Remote Working made efficient with RPA

I’ve always wondered how one can work remotely with the same efficiency as working from the office. But the last few months of working from home have made me realize that the key to remote work is the complete knowledge of your work and processes, and the availability of technology to support working from remote location/home. The challenge most of the companies face today is that the business processes are not adequately documented and only a handful of people know the end-to-end details of the processes. This leads to people following different paths of handling a business process subsequently creating multiple variations, different border case scenarios and problems.

COVID-19 poses the additional challenge for the new employees to be more productive in the shortest possible time. They are unfamiliar with the people and the processes and often apprehensive about asking for details in a remote setting. A similar problem is faced by existing employees with new task assignments as well. The problem is compounded as companies take time to adjust to the remote working dynamics and update their standard operating processes to ensure smooth and successful operations. This process change comes with its implication on training the present employees on the updated processes.

How can RPA help?

Companies who have already implemented Robotic Process Automation (RPA) have a clear upper hand in this pandemic situation. With RPA in place, processes are already documented, automated, implemented, tested and in production. RPA brings transparency and simplicity to both the company and the employees. This helps in providing clear understanding of the processes in remote work situation. This ensures that processes keep running without any challenges. In case of errors and exceptions or changes in the process, RPA products make it extremely easy to centrally manage and roll out the changed process.

Another key area where RPA tools can help is self-learning and building awareness of existing and changed processes. Tools which can assist with step by step guidance on the execution of the process are a must in this remote work situation. For instance, customer care setups will be immensely benefited with automation tools like AssistEdge Engage, which provide step by step guidance to end users for handling business processes. This enables on-the-job training of the users towards knowledge of the entire process, ensuring business compliance.

Third and the most important area where RPA is a game-changer is the ability to empirically detect business tasks from user interactions. Companies where the processes are not documented, can use process discovery tools in effectively identifying the steps of the key processes within their organization. Tools like AssistEdge Discover eliminate human bias during process discovery, provide process insights, assess process execution efficiency and recommend automation candidates.

AssistEdge RPA is an industry leading automation platform and provides several solutions to above-mentioned problems with remote work. AssistEdge RPA enables you to automate your processes and run it unattended remotely without any issue. It also has features like Guided scripting which can be leveraged too train the current and new employees without investing in expensive training programs. Also, AssistEdge Discover can help you in discovering your undocumented process tasks along with the identification of automation opportunities.

Most importantly, with AssistEdge RPA, both human and digital workers can work together remotely ensuring business continuity, while staying safe.

RPA portfolio management – Importance of RPA Admins

With the recent advances in cognitive automation technologies, Intelligent Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is undeniably bringing a paradigm shift in the way we run our businesses. There are a lot of practical, experience-driven business insights that are powering today’s RPA. It is expected that C-suite executives will continue to drive organization-wide initiatives towards the adoption of RPA. Also, with the COVID-19 scenario, the importance of an error-free decision-making process has come to the fore even more. While enterprises are searching for a magical game changer to bring them massive productivity thrust and help them get out of the current situation, RPA is continuing to gain wider application and enhanced focus.

The increase in size and span of digital workforce has compelled RPA vendors to provide solutions to easily, reliably and economically administer and scale RPA setups. Thus, there is a need for key features from RPA tools to manage and optimize the existing digital workforce productivity as well as effectively plan the future growth.

Significance of RPA Admin in Portfolio Management

As it stands today, most of the recognized RPA vendors are equipped with the following basic features for Bot management:

Over and above these, there is an emerging view that managing digital workers is much the same as managing human employees and smooth interplay of Bots and Humans is the key recipe to success. Thus, it is becoming increasingly prudent for RPA vendors to enhance the experience of RPA admins by simplifying their day-to-day activities in orchestrating an RPA Bot farm.

Listed below are the broad categories and corresponding high-level features that comprises an RPA admin wish list for an effective portfolio management, which brings Bot and Human workforce together.

Conclusion

For any RPA platform, the RPA admins are the most important set of users. While they may not be the initial decision makers, the required traction and proliferation of an RPA platform cannot be achieved unless these key stakeholders have a pleasant experience in running their daily chores of administering a Bot farm. History of software products has shown that superior usability is one of the foundations for a leaner and cleaner product thereby leading to quicker deployments and motivates further scaling.

