adesso develops banking bot for Fiducia & GAD IT, the IT service provider for Volks- und Raiffeisenbanken

Zurich | 28. January 2020

Fiducia & GAD IT serves almost 900 banks of Germany’s cooperative financial network (genossenschaftliche Finanzgruppe) with over 80 million bank accounts in Germany. The IT services range from computer centre operation and online banking procedures to advice on bank-specific innovations. These topics generate around 500,000 enquiries a year from employees of the affiliated Volks- und Raiffeisenbanken to the central Fiducia Service Centre. Until now, communication has taken place via telephone, website form or email. More complex investigations meant longer waiting times for customers. adesso has now developed a virtual assistance system called BOTTO for Fiducia & GAD IT to improve the quality and speed of this service. BOTTO will now handle a large part of the total volume of enquiries and thereby relieve the service centre.

The AI machine learning discipline played a significant role in the programming of BOTTO: The assistant was trained to “read” all documents, manuals and in-formation available in the banking systems, to break them down into small semantic units to form categories and to generate a keyword-based knowledge database on its own. On this basis, it will soon be able to automatically assign and process requests from bank employees that come in via a web interface.

Götz Weber, the project manager at Fiducia & GAD IT, talks about an “agile IT speedboat” in the group: “The special feature is that we have largely automated our knowledge management by integrating knowledge. This distinguishes BOTTO from other assistance systems, where the dialogues are still set and maintained manually.” The successful test phase showed that the average processing time with BOTTO is reduced by three minutes per request. This re-lieves the IT service provider’s hotline and shortens customer waiting times.

Technically, the bot is based on the Azure Cloud Services and Bot Framework technologies in addition to the Cognitive Services from Microsoft. In the next expansion stage, the assistant will also be able to issue text-based answers individually, tailoring them to specific user questions. In the medium term – according to the plan – BOTTO will also learn to speak as a chatbot and communicate with customers in real time.

For adesso project manager, Fabian Höger, the self-learning BOTTO is a real innovation in the field of AI-based services: “A bot system like this one, which trains itself independently and has this combination of different features, is a real novelty in the IT landscape to date.”

After the system goes live in the group, adesso will also accompany the further development and maturing of BOTTO. The bot is expected to have passed all stages of expansion by the end of 2020. This includes the integration of AI functionalities for the agile handling of service tickets and the optimisation of the user experience.

It has been shown that an application like BOTTO can play to its strengths in the business environment Fiducia operates in: a situation that involves large case numbers, complex topics and extensive text information, which are widely dispersed and constantly updated. There is already a solution in place for re-quests that the bot cannot resolve alone: BOTTO is able to independently for-ward the relevant service tickets to the responsible specialists within the com-pany. Long waiting times are now a thing of the past.

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