Tag: robotic process automation

Five Ways to Reduce Contact Center Costs with Automation and Chatbots | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

Everest Group’s recent research revealed that successful adoption of RPA and chatbots in contact centers can reduce the total cost of contact center operations by 11-16 percent. Yet, very few enterprises have achieved these levels of automation-driven cost reduction in their contact center operations. Why? Technology is just one piece of the puzzle. In order to unlock the true benefits of automation solutions in your contact center, you also need to focus on organizational readiness, effective change management, and better governance mechanisms.

Five ways to reduce contact center costs with RPA & chatbots


Analyze and select the right processes for automation

Enterprises should start by identifying the contact center processes that are most suitable for automation. To achieve breakeven in quick time, it’s best to start by automating highly repetitive and less complex business processes with RPA. For example, a process wherein agents spend exorbitant amounts of time navigating through multiple systems and applications to fetch the required information is ideal to automate with RPA.

Re-engineer business processes before automation

Automating business processes that aren’t standardized or simplified can result in more exceptions. But optimizing them before automating them, with IT and operations jointly looking at them through the RPA lens, can greatly reduce exceptions. Learnings from best-in-class RPA implementers also suggest that business process re-engineering is a significant step to realizing the strategic objectives of RPA adoption.

Build winning partnerships

Building a partner ecosystem with leading RPA technology vendors and/or system integrators that offer best-in-breed automation platforms and specialized domain expertise is crucial to achieving successful RPA adoption. Doing so can help enterprises save time and effort at every stage of RPA adoption, which eventually manifests in effective cost savings.

Make a quick transition from pilots to large-scale deployments

Enterprises that achieve significant financial impact and rapid return on their RPA investments quickly scale-up from the pilot stage to large-scale deployments. To move fast successfully, it’s important to foresee challenges ahead while in the pilot stage, and begin mitigation efforts earlier. Enterprises can also follow an agile implementation approach, which could enable their RPA deployments to quickly and flexibly adapt to changes in business requirements or underlying applications.

Integrate RPA with chatbots to achieve incremental cost reduction

Once RPA has delivered some quick wins, enterprises can deploy chatbots alongside RPA to realize incremental cost savings. For example, chatbots can resolve less complex customer queries more quickly when RPA bots fetch the necessary information and relevant insights from multiple systems and applications. Enterprises should envision building a digital workforce with both RPA and chatbots in their contact centers to achieve long-term benefits that can extend well beyond the incremental cost savings.

Adoption of best practices for contact center automation can help enterprises achieve tangible business outcomes. And the returns can be quick: our latest research shows 9-15 months with RPA, and 18-24 months with chatbots adoption.

To learn more about how you can build a successful business case for automation adoption in your contact center, check out Everest Group’s recently released report: The Business Case for RPA and Chatbots in Contact Centers.” And, please feel free to share your automation adoption experiences in contact centers with us: Katrina Menzigian ([email protected]) and Jayapriya K ([email protected])

Robotic Process Automation to create 2 lakh jobs by 2021: Dines | In the News

India is in prime position to become a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) powerhouse because of its growing talent pool and cost advantage and an estimated 2 lakh jobs can be created by it in the country by 2021. Daniel Dines, CEO and Co-Founder of UiPath, the leading enterprise Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software company said RPA had been gaining traction as a way of automating repetitive, tedious tasks to handle higher-value analysis and decision-making.

Sarah Burnett, Vice President, Global Research Company Everest Group, said that automation was the way to go. ”It will create incredible opportunities in the IT sector. In a recent study by Everest Group, 80 per cent of companies that we surveyed rated RPA to meet expectations and even exceed them. RPA addresses many areas including regulatory compliance, process automation and more. Also it is secure and most importantly, it is scalable.”

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The Robots are Coming – Should You Fear or Welcome Them? | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

How does your enterprise compare with peers?

A few weeks back, we opened our Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Pinnacle Model study to enterprises to compare their RPA adoption performances head-to-head. Everest Group Pinnacle ModelTM assessments are unique in that they correlate quantified outcomes and capabilities with a special spotlight on the Pinnacle Enterprises that are outperforming their peers. As part of the study process, we also interview select participants to gather qualitative information about these same enterprises.

Having completed a number of these interviews and looking at some of the early tabulations from those have completed the RPA adoption survey, I’m sharing some of my early thoughts below.