At AssistEdge, we are deeply focused on all the 3 pillars of RPA administration across task allocation, monitoring and intelligent bot farm management. Our broader strategy on Discover, Automate and Orchestrate helps partner our customers move towards Automation Singularity. For an effective portfolio management of any enterprise-scale RPA initiative, it is important to give the RPA admin’s wish list the highest priority. This will lead to an efficient resource utilization and drive cost efficiencies by eliminating redundant systems and help build tighter orchestration using automation. Each release of the AssistEdge platform brings to light new and innovative features to ensure a state-of-the-art user experience to RPA administrators and the overall organization in general.

Discovering the Pieces of the RPA ROI Puzzle

There’s no doubt that RPA has been able to deliver significant value to organizations over the years. The kind of impact that RPA has had is well illustrated by the kind of growth that the RPA market has seen. As per a recent study, the RPA software market grew by 63.1% in 2018 and 62.9% in 2019 as compared to modest growth of 13.5% and 11.5% for enterprise software market as a whole1. Moreover, the RPA market is well poised to reach USD 25.66 billion by 20272.

Organizations of varying sizes and domains across the world have embraced RPA with open arms leading to such impressive growth numbers and projections. To derive maximum ROI out of an RPA program, it is important for business leaders to consciously recognize the kind of value that they expect from it along with the investments that would have to make.

Benefits Derived from an RPA Program

Year after year, we see a huge jump in the number of enterprises selecting automation software to kick start their digital transformation journey. Analysts predict, almost 85 percent of large organizations would have implemented RPA in some form by the end of 20223. This says a lot about how RPA is benefitting enterprises globally. But, how do enterprises measure the success of their RPA implementation?

The value generated from an automation program is measured and tracked with the help of a variety of metrics:

Investments for an RPA Program

Another key aspect that needs to be understood to track the ROI of an RPA program is the investment that an organization is making on an ongoing basis. Following are the cost factors that are applicable for an RPA program:

The method for calculating ROI for an RPA program is a trade-off between simplicity and accuracy. For example, in the simplest of calculations, organizations may only consider the person-hours saved for their employees due to RPA along with the per hour cost of employees for performing the mundane and now automated task as part of the value realized calculation. Whereas, for calculating the RPA investment, the organization may just consider the license and AMC cost for digital workers i.e. robots. While the above factors would help measure the value realized, investments made and ROI of an RPA program in the simplest of ways, organizations should not hesitate to consider any other factors that may be having a significant impact on ROI of their program.

References

https://www.gartner.com/en/research/magic-quadrant

https://www.grandviewresearch.com/press-release/global-robotic-process-automation-rpa-market

https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2018-11-13-gartner-says-worldwide-spending-on-robotic-process-automation-software-to-reach-680-million-in-2018

Demystifying Digital Process Automation

Business Process Management or BPM, Service Oriented Architecture or SOA, Enterprise Service Bus or ESB, Enterprise Application Architecture or EAI, Straight Through Processing or STP, Long-Running Processes, Workflow, Business Activity Monitoring, Business Rules, Document & Content flow, Case Management, Automation, Process Automation, Robotic Process Automation, Dynamic Case Management or DCM, Business Process Automation or BPA, Digital Process Automation or DPA, DPA Deep, DPA Wide. This endless list of business process concepts either confuses or scares most of the business users.

In this article, you will see how BPM, DCM, DPA, DPA-Deep, DPA-Wide, and RPA capabilities complement each other empowering the digital transformation journey of large organizations with low code, low-cost process automation features and helping them move towards achieving business agility in real-time.

Enterprises are trying to automate their processes right from the birth of the IT industry. High-priced till the 90s, only a few sectors like the BFSI could afford IT. The real IT applications started when some banks in the USA got mainframes deployed from the IBM labs to automate their General Ledger.

