BPO companies may soon add another member to their workforce with the introduction of Amelia, a humanoid program that can answer phone calls and technical queries with human-like response.
Developed by New York-based company IPsoft, Amelia is basically a software algorithm / virtual engineer that can answer phone calls and respond to technical questions in a fraction of time humans do.
This is not Amelia, but soon…
Amelia can work in ten languages, can provide basic infrastructure management support services, and has the ability to clone itself to handle peak-hour traffic. It can help BPO companies cut costs by as much as 75% (because, you know, less human agents will be needed) and promises 30-40% savings in infrastructure and management costs.
Although Amelia looks promising, it is only capable of handling repetitive tasks (boring tasks) being done by its human counterparts. In other words, those with complex tasks are not in danger of getting replaced. Well, at least for now, as Amelia is also capable of self-learning.
“Robotic automation is set to completely disrupt the BPO and information technology outsourcing markets,” said Alastair Bathgate, CEO of Blue Prism. “At least 90% of BPOs will use some form of robotic automation within five years.”
The BPO industry is currently valued at more than $400 billion with India and the Philippines as leading hubs in Asia.
Amelia is scheduled for a soft launch this June for some of IPsoft’s banking clients and will be made available for its other clients by the end of the year.