Dortmund | 28. January 2020
The BOTTO digital assistant now provides active support in the service business of Fiducia & GAD IT AG. To ensure innovative development in the banking sector, the IT service provider for Volks- und Raiffeisenbanken sought reinforcement from its industry colleague adesso. In a project, a service assistant was developed that automatically provide bankers with information about their banking business in accordance with their individual needs.
Fiducia & GAD IT serves around 900 banks of Germany’s cooperative financial network (genossenschaftliche Finanzgruppe) with over 80 million bank accounts in Germany. The IT services range from computer centre operation and online banking procedures to advice on bank-specific innovations. These topics generate around 500,000 enquiries a year from employees of the affiliated Volks- und Raiffeisenbanken to the central Fiducia Service Centre. Until now, communication has taken place via telephone, website form or email. Communication with customers used to take place via telephone, web form or e-mail and is now supplemented by the new service. adesso has now developed a virtual assistance system called BOTTO for Fiducia & GAD to improve the quality of this service. From now on, BOTTO is to answer in particular questions of assurance or standard information and thus relieve the customer service.
The AI machine learning discipline played a significant role in the programming of BOTTO: The assistant was trained to “read” all documents, manuals and information available in the banking systems, to break them down into small semantic units to form categories and to generate a keyword-based knowledge database on its own. On this basis, it will soon be able to automatically assign and process requests from bank employees that come in via a web interface.
Götz Weber, the project manager at Fiducia & GAD, talks about an “agile IT speedboat” in the group: “The special feature is that we have largely automated our knowledge management by integrating knowledge. This distinguishes BOTTO from other assistance systems, where the dialogues are still set and maintained manually.” The successful test phase showed that the average processing time with BOTTO is reduced by three minutes per request. This relieves the IT service provider’s hotline and shortens customer waiting times.
Technically, the bot is based on the Azure Cloud Services and Bot Framework technologies in addition to the Cognitive Services from Microsoft. In the next expansion stage, the assistant will also be able to issue text-based answers individually, tailoring them to specific user questions. In the medium term – according to the plan – BOTTO will also learn to speak as a chatbot and communicate with customers in real time.
For adesso project manager, Fabian Höger, the self-learning BOTTO is a real innovation in the field of AI-based services: “A bot system like this one, which trains itself independently and has this combination of different features, is a real novelty in the IT landscape to date.”
After the system goes live in the group, adesso will also accompany the further development and maturing of BOTTO.
It has been shown that an application like BOTTO can play to its strengths in the business environment Fiducia operates in: a situation that involves large case numbers, complex topics and extensive text information, which are widely dispersed and constantly updated. There is already a solution in place for requests that the bot cannot resolve alone: BOTTO is able to independently forward the relevant service tickets to the responsible specialists within the company.