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Conversational AI helps Aker BP provide scalable internal support to employees 24/7

Last updated 22 February 2024

The chatbot AkerAnna assists employees with support-related queries, saving support staff 150 hours per week

Aker BP is one of Norway’s largest oil exploration and development companies with around 2,000 employees. Part of successfully running a large organization necessitates a solid foundation of internal support systems so that employees across the company’s five offices and various offshore sites can effectively carry out their work.

To achieve this, Aker BP initially employed a variety of administrative assistants to help its employees with questions related to IT, HR, training, supply chain management and more. As the company continued to grow, however, this solution became less efficient over time. Support employees became overburdened with repetitive tasks and queries which, while important, took up significant amounts of time, distracting them from key tasks such as recruitment, training and organizational development.

AkerBP's results at a glance...

  • Chatbot saves support staff 150 hours per week
  • 90% of all conversations successfully resolved

To tackle this challenge, Aker BP looked towards technologies that could help it move away from a reliance on human support and achieve a goal of administrative self-service by increasing the efficiency of its employees while continuing to provide the high-level of service they had grown accustomed to. The company wanted to create a central hub of knowledge that anyone working at Aker BP could easily access and refer to when looking for answers, while still having its support employees available to handle more complex requests when necessary.

“We were looking for a system like Google search that lets employees access important company information quickly and efficiently,” says Hilde Andreassen, P&O Analyst, Aker BP. “Of course, Google knows nothing about what governing documents we use for various company-specific operations. We needed something bespoke that could contain info on everything from what software we use and where to find SAP approval links, to where to find current production data and drill reports.”

Boost.ai’s conversational AI platform proved to be the perfect fit for Aker BP’s needs. Built on a foundation of class-leading Natural Language Understanding (NLU), it allowed Aker BP to build out an advanced virtual agent powered by artificial intelligence that would be able to scale and provide 24/7 support across multiple domains as the company’s needs grew. The no-code nature of the solution also allowed Aker BP to leverage the expertise of its existing employees into building, deploying and maintaining the virtual agent - requiring no data scientists or developers from day one.

In 2018, Aker BP developed and launched a the virtual agent named AkerAnna working in partnership with boost.ai and AVO Consulting which, in addition to facilitating implementation, has been integral to the long-term success of the project in everything from development and production to establishing strategic perspectives.

Scalable internal support across the entire organization

AkerAnna’s initial scope was limited to assisting with HR and facilities management inquiries. However, after only a few months the service proved so successful that Aker BP quickly expanded the virtual agent into other domains including IT, training and onboarding, as well as related technical information.

Currently, AkerAnna can answer questions and automate actions on more than 2,200 topics, averaging over 2,000 conversations per week, with the company reporting that 90% of conversations are successfully solved. The topics themselves vary widely, from common HR requests or booking parking, to ordering drilling reports and even arranging flower delivery via API integrations.

The boost.ai platform also supports filtering that allows AkerAnna to tailor its answers based on where an employee is located. This means that employees across the company’s various offices, as well as its offshore facilities, may ask the bot the same questions but, in practice, only receive answers that are relevant to where they are located.

A virtual colleague who’s always there to help

“AkerAnna averages 1.5 questions per interaction, providing at least one link each interaction in addition to any information given,” says Andreassen. “If we calculate an average of 5 minutes saved per employee thanks to the chatbot, that amounts to 150 hours per week - four times more than what I can manage.”

This results in employees, both support and non, saving time and helping enable them to achieve Aker BP's vision of all employees having access to administrative self-service.

AkerAnna has become popular amongst employees at the company, with many of them affectionately referring to the bot as their favorite colleague. Aker BP implemented a number of internal marketing initiatives to drive adoption of the virtual agent, including on-location AkerAnna’s that have a scannable QR-code letting employees jump right into the chat.

“AkerAnna is incredibly efficient. People have learned that they can ask her about everything and that she is constantly learning and improving," continues Andreassen. "That really says something about the reputation she has gained in the organization.”

The combination of AkerAnna’s deep company and domain knowledge, 24/7 availability and personalized support has led to the virtual agent becoming an integral part of Aker BP’s internal support strategy and contributed to an increase in overall operational efficiency for the company.

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