The institution developed a virtual assistant based on Microsoft Azure’s Bot Framework Composer solution to optimize support for different audiences and speed up response times to questions and requests.
Mexico City, Mexico – The Monterrey Institute of Technology has launched a virtual assistant to serve the needs of students, faculty, administrative staff, and other members of its educational community. TECbot, a chatbot that connects service requests to resolve queries about everything from enrollment steps to financial processes, is powered by Artificial Intelligence capabilities based on Microsoft Azure, thus providing more intuitive, efficient, and expanded automated support that uses natural language.
Developed on the Azure Framework Composer service, the virtual assistant has a wide variety of dialogs, language understanding models, knowledge bases and response generation, allowing it to deploy organic conversations adapted to each case’s needs and to provide real-time service—even when faced with a large volume of requests.
It is estimated that 12% of customer service interactions in Mexico are carried out through a chatbot.At the global level, there was an 8% growth in the use of this type of assistant as an outcome of the pandemic. While most of these systems have a range of pre-established answers, the potential to adapt to users’ needs and provide them with the necessary support during the problem-solving process is a key differentiator of AI-based solutions.
Microsoft Azure AI-powered chatbots use natural language processing to connect and interact not only at a conversational level, but also by integrating into the data stream of different web services or applications to provide effective responses and perform simple tasks within a natural language framework that is comfortable, reliable, and intuitive for users.
TECbot is an initiative that is part of the TEC Services project. Created in 2019, it relies on Microsoft technology to develop the assistant, but also uses Cosmos DB to deploy conversations and SQL to generate bot efficiency reports and analytical insights—all this to unify support processes and improve the experience of the more than 90,000 students and 13,000 teachers that make up the institution.
«The idea of the bot was a matter of innovation and meeting a service need; today, thanks to technology, the service is immediate,» says Hernán García, Vice President of Talent and Experience at TEC de Monterrey. «Currently, the virtual assistant has expanded and is present in TEC Milenio and TEC Salud. Although technologically it is the same bot, it has different conversational foundations for each TEC and each audience.»
Each semester, during the registration period alone, TEC de Monterrey receives almost 14,000 questions from its students. With the implementation of the virtual assistant, students can receive personalized attention in real time, significantly improving the school services experience. Only a few months after its launch, TECbot has been employed by over 40,000 users and has registered over 250,000 conversations, making it the primary tool for student and staff support.
Taking six weeks to develop the first version of the chatbot, it is estimated that implementing the virtual assistant reduced what used to require 10 dedicated people to cover these processes to a single point of support. Solution time also sped up, thanks to the use of Artificial Intelligence.
“Today, thanks to technology, the support is immediate,” added Hernán García. “The virtual assistant is now expanded and serves TEC Milenio and TEC Salud. Even though, technologically, it is the same bot, it has different foundations for each TEC and each audience.”
By implementing advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning, organizations can find an alternative to simplify the distribution of support tickets and assign the most complex requests to staff, allowing for more strategic operation of their collaborators. In the same way, users have an easy, agile and intelligent service tool capable of resolving basic questions and providing them with an optimal experience based on digital solutions.
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