chatbot (Alexander Supertramp/Shutterstock.com)

2021 Government Innovation Awards

IRS’ bot shop streamlines IT services

It all started with a chatbot named “Winnie” – originally designed to ease IRS employees’ migration to a Windows 10, but the technology ended up having a major impact on IT operations

Innovating IRS IT services through RPA and AI-based operations

Internal Revenue Service, Information Technology, User & Network Services

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Click here for all the 2021 Public Sector Innovation winners

Winnie helped divert service desk calls and reduced wait times during the transition, facilitating 26,391 unique sessions with IRS employees seeking help and addressing close to 70,000 inquiries. Winnie quickly answering common Windows 10 migration support questions freed up IT specialists to answer other calls and handle more complicated tasks.

However, Winnie is just a sample of innovation coming from IRS’ User and Network Services team. Through early adoption of artificial intelligence and robotic process automation, UNS has strategically targeted IT support issues with RPA, specifically ones that require substantial resources.

Password resets, for example, represented 54% of service desk calls until UNS installed the LAN Unlock RPA on each IT specialist’s computer. When the IT staffer triggers the RPA, it opens a ticket, validates that the caller has an account, unlocks the account and closes the ticket. While the RPA is invisible to the end user, it interacts with the IT specialist by offering prompts. It has reduced the average call time with users from 22 to 7 minutes and is saving an estimated 500,000 hours of manual work per year.

The T3PO BOT helps technicians automatically update the asset management database to reconcile devices received at various IRS offices so they can be deployed immediately.

A natural language processing voice bot responded to an incredible 875,000 taxpayer inquiries about the COVID-19 Economic Impact Payment and has a successful completion rate of over 40%. The eGain Virtual Assistant is helping UNS with frontline customer service support, and a 24x7 employee support virtual agent chatbot fields human resource-related questions.

UNS’s innovations helped IRS deliver better service at a time when the agency was front and center in providing relief to the American people.

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