New Transversal AskHR solution provides instant, up to date answers to take pressure off HR departments

Transversal ( has launched AskHR, a new solution which will take the pressure of busy HR departments and provide invaluable insight into the needs and issues concerning employees. Using Transversal's patented Memory Engine technology, AskHR turns any internal staff handbook into a dynamic, self-service knowledgebase able to answer employees' questions about company procedures, policies and benefits, automatically online, 24x7.

AskHR has a unique understanding of everyday language which allows employees to type their question as if they were asking HR staff, and receive instant online answers, without having to make a phone call or wait for an email reply. Employees with more complex concerns can contact the HR department through the AskHR application, thus providing an intelligently managed and centralised HR contact point.

It also provides employees with the advantage of asking questions anonymously about sensitive issues, such as bullying, racism or sexual harrasment, before deciding how they wish to proceed and divulging their identity to their employer. Crucially, HR personnel can analyse frequently asked questions either by individual location, or across the organisation, alerting them early to potential issues. By using AskHR to its full potential, HR personnel can spot discrepancies between different departments, areas that need more attention and training needs.

HR professionals are struggling to cope with dramatically increased levels of routine questions from staff, driven by issues including pension schemes, flexible benefits and compliance. This is preventing them from addressing more strategic topics and achieving the cost reduction and productivity issues demanded by most organisations in 2006, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development .

"With increasing regulation, flexible benefits and pension worries HR professionals are under increasing pressure to provide fast, accurate answers to employee questions," commented Davin Yap, CEO, Transversal. "The advanced self-service capabilities of AskHR with its unique understanding of the human language mean that the majority of routine queries can be resolved instantly, allowing the HR department to concentrate on more strategic and complicated issues."

On average, global companies spend around £1,093 on HR per worker and rely on fewer and fewer HR personnel, according to The Hackett Group. This puts intense pressure on HR to perform while reducing costs and dealing with the increased workloads. To prevent this company information needs to be both up to date and readily available to all employees.

Many HR departments have been historically struggling with distributing ever changing corporate guidelines to all employees in a timely manner - often guidelines are out of date by the time they have been printed and circulated, undermining employee confidence in HR materials. By giving employees access to Transversal's new natural language AskHR service, HR departments only need to update Transversal's unique dynamic knowledge base once and the new information is instantly available for everyone. Expiry dates can be set on information, removing the legal liability issues of inaccurate information.

AskHR has been specifically trained to understand the specific terms and language used in HR as well as everyday terms to make integration and usage even easier. Set up is uncomplicated and can be done within four weeks. Once initial information is loaded into AskHR's knowledgebase content management is simple and does not require specialist staff meaning it can be done quickly by HR personnel. Whenever new information is added the solution automatically learns and adapts thus making maintenance a very straightforward task.

As it is provided as a secure and hosted service no additional hardware or software is required for set up, making it simple and fast to install. The solution also grows with the company, as it is fully scalable from 50 to hundreds of employees. Full 24/7 automated system monitoring and back up ensures any irregularities are spotted immediately and no downtime occurs making it available to staff around the clock.

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Dee Roche, Head of Marketing +44 (0)1223 723 388 Rainier PR Chris Measures/Elke Panzner +44 (0)20 7494 6570

About Transversal
Transversal, founded in 1998 by top researchers from Caltech and Cambridge universities, is a Cambridge-based developer of intelligent eCustomer service software that enables organisations to achieve key sales, customer service and efficiency goals. Transversal's flagship service, Metafaq, enables organisations to increase online sales and reduce the volume of call and email queries to contact centres by automatically answering customers' questions online. Transversal customers will typically see immediate and dramatic email reductions, by around 60%, and improvements in email response times, from days to minutes. Intrafaq, Transversal's knowledge management solution for contact centres, delivers information to agents in a unique way from a dynamic natural language knowledgebase. Simply by typing a question, in their own words, agents can access answers to customer questions; providing fast, accurate and consistent responses. Organisations benefit from increased first call resolution and efficiency by improving the knowledge and quality of service provided by customer service and help-desk agents. Transversal's Memory Engine™ is the result of research and development by top researchers in Information Theory and Machine Learning from Caltech and Cambridge universities. Transversal co-founder, Prof. David MacKay, is a world renowned expert in Artificial Intelligence. He pioneered Bayesian Neural Networks in the late 1980s and remains at the forefront of the field. Current customers include Sony, Direct Line, Thomsons, MFI, Barclays, Nissan, Fujifilm, Standard Life, Freemans, Grattans, Look Again, Kaleidoscope and the Metropolitan Police.

Published on: 12:00AM on 22nd March 2006