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In addition to the automatic responses integrated with IBM Watson (described here) it is also possible to configure automated responses using Service Desk IF-THEN automation - see this page for details.


Overview

Chat for Service Desk is able to integrate with IBM Watson Assistant to automatically handle conversations with a customer. This feature is useful in many situations, for example:

  • handling the customer conversations when you are contacted after your office hours, when there is no human agent available
  • handling greetings and introductions
  • serving self-help material, such as pointers to knowledge base articles relevant for the customer's problem

When you enable the Assistant for the Service Desk portal, it will handle conversations until the human agent responds to the customer. After that, the Assistant no longer follows the conversation and it must be handled by humans from then on.

Additionally, you can configure the Assistant to only respond:

  • to requests that are not yet assigned to any human agents
  • when no human agent is online in your organization - in this case, the customer will see the "robot" icon in the chat widget instead of the usual "paper plane":

Prerequisites

In order for Chat for Service desk to be able to integrate with IBM Watson Assistant, your Jira must be able to make direct outgoing network calls to the Assistant's API web service URL (see below). You may need to configure your network firewall rules to allow this.

Configuration

Configuring the Assistant requires:

  • specifying the Assistant ID of the assistant, which you want to use for this project's chat
  • specifying Service URL of the assistant, which depends on which geographical region the assistant was instantiated on the IBM infrastructure
  • setting API key for access to the assistant

To find the Service URL and API key, go to the bluemix console page and click on the assistant service tot show its details:

It is important to note that access credentials of your Assistant instance must have been created after 13 December 2019. If they are older, they cannot be used with Chat. You will recognize this problem by the fact that Service URL is going to be of the form https://gateway-.watsonplatform.net/assistant/api - for example https://gateway-fra.watsonplatform.net/assistant/api.

If this is the case, you will have to create new credentials and use their Service ID and API Key:

You can find the usable Service URL as well as API Key in the newly created credentials:

To find the Assistant ID, launch the assistant settings page:

In the settings, go to the API Details tab, where you will find the Assistant ID:

Training the Assistant

In order to be useful, the IBM Watson Assistant must be trained to respond to the customer appropriately for the Service Desk portal, where you want to use it. This training is crucial for the proper operation of the assistant.

To learn how to train the Assistant, go to its getting started page.


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