Using The Bot Framework

Jakub Kaczmarek demonstrates using the Microsoft Bot Framework:

Before starting a new bot project, you need to consider if it really is a solution for your business case. It’s not recommended to start bot development just because it’s a hot topic. However, in some cases, this kind of software can save a lot of time, money and resources. The following list of bot example use cases might help in making the decision:

  • Answer for typical questions

    • A bot can make use of Q&A knowledge to receive user question and provide an appropriate answer.
    • Questions can be matched to correct answers using a LUIS (language understanding intelligent service) cognitive service.
    • Reduced time can be spent by help desk staff answering typical questions.
    • Example use cases are help chat, contact pages and web stores.
  • Alternative system interface

    • By integrating a bot with external systems (e.g. Outlook, Jira, CRM, SharePoint) a bot can become an alternative interface to work with these systems.
    • A bot can simply ask some questions and gather the answers given by the user to submit data that normally would be filled in on a form.
    • Example use cases are creating support tickets, uploading SharePoint documents, making calendar appointments, and providing translations.
  • Entertainment & education

    • A bot can be also used to entertain and educate its recipients by sending various kinds of content to the user.
    • It’s a good idea to use media types like videos, audio, images and links to knowledge base articles.
    • Example use cases are workout coach, recipes book and product adviser.
  • Notification bot

    • A bot can be scheduled to initialize conversations at appropriate time, notifying the user about some actions or reminding about things he should do.

    • It’s important to remember that sending proactive messages is not always possible – it depends on the channel used for communication.

    • Example use cases are meeting reminders and timesheet reminders.

I try to avoid the term “intelligent bots” because we’re at least 2 or three generations away from that.  But it’s definitely worth getting your hands dirty with them today, at least to learn their limitations.

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