The 90s belonged to the IBM Mainframes. AS/400, UNIX, and Windows also had their footprints. Many Programming languages like C, Delphi, and products like the ERPs, Enterprise Databases soon became popular. By this time other sectors also joined the IT bandwagon to automate some of their enterprise processes. As an industry, IT was still quite young as compared to other industries such as the Electrical industry, which has been there for centuries now. Both the industries therefore, differed in the way they developed products. For example, an Electric Plug manufactured by one vendor can provide its desired functionality by connecting it easily to an Electric Socket manufactured by another vendor. Whereas the IT industry developed a lot of code while building these disparate online transaction processing (OLTP) systems which could not talk to each other! That gave birth to the concept of SOA and interoperability.

The BPM/SOA/ESB/EAI wave ruled the first decade of the 21st century. The second decade saw the emergence of new concepts like BPA, RPA, Robots, and Chatbots. Oxford University conjectured in 2013 that up to 35% of all jobs would be automated by 20351. RPA alone is likely to reach $2.9 billion by 20212. This has caught the attention of all analysts. However, most organizations are still not able to automate all their enterprise processes using BPM/BPA capabilities. This is what gave birth to Digital Process Automation (DPA) as a concept.

What is DPA?

If you are wondering why are there so many concepts for process automation? Don’t worry – nothing’s changing – it’s the same old wine in a new bottle. Mathematically DPA = BPM + RPA. DPA is a natural progression of the BPM concept, and in addition, it can discover and automate processes in scenarios where BPM typically fails. DPA is useful in cases when the process includes websites with no APIs, custom applications, or legacy applications.

RPA Tools like AssistEdge augment the BPM tools to automate these processes using a combination of web, windows, and image automation techniques. DPA is further divided into two categories – wide and deep. DPA Wide is suitable for automating processes of moderate complexity using low-code tools, while DPA Deep is suitable for automating highly complex processes.

Most large organizations have been following the trend and have already bought and successfully deployed multiple BPM/BAM/ESB/EAI tools/products available in the IT Product market. The BPM/BAM/ESB/EAI products typically use the “top-down” approach to automate enterprise processes. The RPA/DPA/DCM products typically use the “bottom-up” approach to automate enterprise processes. Combining the existing capabilities/expertise in the available BPM/BAM/ESB/EAI tools and these new complementary RPA/DPA/DCM Tools will help these large organizations achieve business agility in real-time, realizing the benefits of this process value chain. As the “top-down” and “bottom-up” merge, the RPA/DPA/DCM products look to strike the balance between robust process, rapid development, and low cost.

Importantly, post COVID-19 all these large organizations are re-inventing their business models resulting in the need for more innovative and agile business processes. This outcome-based digital transformation journey of large enterprises demands complex process automation capabilities with low-code tools to achieve business agility providing the business SMEs a bigger say in the development process.

The below logical architecture diagram captures some of the capabilities that these large organizations/enterprises already have. It also enlists the new set of complementary capabilities that the large enterprises need in different layers in their Enterprise Architecture to continue on this path of Enterprise Process Automation.

The ability to do UI level integration is critical for large enterprises as API and Data Level integration is too expensive and not possible in many cases. RPA Tools like AssistEdge complement the BPM/DCM/DPA tools to provide UI level integration capabilities to “automate” any application irrespective of the technology in which it is built. This is the reason why most large organizations today are looking to combine the capabilities of these BPM/DCM/DPA Tools with the capabilities of RPA tools like AssistEdge to automate Enterprise Processes as part of their digital transformation journey.

References

Leveraging Automation for effective customer communication

Increased adoption of eDelivery channels driving enterprises towards implementing automation for customer communication.

Communication is an important aspect of running a business efficiently. An enterprise needs to stay in constant touch with the customers to be able to serve them better. With the world going digital and electronic delivery (eDelivery) taking over almost entirely, regular communication has become even more important to stay relevant, and ahead of the competition.

Customer Communication needs span across departments and involve multiple stakeholders in an organization. For instance, in a Telco, the core billing department has quite a few communications to be sent to and received from the customers, so do the technical support, marketing, and collections departments. Similarly, in a bank, the relationship management team continuously communicates with the customers, so do the Billing/Invoicing and the marketing department. Besides, the various business lines like Loans, Credit Cards, etc. have their own set of communications/correspondence.

