Cepsa puts Artificial Intelligence at the service of Human Resources

IBM Watson

Cepsa developed a pioneer project in Spain that will enable its employees to make regular human resources consultations using a virtual assistant available on its intranet. It is the most extensive application of IBM Watson AI on human resources processes seen in Spain.

This initiative is part of Cepsa’s digital transformation strategy and lays the foundation of its evolution to becoming a cognitive company.

The platform can be used to search for information at any time, any day, and anywhere. Furthermore, it will streamline the relationship between the company's employees and human resources.

Implementation in the present year

The system will have a virtual assistant called MAX developed using IBM Watson technology. This chatbot is trained to answer variations of questions related to different topics. Initially, it will deal with questions related to applications for licenses and permits, telework, health insurance, advances or loans. To this end, it has been programmed with over 5,000 formulations of questions on these topics.

In an initial stage, the company made a two-month trial with 400 employees. After that, Cepsa will move forward with the implementation in 2019, for its more than 8,500 professionals in Spain.

The goal of this project is to complement personal attention to staff members with a virtual assistant that accelerates and automates the most frequently repeated consultations and tasks. Thanks to this technology, the company’s human resources managers will be relieved from the more routine tasks and dedicate more time to the ones that require more personal attention that contribute greater added value. With this, Cepsa is optimizing the relation between professionals and the human resources department, in order to make it more quick and efficient.

Knowledge structuring

Additionally, the project promotes the structuring and digitalization of the human resources area, improving the decision-making process. This way, the process can be more consistent and consolidated (data-driven), thanks to the traceability made possible by the latest data analysis technology. Moreover, the platform will enable to get a deeper insight into the professionals’ interests. This way, it can offer a better, more personalized and focused attention.

The assistant was build using IBM Watson Assistant technology, which is the most advanced AI platform to create conversational solutions in businesses. So far, it had not been used in the field of Human Resources in Spain.

This AI system is able to answer questions formulated in a natural language in just a few seconds. It can manage to do so thanks to its capacity to analyze great amounts of data. Also, the assistant learns from every experience through guided processes. Therefore, its knowledge will increase as it is enriched with new information and consultations.

A fundamental element

According to Carlos Morán, Cepsa's Human Resources manager, “with this initiative, we have adopted the latest in AI technology to continue improving our professionals’ experience and gain a deeper insight into their concerns, at the same time as reducing bureaucratic procedures and freeing up more time for giving personal attention to those issues that require it. Through digital transformation we are driving forward our culture of innovation, by adopting new technologies and more efficient models of working”

For his part, the manager of IBM Telecommunications and Utilities department Jose Pablo Gomez Uroz believes that "artificial intelligence will be a fundamental element in the development of innovation and greater efficacy in organizations, thanks to its potential for transforming business processes and enhancing peoples' capabilities. We are proud to assist Cepsa in its path to bring AI to its digital transformation strategy."

IBM Watson Platform into the future

Cepsa will continue to develop new functionalities for this platform, which it will use to attend matters related to the payroll, vacations or training requests, etc. In addition, it is looking into the possibility of incorporating this technology to other areas within the company.

Digital transformation constitutes an essential component to reach the goals set in the company’s 2030 strategic plan. With its focus on people, Cepsa has established 14 thematic tracks in which it has identified 450 projects that will make its digital transformation a reality in order to optimize the processes in its businesses and operational areas.

For more information, check Energía16

See also: Red Energy, Cepsa’s new service station network in Mexico

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