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  1. Digital Marketplace
  2. Lot 2: Cloud software
  3. SMART AI Student Services Assistant (Universities)
ICS.AI LTD

SMART AI Student Services Assistant (Universities)

The SMART AI Student Assistant for Universities (chatbot) uses AI technology and self-service to improve student recruitment and retention 24/7 while reducing service delivery costs. Allows the university to engage with the student from enrolment, during their stay at university and once they have left. Continuously improved through supervised learning.

Features

  • Pre-trained human parity AI answers queries with 90%+ accuracy
  • Automatically provide learning resources, careers, IT, welfare, financial support
  • Streamline student services and automate simple requests through self-service
  • Universal Concierge: library of pre-built skills ready to deploy
  • Intelligent chat and voice with natural language processing
  • Queries triage -answer with AI or route to university staff
  • Accessible, customisable, intuitive UX (WCAG 2.1AA compliant), multi-language translation
  • Integrate with existing back-end HR systems e.g. Dynamics
  • Patent pending SMARTMesh provides continuous evolution of knowledge
  • Intent analytics captures user interactions anonymously

Benefits

  • Give students instant answers 24/7 across range of channels/devices
  • Enable users to self-serve all services through natural language
  • Reduce calls into university, resolving routine queries with AI
  • Transfer complex queries to university staff
  • Seamlessly become the ‘always on’ university – answer out-of-hours
  • Engage across journey, enrolment, engagement, knowledge, IT, learning, employability
  • Understand engagement via analytics – identify students at risk
  • Surface existing business systems for rapid deployment
  • Subversion, provocation and desperation managed via Ethical edge
  • Easy to engage with a SMART channel product

Pricing

£26,750 a licence a year

  • Education pricing available
  • Free trial available

Service documents

Request an accessible format
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need versions of these documents in a more accessible format, email the supplier at andrew.smith@ics.ai. Tell them what format you need. It will help if you say what assistive technology you use.

Framework

G-Cloud 13

Service ID

7 7 2 5 2 9 0 4 3 0 0 3 6 8 2

Contact

ICS.AI LTD Andrew smith
Telephone: 01256 403800
Email: andrew.smith@ics.ai

Service scope

Software add-on or extension
Yes, but can also be used as a standalone service
What software services is the service an extension to
The following Microsoft licensing is required for the SMART assistants; An Azure Subscription
Office 365 A1, A3, A5
Microsoft Teams
Optional
SharePoint Online Plan 1 or Plan 2
Cloud deployment model
  • Public cloud
  • Private cloud
  • Hybrid cloud
Service constraints
The following Microsoft licensing is required for the SMART Hub (Corporate Comms); An Azure Subscription Optional SharePoint Online Plan 1 or Plan 2 Office 365 E1 or E3 or E5 Suite
System requirements
  • Windows Server 2016+
  • IIS 8.0+
  • SQL Server (Std/Express) 2012+ / SQL Azure
  • SharePoint Online
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.7.2 +
  • Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services
  • Ubuntu 16.0 +

User support

Email or online ticketing support
Email or online ticketing
Support response times
The response time is either 24 hour or 72 hours, depending on the contract signed by the client and applies during working hours from Monday to Fridays
User can manage status and priority of support tickets
Yes
Online ticketing support accessibility
None or don’t know
Phone support
Yes
Phone support availability
9 to 5 (UK time), Monday to Friday
Web chat support
No
Onsite support
Yes, at extra cost
Support levels
The Support levels are as follows and the SLA for an Urgent issue is a fix or workaround within 24 hours or 72 hours, dependent on contract
1.Urgent - System not responding or critical function loss that affects all users
2. High - A function loss that causes significant disruption to business and users
3. Normal - Function loss that affects some users but will not stop them from being able to do other tasks
4. Low - A cosmetic issue or a minor function loss that affects some users
This service, up to an agreed number of hours per month is included in the cost of the Licence for the Citizen Services bot. Additional support hours can be purchased if required.
Support available to third parties
Yes

Onboarding and offboarding

Getting started
Through online training for power users
Service documentation
Yes
Documentation formats
  • PDF
  • Other
Other documentation formats
MS Word
End-of-contract data extraction
All user content is stored within the customers cloud environment
End-of-contract process
The software is decomissioned and product artifacts are removed from the customers Azure subscription and Office 365 tenant. No user content is affected.

