An AI-powered voice-enabled Intranet

The largest water utility company in the US wanted to break away from the traditional intranet user interface. The goal was to give their workforce a digital experience as powerful as any other in their personal life. With this goal in mind, Accion designed an interactive personalized, voice-enabled, intelligent and conversational UI was to be designed to engage over 6700+ employees spread across 47 states in the US.


ML-based Voice-enabled Intranet for Employees

Today, technology and customer experience trends are being defined by a new breed of technology giants - like Amazon, Google and Apple. Most organizations aspire to design their digital experience similar to many of these leading Internet and e-commerce companies, aiming to achieve benefits for their business and enhance customer experience.

Accion proposed a personalized, voice-enabled and intelligent Intranet experience for the client. The project required Accion to design and build a system that converged content and data across divisional boundaries of the company, reengineer legacy architecture, redesign the user interface, and power it with natural language processing. This was the Accion Extended Delivery Center (EDC) engagement model in action.


Accion Discovery Workshops and Deep Dive Sessions

The Accion methodology is founded on co-development and virtual teams, moving outside the ‘black box’ model of technology development. Ash Bijoor, AccionLabs CTO, gave the highest priority to discovery and deep dive sessions with the client. Beginning with the right questions, Accions helped establish a workflow to map out client requirements. Based on the results of this process, Accion proposed the development of a Conversational Interface Platform that integrated various backend enterprise applications to provide conversational widgets. These widgets were designed to help address the most frequently cited frustrations of employees, enhancing their shared values and the corporate culture of the company.


Design-Build-Deploy Conversational UI

The goal was to deliver information in a fast, easy and collaborative way - and in turn unlock significant productive time for employees. The Intranet solution was designed to be a single digital touchpoint for every employee, giving them the freedom to work across departments and application interfaces, as well as get customized content based on role and area of interest.

The voice-enabled interface worked as a hands-free ‘keyboard’, since voice commands can open up emails, set up calendar invites, fetch documents from folders, and more. The UI took a step toward the future workplace experience, where most of the work is done by a digital personal assistant, with no need to touch the device screen or navigate through menu boards and dashboards.

The CTO of the company wanted to dream big for his employees and wanted to deliver the excitement of having access to latest technologies currently in their personal lives like YouTube, Messaging Services, Chat, Online Search, Personalized feeds and others right in their work desks” - Jane Poojari, Director-Accion Innovation Center, Accion Labs


Unique Features

The solution delivered for this client was all of the emerging technologies in action.

A proactive intelligent interface is ready with answers. It is most likely the first for any water utility company in the US. The integration of machine learning and natural language processing made most of the scattered data readily available to the users within seconds of their query. The platform was designed with a personal assistant feature to take care of most of the search, navigation and typing functions for every employee.

The solution showed the power of voice commands to get work done. The smart search feature, with natural language processes, executes a search across multiple data sources, both structured and unstructured. The feature looks up information from the intranet in seconds, without a single button tap, touch, or scroll.

Email takes center stage when it comes to conversations in any workplace. The Email Assistant feature sends out notifications of important emails, provides quick email responses using voice, and provides unattended email alerts. In addition to the email widget, the Calendar Assist creates actionable notifications for calendar events and quick event creation as an interactive meeting scheduler. The Contacts Assistant feature is designed to help users search and connect with employees across all locations using an assisted search function.

The proactive Intranet platform knows the user, and provides relevant content based on content preferences - different content for a safety engineer and a chemical engineer, for example. The personalized content feeds features news, articles and updates for every employee.


Framework and Technology Stack

The `Accion Breeze` framework is at the heart of this new platform, with Zephyr components for implementing the conversational interface. The combination of these frameworks supports a whole range of devices and cloud platforms. The Conversational Widgets and Automation Agents are integrated to implement various types of conversations across a wide range users.

Devices and voice support for voice and text is available for almost all applications for natural language processing, including Amazon Alexa, Cortona, Siri, Google Home, Google Chrome and others.


Want to increase employee engagement? Contact us  and discuss how Accion may help put emerging technologies to use.