Need an ITSM Chatbot Now? Try Our New IBM Watson Virtual Agent

At Knowledge17, we talked about intelligent automation, and how ServiceNow is using it to tackle today’s biggest IT problems. Since then, we’ve continued to make tremendous progress, using intelligent automation to prevent outages, automatically categorize and route work, predict future performance and benchmark performance against peers.

Now, add virtual agents to that list. Back in May, we acquired Qlue – a leader in the concept of an Omni channel, conversational UI – and we’re busy integrating this technology into the NOW platform. In future releases, we’re planning to leverage the full capabilities of virtual agents to help you:

  • Deliver automated 24×7 support
  • Respond more quickly to customers
  • Improve service desk deflection rates
  • Free up support staff for more complex, higher-value work
  • Utilize a cConversational UI for business transactions

Can’t Wait for Qlue?

Then we’ve got great news. Along with our Kingston launch, we’re also releasing an ITSM chatbot that combines the power of ServiceNow Connect and the IBM Watson™ Conversation service. Available through ServiceNow Share, this IBM Watson Integration is a great way to get started if your business needs a ServiceNow chatbot today – or you just want to explore virtual agents.  As long as you have an IBM Watson account with an enabled Conversation Service workspace, that’s all you need. You can sign up for a free IBM Watson trial account here.

Customers are using it now

The University of Alberta – a global leader in Artificial Intelligence,  went live with their Watson-based chatbot on the NOW platform in just two months. Within two weeks of launch, the virtual agent was handling 30% of the most common requests.  Get the details here and watch the video of this success story here.

How does it work?

The IBM Watson Integration comes preconfigured to support several common ITSM use cases, from creating incidents and checking their status, through to searching the ServiceNow knowledgebase, retrieving CI information, displaying outstanding approvals, and asking to speak to a live agent. You can also add your own use cases, configuring the agent directly from the ServiceNow web interface.

The agent also comes with a brandable service portal widget, a dashboard that lets you track virtual agent utilization and success rates, and a full set of conversation logs.

Check out this detailed overview video for this integration.

How Easy Is It to Get Started?

You can get the virtual agent up and running in less than a day. Simply download the agent from ServiceNow Share. There’s a full guided setup, and it will even automatically upload the required natural language processing (NLP) configuration to your IBM Watson Conversation Service. Adding your own use cases takes more effort, but you can use the preconfigured use cases as examples.

Is There Anything Else I Should Know?

The virtual agent only supports IBM Watson for NLP – unlike our long-term offering, which is planned to support a wide range of NLP services. It is also purpose built for the ServiceNow Connect chat meaning integrations with other chat clients would need to be custom built. Also, this integration is not forward-compatible with our long term Qlue based solution.  You may continue to use this integration with ServiceNow Connect as long as you like. Finally, because the virtual agent is being released through ServiceNow Share, no support is available.

In conclusion, chatbots are helping customers make work better.  ServiceNow ensures that whether our customer use partner technology, such as Watson, or the Now platform they can drive these innovations effectively.