With the increased adoption of digital/eDelivery channels, the mode of communication has also become significant. Some communication must be sent over email, some posted over a website, some are better marketed on social media, for some others SMS is the most effective method of communication and, albeit with reducing frequency nowadays, some are even sent physically.

Considering all of this, having a coherent strategy that works across departments, stakeholders, business lines, modes of communications, and – not to forget, the multiple IT systems as well has become a complex challenge. Further, there are cases where we under-communicate or over-communicate with the customers – simply because organizations just don’t know who is sending what communication to customers. With all these challenges, not only is it difficult to comprehend a consistent strategy, it is even more difficult to implement it. The kind of flexibility needed to implement a Customer Communication strategy/plan is difficult to achieve as it goes through too many IT applications and causes too much friction in existing assets/investments.

In such a scenario, do organizations give up? Or leave every sub-unit or department to fend for themselves? Well, of course not. In fact, because of all this, organizations are more conscious and aware of the need to have a consistent customer communication management plan than ever before. They have tried out various approaches to solve this multi-faceted problem. Some organizations have tried various out-of-the-box (OOTB) products, and some have tried to create in-house solutions to manage these communications. And these options have provided results with a mixed degree of success. With the flexibility that is needed because of the multi-departments, multi-systems, and ever-changing customer demands, it is difficult to have a sophisticated hard-wired solution for this. This is where Automation and specifically Robotic Process Automation (RPA) comes in. Adding another exciting dimension to this is Intelligent RPA.

RPA, in both attended and unattended form, is perfectly suited for this kind of scenario. It works as an OTT layer on top of existing IT systems, works with existing IT systems and if done well, creates a potent communication mechanism with the customer. RPA is non-intrusive and super-agile and works as a human would – only faster and with less “human” errors. It can bring in human capabilities as and when needed as well in the form of Attended Automation. It can take care of under-communication and over-communication as a centralized communications robot can track when was the last communication sent to a customer and therefore can hold back or expedite the next communication.

Let’s walk through this with the example of a bank and some specific communications it needs to carry out.

As you can see, many of these use cases are easily taken care of by RPA. There are plenty more such easily visible use cases across industries. The simplicity and ease of implementation of Intelligent RPA to cater to such use cases make it the best bet for any agile organization.

Moreover, beyond the obvious set of use cases mentioned above, there is another technology that helps organizations decide on which processes to automate and which ones to optimize/standardize. And it is as applicable to Customer Communications as any other space.

Process Discovery is a technology that helps organizations understand their processes and variations better by removing human bias and providing data-based intelligence. This helps organizations optimize the processes and guides them to select the right processes to automate. With this, organizations have found more automatable processes than what was obvious, and sometimes also pointed out processes as not-to-be-automated so that time/dollars are not wasted going after something that would be difficult to automate.

Case Study – A large bank in North America:

To summarize, with increased adoption of eDelivery, enterprises are fast moving towards implementing automation for customer communication. Leveraging Intelligent RPA (Attended & Unattended) along with Process Discovery, can be a promising and agile answer to an organization’s customer communication needs. Not only can RPA handle the ever-changing underlying systems with ease; they can also handle these without IT involvement to a large extent.

AssistEdge provides a cohesive automation platform through its products like AssistEdge RPA, AssistEdge Engage, and AssistEdge Discover.

AssistEdge RPA offers a platform for automating various processes, bringing about sweeping changes across an enterprise. It provides the capabilities to build and execute both “Unattended” and “Attended” intelligent automation. Powered by Albie, the cognitive engine, AssistEdge RPA 18.0 empowers enterprises to embark on the journey towards Automation Singularity.

AssistEdge Engage helps organizations in reimagining their contact center and achieving superior customer experience. Customers benefit from faster query resolution, reduced hold time, increased first call resolution, and suitable offers, thereby improving brand connect and loyalty.

AssistEdge Discover is a leading process discovery product that captures and leverages user’s digital interactions to create business process maps and transformational insights that aids organizations in process improvement, automation, and efficiency. Powered by empirical data, the outcomes are free from human biases providing a powerful foundation for operational excellence and continuous improvement.

