BOSABOTIE: Bringing A.I to support candidates application process

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Background

BOSA, the Federal Public Service for Policy and Support, provides supporting services to the Belgian government and the federal institutions in various areas: IT, HR & recruitment, organisational management and integrity policy. Furthermore, it has an oversight role for budget and accounting. It operates under the supervision of the Secretary of State for the Digital Agenda, Digitization and Privacy  who is linked to the Prime Minister.

Within BOSA, the Directorate-General Digital Transformation (DGDT) leads and promotes, amongst other things, the digital transformation of federal institutions by providing advice and developing projects in connection with new technologies, adopting a citizen-centric approach whenever possible.

In this context, BOSA began experimenting with chatbot technology. The first selected use case consisted in assisting candidates applying for a job in the federal public sector through the Selor recruitment website. The chatbot will at some point be integrated into the Selor website and work in complement to the existing Q&A and the human-operated service desk which can be reached via phone, mail or a web form. Selor handles more than 20.000 requests on a yearly basis and that number grows steadily.

 

The Challenge

BOSA wanted to experiment rapidly with the latest chatbot technologies and understand the steps required to build and maintain a virtual assistant. This meant that business owners, namely the first-line helpdesk, the HR experts and the communication department, should be able to take ownership of the solution in order to ensure its long-term success. 

 

The Solution

Sopra Steria leveraged its own solution Alive Intelligence, which provides an intuitive user-friendly cloud-based platform allowing business users to configure, train, test and maintain the conversation scenarios that are used by the chatbot. Alive Intelligence provides an abstraction layer on top of the AI engines such as IBM Watson or Rasa, avoiding vendor locking and allowing BOSA to retain control and ownership on the implemented conversations. 

Sopra Steria proposed a global agile approach, including:

  • co-design workshops to refine the use case and define the backlog of conversation scenarios and key configuration variables of the chatbot,
  • training sessions to give the ability to BOSA staff to configure and maintain the conversations up to date
  • the implementation of the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) by its own consultants
  • technical and project management support during the sprints to allow BOSA to build the pilot
  • support to Alive Intelligence deployment and operations

 

The Results

With the strong involvement of the customer support and communication teams of BOSA, the MVP was implemented in 3 weeks and the Pilot took about 3 months in Agile sprints.

With the assistance of Sopra Steria, BOSA experienced the following benefits:

  • The implementation of a new communication channel to support candidates applying in the public sector. To date, more than 60 distinct conversations have been created.
  • The proof of a real ROI in freeing up the time employees spend on manually answering routine questions and being able to focus on a better service delivery.
  • The demonstration of the ease of use of Alive Intelligence, both from a technical and functional perspective
  • A contribution to the definition of the roadmap of BOSA outlining future evolutions and functionalities based on (chat)bot technologies
  • A contribution to the image of BOSA as a beacon of a modern public sector.
Sopra Steria provided an exceptional support to BOSA’s project team to achieve this pilot. The intuitive digital platform Alive Intelligence helped us to build the virtual assistant easily and implement around 60 communication scenarios, addressing our most frequently asked questions. With this innovative solution we can provide our clients a new interaction channel to handle their requests.

CHRISTINE COPERS

Innovation Manager at DG Digital Transformation FOD/SPF BOSA

 

In fact, BOSA has a real ambition to digitalize its services and to innovate as much as possible. It is very satisfying and challenging to work on a project that will have an important impact on people, specifically on future applicants for Belgian public services.

TRISTAN THILLAYE DU BOULLAY

Senior Consultant Sopra Steria