Oracle is also getting in on the chatbot revolution

New tools make it easier to create automated conversation partners with business data

Oracle CTO Larry Ellison ordered himself some new business cards on stage at the company's OpenWorld conference in San Francisco on Sunday, just by having a conversation. 

As part of his keynote address to attendees, Ellison took the time to show off a new set of tools for creating intelligent chatbots that integrate with Oracle's software. It's aimed at making it easier for businesses to build bots that let users connect with their enterprise software, and help businesses connect with consumers. 

Chatbots are a hot topic in the tech industry, with companies like Facebook, Microsoft and Slack all building tools that companies can use to create intelligent, automated conversation partners. Their growing popularity comes down to a few factors, including the proliferation of smartphones, fast internet connections and messaging apps.

Part of their appeal is that it's a way for people to interact with computer systems without having to learn a new interface beyond the messaging apps that they're familiar with. For companies trying to reach a younger generation of users, it's an appealing prospect. 

Oracle’s tools are supposed to work with bot platforms like Facebook Messenger, Kik and Slack. Ellison showed a Facebook Messenger bot that he built on the iPad to connect with Oracle HCM software and help with procurement.

When Ellison typed in a request for business cards, an image popped up showing a business card that still listed him as CEO. The bot said that it was a previous template, and that he had a different title in Oracle’s HCM system.

"Thank god I didn’t check my salary! That could have been really bad," he said as the notification popped up on screen. "You know, it wasn't just my title that changed, folks."

The bot asked Ellison if he was okay with making the title change before continuing.

"Well actually not, but what the heck, what’s done is done, and I would actually like to order the new cards," he said.

A bot like that one could allow employees to do all manner of things within a company, Ellison said. In addition to ordering business cards, it could be used to schedule meetings and procure more expensive pieces of technology like a laptop or iPad.   

One of the big questions hanging over platforms like Oracle's and others is whether or not people will actually be interested in using all of these different bots. While intelligent assistants like Siri have increasingly become a part of how people use their smartphones, it's still an open question whether that'll translate to a world where conversations with bots become a natural part of our everyday lives.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?