Joint winner: Technological Innovation 2017 – MoveAssist

MoveAssist, a specialist developer of mobility and moving services software, was joint winner of Relocate’s 2017 technology award with MAIA, the first intelligent chatbot for the global mobility sector.

Relocate Global Awards 2017 Technological Innovation MoveAssist
The Technological Innovation category continues to grow, reflecting the focus on improving the use of technology across the relocation sector to add value for corporate clients and improve the experience of assignees and their families.This year, the submissions ranged from cutting-edge advances in mobility platforms, through cultural training, career coaching and language provision, to streamlining the sourcing of property and serviced apartments.There were two outstanding entries, both of which exhibited the technological advancement and innovation the judges were looking for in this category. The benefits of these technologies, though very different, will be significant to the winning companies’ clients across different areas, and will set a standard for other areas of global mobility to follow.

A breakthrough for the sector

The judges loved MoveAssist’s global mobility chatbot, MAIA. Here is state-of-the-art use of artificial intelligence that provides an online chat-based experience for assignees without the need for a human team member from the employer or the relocation company to be involved. This really is a breakthrough for the global mobility sector.MoveAssist’s Robby Wogan explains that MAIA is a computer programme designed to simulate conversations with human users. It uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) to ‘understand’ requests and queries, and then formulates a response.Mr Wogan points out that the rise in the popularity of messaging systems such as Facebook Messenger and Slack is making chatbots more accessible in many industries. He is rightly proud of creating the first intelligent chatbot for the global mobility sector.Interaction with MAIA can take place via mobile, laptop and other apps, and can be via speech, text or simply typing in requests, making it easily accessible. MAIA links with MoveAssist’s mai-assignment system to automate tasks and recommend solutions based on information held in the system.Robby Wogan is keen to emphasise that each company uploads its own information and everything is secure. The mobility team or relocation company controls what the assignee is able to access.As he explains, “This provides mobility teams with a high-capability, low-cost resource in AI form that will significantly impact mobility programme costs while improving employee engagement.”MAIA enables effective self-service on a 24/7/365 basis, no matter where in the world the user is based. This will really help those in different time zones, and was seen by the judges as a big plus, as it opens up a world of possibilities for the sector.The tool is versatile and will deliver information on a live basis. The judges were impressed that it learnt as it developed and could be used to deliver helpful responses and information not only to assignees but also to in-house global mobility teams and vendors, to provide immediate responses to queries.As practitioners, the judges were convinced that this exciting technology would provide value to all aspects of the global mobility chain through consistency and efficiency of time, and that it was a groundbreaking example of customer service of the future for the mobility sector.“It is easy to see how MAIA could liberate global mobility teams by answering a whole host of questions,” says Robby Wogan. “This significantly reduces the number of emails sent and received, and allows teams to dedicate more time to their strategic work.”As he explains, both HR and mobility specialists can also benefit from MAIA’s knowledge. Instead of running a report, for example, a team member can simply ask ‘How many assignees do we have in Brazil?’ and MAIA will instantly supply the answer.

Improving the relocation experience

MoveAssist envisages a future in which MAIA will provide both employees on assignment and global mobility teams with a first point of contact for general enquires and specific assignment queries. This will ultimately improve the relocation experience for everyone involved.Global mobility is certainly not slowing down, and this solution should appeal to all demographics on the move, whether they are travelling on business, undertaking a domestic relocation, or embarking on an international assignment.MoveAssist has taken the use of chatbots beyond the gimmick stage and shown the way forward for AI in the global mobility sector.The company was proud to be the first winner of Relocate’s technology award ten years ago, and its team were thrilled to be back on the winners’ podium at the Science Museum for an evening that celebrated innovation.“We are delighted to win this award, as it underpins MoveAssist’s position as a leading and committed innovator in global mobility,” says Robby Wogan.“As MAIA is the first global mobility chatbot, recognition at the Relocate Awards indicates that the industry is ready to anticipate, evolve and adopt new technologies.”

Following this year's innovation-themed gala dinner, the Relocate team is already hard at work to ensure we build on the success of the Relocate Awards 2017 and make next year’s even bigger and better.

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© 2017. This article first appeared in the Summer 2017 edition of Relocate magazine, published by Profile Locations, Spray Hill, Hastings Road, Lamberhurst, Kent TN3 8JB. All rights reserved. This publication (or any part thereof) may not be reproduced in any form without the prior written permission of Profile Locations. Profile Locations accepts no liability for the accuracy of the contents or any opinions expressed herein.