Microsoft Introduces Power Virtual Agents, a No-Code Solution to Building AI Bots

In a current weblog submit, Microsoft introduced the overall availability (GA) of Power Virtual Agents, a service that helps constructing conversational chatbots utilizing a no-code graphical person interface. The service is a part of the Microsoft Power Platform, which incorporates Power Apps, Power BI and Power Automate (previously named Microsoft Flow) and goals to democratize entry to constructing synthetic intelligence-powered bots.

Chatbots are a mainstream software, oftentimes utilized by customer support teams to prolong communication channels to prospects and prospects. Omar Aftab, a accomplice director of product at Microsoft, explains why supporting this use case is necessary:

Perhaps you’re a firm who desires to interact together with your prospects and reply product questions earlier than they purchase. With our straightforward to use no-code graphical designer, these closest to the person can deal with constructing pleasant conversations—no want to deal with the code.

Another use case that Microsoft has recognized is within the space of Human Resources. Oftentimes workers have questions on trip entitlement, insurance policies that may be addressed utilizing a chatbot, however an IT division will not be in a position to prioritize the trouble required to code a bot.

While Power Virtual Agents has been designed to be a no-code software, it has been constructed on prime of the Azure Bot Framework and Azure Cognitive Services. However, since no code is required to construct a bot, a graphical interface is offered within the service that enables a maker to drag and drop prompts (questions) after which design a workflow to seize further info or execute logic.

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Extensibility with different Power Platform providers, like Power Automate, additionally add to the worth proposition of Power Virtual Agents. Within Power Virtual Agents, there’s a “Call an motion” operation that enables the maker to assemble a new Power Automate movement or name an current Power Automate movement. By calling a movement, customers have entry to greater than 290 SaaS and on-premises connectors that may both transact with these techniques or retrieve knowledge that enriches the bot expertise.

Image supply: in-product screenshot

Once a bot has been constructed and examined inside the Power Virtual Agents interface, it may be deployed to a number of channels together with a customized web site, cell app, Facebook, Skype, Slack, Microsoft Teams and others. Once deployed, customers of that service can work together with the bot by beginning a dialog that has an acceptable set off section. For instance, a shopper items retailer bot can be on the lookout for a set off phrase that features wanting to know what the open hours for the shop are. Makers don’t have to configure each permutation and mixture of what customers can enter. Instead, Power Virtual Agents use AI and pure language to interpret what customers are asking. The in-product documentation additional explains:

The AI, in Power Virtual Agents, makes use of pure language understanding to parse what a buyer really varieties and discover essentially the most acceptable set off phrase or node. For instance, a person may kind “Open hours” into your retailer bot – the AI can be in a position to match that to the Store hours matter and start a dialog that asks which retailer the shopper is excited about, after which show the hours the shop is open.

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Another core characteristic in Power Virtual Agents is the analytics that’s constructed into the service. As organizations make investments into bots, they need to perceive if customers are having a good expertise or if assist requests want to be routed to a human. Aftab explains:

Organizations can analyze bot and buyer conversations to higher perceive how particular matters are performing, what’s impacting your buyer satisfaction rating (CSAT), and establish the place there’s room for enchancment. Easily see which conversations are going to human brokers and decide which matters to train your chatbot subsequent.

To assist accumulating analytics, Microsoft supplies makers with the flexibility to finish a dialog with a survey. As a part of this survey, customers of the bot can click on on an emoji that represents a worth between 1 to 5 which Microsoft can then combination. Bot creators can later discover how their bot is performing and make modifications as required.

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The Power Virtual Agents service is now typically out there and organizations can join a free trial right here.

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