How to leverage Intelligent Automation in Dynamic Case Management

Any business or industry deals with a combination of business processes and tasks. Some tasks are completely structured/predictable, some less structured yet predictable, and some completely unstructured and unpredictable. The predictable and structured processes with well-defined tasks can be managed in logical steps, scripted, and programmed with some efforts and due diligence. These types of processes can be managed using a variety of traditional approaches such as Business Process Management.

On the other hand, managing unpredictable & unstructured processes requires on-the-fly thinking, applying the right business acumen, and making a quick decision to achieve the desired outcome. This is where Robotic Process Automation (RPA) could be a key solution element for handling the nuances of Dynamic Case Management.

Managing dynamic work is difficult, and therefore businesses across the globe have been experimenting with different techniques and approaches over time. For instance, consider the scenarios where work involves

As you would notice, a lot of this work is dynamic in nature – unpredictable in terms of what you find in the next step of the current process or the next iteration of the same process. Historically, a lot of systems have tried to address this problem, however, the core challenge of variability across software systems, dynamism in terms of data, processes, and stakeholders continue to remain challenges. The need of the hour thus would be to have a solution that doesn’t need a tight integration across systems and can bring not only deterministic but also cognitive capabilities to the fore. The proposed solution should not expect the underlying systems to be changed or tweaked or integrated traditionally as that might render the solution ineffective in managing the ever-changing scenarios.

Leveraging Intelligent RPA

The inherent capability of RPA to use front end automation in addition to the API-based or other backend integrations makes it a core contender in the race to solve the case management conundrum. RPA plays a pivotal role in achieving the rule-based ‘Deterministic Automation’ as well as the cognitive capability led ‘Intelligent Automation’ and enables ‘Human-empowered Automation’.

Deterministic automation in RPA is the proven art and science of using front-end UI automation through software programs called Robots. The robots can handle all variety of use cases spanning one or multiple software systems, management of data from varied sources, etc. much like a human user. This allows the human user to focus on high-value tasks and lead to better efficiency in case management. Additionally, RPA platforms like AssistEdge can provide tool-based “Process Discovery” allowing organizations to unearth their processes and variations better by removing human bias and providing data-based intelligence on process tasks.

In addition to the above-mentioned, Intelligent Automation in RPA allows handling cognitive use cases like image processing and unstructured data with the help of Automation Intelligence or Machine Learning techniques. RPA platforms like AssistEdge provide the flexibility to use industry-leading cognitive services for handling complex business processes. The tool allows drag and drop-based orchestration to stitch need-based invocation of AI and ML capabilities and use the provided intelligence to drive Robot actions.

Let’s consider the most basic document management scenario. Businesses have large amounts of unstructured data in the form of documents such as handwritten scanned papers, images, contracts, enrolment forms, email correspondence as well as data in various software systems such as invoices, purchase orders, sales orders, etc. Dynamic Case Management would need the ability to understand the data and then based on the insights from this data interact with software systems to complete the business processes. RPA tools leverage Optical Character Recognition (OCR) for reading through scanned documents and convert them into meaningful data. Further to this, Computer Vision (CV) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques are also used to generate summaries, locate contextual information, derive business insights, and more. RPA tools allow human users to review and approve the generated insights and recommended actions. Once done the Robots can formally update the case details into various target systems through front-end automation.

Dynamic Case Management through RPA is a great example of a human-machine partnership in which process handling is enhanced through Artificial Intelligence-driven decision-making and automation, providing greater precision. RPA platforms like AssistEdge thus help organizations handle dynamic cases and provide:

RPA (deterministic and intelligent) can be a potent approach to today’s dynamic and complex case management needs. They can help an organization in identifying automation opportunities and implement them in a manner that doesn’t impact any of their current assets. Additionally, this solution lends itself to a very agile change management process.

AssistEdge provides a cohesive automation platform through its products like AssistEdge RPA, AssistEdge Engage, and AssistEdge Discover.

