From very early on, we thought about what Djingo could do for professionals on a daily basis.
More than just another connected speaker soon to be making its household début, Djingo also offers a wide range of services benefiting from advances in artificial intelligence, natural language processing and the use of big data. This is a new interface, that is conversational, between Orange and its clients; one which has already been taking shape in France over the last 10 years via Orange TV app, interactions with Orange Bank, a chatbot for use by professional clients, and even (in Spain) through the Orange and Me mobile assistance application. Its role is to improve customer relations, bringing added value and greater ease of use to the services Orange provides for its customers via telephone packages, television, internet, content, music, connected homes, and also in other everyday settings: online purchasing, transport, travel, etc. All that remains is the professional setting – an area which as yet has not been fully explored by existing AI interfaces. Djingo, however, is just getting started. “Orange is very involved near independent professionals, artisans, and small business owners,” explains Guy Cronimus, Predictive Marketing Manager. We’ve observed that there’s a lot of overlap between the markets for the general public and those professionals who spend their days shifting between their work and private lives. That’s why, very early on, we thought about what Djingo could do for them on a daily basis; how it could help them save time and make their lives easier.”
A “seamless” virtual assistant
The teams from Orange and Deutsche Telekom, the two original partners on the Djingo project, began by adapting the functional scope of the virtual assistant to suit the needs of professionals. This involved taking functionalities like voice command for communications services (hands-free telephone calls, search function, information and weather services, etc.) and focusing them to suit the types of tasks that specifically interest professionals, such as call transfer (which was already available but difficult to access), or note-taking and transcription in various formats. Above all, the goal is to offer a service experience that flows seamlessly throughout the working day: at the office, at a client’s business, in the car or on public transport.
Another avenue being explored is the customer relationship chatbot for professional, which is already in use on the web help portal (performing around 15 simple tasks, such as SIM card activation), and which has the advantage of offering 24/7 customer service. The objective is to be able to load this service onto a smartphone application so it can be used on the move – an essential proviso for professionals.
For big companies, needs are slightly different. As a mode of interaction, instant messaging is largely preferable to voice communication. By the same token, it can be inappropriate to use a speaker in an open-space office, while other terminals such as conference telephones are likely better suited to this purpose. Whatever the interface, in the workplace Djingo can navigate communications services, becoming a virtual assistant for all the contacts in your inbox: if you ask it to organise a meeting, Djingo searches for the best time slots available in the participants’ schedules, books a meeting room and sends invitations.
Technological building blocks specific to the business world
The professional sphere requires taking into account specific issues, and the development of adapted technical solutions. First of all, this involves integrating the device into company information systems, but also ensuring data protection, especially in the event where a shared virtual assistant is being used within a company (which would require authentication from each user). Similarly, keeping private and professional lives separate is a subject that requires careful consideration – Djingo can help users create synergies between the two spheres, but can also help draw a line between them. For example, how do users differentiate between professional and personal emails?
A number of “Proofs Of Concept” (POC) have been launched in order to validate these functionalities, which will then be tested internally by Orange before being trialled with professionals and businesses. In addition, the Djingo professional ecosystem is an open one, and aims to be available to any user who wants to interface with it (in areas such as accounting or supply chain, for example). Bot Party, Djingo’s bot connector will allow partners to instantly connect their services to the Djingo ecosystem.
Offering high-value professional solutions
How will Djingo carve out a place for itself with business clients when faced with rival devices from Google and Amazon? For Thibault de la Fresnaye, Director of Smart Access Predictive Marketing, the expertise and commercial power of the GAFAM companies speaks for itself: “We’re convinced that we can collaborate with these companies to enhance our services in the areas that don’t fall within our core activities. But today, we have the advantage or already being a presence in our clients’ homes through the Livebox, which is a key element in the management of data flow and our ability to remotely manage everyday connected objects. We have access to powerful distribution channels and a very solid presence in the countries in which we operate, in close proximity to the needs of our clients. In the B2B market, in which we are recognized as a trusted operator, many companies use our landline, mobile and voicemail services. All of this gives us plenty of resources to tap into!
Check back in 2019, for an update on Djingo’s first steps in the professional workplace – this new ecosystem of smart services has a bright future ahead, and is expected to evolve rapidly in order to continue offering a more natural, more fluid experience of the services offered by Orange and its partners, while assuring users that their personal data is securely stored in Europe. This last fact alone is an advantage that could help snag one or two European partners…