Dharma’s a marketing specialist in Jakarta. Her employer, Octane, sells laser diodes to industrial manufacturers. Dharma manages the Octane product catalog on the company’s e-commerce portal. The rest of her team’s in Wichita, Kansas and she’s part of a 400-person marketing organization split across 11 timezones.

The week before last year’s big Cobalt product launch was hectic. Cobalt was the high-profile new nine millimeter laser diode that marked Octane’s entry into the large, growing micro-spectography market. Dharma had to add 150 new SKUs to the catalog and only received final artwork from the design team 72 hours before launch. Her laptop crashed 48 hours before go-live. It was 2:00 AM in Raleigh, North Carolina at Octane’s global help desk. Dharma started to panic. She was juggling her daughter’s dance recital and her son’s sitar rehearsal. She reluctantly visited the Octane employee service portal. Here’s what happened next.

Dharma was greeted by Octana, the company’s new virtual agent that uses natural language to automatically fix problems and answer questions 24×7 in any language. It said “Halo, ada yang bisa saya bantu?” (“Hello, how can I help?”) and responded with a menu of options when she described the problem with her laptop. Octana asked for Dharma’s permission to inspect her laptop. The remote diagnostics report showed a memory leak. Dharma’s MacBook hadn’t been upgraded to macOS Catalina. Octana recognized that similar issues had been occurring before the OS upgrade. It asked for permission to initiate the upgrade. It guided her through the process in fluent Indonesian.

AI is about making people better

Dharma had been trained to hate calling the help desk. Her colleagues in Jakarta call it the “helpless” desk because nobody is ever available to help… and when they’re available they only speak English and never fix the problem the first time. Dharma has learned to block whole days when technology problems occur. For international team members, the fix for laptop issues is almost always replacement hardware… and days of downtime.

Not this time. Octane invested in Octana to make every employee feel like a first-class citizen. Management realized that employees who receive poor IT and HR service are less productive, work fewer hours, and quit sooner. They introduced Octana to fix that. It speaks every language Octane employees speak including Chinese and Turkish, can fix millions of common problems, and learns from every question it answers.

Dharma’s just one employee. But she’s an engaged one who’s now proud of her team and company. Thanks to Dharma and Octana, the catalog was updated on time and three of Octane’s biggest customers were able to buy Cobalt diodes online within 12 hours of the go-live. They spent an extra million dollars on Octane products in the first 24 hours. Luciana, Octane’s CEO, praised Dharma’s team on the next all-hands webcast.

Employees love work when they feel respected

Dharma’s life’s better now that she doesn’t fear laptop issues at 2:00 AM in Raleigh. Dharma’s kids love that mom hasn’t missed a recital in months. Little do they know that it’s Octana, the Octane virtual agent and mom’s guardian angel, that deserves credit for making mom the best version of herself.

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