As the head of infrastructure at The Hartford, one of the country’s leading insurance companies, Jo Ann balances maintaining operational stability with introducing new IT capabilities to the enterprise. Included in this is her team’s responsibility in strategically integrating IBM Watson-based products with applicable business and IT processes. As an early adopter of Watson services such as Watson Assistant, Watson Discovery and Watson Natural Language Understanding, the company has experienced improved productivity and effectiveness in key operational functions.

Please tell us about your project and how you’re using Watson in your business. 
After completing our transformation to an “IT as a service” (ITaaS) operating model, we embarked on a journey to further modernize our environment. Our focus was on velocity and resiliency. We have used Watson to enhance the experiences of our agents, end users and IT users; to accelerate our speed to market; and to create seamless operations across a multi-cloud environment—without compromising security or resiliency. 

What other measurable gains have you seen, and what do you hope to see in the future? 
One of our businesses processes a million emails per month. Watson was able to identify that while there were 200+ types of requests, 10 types of requests accounted for 80% of the volume. Using Watson Natural Language Understanding, the business flow has been transformed. Now, the requests are extracted, classified, validated or identified, then sent to a robotic process automation (RPA) solution for processing. This solution has cut costs associated with email intake, reduced the response time to our customers and improved the quality of our responses. 

What advice would you give your younger self? 
Take more calculated risks. Be bold. Be heard. 

What's the best career advice you've received? 
Persevere and deliver! 

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