Redefine digital productivity: Announcing IBM Digital Business Assistant

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Understanding information is more important than ever, but many of the tools organizations use aren’t exactly built for this complex and changing digital age.

High-value employees are overloaded with:

  • Data, scattered across many tools, including enterprise applications (enterprise resource planning [ERP], customer relationship management [CRM], and support systems), spreadsheets, calendars, apps, social media and email
  • Endless routine tasks, such as sifting through email clutter, adding countless action items to various lists, finding information on demand and keeping up with updates to collaboration channels
  • Constant interruptions, such as meetings, phone calls, instant messages and other endless requests that ruin to-do lists

Workers aren’t imagining being spread too thin; it’s really happening. The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that by 2020, there’s likely to be a shortage of approximately 40 million high- skilled workers and 45 million medium-skill workers.

At the same time, IDC reports that digital data is expected to surge to 160 zettabytes by 2025. With a shortage of workers to manage this mounting data, employees need to work smarter.

To help make that happen, IBM is announcing a solution: IBM Digital Business Assistant. It’s a customizable, intelligent personal assistant that integrates with the existing data sources that matter to users, helping to optimize productivity. Powered by analytics and IBM Watson, the digital assistant can proactively detect complex situations, integrate information from diverse sources, and make smart and actionable recommendations based on context.

While many digital assistants are difficult to use and configure or have trouble handling complex demands, IBM Digital Business Assistant is different.

Ease of use

IBM Digital Business Assistant empowers business users to rapidly create that the personal assistant can understand. It can then automatically detect and respond to complex business situations without the need for IT intervention.

Users can configure the tool to either take immediate action or make recommendations for next steps. This can save workers hours of time sifting through information and numerous tools. Improved efficiency, better decisions and customer experiences are some of the potential benefits.


Customized by users, for users

Many productivity tools focus on improving collaboration and organizing information, but these capabilities alone aren’t customized for a specific user’s key performance indicators and preferred tools and processes for working.

IBM Digital Business Assistant enables employees to integrate information from sources they use and customize actions and notifications. The tool even learns their interactions and makes proactive recommendations based on context.

Connectors that will be available in IBM Digital Business Assistant include:


Pre-built skills to accelerate adoption

IBM Digital Business Assistant helps workers easily build on productivity assets created by others through a catalog of customizable, pre-built skills. This helps users get started quickly, without relying on IT. Because this capability lends itself to easy scalability, it’s particularly useful for departments and business partners.

Here’s an example of how it works:

Scenario: Alice is a relationship manager for dozens of customers. She’s faced with an overwhelming amount of data in disparate locations, including new sales opportunities, trouble tickets, product logs, CRM updates and more. Depending on the relationship between these pieces of information, she could need to take any one of dozens of actions.

The IT department can’t configure and reconfigure a personalized solution to help her recognize important events, automate responses and advise her on best courses of action. But now she can do it herself with IBM Digital Business Assistant.

Alice goes into the IBM Digital Business Assistant catalog, where she sees a pre-built skill for “Spot Opportunities.”

Step 1

She clicks to personalize this skill for the customers in her territory. Alice wants to be notified when one of her customers has a new cross-sell opportunity but also has existing support tickets that could affect the success of that sale.

Step 2

IBM Digital Business Assistant will now notify Alice when it detects this situation, saving her from manually synthesizing the information.

Step 3

Sign up to participate in the free beta version of IBM Digital Business Assistant and send us your feedback.

And be sure to check us out at IBM InterConnect at booth #566, starting 20 March, 2017.

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