Comerica says its AI bot performs work of six IT helpdesk agents – American Banker

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Comerica wanted to ramp up efficiency for its information technology help desk processes. It tapped one of its own business customers for the task.

The Dallas bank launched its artificial intelligence copilot, dubbed ComerIQ, internally, in May of 2023. Its provider is Moveworks, a company the $86 billion-asset bank has serviced as a client since 2016. Since launching the copilot, which replaces a number of manual tasks including requests for equipment and troubleshooting IT issues, Comerica estimates it has done the work of six full-time agents.

Comerica’s practice is similar to how other banks prioritize generative AI in its relatively early life: by keeping it close to home.

“It fits strategically with how we are seeing companies largely approach AI use cases, which is somewhat removed from the end customer,” said Brendan Mulvey, who leads the Americas risk and compliance practice at Promontory Financial Group. Tasks such as transcribing and summarizing calls and generating content for certain communications are perceived as carrying lower risk. As regional banks continue to face pressure to reduce operating costs, they “are focusing potential cost-saving generative AI efforts to areas that aren’t customer-facing or revenue-generating,” said Mulvey.

Moveworks helps companies deploy artificial intelligence copilots within their businesses, where people can use natural language to ask questions and make requests. In Comerica’s case, it helps employees complete IT-related tasks that would otherwise require filling out forms or placing calls to the help desk, such as procuring equipment, acquiring software, troubleshooting IT issues, resetting passwords and setting up multifactor authentication. ComerIQ has rolled out across all of Comerica’s 7,700 employees. The bot is integrated into Comerica’s Microsoft Teams application, which is the bank’s voice and chat platform, as well as ServiceNow, which the bot uses to complete forms.

In the future, Comerica hopes to use the Moveworks copilot for human resources needs, such as benefits inquiries and new hire onboarding; finance purposes, such as expense and compensation policies; and facilities functions, such as building access requests and conference room lookup.

“Our goal is to have a single place for all colleagues to go to serve the most common needs,” said David Whiting, president of Comerica’s technology and life sciences division.

The bank estimates that ComerIQ performs the work of six full-time agents in responding to questions and handling issues and has saved more than 10,000 hours of productive work time. To arrive at those numbers, Comerica calculated that it was able to resolve 30% of IT issues through the bot, take manager request approval time down from days to minutes, reduce its reliance on external vendors, free up employees to focus on higher-value work, and reduce the amount of off-hours support it needed to provide with humans, since ComerIQ can run at all hours.

No one at Comerica has lost their job as a result of ComerIQ taking over some help desk work; instead, Comerica was able to reduce external costs.

Whiting said the bank is in discussions with several other of its customers to potentially use their products and services internally. When Comerica has a problem that needs solving, he says the bank looks to its own customers for a solution where possible, by ensuring the priorities the information technology staff has identified make their way to the bank’s relationship managers.  .

“It’s exciting to bank a company throughout that lifecycle and be the beneficiary of the solutions they were creating,” said Whiting. Comerica meets with Moveworks monthly to give feedback on its platform and review usage analytics. 

For Mulvey, the most interesting aspect of generative AI he has observed is that companies are gauging how it can replace what they are doing today, such as call transcription, rather than a new way of operating or engaging with customers that generative AI makes possible.

At the same time, companies need to think about what value generative AI adds.

“Just because certain things take time doesn’t mean they’re not valuable or that they are still not worth a person doing,” he said.

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