Epicor Software is combining artificial intelligence with ERP in a virtual agent designed to help providers with backend administration.

Greg O’Loan

The Epicor Virtual Agent (EVA), is a voice activate assistant that can be downloaded on a mobile device. It uses machine learning to streamline a user’s interactions with enterprise resource planning systems.

For example, a user can ask to see a bill or invoice by simply asking EVA, and the information will be displayed.

For home and community care organisations the technology can be used for rostering, scheduling, and ensuring the right resources are in the right place at the right time, says ANZ regional vice president Greg O’Loan.

“Aged care organisations need intelligent technologies that can recognise trends and patterns, recommend actions, consider different interrelationships, and automate complex processes,” he says.

“Combining AI with ERP is about digitally enabling an organisation to be able to do analytics, even if it just an analytical profile of what’s available in terms of demand.

“It enables a provider to see what they’ve got and what needs they’ve got coming, whether it’s vacancies or resources.”

EVA was launched last year but Mr O’Loan says the technology is yet to be widely taken up by Australian home care providers although there are some niche projects around.

But he says if implemented and used properly the techonology can help aged care organisations shave costs off back-office processes, increase profits and focus on customer experiences. 

It can also be used for predictive analytics, or to show what is likely to happen in coming months, and Mr O’Loan says there has been interest from some aged care providers in this aspect.

Mr O’Loan believes the coronavirus crisis may have a lasting input on aged care and how it’s delivered.

“One of the trends we’ve traditionally seen is that demand for residential beds will grow, but I wonder whether the current environment is that going to encourage more people to stay at home?” he told Community Care Review.

“It’s a bit too early to tell but will the profitability of running  a resi still be there? Will demand decrease? Maybe home care models might be more cost effective to build.”

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