Oracle introduces new enterprise digital assistant

Going beyond typical chatbots built for a single purpose, the Oracle Digital Assistant can be trained to support domain skills from multiple applications.

At the OpenWorld conference this week, Oracle is introducing the Oracle Digital Assistant, which Oracle calls the next generation of enterprise chatbots. While typical chatbots are built for a single purpose, the Digital Assistant can be trained to support domain skills from multiple applications, such as HR, ERP, CRM or CX.

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The digital assistant provides a simplified user experience, since an employee only has to interact with one assistant rather than one for each application, Suhas Uliyar, Oracle's VP of AI, Bots & Mobile Product Management, said to ZDNet.

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"As an employee of an organization, it becomes onerous to find out, 'How do I interact with this skill?'" he said. "Digital assistant is the one singular point, which routes between questions asked."

Using AI, the digital assistant gets smarter as it begins to understand user preferences, Uliyar said. For example, if a manager typically reviews expense reports on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the assistant would proactively pull up expense reports on those days. Once it understood the manager's review process, it might recommend which reports to review first.

Oracle has also tapped its customer data to make the digital assistant more proactive and intelligent.

"Oracle has the breadth and depth of all applications and business processes an enterprise may need... sales, marketing, ERP, HCM, SCM -- all the acryonyms you can think of," he said. "As a result, we have business data we can use to train our machine learning models."

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Users can converse with the digital assistant via a voice interface, but it is platform agnostic. It's optimized to support popular messaging platforms including Slack, Facebook Messenger, WeChat and Amazon's Alexa.

The assistant also comes with built-in analytics to monitor user behavior and app performance.

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