Unit4 releases its enterprise digital assistant, Wanda, a completely new out-of-the-box ERP user experience. A core component of its Spring ’17 launch, Wanda is an important milestone on Unit4’s journey to deliver self-driving enterprise software.
To ensure a natural user experience, Unit4 has built its digital assistant to be embedded in the user’s chosen interface, accessed through Skype, Slack, and Facebook Messenger. Wanda provides a simple and friendly gateway to data in the Unit4 Business World On! ERP system, adding a level of intelligence and context to suggest actions and help users complete tasks quickly.
Available as an out-of-the-box cloud service to all customers, Wanda requires no user training. It proactively helps people automate, prioritize and complete repetitive tasks in a fraction of the time they used to. Uniquely, users can communicate and interact with their enterprise systems in the same way they would with colleagues: through chat. Wanda even understands multiple topics mixed in a single thread. For the first time, employees can benefit from the data in their ERP system without logging in.
Wanda is built on Unit4’s People Platform, the engine behind the development of self-driving applications, powered by Microsoft Azure. It therefore benefits from the most sophisticated analytics and machine learning technology available today. Unit4 also utilizes Microsoft’s Language Understanding Intelligent Service (LUIS) to give Wanda the ability to understand what a person wants based on the language they use. By using Microsoft’s technology as building blocks it can now take people productivity to completely new levels.
With Spring ’17, Wanda delivers customers a market leading bot architecture to build on for the future and five new assistants:
• HR Assistant – Simple completion of HR-related employee self-service tasks like making absence requests and enquiring about holiday balances and pay slips.
• Purchasing Assistant – For finding products & suppliers, generating requisitions and managing approvals.
• Time Assistant – Automatically generates timesheets based on multiple data streams and GPS and beacon location data to track time.
• Travel Assistant – Generates travel requests and manages approvals based on travel patterns and preferences. Auto-populates expense claims using receipt recognition technology.
• Approval Assistant – Notifies and reminds managers to approve tasks, and flags important tasks where deadlines are imminent.
“We are delivering the most helpful ERP in the market, a self-driving assistive and conversational user experience,” said Stephan Sieber, CEO of Unit4. “Microsoft’s broad consumer experience gives it an edge as a platform vendor, bringing consumerization to the enterprise and democratizing complex technology. We are using our expertise in designing and deploying this state of the art technology to support people’s productivity so they can create value for themselves and their organizations. Convergence of conversational user experiences with augmented solutions that self-learn will fundamentally change how enterprise software serves people.”
“Having business users spend time in back office systems that don’t help them reach their goals is not the best use of their talent,” said Roland Flutet, IT Service Manager at ACL. “The more time an employee spends adding value, the more successful our company will be. Wanda can help us do exactly that, by simplifying and accelerating administrative tasks such as expenses and travel booking via Slack. I can’t wait to welcome Wanda into ACL.”
“I am enthusiastic about incorporating AI and self-driving tech such as Unit4’s ‘Wanda’ into Heifer,” said Jesus Pizarro, VP Enterprise Accounting & Controller. “It will help us to increase efficiency across our entire portfolio of projects designed to help end poverty and hunger on a global scale. I cannot wait to see Wanda become a core member of our team.”
“Wanda has the potential to revolutionize the accounts processing functions and significantly enhance the end user experience. It provides timely reminders and assistance to automate tasks that will help minimize the bureaucratic red tape for academic colleagues,” said Ian Sibbald, CFO, Cranfield University. “With McKinsey & Company predicting that technology could automate 45% of the activities people are paid to perform, Wanda shows in the real world how this is likely to happen over the coming years.”