Have you tried PeopleSoft Chatbot yet?

In Depth explanation of “ABSENCE ASSISTANT” – PeopleSoft’s first chatbot introduced in PUM Image 31

WHY CHATBOTS?
The conversational UI is replacing the web UI and the global chatbot market is expected to rise exponentially. The much awaited chatbots are finally out in the PUM image 31 for the Peoplesoft Absence Management module. This chatbot leverages the Oracle Digital Assistant – the Oracle bot technology platform.

Chatbots are rapidly redefining how businesses interact with customers. They help in augmenting our productivity by simplifying and automating the mundane tasks and addressing business challenges.

ABSENCE ASSISTANT CHATBOT IN PEOPLESOFT

The Absence Assistant is a chatbot for Absence Management designed to assist the employee with absence related services using a conversational interface. Absence data and functionality from PeopleSoft is leveraged by the assistant, in a conversational format, and, an employee can ask absence related questions, or direct the assistant to perform self-service transactions.

The Absence Assistant is available for both desktop and mobile users.

BENEFITS

  1. Automating the common absence related tasks using which both the employees and the HR teams can derive benefit.
  2. Quick response for common absence related inquires.
  3. Continuous availability and Improved mobile access to absence related data
  4. Reduced margin of Human Errors

Oracle Digital Assistant Configuration

In order to use a new delivered skill / chatbot it needs to go through the configuration life cycle mentioned below:

  1. Deploy Web SDK and setup proxy user for Application Services
  2. Import and configure the skill into the ODA (Oracle Digital Assistant). The skill file is listed at the location PS_HOME\setup\chatbot\HGA_CHAT_ASST(1.0).zip
  3. Clone the imported skill in ODA
  4. Configure to point to a Peoplesoft Service i.e. the skill needs to be connected to a relevant service in Peoplesoft. This is again done in the ODA
  5. Customize and train the skill which is again done in the ODA
  6. Add the skill to an ODA channel
  7. Finally update configuration in PeopleSoft to enable the chatbot.

Please note that this article is confined to the configuration of the absence assistant chatbot in PeopleSoft.

Software Requirements:

Prior to enabling the chatbot it is important to note the software requirements for deploying them which include:

  • People tools version 8.57
  • Peoplesoft HCM 9.2
  • Oracle Digital Assistant

Configuration:

  1. Configuration for Absence Assistant Chatbot:
  2. Navigate to the Bot definition component and search for the bot. On the Bot definition component, we can either create a new bot or search for an existing delivered bot.

Navigation: Enterprise Components > Chatbot Configurations > Bot Definition

Click the edit button for the HGA_CHAT_ASST. This opens the Bot maintenance page shown below:

The chatbot can be deployed as a tile on the homepage or as a widget or as both a tile and widget using the Chatbot type field on this page.

Customers can set their own icons/images for the bot as per their business need. The template id specified above is nothing but the branding template id for the bot.

  1. The branding template is used to control the branding aspects of the bot definition and is configured on the Branding template page under the navigation: Enterprise Components > Chatbot Configurations > Branding Template

The “Custom Text” section can be used to override the custom texts provided by Oracle Digital Assistant by default. The overriding text is created as a message catalog entry.

The Business Icon chosen here replaces the Business Icon chosen in the “Maintain Bot Definition” page.

  1. Enabling the absence Assistant tile:

Absence assistant tile will not be available by default in the homepage. The tile needs to be enabled and added to the corresponding home page. The administrator must enable it by navigating to below path under the content reference.

Peopletools > Portal > Self Service > HR Fluid Components > Fluid Attribute

The content reference for the tile is HC_HGA_CHAT_ASST_FLU.

  • In the General tab, Under URL Information section, choose URL Type as PeopleSoft Generic URL
  • At the end of the URL, enter the text BOTID=<BotID> where <BotID> is the ID of the Bot definition
  • In the Security tab, ensure that the permission list EOCB_CLIENT_USER is added. Also, add the roles that are added to the Bot ID in the “Maintain Bot Definition” Page
  • In the Fluid Attributes tab, select the Display In field value as Modal.

The tile repository group box is used to configure the tile repository Folder (Employee Self Service) under which the tile should appear. Check the Homepage checkbox under “Include in Repository” section.

In the above navigation set the attributes such as the dimensions of the chatbot tile, images to appear on the tile and so on.

Finally, to enable the delivered skill/chatbot as a tile on the homepage:

  • From the relevant homepage, choose the Personalize Homepage option
  • Choose the Add Tile button
  • Add the chatbot tile to the homepage

Absence Assistant Tile:

The Absence Assistant chatbot focuses on the following intents:

  • EntryGreeting
  • AbsenceBalance
  • CancelAbsence
  • FutureBalance
  • RequestAbsence
  • ViewAbsenceRequest
  • ExitGreeting

Once the user clicks on the Absence Assistant bot the Absence assistant page opens like the one shown below

On a mobile, the page would be displayed as shown below:

The absence assistant displays the areas of support by default along with a greeting message

Consider the example of an employee using the assistant for submitting a leave request the typical conversation would be as shown below wherein the bot requests the employee for the begin and end dates and the type of absence request

Employees can even provide attachments while submitting absence requests as shown

Once the request is submitted, related workflow will be triggered and the request can be viewed from the absence management pages.

LIMITATIONS

  • Peoplesoft Absence assistant runs extensive queries and calculations behind the scenes to fetch data, for example, the leave balances, and this is in contrast to the highly quick expectation of an employee. Therefore, presenting the information quickly to the employee after submitting a request may present to be a challenge.

Author
Anuradha
PeopleSoft Consultant, Kovaion

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