Using the service

Web browser interface
Yes
Supported browsers
  • Internet Explorer 11
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Firefox
  • Chrome
  • Safari
  • Opera
Application to install
No
Designed for use on mobile devices
Yes
Differences between the mobile and desktop service
None
Service interface
No
User support accessibility
WCAG 2.1 AA or EN 301 549
API
No
Customisation available
Yes
Description of customisation
Developers can modify and extend the product using the administrative tools and SDK.

Scaling

Independence of resources
The service is installed either locally on premise or on dedicated cloud resources, for each individual customer. Service infrastructure is scaled according to customer requirements.

Analytics

Service usage metrics
Yes
Metrics types
Chat logs for all users are available including conversation data, searches and user selections.
Reporting types
Reports on request

Resellers

Supplier type
Not a reseller

Staff security

Staff security clearance
Other security clearance
Government security clearance
Up to Security Clearance (SC)

Asset protection

Knowledge of data storage and processing locations
Yes
Data storage and processing locations
  • United Kingdom
  • European Economic Area (EEA)
User control over data storage and processing locations
No
Datacentre security standards
Managed by a third party
Penetration testing frequency
At least once a year
Penetration testing approach
In-house
Protecting data at rest
  • Physical access control, complying with CSA CCM v3.0
  • Physical access control, complying with SSAE-16 / ISAE 3402
  • Physical access control, complying with another standard
  • Encryption of all physical media
  • Other
Other data at rest protection approach
Azure provides physical access. No user content is stored within the SMART configuration database, all content is stored in client applications or in Office 365/SharePoint.
Data sanitisation process
No
Equipment disposal approach
A third-party destruction service

Data importing and exporting

Data export approach
Extraction not required, no customer data stored within product
Data export formats
Other
Other data export formats
Extraction not required, no customer data stored within product
Data import formats
Other
Other data import formats
Extraction not required, no customer data stored within product

Data-in-transit protection

Data protection between buyer and supplier networks
  • TLS (version 1.2 or above)
  • Legacy SSL and TLS (under version 1.2)
Data protection within supplier network
Other
Other protection within supplier network
No data is transferred from customer managed  networks

Availability and resilience

Guaranteed availability
Availability is governed by infrastructure design as part of a deployment project. Load balancing and DR options are available.
Approach to resilience
Client facing application can be hosted on multple servers and back end processes can be moved between servers in the event of a primary server outage
Outage reporting
Windows monitoring tools (System Centre, Nagios, etc) can be used to monitor service and report on outages

Identity and authentication

User authentication needed
No
Access restrictions in management interfaces and support channels
Active Directory Users and Groups
Access restriction testing frequency
At least every 6 months
Management access authentication
  • Username or password
  • Other
Description of management access authentication
As the service is run from the clients Azure subscription, they have a choice as to which mechanism to use for management access. This can include 2 factor authentication with user name and password or other options such as Azure Vault

Audit information for users

Access to user activity audit information
Users have access to real-time audit information
How long user audit data is stored for
User-defined
Access to supplier activity audit information
Users have access to real-time audit information
How long supplier audit data is stored for
User-defined
How long system logs are stored for
User-defined

Standards and certifications

ISO/IEC 27001 certification
Yes
Who accredited the ISO/IEC 27001
N/A hosted in Azure which is compliant
ISO/IEC 27001 accreditation date
N/A hosted in Azure which is compliant
What the ISO/IEC 27001 doesn’t cover
N/A hosted in Azure which is compliant
ISO 28000:2007 certification
Yes
Who accredited the ISO 28000:2007
N/A hosted in Azure which is compliant
ISO 28000:2007 accreditation date
N/A hosted in Azure which is compliant
What the ISO 28000:2007 doesn’t cover
N/A hosted in Azure which is compliant
CSA STAR certification
Yes
CSA STAR accreditation date
N/A hosted in Azure which is compliant
CSA STAR certification level
Level 5: CSA STAR Continuous Monitoring
What the CSA STAR doesn’t cover
N/A hosted in Azure which is compliant
PCI certification
Yes
Who accredited the PCI DSS certification
N/A hosted in Azure which is compliant
PCI DSS accreditation date
N/A hosted in Azure which is compliant
What the PCI DSS doesn’t cover
N/A hosted in Azure which is compliant
Cyber essentials
Yes
Cyber essentials plus
No
Other security certifications
No