Four thoughts on our RPA Pinnacle Enterprise survey results

  • The robots are truly coming, but the fears about the impact on jobs is way overblown – it is clear from our conversations that RPA is going to have an impact in many different parts of the organization, including both front office and back office, but the number of jobs being impacted is not going to be the primary value proposition. Yes, cost take out will be part of the equation, but it is highly likely it will impact slices of jobs and/or departments that will allow for those employees to be transitioned to higher-value tasks.
  • Improving the job for employees – One of the clear messages that we have heard so far is that employees are embracing RPA. In fact, the branding of these initiatives is about getting rid of the worst tasks of their current jobs and includes names like “Smart Automation” and “We Innovate.” In fact, many of these employees are already implementing their own home automations like Nest, Alexa, Google, Rachio, etc. and are becoming quite comfortable with these quality of life improvements automations. One of the enterprises we spoke with actually talked about seeing improvements in their employee retention rates when they were included in these initiatives and allowed to improve their own jobs. However, change management has not been “easy,” and companies have adopted various ways to create awareness about the benefits of RPA and how employees can use it to be more effective in their jobs. Some of the examples of approaches include workshops, training programs, newsletters, project of the year, and hackathons.
  • The real skirmish is between the business units and IT for ownership – one of the interesting aspects of this analysis is to see where the study participants reside in their organizations. In the conversations, it becomes apparent the business is the one driving the conversation and IT has been the reluctant partner. But I got the sense this was changing pretty quickly, and IT was beginning to see the light that they have to be part of these implementations for a variety of reasons. Also, organizations have internally gone through a debate as to whether to approach this is an IT project or a business process redesign. We will be interested in hearing how your organization is thinking about this. Participate in the study.
  • We are just getting started – we can see it in the data and with our conversations, enterprises are running multiple RPA initiatives and projects are spread across RPA implementation stages. At least 65% of respondents are in the process of scaling up their RPA efforts or running steady-state automations. However, the majority of enterprises are still in their rookie year when it comes to setting up RPA CoEs (or expanding existing automation CoEs). The implications is that the initial proof of concepts projects are seeing enough promise that formal teams are being stood up to begin the scaling process.

We will be analyzing the data over the next several weeks so watch this blog for more interesting tidbits from those results.
Join the party … it is not too late for you to participate. Take the survey to compare your enterprise RPA adoption to others in the industry.

Related: The Evolution of RPA Adoption

Don’t Be an RPA Loser – Making the Most of Your RPA Deployments | Virtual Roundtable

Thursday,  December 14, 2017 | 11:00 a.m.  – 12:30 p.m. ET

Register for the Virtual Roundtable

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) offers great potential for efficiency and yet many organizations fail to move beyond a simple Proof of Concept (POC). Everest Group research shows that many POCs do not represent the full complexities of deploying RPA in real operational environments, leading to difficulties in scaling up. And yet, it is only by scaling up RPA that organizations can maximize its benefits. How do organizations address this problem and get the most value from their RPA investment?

Following introductions, we will offer a very brief, context-setting best practice session on how we have seen organizations accelerate RPA benefits. The bulk of the time will be dedicated to group discussion, with participants sharing how they are approaching their automation programs, including the role of POCs, deployment approaches, and other relevant topics as they arise.

Who should attend

Enterprise global services and outsourcing executives who want to share and discuss practical hints and tips to move beyond the POC stage to make the most of their RPA deployments.

What you will learn

Learn about the typical challenges peer organizations have faced in deploying RPA and how they have overcome them
Share thoughts on best practices for deploying RPA

Presenter

Sarah Burnett, RPA Research Lead, Everest Group

Register now for the Virtual Roundtable

Automation Unchained | Webinar

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 | 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. EST

Research VP and automation expert Sarah Burnett will co-lead a EdgeVerve-hosted webinar on a holistic approach to enterprise automation.

As most enterprises are awakening to the presence of robots in their midst, they are also exploring various engagement models – the one which can deliver best value, drive costs down and also enhance the customer experience. Piece meal or Wholesome? This webcast explores the best approach that enterprises can take when engaging with service providers for automating some of the most important and crucial processes within the organizations using some industry examples and best practices.

Join this session to discover how enterprises should approach automation for optimal success.

register for the webinar

RPA and BPM – The Twain Shall Meet after All | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

It was not long ago that I was talking to a German manufacturer about the relative merits of different types of automation solutions on the market. The client did not want any services-layer, API or connector-based process integration. He said those were in the realm of Business Process Management (BPM) and IT. That is why he was going for Robotic Process Automation (RPA), for integration through the user interface. We discussed the pros and cons of these different approaches – but the point is that he was looking for an alternative to traditional BPM. He, and many others, have come to view RPA as that alternative. Yet, recent announcements by leading vendors show that RPA and BPM are coming together. Announcements by IBM and Automation Anywhere, and Appian and Blue Prism, indicate that we have really come full circle and that the RPA and BPM twain have already met.

This was inevitable:

  • The recent success of RPA was a bolt out of the blue for the BPM market, distracting and taking away many potential customers and reaching business users that BPM providers could only dream about. BPM vendors had to take steps to protect their share of the market
  • The growing scale of RPA deployments is another driver for the twain to meet. It is one thing having a few robots running basic processes, but as organizations’ automation ambitions have become loftier, the need for integration with workflow to increase control and orchestration has grown too
  • Robotic Process Automation is not the answer to all automation requirements and, therefore, combining it with BPM for a full set of capabilities to handle different situations is a no brainer. Some of the most successful automation deployments combine RPA with BPM-based large strategic system integration and transformation. In these scenarios, RPA complements the BPM integration by connecting core business platforms to other disparate enterprise systems

IBM and Automation Anywhere

With their announcement, IBM and Automation Anywhere have taken their partnership to the deeper level of integrated offerings:

