In my last blog post on Sogeti Labs, I wrote about AIOps in Service Management. One key component of that solution was the use of automation to get things resolved quicker.
ChatOps is similar in the use of automation, but it is all about conversation-driven development. In other words, it uses chat as the first point of communication. While in a chat window, a person or a team can type commands (or automation). These commands are pre-configured to execute custom scripts. These can range from code deployments to security event responses to team member notifications. By bringing your tools into your conversations and using a chatbot modified to work with plugins and scripts, teams can automate tasks and collaborate, working better, cheaper and faster – allowing the entire team to collaborate in real-time.
In 2020, I had the opportunity to lead a team to develop this concept, using Power Platform as the tool of choice. Although we started building a proof-of-concept for a hackathon, we expanded it further with other use-cases. Power Platform had many components already pre-built into the platform itself – Power Virtual Agent for the chatbot solution, Power Automate for automation, AI-builder for classification and entity extraction, and rich analytics for dashboarding.
We have a video of the solution on YouTube. The video shows two use-cases:
- Changing an employee’s supervisor: this uses AI-builder for classification and entity extraction from unstructured text, Power Automate for flows to Office 365, Azure Active Directory and ServiceNow, and notifications to Microsoft Teams.
- Monitoring URLs and applications: uses various connectors of the Power Platform to make requests to web-URLs, Azure Application Insights and Azure Monitor, and display results via notifications on to Slack and Outlook.
Outside of this demo, we have built use-cases on:
- Triggering of application build on Azure DevOps
- Restarting of a VM in Azure VM
- Adding a leave request on a Sharepoint tracker
These are sample use-cases, but there’s no limit to the automation that can be developed and connected to your ChatOps solution.