Security governance

Named board-level person responsible for service security
Yes
Security governance certified
No
Security governance approach
Achieved by the responsible Director mandating & reviewing  organisation-wide information security policy that is supported by lower level security policies, procedures and guidelines (such as the information security, risk and compliance management structures, reporting lines, divisions of responsibility, delegated authorities and so forth).
Information security policies and processes
The Business Operations Director is responsible for setting and reviewing the following: Password Policy, Backup Policy, Network Access Policy, Remote Access Policy, Virtual Private Network (VPN) Policy, Guest Access Policy, Third Party Connection Policy, Network Security Policy, Mobile Device Policy, Retention Policy, Physical Security Policy, Email Policy

Operational security

Configuration and change management standard
Conforms to a recognised standard, for example CSA CCM v3.0 or SSAE-16 / ISAE 3402
Configuration and change management approach
The solution is deployed using a Continuous Integration /Continuous Deployment methodology which is part of the Azure DevOps Service. DevOps is the combination of cultural philosophies, practices, and tools that increases an organization's ability to deliver applications and services at high velocity: evolving and improving products at a faster pace than organizations using traditional software development and infrastructure management processes.
Vulnerability management type
Undisclosed
Vulnerability management approach
The SMART AI Service is hosted on servers within the customers network and we recommend that Windows Server security and hardening best practices are followed where applicable. The SMART AI Service requires authentication and any security vulnerabilities are patched as a priority once discovered. Penetration test can be arranged at the request of the customer.
Protective monitoring type
Supplier-defined controls
Protective monitoring approach
The SMART AI Service is hosted on servers in the customer network. The SMART Service requires authentication to access and through the use of web server logs and SMART Service logs patterns of inappropriate use can be identified. When an incident is reported ICS works with the customer to resolve the issue and update any configuration issues and will provide a patch or update where necessary. SMART AI security issues are logged as priority 1 calls are dealt using appropriate SLAs.
Incident management type
Supplier-defined controls
Incident management approach
The product support team follow defined processes around logging, assigning, escalating and resolving issues. Nominated service users can report issues via a dedicated web portal, email address or telephone number and are regularly informed of incident progress. Incident report updates are available via the web portal or by contacting the support team.

Secure development

Approach to secure software development best practice
Supplier-defined process

Public sector networks

Connection to public sector networks
No

Social Value

Fighting climate change

Fighting climate change

Our SMART AI platform brings 24/7 self service and automation to users of public sector services. By deploying services digitally, our AI is part of an effort towards channel shift with less reliance on in-person event and meetings.
Covid-19 recovery

Covid-19 recovery

Our SMART AI platform helps public sector organisations and their users recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Our technology helps reduce the demand for front line support services by introducing self-service across various channels 24/7. It reduces the need for face to face meetings and uses accessible digital interfaces for organisations to serve their users. For support staff within an organisation it increases the likelihood of remote working and reduced travel as our technology is cloud based and accessible anywhere, at any time.
Tackling economic inequality

Tackling economic inequality

Our SMART AI platform delivers innovation and new technologies through the supply chain that results in reduced costs for public sector organisations and better quality services. Our proprietary AI is built to be human parity and deliver the same or a better experience than equivalent human agents on channels like phone, email and live chat. Our AI platform lets users increasingly self serve answers and processes to free up capacity within organisations and better deploy resources where they are most needed.
Equal opportunity

Equal opportunity

Our SMART AI platform is built with accessibility in mind. Our web based deployments of conversational AI are WCAG 2.1 AA compliant with styling and language that allow for customisation and access from text/voice input.
Wellbeing

Wellbeing

Our SMART AI platform was built to promote user self-service and automation with less reliance of public sector organisations' 1st line support. One way we can help communities is to deliver a human parity 24/7 service which isn't necessarily available from an organisation. We also offer multi-lingual support by default and allows non-native speakers to converse with an organisation in their own language seamlessly.

Pricing

Price
£26,750 a licence a year
Discount for educational organisations
Yes
Free trial available
Yes
Description of free trial
Limited period access to fully featured demo environment
Link to free trial
Environment provisioned per user

Service documents

Request an accessible format
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need versions of these documents in a more accessible format, email the supplier at andrew.smith@ics.ai. Tell them what format you need. It will help if you say what assistive technology you use.