Chatbot: What do you need to know?

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Now a days when we visit any website, we will be surprised if we do not see a chatbot popping up for our help 😀. Even there are WhatsApp numbers of the chatbot. You just need to send “Hi” to a WhatsApp number and chatbot starts responding.

Most of the product companies are providing the chatbot ecosystem. Whenever we think about chatbots, we hear lot of heavy words like ML(Machine Learning), DL(Deep Learning), NLP(Natural Language Processing), AI(Artificial Intelligence). I had worked on a project few years ago where I was integrating the chatbot with Dynamics CRM Customer Service. I worked on only integration of this chatbot and CRM. However when I was trying to understand the underlying technology of this chatbot, I was actually scared hearing all these heavy words. I thought implementing chatbots is not easy and if I have to do it I have to learn lot of technologies.

Microsoft released Power platform in 2018 as a low code no code platform. Another enhancement, Power Virtual Agent (PVA) was launched in 2019. This was the game changer. Microsoft did the magic and if you want to develop chatbot, you need not learn anything like ML, NLP etc. your basic requirements can be simply configured by citizen developers and platform will manage everything behind the scenes.

It industry always talks about the limitations of low code no code platforms and made us think that we can only develop very basic functionality with these. However when I studied PVA, it has overcome all these limitations by ability to integrate with Power flows. This way it finds perfect balance to collaborate between no code citizen developers and Pro code developers.

Below are some comments about the chatbots that bots are expensive and hard to create and maintain, there is always a friction among the SMEs with answers and the developers or the scientists who actually develop the bot, generally bots are not that useful unless they provide personalized answer or can integrate with back send systems. However when we consider PVA implementation, development can be done by SMEs directly to avoid any conflict and delays. In case of personalized answers, Power Virtual Agent can integrate with many back end systems via Power flows. Complex scenarios can be developed by integrating it with Azure Bot framework.

Now lets start exploring Power Virtual Agent