Newgen has conducted a poll on LinkedIn, asking our followers, “What does ‘Transforming Experiences’ mean to you?”
The results were that 45% of respondents said they interpreted “transforming experiences” as enabling anytime, anywhere operations, and 28% responded with end-to-end customer journey enablement. It’s no surprise, especially during a disruptive global pandemic, that most organizations are focused on improving customer experience, uninterrupted business operations, and secure remote accessibility.
But the question is how can enterprises, like yours, transform the end-to-end experience for your internal and external users?
Let’s see if the answer lies in digital transformation.
What is Digital Transformation Anyway?
In a separate poll, we asked our LinkedIn network what “Digital transformation should mean.” 38% of people responded with simplified work, while the rest of the respondents were split evenly between paperless operations (24%), new innovations (22%), and happy customers (16%).
All of them are right! Based on our experience over the past nearly three decades, we believe that effective digital transformation should involve:
- Enhancing your customer experience through omnichannel interactions and prompt communications
- Empowering your employees with tools to rapidly develop and update business applications
- Providing visibility, connectivity, and accessibility to your employees, across your end-to-end operations
- Implementing an agile IT infrastructure, with new-age technologies, that can grow with your company
Transforming Experiences through Digital Transformation
As “transformed experiences” is becoming a competitive differentiation, enterprises must accelerate their digital initiatives. In fact, analysts at Forrester said, “In 2021, we predict that companies will accelerate digital transformation with a focus on customers and the products, practices, platforms, partners, and places to sell to and serve them.”
To us, “transforming experiences” means enabling anytime-anywhere operations, seamless customer journeys, omnichannel engagement, modernization of your existing IT systems, smooth collaboration, and more.
Hyperautomate with Process Insights and Artificial Intelligence for Efficient Processes
In the first blog of this series, I had shared one half of the hyperautomation journey—how RPA and BPM can work in harmony to automate incredibly complex business tasks.
In this one, let’s delve into the second half—how other complementary technologies, such as process insights and artificial intelligence (AI)—are crucial parts of hyperautomation, as they enable rapid, end-to-end business process automation and accelerate digital transformation.
Process Insights: Discover, Monitor, and Improve Workflows
Process insights are created by leveraging event logs, generated by enterprise systems including ERP, BPM, CRM, human capital management, and supply chain management, to rebuild a virtual view of your business processes. These insights are designed for you to discover, monitor, and improve real processes by extracting knowledge available within application systems.
Process mining is one of the multiple stages in the process automation lifecycle, which analyzes the extent to which RPA can be implemented across legacy systems. Furthermore, it enables monitoring and analysis of process performance for continuous improvement. Robust process mining tools can blend data mining with AI and machine learning (ML) to generate data-based analytics. This can help you explore the state of your business processes and identify new opportunities and bottlenecks for optimization and automation.
Artificial Intelligence: Automate Repetitive-to-Cognitive Processes the Smart Way
AI enables bots to intelligently perform tasks, such as reading, understanding,?and processing data, thus making it an essential ingredient of hyperautomation. Cognitive technologies, such as?ML,?natural language processing (NLP), optical character recognition?(OCR),?and?AI, integrate with RPA to increase process efficiency and accuracy. You should deploy these technologies in tandem to realize business value and deliver specific, measurable outcomes for targeted use cases.
Understanding Hyperautomation with a Use Case
Let’s suppose you are automating an anti-money laundering process and implementing a fraud detection algorithm. You may need to understand the interfaces between your AI components and other automation tools. Many of these processes involve non-routine tasks, intelligent decision making, and human judgment.
In this case, your system would execute the following steps:
- An intelligent business process management suite manages the decision-driven workflow/orchestration of your process
- It triggers an RPA bot to perform data collection, and other routine work, to validate your customer records
- The consolidated data is fed into the fraud detection algorithm, built on an ML model, to identify patterns. This process can sometimes involve human intervention, in case a formal approval or e-signature is required
- Subsequently, another RPA bot is triggered to perform follow-up actions and update transactional systems, such as ERP, CRM, and other applications
The Time for Action is Now!
Hyperautomation is the key to adapt to the ever-changing business environment and achieving unprecedented levels of quality and efficiency. RPA, BPM, and process insights, and AI will enable your organization to achieve scale and flexibility in operations and allow your employees to focus on more value-added tasks.
Hyperautomate with BPM and RPA for Optimized Operations
With the evolution in the automation industry, business leaders, like you have encountered a dilemma on what is the right technology to invest for end-to-end automation. But, over the years I’ve learnt from my experience in the automation space that no single tool can entirely replace human workforce. In such a scenario, hyperautomation is gaining momentum as it combines disruptive technologies, including intelligent process automation (BPM), robotic process automation (RPA), process mining, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) to create an end-to-end automated solution for business users. Hyperautomation augments human workforce in ways that are significantly more effective than isolated automation tools.
