Thursday, 17th October 2019
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World-leading hospitality school employs IPsoft’s Amelia to transform student experience

Her 'exceptional' service has made Amelia a key part of the students’ curriculum by demonstrating the potential for leading-edge digital assistants in hospitality.

École Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), one of the world’s most prestigious hospitality management schools in Switzerland, is using IPsoft's Amelia as a digital concierge to support staff and students that visit the school.

Incorporating advanced artificial intelligence and complex Natural Language Understanding, Amelia can be directed using everyday language to performs basic functions, and is capable of recognizing context switching, intent, users’ emotional state, and more.

Transforming the student experience

At EHL, Amelia is being used to improve the staff and student experience, as well as introduce students to the leading-edge technologies that are transforming and improving the hospitality industry.

At the school, Amelia is providing on-hand IT support by managing guest WiFi access and resetting passwords. With the change in laws that require organizations to know who is connecting to their WiFi, the system required a text to be sent to the user to enable them to connect. This was problematic given that the school welcomes visitors from 145 countries, and not everyone was able to receive those messages and connect. Now, Amelia manages the end-to-end process of verifying and providing all guests with access to the WiFi. Students and all EHL employees can also use Amelia to change their password, interacting with her through an interactive kiosk.

Amelia is also supporting with the student admission process. Previously, EHL had a chat box on the website that enabled students to interact with the admission officers. However, frequently there was no one available to provide an immediate response. Now, Amelia is able to provide 24/7 support to applicants, directly responding to questions relating to extensive admission information or, when she is not able to, sending a message to the officers to notify them to reply.

Innovative technology at the heart of the curriculum

Amelia not only improves students’ experience of EHL, CIO Julia Aymonier believes it plays an important role in their curriculum.

“In many cases, this is our students’ first interaction with a sophisticated digital assistant. Their experience of Amelia helps them understand the potential for and the important role that such leading-edge technologies will play in their future careers in the hospitality industry, which has become in itself a key part of the students’ curriculum. In turn, this makes EHL even more attractive to aspiring industry leaders, as our students know they will leave the school on the pulse of the best and latest customer experiences,” she commented.

“While some people in the industry have understandable concerns about the role of artificial intelligence in replacing jobs, our use of Amelia has shown the massive potential to improve the user experience – whether that’s of our students today or their future customers. Digital assistants will never replace the human interactions that are fundamental to delivering the superior customer service that our students go on to provide at some of the most prestigious hotels, restaurants and global firms. However, they do present an immense opportunity to improve the customer experience of more mundane tasks, like booking taxis or ordering room service. And we’re helping open our students’ eyes to this potential,” Julia continued.

Cognitive Centre of Excellence

EHL has created a dedicated Centre of Excellence team focused on exploring Amelia’s capabilities, comprised of five permanent and two rotating team members. The team are already exploring other possible applications for Amelia across the new EHL campus that is under construction, including implementations to help improve wait times in the cafeteria.

Chetan Dube, CEO at IPsoft said: “EHL has been a pioneer in exploring ways that Amelia can transform the experience of its students and staff. We are delighted that Amelia has not only provided a valuable business impact for EHL, through its service desk innovations, but that she continues to inspire the next generation of hospitality leaders in how digital assistants can transform customer experience.”

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