Novartis secures Malaysia Technology Excellence Awards for global conversational chatbot | Asian Business Review

Novartis secures Malaysia Technology Excellence Awards for global conversational chatbot

It has enhanced employee experience in Travel & Expenses enquiry management.

Multinational healthcare company, Novartis has been awarded with a win in the Digital - Pharmaceuticals category at the coveted Malaysia Technology Excellence Awards 2024 for its successful implementation of a chatbot for enquiries on its Travel & Expenses (T&E) services.

The T&E chatbot is available anytime, anywhere via standard chat platforms. It offers 24/7 availability, a user-friendly interface, instant responses, and multilingual support in nine languages (English, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian). It can also understand and accurately respond to end users’ questions, seamlessly transitioning from self-service to guided service support.

Novartis’ T&E services oversee global business spending, travel bookings, corporate credit cards, and expense claims. Every employee interacts with T&E processes, from local, and international travel to parking reimbursements. The company believes that streamlining the enquiry management system is crucial to aid employees in resolving T&E issues promptly.

The company observed that employees encountered issues with retrieving relevant information using its tools prior to the implementation of the chatbot, with some opting for guided service instead of self-service even for simple matters, resulting in unnecessary waiting times and wasted department effort.

An analysis of its processes shows that 22.50% of tickets could have been resolved independently or through a chatbot. Over three-quarters of tickets are raised through guided service, indicating a need to enhance self-service adoption.

Aside from the chatbot implementation, the company has also tapped into the digitalisation of the enquiry management process. It has implemented a knowledge-based search portal accessible to all employees to retrieve T&E-related knowledge articles and self-resolve their problems for simple enquiries.

Through the enhancements made in the enquiry management and the implementation of the chatbot, Novartis has yielded improvements in employee experience in T&E enquiry management. The chatbot also has facilitated the increased adoption of the self-service channel for managing T&E queries with the end-user willingness to switch to a chatbot.

A post-implementation analysis shows a nearly 10% shift from guided service to self-service channels and a similar increase in enquiries raised through the chatbot. 10% of end users find the chatbot helpful. It has also shown that end users find the chatbot easier to use compared to the existing search portal. 

Novartis will be moving to the next stage of its enquiry management process improvement, which is automation by self-service resolution and ticket avoidance powered by the knowledge-based conversational chatbot.

“There's an opportunity to improve enquiry management by providing instant, accurate information, reducing simple service requests, and encouraging self-resolution amongst employees,” said Elsie Chang, Head of Novartis Corporate Center Kuala Lumpur, whilst speaking about this achievement.

Novartis is a leading multinational company employing close to 700 associates who work in the Novartis International division and Novartis Corporate Center Kuala Lumpur. Novartis Corporate Center Kuala Lumpur is one of six strategically located corporate centres established by Novartis globally. It brings together expert capabilities and talent across functionalities and is an innovation hub that drives the business forward. 

Malaysia Technology Excellence Awards recognises exceptional companies at the forefront of technological innovation and digital transformation in Malaysia’s rapidly growing economy.

The Malaysia Technology Excellence Awards is presented by Asian Business Review Magazine. To view the full list of winners, click here. If you want to join the 2025 awards programme and be acclaimed for your company's outstanding contributions in pursuit of technological innovation, please contact Danica Avila at [email protected].

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