As your first step towards the hyperautomation journey, let’s explore how to make BPM and RPA work together in harmony.
The First Approach: Process-driven RPA
Consider order management, an automated process that uses a BPM system, but lacks integration with the shipping vendor’s system.
In order to complete the “ship order” activity shown in the process above, a user needs to work on multiple systems to complete different tasks:
- Search and open order details
- Copy and paste all the required data from the order management system to the shipping system
- Ship the order and copy tracking number from the shipping system back into the order management system
- Mark order as shipped in the order management system
If you get one or two orders a day, these tasks might not seem like a big deal, but if this is happening multiple times a day, you end up spending too much time on mundane activities!
The idea behind the process-driven RPA approach is that your process keeps running inside a BPM system without any major modifications. You place bots in the BPM workflow to automate repeatable tasks. In the order management process specifically, once the transaction reaches the “ship order” stage, a trained bot can execute all the tasks, eliminating human intervention.
The Second Approach: RPA-initiated Process
A bot is very useful when you have rule-based, repeatable tasks, but what happens when there are data inconsistencies or errors? It is impossible to train a bot on how to deal with all the possible exception cases.
To understand this approach better, let’s look at the trade reconciliation process. This process usually happens at the end of a trading day, and the goal is to make sure that the balance is accurate across two or more systems.
To ensure reconciliation, an agent has to perform a number of different tasks:
- Search and select the customer in the trade management system
- Search and select the customer in the broker system
- Verify that the end-of-day balance in both systems matches
What if the balance does not match in both systems? In this exceptional case, an agent will need to intervene and perform follow-up tasks, such as calling the client and broker to discern a reason for the mismatch.
In such cases, a bot can be trained to perform the daily recurring tasks of checking the balance across two systems, but teaching it to address all exception scenarios, perform follow-ups, and execute follow-up actions may be impossible. This is where a BPM system comes to the rescue.
The idea behind the RPA-initiated process approach is that when a bot has not been trained to handle exceptional cases, a human agent can intervene. When a bot finds anomalies, the transaction can be routed to a human queue, with the help of BPM, so that they can follow-up and resolve the issue manually.
In a nutshell, what your organization needs is the flexibility to use RPA and BPM in tandem with other complementary technologies. Stay tuned for the next blog where I will share how process mining and AI can further accelerate your hyperautomation journey.
In the first blog of this series, I had shared five ways to help you effectively measure the ROI of your robotic process automation (RPA) implementation.
In this blog, let’s explore how a center of excellence (COE) team can guide you through the RPA implementation process and ensure that you get the most out of your investment.
- Accelerating Your Digital Initiatives
Organizations globally are undertaking digital transformation initiatives. However, you need the right support and guidance for the best results.
COEs can help you identify the prospects for automation and also present ideas and solutions to showcase how bots and employees can communicate on the same platform.
- Selecting the Right RPA Candidate
How do you identify which process qualifies for automation? Any process that is variable, and requires one or more employees for execution, is not eligible for RPA, given that you wouldn’t be able to justify the implementation and recurrent costs.
This is where a COE team comes into the picture, as they help you improve your ROI by identifying operational activities that have high work volumes, are standardized in nature, and require more resources.
- Devising the Implementation Strategy
Next, you must decide whether to opt for an in-house or vendor-assisted RPA implementation to ensure faster deployment.
Here, the implementation cost plays an important role in calculating your returns. To help you make the right decision, your COE team assesses the capabilities and experience of your in-house team and then recommends the best implementation approach.
Your COE team plays a key role in justifying your automation projects and estimating their ROI. For this, the team utilizes historical data from select RPA use cases, compares human and bot processing, and then, presents the expected return figures, based on the reduced manual labor, increased productivity, and improved quality. Ultimately, the COE team assists you in finalizing an ROI-focused RPA roadmap.
- Empowering Citizen Developers
In most cases, within an organization, multiple teams want to leverage RPA solutions for faster processing. However, this often results in silos. To bridge this gap, COEs perform in-depth research, propose enterprise-wide automation, guide and assist citizen developers in creating the solution, and address integration challenges across the various lines of businesses.
Ensuring seamless integration across various automation tools, providing a centralized automation architecture, and delivering positive results are some of the key responsibilities of the COE team.
At Newgen, our COE teams perform all of these activities to ensure that the automation project plans we present to our customers are always strong and lucrative. We analyze how RPA will help each organization over time, identify the right use cases, and ensure impressive returns.
We also stay abreast of advancements in RPA and the latest trends in automation, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, in order to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations and help them stay current and competitive.
In this two-part blog series, I have tried to address some of the common concerns related to the return on an RPA investment. If you have further questions and/or suggestions, please leave a comment and we would be happy to connect with you.
