IBM is working to bring its cognitive computing product Watson to the helpdesk to improve the speed of tech support, the company announced in a press release on Friday.
The service will integrate the cognitive features of Watson with some of IBM's helpdesk services and additional analytics tools, the release said. The new product's official name is IBM's Workplace Support Service with Watson, and it will offer support any time of the day to workers on any device.
The service will bring "faster resolution of IT issues," according to the release, and it will be handling the "majority of support tickets" sent to to the helpdesk. One of the key factors of the service will be the integration of automation, which will enable it to handle more IT problems.
"We need a system that can understand and communicate in a natural language conversation, one that solves problems and continues to learn while engaging with employees," said Richard Esposito, general manager of GTS Mobility Services at IBM, in the release. "Our Workplace Support Services with Watson delivers this value."
The solution will be offered at a set price, the release noted, and will help personalize the helpdesk experience for all employees, even those who are more tech-savvy. The new service will also be able to support a mobile-centric IT environment as well.
Users can chat with Watson thanks to its natural language processing capabilities, and the helpdesk service will suggest solutions based on previous experiences. The more interactions that the Watson service has and learns from, the better it will understand common IT problems, the release said. However, if it encounters a new problem that it doesn't have a solution for, the user will be transferred to a human support agent.
The new service is always on, and will be available to employees at all times. And the automation that is built into it can take actions on behalf of the customers, like "adding additional storage to an email account, unlocking a password, ordering of a new phone etc.," the release said.
IBM has been implementing its Watson service throughout the tech stack, adding cybersecurity and big data capabilities, among others. If IBM continues at this pace, it could be setting up Watson as one of the key office suite tools for next-generation enterprises. However, it will have to compete with the growing number of AI assistants from companies like Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Samsung, and Google, as well as a host of other machine learning tools that are invading the enterprise.
The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers
- IBM is using Watson's cognitive computing capabilities to speed up tech support and provide automated responses to certain IT problems with a new service.
- IBM's Workplace Support Service with Watson will offer 24-hour support, and uses machine learning to take in new information from the issues it deals with.
- IBM is targeting multiple back and front office vectors with Watson, moving to make the service a valuable business product.
- IBM uses Watson to fill cybersecurity gaps (TechRepublic)
- IBM launches cognitive computing hardware unit: Enter the Watson, Power 9 stack (ZDNet)
- IBM launches Watson Discovery Service for big data analytics at scale (TechRepublic)
- IBM Watson is creating highlight reels at the Masters (ZDNet)
- IBM Watson: The inside story of how the Jeopardy-winning supercomputer was born, and what it wants to do next (TechRepublic)
Conner Forrest has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.