Meet Satoru: Hakkoda’s LLM-Powered Slackbot for Seamless Employee Support

Learn how Hakkoda harnessed the power of AI to develop a cutting-edge Slackbot, designed to effortlessly address employee queries about tools and recipes within the company.
January 30, 2024
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The age of AI has arrived in full force, and organizations in every sector are fast at work mining the latest trends for innovative solutions that give them an edge on the competition or simplify their everyday operations. 

In this blog, we’ll look at how Hakkoda adopted OpenAI’s Assistants API, which was released on DevDay on November 6, 2023, to make internal communication more efficient. We’ll also talk about how the API can empower other organizations to build internal chatbots and other custom applications using their own data.

Challenge: How to Better Share Internal Information in Slack

Hakkoda identified an opportunity for improvement in internal communication: employees currently explore various Slack channels manually or message colleagues to discover the tools and recipes available to support their work. 

Daily inquiries surface on different Slack channels, like “Engaged in project X, using technology Y, for action Z. Are there assets or recipes for that at Hakkoda?” 

Leveraging OpenAI’s Assistants API, Hakkoda aimed to boost productivity by automating responses to queries using the new Assistants API solution.

Solution: Leveraging AI to Create the Satoru Slackbot

To tackle this, Hakkoda designed an AI solutions app that addresses employee queries about the company’s tools and recipes. The Assistants API was integrated with Bolt, Slack’s app development framework. Prompt engineering was done iteratively to ensure that the assistant responds concisely. 

The data that the assistant needs, which in this case is information about Hakkoda’s assets/tools and recipes, are stored in a Snowflake database and uploaded to the assistant on a schedule. 

Satoru, Hakkoda’s AI solutions app, was first launched on Jan 19, 2024.

Hosting the Slackbot with a Serverless Application Model

Deployment of Satoru utilized AWS Serverless Application Model (SAM) to provision necessary resources in AWS for true serverless operation. This involved setting up Amazon API Gateway as an intermediary between Slack and the Lambda function, enabling event transmission. The Lambda function processes user requests by calling the Assistants API and returns responses through API Gateway to Slack.

Here’s the architecture of Satoru:

Hakkoda - Slackbot - Figure 1
Figure 1. End-to-end architecture of Satoru

Interacting with Satoru

Satoru offers dual interaction modes for user flexibility. Users can tag Satoru in a Slack channel with multiple users, just like they would tag a colleague (see Figure 2) or directly message Satoru to get answers back privately (see Figure 3).

Figure 2. User tags Satoru in a public channel and asks a question about assets/tools.
Hakkoda - Slackbot - Figure 3
Figure 3. User sends a direct message to Satoru with a question.

The Benefits of a Slackbot Like Satoru

  • Convenient Access: Easily ask questions to Satoru, eliminating the need to wait for colleagues’ responses.
  • Swift Responses: Satoru boasts an average response time of 30 seconds, significantly faster than waiting for colleagues to provide answers.
  • Enhanced Productivity: Colleagues can focus on work without spending time on asset-related queries.
  • High Availability: Satoru’s serverless architecture ensures readiness for any request volume, scaling as needed.
  • Cost-Effective: Lambda function pricing is request-based, saving costs when Satoru is not in use.

Building Your Own Slackbot or Custom Application with Hakkōda

The explosion of new AI tools and technologies in the last few years is already changing how businesses in every industry approach their day-to-day operations, automating cumbersome internal processes and opening new, cost-effective ways to improve user experience for customers and internal stakeholders alike.

For companies seeking low lift and high return on their early AI investments, customer-facing chatbots or internal-facing Slackbots like Hakkoda’s Satoru are an excellent first step, especially when backed by a trusted partner like Hakkoda’s Gen AI consultancy. 

Our teams combine deep industry experience with expertise across the modern data stack to help you integrate solutions that make sense for your business goals—whether you want to build a Slackbot of your own or leverage your data to design the application of your dreams. 

Ready to see how AI can help your organization unlock game-changing new efficiencies? Contact us today.

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