Is Your Service Desk Ready for AI?

Cognitive Service ManagementBy Dick Stark

I just finished a new non-fiction best seller, Life 3.0, Being Human in the Age of Artifical Intelligence by Mark Tegmark, an MIT professor and expert in this space. It is an excellent, comprehesive book that covers, the past, present and future of AI, including topics such as machine learning, weapons, future scenarios, and consciousness. “Life 3.0,” by the way hasn’t arrived yet. It is the stage when AI will merge with humanity and allow us to evolve our “own software and hardware, without having to wait for it to gradually evolve over generations.” And Life 3.0 will arrive sooner than many think possible.

AI is clearly at the innovation stage for those early adopters willing to take a chance on new technology. According to Gartner, most of the largest 200 companies will integrate AI into their systems in 2018, and a September 12, 2017 MeriTalk article predicts that Government agencies are expected to include AI applications on their budget wish lists for FY 2018. What does this mean and how can large organizations us AI? Whit Andrews, a Gartner analyst provided three likely scenarios:

  • One in three organizations will link AI to customer engagement applications
  • Three in 10 will integrate AI into call center service and support processes.
  • One in four will integrate AI into digital marketing operations.

Customer support and service is clearly a good fit for the use of AI on a service desk.

As I mentioned in a previous post, another BMC partner is offering a Remedy AI solution from Next IT, an AI company focused on virtual agents, or chatbots. Next IT offers virtual agent technology to enable better communication between companies and their customers and prospective customers. And just yesterday at Exchange NY, BMC rolled out its AI offering or Cognitive Service Management (CSM) to its customers.

CSM encompasses predicative intelligence, virtual agents, and a digital workplace chatbot. Built on top of the Remedy Innovation Suite, a customer can connect with either a live or virtual agent using any type of messaging such as chat or voice. The beauty of the Innovation Suite is that it allows developers or customers to incorporate cognitive services into complex custom processes and workflows. IBM’s Watson is the “brains” behind the scenes. The objective: provide a rapid and excellent response, with an impressive ROI, by removing the human interaction. It’s not clear when CSM will start shipping from BMC, but early next year is likely.

Where’s ServiceNow? My guess is that BMC is well ahead of ServiceNow, thanks to its head start in its Digital Workplace technology (MyIT and Smart IT) and its Innovation Suite platform. Although ServiceNow bought Qlue, a virtual agent technology startup, BMC should easily retain its innovation advantage with its Cognitive Service Management offerings.

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About dick1stark

I am the President, CEO, and founder of RightStar Systems, a leading IT consultancy and BMC Software Solution Provider and Atlassian Expert Partner. My passion is customer success—whether it’s reducing the cost of service management, improving overall efficiency, or increasing end-user or employee satisfaction. Since founding RightStar in 2003, RightStar has made the INC 5000 list four times. In 2011, RightStar was awarded the prestigious National Capital Business Ethics Award (NCBEA) by the Society of Financial Service Professionals based upon RightStar’s foundation of honesty, ethics, and integrity. And in 2014, RightStar was selected by Forrester Research as one of 13 North American companies profiled in its ITSM Consultancy Wave Report. Finally, in 2016, BMC selected RightStar as its 2015 Supplier of the Year for its consulting partnership and excellence in service delivery. Dick is a graduate of Stanford University and a Project Management Professional (PMP).
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