“Max, please send our new terms and conditions’ letter to all our Prime current account holders,” said Louise, a customer contact manager in a retail bank.
“I will ask Alf to do it. Is there anything else I can do for you today Louise?” Asked Max, the personal virtual helper on Louise’s desktop computer.
“Yes, please tell Alf to update Elsa.”
You may have guessed that Alf and Elsa are robots too – one processes letters for mailshots, the other makes records for regulatory compliance.
Is this scenario hype or reality?
Are colleagues going to be electric? Everest Group data indicates that by 2021 there will be as many Robotic Desktop Automation (RDA), attended robots running on users’ desktops, assisting agents, and employees, as there are people currently delivering contact center outsourcing services globally; that means about three million attended robots by 2021.
There will also be a huge rise in the number of virtual workers or unattended Robotic Process Automation (RPA) robots, running on servers in data centers and delivering end-to-end process automation without the need for employees to activate them. Exhibits 1 and 2 highlight the projected rise of both attended and unattended robots through to 2021. These estimates are for robots purchased on license from independent third-party RPA software vendors. They exclude robots provided by vendors at no charge for proof of concepts, and training, etc.
Exhibit 1 – Attended robots
Exhibit 2 – Unattended robots
Our calculations are based on data from multiple Everest Group databases including but not limited to:
- Revenue, average license costs, and growth of 18 RPA vendors projected out to the larger market
- Numbers of people currently working in contact center outsourcing services, in Global in-house Centers (GICs), also known as shared services centers, in both front- and back-office functions globally
Everest Group analysis indicates that many colleagues will indeed be electric by 2021, a shift that will impact enterprises, not only in operations but also in terms of HR policies, recruitment, succession planning, process knowledge and other skills development, process and program document management, IT investment, management and maintenance, and business and IT continuity.
Sarah Burnett will be discussing this topic and other RPA trends during her talk at Symphony Venture’s Robotic Operations Centre Launch in Krakow, Poland on June 27.