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Microsoft Informational Bot

Rapid Bot deployment resources for Covid-19, Unemployment and Other Uses

Create a Microsoft Informational Bot

Microsoft informational bots enable customers to disseminate information about their organizations to external or internal audiences at scale. Bots provide an additional channel for your customers to access information. Promoting a custom bot as the first place to go to get answers about your organization and its programs, reduces the number of inquiries that your customer service organization must handle. This is particularly beneficial during the current COVID-19 pandemic where customer service organizations for critical services are strained to the limit. A typical informational bot can be developed in less than a day.

This web site offers useful resources that will enable you to develop an informational Bot for your organization. Two bots most frequently developed using the assets on this web site are described in the following paragraphs.

Unemployment Insurance (UI) Chatbot

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the US economy and has left many people unemployed. This has resulted in the largest number of people filing for unemployment in our country’s history. Most state and local unemployment insurance agencies were not designed to handle such a large surge of applications in such a short period of time. Consequently, unemployment customer service organizations are being overwhelmed by questions, many of which can be answered by a Microsoft bot loaded with Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). The minimal investment in time spent developing a bot yields large returns in reduced employee stress and increased customer satisfaction. (See example)

COVID-19 Chatbot

The COVID-19 Chatbot is an informational bot that can be used to disseminate any type of COVID-19 related FAQs. This can include health, licensing, transportation, and other information. Powered by Azure, the Covid-19 Chatbot will effortlessly scale to meet demand. The Covid-19 Chatbot can be used for both internal communication with your employees or external communication with your customers. It will reduce the amount of time IT, human resources, and customer service staff spend answering questions, thereby enabling them to focus on higher value activities.

Initial deployment options & resources

Here are the bot options and links to the code and instructions. These are the quickest and easiest options available.

Resource name Description Link to resource
Simple QnA Bot Follow step-by-step guide to deploy. No more than 2 hours Guide
Video Video showing step by step how to create the QnA bot. Link
Video How to update COVID-19 content when multiple contributors are involved Link

Supplemental resources (optional)

Resource name Description Link to resource
Analytics Get analytics on your knowledge base Guide
Customize Download and customize your bot Guide
CDC FAQ Center for Disease Control (CDC) FAQ that can be ingested into QnA maker Link
Integrate SMS Enable your bot to answer questions via SMS text messaging via Twilio Link
Samples Code samples for developers Link
Search Tier How to change Azure Cognitive Search Tier Guide

Healthcare Bot resources

Resource name Description Link to resource
Health Bot Provides intelligent, personalized access to health-related information Guide
Quickstart Follow step-by-step guide to deploy Guide
Best Practices Instance Management and Version Control Recommendations Guide

Office hours for bot deployment questions

Join the Teams meeting - Wednesdays from 12:00pm to 2:00pm ET

Alternative Uses

QnA Maker bots can be created to assist with a wide range of topics to assist customers with addressing the COVID pandemic. Below are a few additional ideas:


The QnA Maker based bot utilizes several Azure services which each have their own cost based upon their service tier or usage. Below are the components which need to be considered when calculating costs.