KTU joins forces with Lithuanian startup Frontu to develop a virtual assistant

Sustainability | 2021-09-30

Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) has signed a cooperation agreement with a field service management software provider Frontu (previously Tasker). Both parties are committed to sharing experience and tools in order to start developing science-based solutions that will improve the effectiveness of service workers across many different industries. 

The agreement has already produced tangible results as both partners have begun working on a mutual project. KTU scientists have long been involved with the advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies. Frontu is seeking to enhance task management and the overall capabilities of virtual assistants by taking advantage of those methods. The combined scientific knowledge and business assets will not only help improve the previously mentioned technologies but also solve existing issues plaguing businesses.

Scientists aiding startups and business

Many businesses rely solely on their own experience or that of other market participants for essential decision-making or technological development. Yet, scientists and domain experts can provide indispensable knowledge or insights, especially in the field of AI. Solution development times can be improved and mistakes avoided if advice from scientists is taken into account. 

“Customer service response times are incredibly important for service-based companies. Knowing whether the equipment will be fixed on the same day or next week is essential to clients. As such, we are looking to improve customer service response times through the use of data analytics and process management. After simplifying service processes, combining the data acquired by Frontu with AI systems allows us to automatically select the best field agent, predict service times, and ensure first time fixes. By cooperating with Frontu, we are developing our own research-based expertise, which will later be passed on to students.”, – said Mantas Vilkas, a researcher at KTU’s School of Business and Economics Digitalization research group.

Science-based technology

Technological advancement in the field service management sector is of vital importance. Frontu, after repositioning its brand, is committed to focusing more on field service data analysis and product development. 

According to the CEO Arūnas Eitutis, in order to achieve exceptional results, it is integral to understand the issues clients are faced with and to create science and data-driven solutions in response. One of the primary goals of the cooperation with KTU researchers is to digitize task management and to remove customer service disruptions. First-time fixes are essential to the industry as both companies and their clients aim to resolve issues as quickly as possible. 

Frontu aims to not only expand upon industry knowledge but to develop the virtual assistant’s functionality by collaborating with KTU researchers. Currently, through the use of artificial intelligence, the system can assign tasks automatically and simplify work in many other ways, however, the company is focusing on complete automation.

Complete automation would mean that the system can not only assign but also adapt the assignment of tasks based on the experience of field service workers and the client’s history without any manual work. Such a development would significantly improve business processes and reduce the likelihood of human error.