Cognitive capabilities revolutionize business operations

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External forces make today’s business world increasingly challenging.

On the one hand, due to a continuing global financial crisis, businesses must deal with pressure to reduce costs while increasing visibility and control. They also must abide by new, stringent regulatory compliance rules.

On the other hand, client expectations are changing radically. The high-touch, expert-driven models that older generations were so used to must move aside for a fast, innovative, personalized and digital approach to interact and transact with clients.

Business process management as a discipline is, more than ever, pivotal to the success of any enterprise, large or small. Business processes underpin any product or service. Core services such as opening an account, fulfilling an order or registering a tax filing are a repeatable and structured set of activities that constitute a process.

Improving business processes has a profound impact on financial outcomes. It drives cost reduction by automating procedures, eliminating paper processing and reducing error. It can increase revenue by helping launch new products faster.

IBM has been a leader working with clients to improve their business processes. IBM solutions are used to:

  • Model and document business processes for regulatory compliance
  • Execute and automate processes to reduce reliance on paper
  • Monitor business processes through real time dashboards

These dashboards are the springboards for enhancing or improving processes.

For the past several years, IBM has been perfecting capabilities and tools for cognitive APIs. Ever since Watson won on Jeopardy, IBM has made strides in artificial intelligence in several industries, including health care and financial services. Today, a variety of cognitive services, such as tone analyzer, personality insight, speech recognition and natural language processors, are available to developers on the IBM cloud platform.

When these cognitive tools are combined with a business process management (BPM) approach, immense value can be unleashed  scaling human expertise while ensuring cost reductions and enhancing customer experience.

cognitive business bpm

Banks are often challenged with thousands of emails each month: complaints, requests for changes to personal information or inquiries about services. Handling these communications requires a huge amount of manpower. It is a source of customer frustration and is one of the main causes of churn.

Cognitive capabilities can help solve this complex problem. It can scan through email communication and, using a natural language classifier, identify the intent of the client’s email. Subsequently, the request is automatically routed by triggering the appropriate business process, from complaint management to the department that handles credit card transaction disputes.

Plus, the tone analyzer can gauge the client’s state of mind. In the case of perceived dissatisfaction, it can trigger a churn-prevention process to mitigate the risk of losing a customer to a competitor. These cognitive capabilities can result in millions of dollars in cost savings and can improve response times by up to 50 percent.

BPM and cognitive can also help with the early detection of flu outbreaks. Hospitals and concerned government agencies all have processes in place to respond to such epidemics, but they incur additional costs when relying on admission data, which comes late in the process.

A cognitive API can help identify a flu epidemic much earlier. It can scan through social feeds and detect, then correlate tweets related to people with fevers, coughing or dizziness. This correlation across a massive number of Twitter feeds can indicate a flu outbreak up to 24 hours earlier. It can then trigger business rules and processes that enable hospitals and government agencies to be proactive and ready to handle the influx of sick people. It also helps epidemiologists produce better drugs.

Human resource departments can augment the hiring process using cognitive computing. Traditional hiring processes using resumes, interviews and references are often insufficient to hire the best candidate for a job. The hiring process can be transformed with a personality insight cognitive service that scans through the candidate’s social profile, posts, likes and mentions. HR pros can better qualify if the candidate is a fit for the job taking into consideration these social characteristics.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of what can be done. The possibilities are endless. BPM is already a process-improvement platform, but when combined with cognitive process, improvements can be achieved at scale.

Learn more about how Watson and the IBM Cloud platform support cognitive solutions.

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