Stanusch Technologies is an innovative company that, through research and development projects, works on the application of the artificial intelligence in business management.
Since 2003, the company has been investing in R&D in the application of AI, focusing on natural language processing (NLP), semantic information search (WEB 3.0) and delivery of the content through a VA simulating human behavior. Able to conduct conversation in natural language, the Virtual Advisor uses KtoCo.pl, the Polish semantic metasearch engine that assists with finding the meaning of the text, as opposed to a keywords search.
We create innovative, AI-based software that allows getting precise answers to any question from employees or clients of companies and institutions. Our software allows quick and precise search in all sources of information, such as databases, text collections, intranet, Internet or specially prepared knowledge databases. Our systems understand inquiries typed in natural language, which makes the conversation look as interaction with another human being.
The main company’s product is Virtual Assistant (chatbot) – a computer program simulating human behavior and able to conduct conversation in the natural language. A Virtual Assistant can dispose of all the knowledge about the company or its products, therefore it can support the customer service and the after-sale process, as well as employees in their everyday work.
Our Virtual Advisor is supported by a knowledgebase with more than 1,5 million general facts, giving the Virtual Advisor one of the best social dialogue capabilities in the market.
Orange - international telecommunications company
The Virtual Advisor project for Orange was initiated in April 2010. Based on the number of cases reaching the hotline and website traffic, it was initially estimated that the Virtual Advisor would service 17,000 customers per month, responding on average to five questions during a conversation. It was assumed that the specialist knowledge database (on substantive TP SA issues) will include approx. 2,000 facts and will gradually grow by approx. 15% annually.
Based on discussions it was decided that the SaaS model would be used. The whole solution is hosted and maintained on the provider’s infrastructure, while the settlement model is based on the number of effective responses given by the system. As of now, no-one else in the telecommunications industry has decided on implementation on such a scale.
The project was run by the company Orange Customer Service, whose responsibilities include maintenance of customer communication channels and after-sales support. After completion of the pilot implementation and testing its capabilities, work on the substantive knowledge database began. In the first stage approx. 300 topics were introduced into the system. Because the answers to some questions were extensive it was decided that as part of the answer the system will redirect the asker to a relevant subsite that contains information on the searched topic. For some of the facts it was necessary to redirect the user to the hotline (due to a lack of integration with other IT systems). In the future this problem is to be solved through integration with live chat and direct connection of the Virtual Advisor with Call Center consultants.
The system was launched in September 2011 under the ‘Customer Service’ section of the Telekomunikacja Polska website. After the launch of the solution in OCS a team was appointed whose task is to monitor the functioning of the solution and supplement missing substantive knowledge facts.
In 2012 a decision was made to extend the implementation to new substantive areas. Databases regarding mobile network knowledge and knowledge for business customers (TP Biznes) were created. Currently the knowledge database contains approx. 1,500 substantive topics.
During the rebranding process (April 2012) the recording of individual avatar images was introduced. The synthesizer’s voice was also changed (specially prepared for Orange).
During the first few months the number of conversations handled by the Virtual Advisor steadily increased from approximately 20,000 to over 100,000 per month. Both numbers exceeded initial estimates. It should be noted, however, that the number of substantive questions per conversation is lower than initially estimated (three instead of five), and on average the entire conversation covers 12 user questions.
Thanks to constant monitoring of the solution the quality of answers improved from 67% correct answers at the launch of the solution to over 89% after approximately six months.
The most important issue, however, concerns the effect of decreasing the number of conversations reaching the hotline. There is a significant correlation between the increase in the number of conversations handled by the Virtual Advisor and the decrease in the number of conversations reaching the hotline. The scale of the migration is between several to a dozen or so per cent. The Principal’s estimates show that the cost of a conversation handled by the Virtual Advisor is five times lower than that of a comparable conversation handled by a hotline agent.
The implementation of the Virtual Advisor project for Orange Group brands operating in Poland, executed by the Orange Customer Service team and Stanusch Technologies, is one of the most advanced and successful implementations of this type of solution in the world.
Thanks to both teams being constantly involved in improving the quality of the solution and in the optimal business model that satisfied both sides of the undertaking, it was possible to achieve both very positive substantive results (the quality of correctly answered questions at 90%) and economic outcomes (decreasing overall costs of customer service by redirecting some of the customers from the hotline to the automated service provided by the Virtual Advisor). At the same time, the Orange group became a pioneer in implementing such solutions in the telecommunications sector.
Despite the shortest history among the competitors operating on the same market, Stanusch Technologies achieved the leading position in with regard to completed projects.
Our achievements are not only related to the number of completed projects, but also show considerable technological advantage over the competitors. We managed, among others, to:
- create a prototype of the first Polish semantic metasearch engine, available at KtoCo.pl – this search engine allows answering questions asked in the Polish language, based on the knowledge contained in the Internet. The Virtual Assistant (chatbot) may be integrated with the semantic metasearch engine
- build the largest database of the general knowledge (1.5 million facts), what directly contributes to the high quality of the conversation (‘the most human chatbot’)
- achieve the best result in the comparative tests assessing Polish chatbots
- build the first Polish ontology server (cooperating with the semantic search engine) based on the conclusion mechanism allowing answering asked questions
- the first Polish module translating questions from the natural language to the SQL language. It allows integration of the Virtual Assistant with external databases.