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To say that digital is easing the life of humans is an understatement. From buying groceries to booking flights everything has become digital, and the people are guided through intuitive interfaces to complete these tasks which redefine the consumer experience. But why is the workforce alone, still caught in a time warp? The employees are made to go through hordes of files from disparate sources to access HR and benefits related information. As employees are already familiar with the customer-centric experience outside their office, they seek the same experience in the workplace as well. Therefore, the enterprises should dethrone their legacy systems and go digital providing an intuitive experience for the employees. This is where Socrates AI comes to the rescue. The company develops artificial intelligence based enterprise human resource assistant that works between people, applications, and services to answer questions, automate tasks, and improve employee engagement. The company's namesake product Socrates AI is a cognitive enterprise HR assistant that works with applications and services to answer employee's questions and take care of the digital workforce, starting with HR and benefits. In this interview, Randy Womack, the CEO and Melissa Swisher, the CRO of Socrates AI discuss how the company’s intelligent chatbot transforms the employee experience for the customers’ digital workforce.
With regards to HR and benefits programs what are some of the challenges that employees are facing in the enterprise space?
No matter what the size of an organization, large or small, solving the queries of employees has become a never-ending battle. The primary reason behind this is the use of the myriad of systems in organizations which makes it complicated for the employees to get a response to their queries. As there are so many applications and services in an organization, employees are often lost trying to navigate inside a large organization in search of specific information. Adding to these complications is the unchanged documentation system that still sits in the center of the workforce. Almost everything is documented, starting with the employee handbook, compliance to healthcare benefit programs for employees. This leaves employees in a tangled web, even for simple queries. Just imagine, even fun stuff is in documents—whether employees can wear party shirts on Tuesdays or happy hour on Fridays.
Also, if the management wants to check on any of the employee's personal data, they have to go through a series of documents before getting the right information. At times, these documents are not even regularly updated, putting organizations at risk. Furthermore, when it comes to payrolls and time cards, the HR team are often forced to make decisions without any proper consent from the employees.
Can you give us a clear picture of the solutions that Socrates AI offers to overcome the above challenges?
Driven-by conversation methodology and Artificial Intelligence (AI), our virtual assistant, Socrates AI acts as a single gateway for enterprise’s HR and benefits programs.
Socrates AI acts as a single point of contact, improving communication, answering questions, automating tasks and finding the right person at the right time to assist the employee
It provides instant responses to all the queries of the employees by sitting in the center of different systems in an organization. Based on the choice of the user’s communication channel, Socrates AI's solution is made available through SMS, texts, HR portal or any collaboration tool such as Whatsapp, Skype, Slack and more.
Our solution holds the data of the entire workforce, so every single interaction of the employee with Socrates AI is personalized and seamless promoting a natural experience. With Socrates AI no more guessing for the right word in case of queries, ‘Just ask the question and get the answer’. Moreover, by deploying Socrates AI’s solution, HR teams can get direct information from the employees and proceed to calculate the payroll more accurately and effectively. As the technology takes part in solving these problems the HR team can focus on more brain work.
To illustrate our value proposition, take an example of an employee who has questions about maternity/paternity leave as they prepare to have a baby. An employee might not know what is required by them—time off, employee rights about FMLA, or the steps needed to complete all necessary paperwork pre and post baby for not only health insurance, but all the needed leave documentation that must be completed, updating payroll with any changes to tax deductions as well as understanding and enrolling in other wellness programs the new mom can take advantage of as part of the new baby/new mom experience. We look to simplify that experience for the employee at a moment that matters most to them and enable simplicity of systems, documentation, process, and services during a major life event and doing this from a single point of entry, Socrates AI.
This way Socrates AI acts as a single point of contact, improving communication, answering questions, automating tasks and finding the right person at the right time to assist the employee promoting a natural experience for all the employees.
Please provide a case study that highlights the efficacy of your solutions?
One of our clients is a large fortune 500 employer within a regulated industry, who had a big information problem. They had multiple call centers to answer the queries of employees regarding HR, compliance, expense related to travel, carrier and more. So, when employees have an issue, they were often left with a myriad of choices and often lost track of time in the trying to contact the right person. This happened even for simple queries like payroll issues, dress code and others where the employee had to wait for ages to get a reply. Moreover, the client’s call centers, usually flooded with a lot of questions, took a lot of time to reply to all the queries of the employees. Also, there was no constant tracking of all conversations to ensure the information accuracy and compliance. When they implemented Socrates AI in their HR solutions and benefits programs, employees were able to get answers and go back to work in no time. Also, every single conversation of Socrates AI was tracked for accuracy and compliance.
What’s next for Socrates AI?
Socrates AI was initially started with the focus on HR and benefit programs, I think for us the expansion will be solely on enhancing natural experience layer of the employees by mirroring the consumer experience in the enterprise platform. Based on the needs of the end users we will be under constant development mode, for instance in the future if clients were facing different issues or if they want to update different languages we are ready for it. Most probably our next expedition is to go beyond HR and benefits programs in the enterprise workforce.