IBM Watson Orchestrate uses AI to help improve sales, HR and operations

A new, personal interactive tool for professionals was recently unveiled at IBM's Think conference.

ibm-watson-940x705.jpg

As AI and machine learning become integral to success for companies, across the board, leveraging these tools with ease has become a primary aim for tech leaders. At IBM's recent Think conference, this issue was at the forefront of the agenda. Arvind Krishna, CEO of IBM, emphasized how IBM's key strategy today is to get AI into the myriad processes involved in IT operations — from cloud to security to workflow.

In order to improve this integration of AI, IBM unveiled Watson Orchestrate. The tool, which it calls a "personal digital twin," now in preview, is aimed at helping professionals increase sales revenue, improve human resources departments and streamline operations—all through AI. As IBM stated in its press release, Watson Orchestrate offers "a new, self-serve, interactive AI tool that will help employees reclaim a significant amount of their time to focus on projects that matter. Watson Orchestrate can help employees perform both mundane and mission-critical tasks faster — everything from preparing sales proposals, to sending emails, scheduling meetings and procuring approvals."

SEE: IBM Watson: A cheat sheet - TechRepublic

As TechRepublic has recently reported, it is still a challenge for organizations to adopt AI—59% of leaders recently said that the new technology felt threatening to them.

How does this work in the office? Orchestrate can use AI to select and order specific skills that are necessary to perform a task — anything from scheduling meetings to approving timesheets — and can work in frequently-used office programs such as Slack, email, SAP and Workday. According to IBM, Watson Orchestrate is able to synthesize contextual information, and keep tasks current based on previous behaviors and interactions. Perhaps most importantly, it's offered as an out-of-the-box solution that doesn't require prior IT knowledge.

The tool is included in IBM's Automation Cloud Paks—a set of intelligent tools—and follows in the footsteps of acquisitions such as WDG, Instana, myInvenio and Turbonomic to expand IBM's AI-powered automation capabilities.

Presented as a "very human" way to use AI, IBM Watson Orchestrate is sold as a way to get advanced technology into the hands of a greater variety of workers, who can implement the tool themselves, improving productivity and helping prioritize tasks.

"Today, organizations are implementing artificial intelligence (AI) and automation tools within and across departments, and they are seeing results," Krishna stated in the press release. "In fact, more than 85% of adopters are reducing operating costs with AI. However, these tools have been traditionally used by IT. In my opinion, if an organization wants to build or maintain their competitive edge, they must enable individual employees — including those in sales, human resources, operations and others — with technology that can help them be their best professional selves."

Also see