Latin American industry in favor of virtual voice assistance

With their voice assistants, companies of various sectors, such as Coomeva and EMCali in Colombia, have improved some of their processes, making them more convenient and efficient by performing actions using voice commands. AZLOGICA® is a pioneer in the implementation of this, one of the most attractive digital tools of the moment.

It is commonplace to assert that the pandemic accelerated many digital processes that facilitate the daily lives of society. Almost without realizing it, many of these technological aids are already part of our daily lives in shopping centers, restaurants, banks, schools, universities, workplaces, but particularly in medical centers, perhaps due to health risks. These risks, combined with the dangers of Covid-19 contagion, have demanded less physical presence in these spaces. Appointments, shifts, medication requests, and other medical procedures have benefited from these virtual assistants.

In the service and banking sector, for example, the Coomeva Cooperative in Colombia turned to the multinational AZLOGICA®, a leader since 2008 in Latin America in the application of solutions from the Internet of Things, to develop and implement a virtual voice assistant to promptly address the requirements of its users. For Coomeva, the relevance of having such a tool became fundamental, as the cooperative operates on multiple fronts, including its Health Provider (EPS), Pre-paid Medicine and Emergency Medical services, an Insurance company, as well as a Bank and a Trust company, among others. In simple terms, the idea is that their clients feel that they have a Coomeva office nearby with just a voice command.

Optimizing capacity and quality of interaction

The integration of virtual voice assistants (VVA) into a variety of devices has become one of the most widely used technological tools in today’s society. These are robots that, in a personalized way, respond to calls, simplifying a large number of tasks that allow quick and easy access to a vast world of actions and information.

Rapidly, these virtual voice assistants have been optimizing their capabilities and quality of interaction, providing precise responses and unique possibilities. For example, they allow us to have smart homes where we control ambient temperature and lighting, audio and television equipment, thermostats, and various accessories connected to them.

For AZLOGICA®, the company has become one of the first in Colombia and Latin America to integrate virtual voice assistants at the corporate level. In this case, they integrated Amazon’s assistant, widely known as “Alexa,” to conduct consultations, manage operations, and provide customer service with the services offered by the Internet of Things. In the development of these assistants, AZLOGICA® has enabled “Alexa” to integrate with its Evolution® (for mobile assets), Team Manager® (for people), and Things Manager® (for stationary assets, thanks to Echo Dot devices) platforms.

It is worth mentioning that Virtual Voice Assistants (VVAs) are digital mechanisms that process natural language, use voice recognition, synthesize it, and perform a particular activity or service. The essence of their operation lies in the use of interfaces capable of understanding and executing voice commands. For this purpose, they use machine learning techniques that allow them to identify voice patterns and activate and process information based on them.

AZLOGICA® has become one of the first digital technology companies in Colombia and Latin America to integrate virtual voice assistants at the corporate level, conducting consultations, managing operations, and providing customer service.

At this point, it is important to remember that AZLOGICA® had already implemented this type of tool at the Empresas Municipales de Cali – EMCali before the pandemic. The tool was used in the first intelligent control center for the administration and monitoring of 650 vehicles. Similarly, “Alexa” was integrated into their digital operation and optimization with several IoT management tools. EMCali’s area directors use voice commands to inquire about various aspects, such as available resources, the most risky ones, the least exposed, those with the least fuel consumption, and more, depending on the measure and operational needs.

These virtual voice assistants have the ability to associate a user with third parties and perform activities such as those described above. In addition, they can place online orders, perform banking procedures, provide predictions or weather information, answer questions using information banks such as general encyclopedias, or play songs by searching in music archives or existing platforms for that purpose. They also enable the control of other electronic devices, among many other functions, using only voice commands, often with a single word or a short phrase to activate the assistant and perform the action.

The industry, in general, has been growing rapidly, employing more advanced technologies. The Covid-19 pandemic, as reiterated, led to the implementation of numerous new behavioral patterns at the market, consumption (supply and demand), and access levels, such as health systems, where these assistants were used for, among other things, pre-Covid-19 contagion diagnoses.

Virtual assistants as an integral part of interaction

The strategic alliance between AZLOGICA® and Coomeva proposed an initial phase in which the cooperative strategically chose only three of the dozens of processes handled by its business group. Their practice has shown that the tool allows for much more flexible, secure, and robust actions, which is essential for optimizing processes and having an immediate positive impact on service quality.

Through five quick steps and solely using the Alexa voice assistant, Coomeva now allows its affiliates to perform actions such as entering a Cooperative office and checking events, downloading certificates, and executing payments in pre-paid medicine, all with just a voice conversation through a digital device. This voice interaction will soon be expanded to other Coomeva processes within the possibilities of interaction with the main activities that affiliates carry out with the entity.

Coomeva now allows its affiliates to perform actions such as entering an office to check events, download certificates, and make payments in prepaid medicine using “Alexa.”

Coomeva’s case is a clear example of how companies are seeking and resorting to better intelligent technologies to internally improve their processes. Additionally, they offer users the possibility to communicate with various accessories and platforms, from anywhere, such as homes or vehicles. Users can connect just as they do with their smartphones or use them to access the required actions or services. There is no doubt that day by day, these voice assistants will gain robustness, and their usefulness, both personally and in business, will become increasingly significant.

It can almost be said that today one cannot think of smart devices that do not have a virtual assistant. These assistants are already an integral part of consumer interaction with these devices. Thanks to the possibilities offered by these technologies, making them more convenient and efficient, virtual voice assistants have positioned themselves as one of the most successful tools in the digital world.

By mid-last year, more than three billion smartphones had a virtual voice assistant integrated as a default feature. In 2020, amidst the pandemic and lockdowns worldwide, Google had more than five hundred million users monthly using its voice assistant. The specialized digital statistics website www.statista.com suggests that projections estimate that by 2024, more than 8 billion virtual voice assistants will be in use worldwide. This figure is significant considering that the global voice recognition market was worth 10.7 billion dollars in 2020 and is forecasted to be 27.16 billion by 2026, representing an annual increase of around 16.8 percent.

Apple’s Siri (the first of these assistants integrated into iPhone phones in 2011), Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant, Samsung’s Bixby, IBM’s Watson, Microsoft’s Cortana, and others from independent manufacturers like Lyra, Robin, AIVC (Alice), Dragon Assistant, Top Assistant, and Genie, are some of the virtual voice assistants available on smartphones. With just a voice command, these assistants allow users to call people, send emails and text messages, provide weather information, time, calendar updates, reminders, statistics, note-taking, setting alarms, package tracking, telling jokes, translating, and performing internet browsing actions. However, virtual voice assistants are not exclusive to smartphones but are also common in certain technologies used in automobiles and in environments related to education, healthcare, and telecommunications, among others.

With cases like EMCali and its intelligent monitoring center, and now with Coomeva, AZLOGICA® offers its expertise in the Internet of Things field and its ability to meet the needs of each case and company, regardless of size. Implementation of these types of assistants allows companies to access artificial intelligence resources with virtual voice assistants that facilitate the management of their processes and access to quick, clear, and secure information for the benefit of their clients, employees, and other stakeholders.

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