AssistEdge RPA offers a platform for automating various processes, bringing about sweeping changes across an enterprise. It provides the capabilities to build and execute both “Unattended” and “Attended” Intelligent Automation. Powered by Albie, the cognitive engine, AssistEdge RPA 18.0 empowers enterprises to embark on the journey towards Automation Singularity.

AssistEdge Engage helps organizations in reimagining their contact centers and achieving superior customer experience. Customers benefit from faster query resolution, reduced hold time, increased first call resolution, and suitable offers, thereby improving brand connect and loyalty.

AssistEdge Discover is a leading process discovery product that captures and leverages user’s digital interactions to create business process maps and transformational insights that aid organizations in process improvement, automation, and efficiency. Powered by empirical data, the outcomes are free from human biases providing a powerful foundation for operational excellence and continuous improvement.

Delivering superior customer service with live chat

Applications have become a part of our lives. Especially the ones that allow us to stay in touch with our friends, colleagues, and families with just a click. Chat applications such as WhatsApp, Skype, or Facebook Messenger are fast becoming common ways of interacting. And in unprecedented times such as now, with global pandemic affecting our lives in every way, such chat applications act as support enabling us to stay connected with the world.

Live chat software has also permeated business operations. They are the new “must-have” for organizations looking to make customer services more personalized and responsive. If we look around, we see a majority of companies be it banking, insurance, or utilities already have live chat options on their websites. Live chat helps bring customers closer to support teams in just a click.

In many cases, live chat with chatbot capabilities using unified dashboards is helping transform the customer service landscape by reducing the effort and turnaround time required to serve the customers. Chatbots are effective in handling basic customer requests such as product enquire or status of a request or complaint. When the requests are more complex and require higher cognitive skills, it can be easily transferred to a live agent for resolution. Live agent applications come with a variety of features making the experience both seamless and enriching for both customers as well as the support agents.

With COVID-19 giving rise to an additional challenge for the customer service operations with increasing norms of lockdowns, social distancing & work from home, organizations across the world are facing challenges. Not all business operations can run smoothly in the work from home model, especially the ones which require face-to-face interactions with the customer or the need to refer to data to provide support to the customer online. As the global pandemic led to reduced availability of people supporting the contact centers, this resulted in the high acceptance of live chat agents with chatbots to provide service to customers.

As opposed to the calling model, the live chat with the chatbot model helped reduce the load on customer care executives and helped improve the customer experience by reducing the turnaround time for service request resolution. For example, a customer service agent can only attend to one customer at a time when on phone, but that same agent can manage multiple online chats simultaneously. Live chat agents working remotely can access a lot of knowledge articles or earlier chat interactions for reference thus reducing dependency on the supervisor or colleague. Should there be a need, the live chat can be transferred easily for the supervisor to handle any escalations. The live agent has a lot of pre-canned messages to quickly respond to customers without typing in. This helps to standardize the analytics around live chats. All these features help make customer service a delightful experience both for customers as well as customer care executives.

AssistEdge Engage offers key capabilities around automation and collaboration in customer service space through Live chat, Co-browse, Unified Dashboard, and One-Click automation. AssistEdge Engage Chat brings in the capabilities around live chat interaction with customers like intelligent routing, context transition, canned messages for quicker and standard response, ability to capture feedback and access to knowledge articles, or earlier chats for quick response for a complex request.

Here’s the link to a customer case study which showcases how AssistEdge Engage Chat helped an organization in managing and exceeding customer experience in during COVID-19.

How can enterprises achieve Automation Maturity?

What is Maturity in an Automation Journey?

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has become the go-to automation technology for enterprises across the globe today. However, only a few enterprises can claim to have achieved maturity in their automation journey. What does maturity in automation mean?

Automation maturity can be defined by 4 dimensions –

A mature automation program is reflected in real business results, not just in terms of the number of bots. Significant labor-cost value (usually in Millions of man-hours saved) is a major business benefit, which the organizations can realize through re-deployment of the high-value human workforce or actual operational cost reduction. A well planned and executed automation program also provides other business values like better sales, higher revenue collections, and better compliance. For e.g. a large global electronics manufacturing client achieved 21% better collections in their F&A department within 3 months of automation implementation with the AssistEdge RPA platform.

