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Just like people, Bots are diverse

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Via Flicker - Peyri HerreraWe have been researching the idea of creating a Bot as an enhancement to our workflow and document management solution.  The struggle is defining what this Bot is going to do.  There is no single definition of what a Bot is or how it can be used, but we generally think of it as a process automation tool.

Despite “Bot” sounding like it could be a piece of equipment, ie. RoBOTic Process Automation, it is generally a software solution that could be mimicking human thought process or even keystrokes.  There are a lot of thought processes and physical processes that could be automated.  Is there an ideal use of such a diverse and powerful tool?

There is probably a Bot being developed that collects the mail delivered to the office, opens it, scans it, auto-classifies the contents and routes the mail electronically to the right person.  That’s a pretty powerful Bot that is a mixture of physical tool plus software via AI and machine learning.  Without diving into all the little details about how it knows what to scan and forward, or how it would open FedEx boxes, it could have value in some circumstances where paper documents are still prevalent.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Bot could be extremely simple and merely pop up as you go to save a file and ask if you want assistance deciding where to save it.  That would be a software solution involving AI and machine learning.  The Bot knows from the content of the file being saved to suggest – “that looks like a budget, would you like me to save that to the accounting directory under 2019 budgets?”.  Could be helpful, maybe annoying, some degree big brotherish.

What if the Bot kept tabs on your daily activity and once a day asked you to sign off on how to handle new documents that it found in your email or in your network folder?  What if the Bot reminded you that two months ago you had put a hold on dealing with that budget file and wondered if you are ready to file it away now?  Is that too much Bot involvement?  Is more needed? Is there an ideal use case?

There’s a million little technology and usability details that would have to be worked out in all of the scenarios mentioned above.  However, one of those scenarios or something like it, would probably be helpful to many users.  So you might need a very flexible Bot or a diverse set of Bots to meet the needs of your users or business circumstances.

Millennia Group created FileStar, a workflow and document management solution in 2004 and has been providing document management solutions since 1996.  To contact us please visit www.mgdocs.com or send an email to info@mgdocs.com.