Barclays Creates the Mother-of-All-Bots

Futuristic digital chatbot on dark background 3D rendering

Within a year of deploying the Symphony collaboration and automation platform across its markets and banking groups, Barclays found that it needed to implement a bot framework so it could manage the growing demands that users were putting on the platform.

The bank started its Symphony implementation by deploying three bots into production, according to Mehru Anand, director, digital transformation client-facing technology at Barclays, and who gave a joint presentation at Innovate 2019 hosted by Symphony.

“There was a research bot that is used by front-office research and sales, a CRM flight-check bot that is used by sales and the front office, and a central template bot that is useful for everyone,” she said.

Barclays has since added another seven bots to its stable of bots. One is the bank’s echo bot that communicates market information between Symphony chat rooms while respecting the necessary information barriers between business groups.

“We have research, sales, banking, operations, and the office of technology on the platform,” said Anand. “All in all, we are talking about 14,000 users live on Symphony in Barclays. So far, we are doing fine, and I don’t want to jinx it.”

However, without having a central framework to develop future bots, the situation could become untenable for developers and Anand’s team.

Eve permits Barclays developers to focus on their business logic while Eve encapsulates the inner workings of Symphony for the new bot.

What used to take three days to process and develop due to the back-and-forth between organizations regarding procedures and configurations now takes Barclays less than a minute, according to Anand.

The developers can use the language of their choice, such as Java or Python, when writing their business logic, she added. “We see a lot of front office users wanting to use Python.”

Since Barclays launched Eve, the bank has seen an uptick in automation.

“We are having more people come to us wanting to integrate their business applications,” said Anand. “We want to capture all of those inner workings as fast as possible.”