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Automate Business Workflows with Real-time Communication and Intelligent Bots

This article was published on July 27, 2021

More options are always better when it comes to the way your company operates, especially as they pertain to workflow improvements. When it comes to actually building tools, the trick is how those options play out.

Making the most of strong business workflow automation tools may be beyond the technical grasp of even large companies, making it difficult to derive maximum use from newly acquired solutions without investing more time and capital than planned. Throw in highly intelligent biz context-dependent bots and the problem only compounds: How do you realize the productivity artificial intelligence (AI) can offer without abandoning current communication workflows or engaging in — what appears like — overwork to make it all fit?

If this high-level problem sounds like an ongoing concern in your business, Vonage and Converse.AI have the answer. With the release of Vonage's API platform (formerly Nexmo), as a channel on the Converse.AI platform, developers can quickly build SMS and voice communications capabilities into business workflows without delving into the integration details.

What does that mean in practice? A whole lot of good for businesses wishing to improve workflows or delve into more complex business workflow automation tools. They, along with third-party entities such as civilian developers, can delve into the platform to create powerful integrations between business tools, combining the graphical interface of the Converse Designer and a selection of prebuilt Vonage modules and templates to improve workflows with less hassle. Read on to see what this emergent partnership can do to help you build better business workflow automation.

Improve Workflows With Stronger Integration

Text notifications. Interactive voice response (IVR). One-press conference calling. Features such as these share an increasing presence in business apps everywhere, whether internal or customer-facing.

That's what makes the marriage of Vonage's tools and Converse.AI's platform so appealing: Users simply drag and drop modules into a graphical representation of their desired workflow and publish. The Converse platform automatically creates the module integration behind the scenes, a major step forward in workflow automation.

More, the process is abstracted enough to give end users without coding knowledge input into the ways their tools interact. Once decision-makers have selected the combination of Converse workflows and Vonage communication features that best meet their objectives, their desired developer can configure, build, and launch that specific service on Converse in a matter of hours. They can then make tweaks and changes as requested by the department or person making the initial request.

Messages in these workflows can be sent and received around the world reliably, as they're delivered through Vonage's global platform. The platform handles the complexities of regional compliance while leveraging its patented Adaptive Routing technology to ensure the best message delivery. This further abstracts developers from the underlying details so they can focus on the utility of their workflows.

By this description alone, many businesses can achieve improved efficiency and experience through communication APIs and other tools. For example:

  • HR departments and other critical employee-facing services could have an intelligent bot broadcast urgent company-wide alerts when immediate action is required, such as when benefits change or pressing new training content becomes available.
  • Sales departments could improve experiences and cut down on unnecessary waits by implementing an integrated, bot-powered IVR.
  • Customer service departments could work better escalation procedures directly into workflows, culminating in an automated, Vonage-powered phone call to a designated task force when a service ticket requires urgent attention.

And these are just three examples — with many more tools and a lot more flexibility, the sky's the limit as to what a business can do, all thanks to business workflow automation tools that make the process more intuitive and conceptual than ever before.

Workplace by Facebook Integrated With Converse and Vonage

Further, Converse.AI integrates the SMS and voice communication features of Vonage with the collaboration ecosystem of Workplace by Facebook: a powerful business collaboration platform with the ability to connect coworkers via features such as groups and chat, all within the familiar Facebook interface. By enabling custom communication features on top of Workplace's built-in collaboration tools, Converse.AI and Vonage can drive purposeful engagement — the type of productive engagement that drives adoption.

Take the Vonage-powered Conference Bot, a tool designed to improve workflows, for one example of this idea. Upon configuration, the bot moderates and records relevant conference calls, sharing the recording with designated members upon completion. This capability alone could benefit individual departments such as HR and the company as a whole. Because the workflow is abstracted and conceptual, relevant decision-makers within the company can outline expectations and developers can easily build the requested flow. Consider the following workflow:

1. A user initiates a conference call.

2. The participants can either be called directly into the conference or they can be invited to join via a message with a click-to-call option.

3. A lightweight, optional IVR can be implemented for callers (or clickers!).

4. The call is recorded via the same bot.

5. When the call ends, it stores the recording on Workplace and shares a link to the audio file with participants.

While the above may sound "simple" on the end user's side, the reality of making such a system work cohesively — and with as little human intervention as possible — has historically required a lot more work. Customizing the workflow to fit company- and call-specific needs? That's enough to give any IT department mired in a legacy communication system headaches. Meanwhile, changes are as simple as dragging and moving modules within the visual workflow. Developers can build upon simple functionality as needed to meet the complexity of a given call use case.

The Right Steps to Get Started 

Any developers who want to start building custom workflows with communications features need only create accounts on the Vonage and Converse.AI platforms. With their accounts active, they can jump right into building bots on the Converse platform. The channel documentation provides all the required information, along with an example of a simple IVR. For a look at the Nexmo voice plugin source code, Converse has a GitHub repository.

Ready for better business workflow automation? Reach out to Vonage today.

Written by Vonage Staff

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