7 and answers incoming requests and questions within seconds.
We are thrilled with Ivy’s strong early performance. Especially with the excitement she instills in employees when they discover how quickly and accurately Ivy performs tasks they previously needed to do themselves. But, while Ivy exceeds our original expectations, innovation at Ciphix remains a continual process. Our team is now working to fine-tune the conversational experience in order to better meet our customers’ and our own needs and expectations. “The more people engage with Ivy, the more we can begin to anticipate and implement necessary adjustments,” said Elferink. “This helps us to achieve our goal of being on top and ahead of our customers’ expectations.”
Photo by John Schnobrich.