Business leaders, like you, will agree that robotic process automation (RPA) is no longer just a buzzword. Organizations are adopting RPA at a faster pace and reaping its benefits. This is further reinforced by Forrester’s prediction that the industry will grow from $250 million in 2016 to $2.9 billion in 2021. However, the question is how to achieve a significant return on investment (ROI) with RPA?
In this blog series – How to get the most out of your RPA investment, let’s explore ways that can help you to effectively measure ROI.
How Do You Measure the ROI of RPA?
First things first, you must have a clear picture of what you are expecting to achieve with RPA- better customer experience, innovation, enhanced productivity, improved quality, reduced costs, or even compliance.
Once you have clarity on the desired outcome, the next step is to calculate the difference in effort needed to accomplish tasks, from your employees versus bots. Below are a few parameters that are useful in drawing this comparison:
- Process Execution Speed
You can start by recording the time it takes your employees to complete a particular process and compare it with the time taken by bots. This will give you a fair estimate of the time you can save to perform a task.
- Resource Versus Bot Productivity
Typically, your employees work for 8 hours a day. So, you can keep tabs on the number of transactions that your employees complete in a day versus the amount completed by bots. However, bots offer an advantage here as they can operate 24/7, thereby enhancing overall productivity.
- Output Quality
We cannot ignore the fact that humans can make errors during data entry or can miss a business rule while performing rule-based calculations. Alternatively, with bots, you can ensure data accuracy as they are trained to run business logic per the execution script.
To calculate the return, you should measure process accuracy before and after RPA deployment for a quality comparison.
Ensuring compliance with various regulatory requirements is a top priority for organizations, like yours. With RPA, you can maintain 100% compliance. And so, you must track compliance issues post-RPA deployment and compare your results with earlier records in order to calculate ROI.
- Overall Process Cost
Finally, you need to deep dive into the cost required to manage and execute a process and compare it with the overall cost involved in your RPA deployment, including the recurring costs. Try to compare and estimate ROI values for the next five years to understand how beneficial the RPA deployment will be for your organization in the coming years.
To get positive results from your RPA implementation, you need to be focused on measuring the ROI and identifying process candidates for automation. For this, it is recommended to have an in-house centre of excellence (COE) team that can perform in-depth research and help you identify the right business processes for successful RPA implementation.
In my next blog, I will share how a COE team can guide you throughout the RPA implementation process and ensure that you get the most out of your investment.
Making resolutions for the year ahead is a time-honored tradition. Whether you are a goal-chaser who religiously checks off each resolution, or the one who just likes to follow the tradition, there’s no better time to reflect on the past year and plan for the next.
Here are seven resolutions you should make (and keep) to ensure business success in 2021:
- Modernize, digitize, and optimize!
Enterprises with robust digitization initiatives were able to adapt quickly to the unexpected in 2020. The same companies will stand out in 2021, as they are able to work more productively, and from remote locations, seize opportunities faster, and exceed customer expectations by finding new ways to personalize engagement.
After a year of instability and uncertainty, companies are also looking for ways to optimize expenses. Automating your processes, empowering your employees to build applications in-house, and migrating your operations to the cloud are just some of the ways to reduce costs and improve efficiency.
- Invest in security
Information security is paramount for enterprises across industries. And for good reason! The sheer amount of data available to enterprises today is unprecedented. You must invest in new-age technologies to strengthen your defence, improve risk management, and ensure remote and secure data access while complying with regulatory requirements.
Tap into blockchain capabilities to encrypt your data and stay vigilant to avoid security breaches.
- Increase engagement with your customers
This goes beyond soliciting feedback from your customers after a transaction. Leverage social media and modern technologies to be where your customers are and to monitor their sentiments, needs, and complaints. Ensure meaningful responses and anytime-anywhere engagement with your customers in channels of their choice.
- Use data to your advantage
It is easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of data available to your enterprise. Data can prove to be your best friend if you leverage analytical tools to glean meaning from the available information and foster a culture of data-driven decision making across your organization. The time is now to use modern technologies, including artificial intelligence and machine learning to further simplify and optimize your day-to=day operations .
- Keep the learning going
Whether you choose to learn something business-related or pick up a completely unrelated skill, be intentional about enhancing your capabilities (and that of your employees!). Invite industry experts to talk about relevant issues, take a cooking class with your team, or introduce gamification—by trying something new, you can build team camaraderie and add value to your organization.
- Take stock of your operations
Don’t just make do with broken processes—identify what’s working and what’s not. Use reporting and analytical tools to assess vulnerabilities, optimize processes, and eliminate inefficiencies. Remember, disjointed processes end up hurting your employee productivity and customer experience.
- Give back to your community
Your company is inherently driven by its core values, so tap into those sentiments and find meaningful ways to give back to your community. Search for mentorship, volunteering, or donation opportunities that reflect your company’s mission!
So, tackle the projects you’ve been putting off, patch up those pesky business gaps, and keep your resolutions to make this year the best yet for your enterprise!