  • IBM will include Automation Anywhere Enterprise edition in its BPM software catalogue. Currently BotFarm and Automation Anywhere’s cloud offerings are not included
  • It will resell and support Automation Anywhere
  • IBM will integrate Automation Anywhere with the software becoming a part of its IBM Digital Process Automation platform. This included IBM Business Process Manager (BPM) and IBM Operational Decision Manager (ODM)
  • Automation Anywhere will be the standard RPA software offering unless clients ask for another

As things stand today, IBM Digital Process Automation orchestrates processes between core systems while Automation Anywhere RPA automates repetitive rules-based tasks. IBM’s vision for the future is that BPM and RPA will be integrated into a flexible offering with software, services and consultancy provided from a single source. In the future, we will see IBM add cognitive capabilities to this mix. The question is how much of Automation Anywhere’s intelligent capabilities will feature in IBM’s software catalogue.

While the move by IBM to build this partnership is part of the maturing RPA market, it must have been partly driven by a move by its other major RPA partner, Blue Prism, to join forces with Appian, a BPM vendor with whom Blue Prism has built deeper software integration. Last year, another BPM player, Pega, acquired Open Span, which also offers Robotic Process Automation.

An additional driver is that RPA offers integration at a relatively low cost of entry, and this partnership allows IBM to bring in customers at a lower starting point to traditional BPM projects.

Appian and Blue Prism

This week, Appian and Blue Prism, which, had already built some plug and play capabilities together, took their relationship to the next level with the announcement of an extension to Appian’s platform that is based on RPA from Blue Prism. The partners are also aiming for a one-stop-shop to all automation requirements and seamless integration between their combined BPM and RPA products.

Interestingly, the Blue Prism partnership with IBM is going on, unaffected by these pairings. The groups involved are different: Blue Prism started in IBM’s Global Process Services and expanded to GBS Digital. Automation Anywhere’s relationship is with IBM Software.

It is important to note that the Appian move is part of Blue Prism’s strategy to turn its software into a platform that other solutions can be plugged into easily. The Blue Prism Technology Alliance Program (TAP) will see integrated offerings from partners in cloud, virtualization, analytics, process mining, artificial intelligence including computer vision, as well as BPM. IBM is a TAP partner. Others, include Celaton and Instream, its intelligent automation software.
These alliances open new opportunities for Blue Prism, for example, to handle processes that use unstructured content and to access services that are run on cloud solutions. In summary, interoperability is going to be a key feature of the Blue Prism platform and the Appian move is a major step in that direction.

Everest Group has addressed aspects of automating different levels of processes with different solution types in a paper titled “Pushing the Dial on Business Process Automation”.

Everest Group has just positioned IBM as a Leader in a PEAK Matrix™ assessment of Business Process Services Delivery Automation (BPSDA).

I Can’t Get No Satisfaction – The CSAT View of RPA in BPS Contracts | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

Everest Group’s latest research shows that while there is growing adoption of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) within Business Process Services (BPS) contracts, customer satisfaction (CSAT) with service providers’ is distinctly average at 3.6 out of 5. Service providers need to do more to achieve better CSATs.

Everest Group’s research titled Business Process Services Delivery Automation (BPSDA) – Service Provider Landscape with PEAK Matrix™ Assessment 2017, which assesses the automation capabilities of leading service providers, shows that the number of automation proofs of concept run by service providers for their BPS clients has on average quadrupled in one year. Furthermore, the number of BPS contracts with automation has gone above 1,000. Yet, the scale of deployments is small; the average number of robots deployed per BPS client hovers at just below 10.

Unsurprisingly, at 85%, the vast majority of deployments are robotic process automation as opposed to automation based on Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The other finding from the report, based on interviews with reference clients of the service providers shows that CSAT with service providers automation services is fair to middling. The average overall score was 3.6 out of 5. Clients rated the need for RPA skills very highly with service providers achieving 3.9 for their RPA related services. The scores were dragged down by the CSAT for AI capabilities that scored only 3.1.

The kind of issues that the reference clients reported were mainly related to the immaturity of RPA in the global services market and the skills for deploying it. Examples of feedback include:

  • It feels like they used us as a training arena for some of their staff
  • They (the BPS provider) should communicate opportunities better. It feels like they were late to bring this to us
  • They took a long time to learn how to code in xyz RPA software. It took a long time to integrate the RPA with our systems
  • The service provider should have done more due diligence on the RPA technology vendor
  • Change management and governance need improving

What can we expect with Robotic Process Automation?

Some of this dissatisfaction is a result of the hype in the market about the ease of robotic process automation deployments and rapid returns on investment. Clients have high expectations from all RPA projects, and this is showing in projects that they deploy for themselves or through system integrators as well.

The good news is that service providers continue to invest in automation. On average, 60% of service providers’ technology staff are working on automation products, solutioning and related services. This will enhance their skills and capabilities in SDA technologies, both RPA and AI.

We expect to see skills grow alongside the market in the coming months. We’ll be watching this space closely to provide our clients with updates over the year.

How can we engage?

Please let us know how we can help you on your journey.

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