The Shepherd Center in Atlanta is the country's largest catastrophic care hospital specializing in the treatment of people with spinal cord injury and disease, acquired brain injury, multiple sclerosis, and other neuromuscular disorders and urological problems.  Founded in 1975, the 100-bed not-for-profit hospital offers a continuum of health care services, from intensive care through inpatient medical surgical care, rehabilitation, day program, and outpatient and residential services.

Instant Agent Framework Ensures Vital Information is Readily Available

Instant Agent Framework ("IAF") is used by The Shepherd Center's Information Services group to ensure that important information is instantly available to the Center's staff.  In this Q&A session, Adam Abell, Senior System Programmer, gives his perspective on the Center's implementation and usage of Instant Agent Framework.

How is the Center using Instant Agent Framework?

Currently, we are using IAF to supplement our Information Services' Help Desk by making important internal information instantly available to them.

As a deceptively simple, but very powerful example, our Phone Directory Look-up Bot gives our Help Desk instant access to employee numbers.  We have also created an Information Services' Documentation Bot which allows us to quickly check our in-house knowledge base when troubleshooting a problem.  By adding a redirection database I can have the bot output an URL with a link to the Notes document so that the user can open it in the full Notes client if needed.We are building more bots as we speak.  Next up is our Acronym Bot, which will explain the thousands of medical acronyms to our staff.

The fact that the Instant Technologies’ license allows us to build as many bots as we like (at no additional cost), which can be accessed from anywhere thanks to Sametime, makes it much, much easier to assist our users.

Why did you select Instant Agent Framework?

First and foremost was the pricing.IAF was very reasonably priced, especially when compared to the bot pricing of other companies we considered.

Secondly, IAF makes creating Lotus Sametime bots easier than I ever could have imagined.  Instead of a day or two, at the very least, to create a Lotus Sametime bot from scratch, I created the two mentioned above in one hour!  The time it saved in creating these bots more than paid for it.

What was it like to work with Instant Technologies?

Working with the Instant Technologies folks couldn't have been a more pleasant experience.  When demonstrating the product and looking things up on the website I was often pleasantly surprised to have one of Instant's guys start a chat session to ask if I required any assistance.  When I wanted to further discuss pricing options they promptly contacted me.  When I offered some ideas to help enhance their product and website, Instant was very open to suggestions.  I have worked with a good many companies but very few come anywhere near the level of service I received from Instant Technologies.

How would you describe Instant Agent Framework’s ultimate value proposition?

The true value is being able to easily leverage your existingDomino databases and Sametime instant messaging to put information instantly at the fingertips of your users.  The faster users can access critical data, the faster they can do their jobs.

I think IAF has helped—and will continue to help—our Information Services staff provide a higher level of customer service.  I look forward to pushing Sametime to more users here so that we can further improve everyone’s ability to perform their duties.