IBM Services (NYSE: IBM) and Burger King Brazil have teamed up to create a new virtual assistant, based on IBM Watson Assistant, named TOP (Technology Orienting People) to help Burger King (BK) Brazil’s 16,000 employees, serving more than 800 restaurants, be more connected to each other and its leadership.
New research from the IBM Institute for Business Value indicates that surveyed companies outpacing others in profitability, revenue growth and innovation are also leading practitioners of what the report termed: HR 3.0 principles. HR 3.0 refers to the evolution of the human resources (HR) function, to become one that is more human-centric, better engaging remote employees, and cultivating a resilient workforce with the goal of providing transparency, diversity and inclusion.
Conducted in partnership with global independent industry analyst Josh Bersin, the global survey of more than 1,500 global HR executives in 20 countries and 15 industries, revealed that leading companies were “extremely confident” in the need to reinvent HR, and that HR executives from those surveyed, were eight times as likely as their counterparts at other companies to be driving innovation.
Before TOP, BK Brazil’s employees used a centralized command system to submit requests for vacations, documents such as payment statements, earnings reports, and other Human Resources related topics. All of these services are now available via a text conversation in natural language, through the employee’s own WhatsApp, with topics that are regularly updated. Today, the virtual assistant is already responsible for 50% of employees’ requests on HR issues, freeing up the team to focus on more strategic goals.
“TOP’s main objective is to be close to our employees and facilitate access to information. And technology plays a major role in enabling this connection, especially at a time when reliability, security and speed are so critical,” said Iuri Miranda, CEO, Burger King Brazil. “We know that the moment demands communication and an agile flow of information and if technology allows us this close contact with the people who are part of the team, we will make the most of it.”
The solution is also designed to enable Burger King Brazil to answer questions from employees and give the necessary guidance on the company’s strategy as it navigates the COVID-19 pandemic. In a joint effort with IBM, updates are made to the tool to help provide official updated content from the Ministry of Health. The tool also helped the company make content available for more than 30 responses to FAQs, such as guidance on PPE’s (personal protective equipment), risk groups and driving to use spaces, among others.
TOP recognizes each employee by their telephone number and registered ID in the company’s system to protect confidentiality and thus helps them to answer questions about vacations, earnings reports, among 60 other Human Resources matters. Today, this virtual assistant has become an agile tool in assisting company employees, accounting for 50% of calls. A hybrid and multicloud cloud architecture, accessing IBM Cloud in the BK Brazil IT environment, helps with the exchange of information to respond in near real time.
“Burger King Brazil is a great example of an organization on their journey to HR 3.0. The company has combined its journey of digital transformation with its people management strategy to be more connected and help respond more effectively to the needs of its team,” said Amy Wright, managing partner, Talent & Transformation, IBM Services. “People are the heart of any organization and with new AI-enabled digital tools, the HR 3.0 mindset can be critical to our ongoing development of a more productive and rewarding world of work.”
By placing technology as an ally for people, Burger King Brazil can establish the path to continue reinventing itself, growing and offering a relevant experience to employees in parallel with the transformation of the company.