What is needed to achieve this maturity?

Conclusion

A truly mature automation program is measured, not by the number of bots, but by the business results it helped achieve. It starts with the executive sponsor setting an aspirational target for the team and setting up the right vision for the program. Multiple teams work seamlessly governed by a central COE team in delivering automation at scale. The organization stands to get significant business outcomes from a mature automation program, far beyond the expected operational cost reduction.

The art of selecting the right RPA vendor

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has become the most sought-after tool in the last few years. While it started with the basic automation of daily mundane and repetitive manual tasks, the key benefits that made RPA attractive include reduced cost; speed, accuracy, and consistency; improved quality, and scalability. It also provides extra security, especially for industries with a high amount of sensitive data like financial services. RPA expanded with API integration into other enterprises, connectors into ITSM systems, terminal servers, and Intelligent automation leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Most enterprises across the world are on board their digital transformation journey and many are considering the options available to get started with theirs. Today, over 50 RPA technology providers are operating worldwide at different scales. Though many organizations have already chosen and adopted RPA tools suitable for their needs; the successful implementation of RPA depends on the type of vendor, their processes, pricing strategies, and capabilities. RPA vendors offer multiple options but here are some of the key factors enterprises need to consider before choosing their RPA tool:

Process Discovery

The basis of successful RPA implementation is based on the identification of the right process for automation and understanding the nuances for the processes, which is being carried out regularly in the organization. Typically, process identification is carried out manually, which has its challenges and biases. On the other hand, process discovery provides a platform to empirically analyze the data and identify the most suitable path variations for automation. Process discovery empowers organizations with deep process insights that not only accelerate the automation strategy but also identify the opportunities for process excellence and workforce efficiency.

Product Automation Capabilities

Enterprises generally have a staggered application landscape across different departments. This makes it crucial to validate the applications involved in the process chosen for RPA and are those applications supported by RPA Vendors. Though most vendors nowadays support RPA for all commonly used applications; it is still imperative to validate at the initial stage to avoid any bottlenecks in later stages of RPA implementation.

Efficiency and Reliability

The automation efficiency and reliability for RPA products depend on the ratio of the number of transactions executed successfully vs the total number of transactions. Higher the ratio; more efficient, the reliable product will be. One of the key point to consider here is how product tackles transactions which are failed; do they provide any automated retry kind of a mechanism or manual intervention is required to re-execute failed transactions.

Deployment options

RPA vendors offer different deployment options. However not all RPA vendors support all these options. Enterprises need to understand the advantages/disadvantages of each deployment model and identify the fitment based on their business requirement.

Scalability

Scalability is one of the most important factors to consider to leverage the ROI RPA offers. Below is a set of areas that encompasses the scalability aspect in RPA space.

User Experience

UX plays a very important role in the success of any product; be it a web application or desktop application. Here is a list of benefits that a good UX design can provide.

Product Technical Support

There’s no such thing as an ideal scenario. Therefore, it is important to know how a product supports its clients when something goes wrong. How quickly the product responds to the issues and fixes them is very important when operating in a scaled-up production environment. A strong and reliable support system thus becomes one of the important factors to consider while finalizing the RPA vendor.

Product Security

With the emergence of advanced technologies, cybercriminals have also found more ways to get into the system of many organizations. Since more and more businesses are now relying on software products for their crucial operations, the importance of software security assurance must be taken seriously – now more than ever. Here is the list of security features, which a good RPA tool must possess.

Governance

RPA has garnered a great deal of attention because of the benefits it brings to operational efficiency. However, as it is a relatively new approach for organizations, RPA typically starts with processes that lack the necessary detail to ensure that errors are mitigated, and risk is reduced during the development and operation of the automated “bots”. Without a structure to control it, automation becomes more responsive, more agile, and less administrative. However, that lack of clear governance increases the risk when automation is expanded and used more widely. The RPA tool should provide better visibility to people involved in the process, pending notifications, ROI dashboards, and various other monitoring and controlling mechanisms.

Pricing

This involves many things like license fees, implementation, maintenance, and many more. Here simplified licensing and pricing must be a key point to consider. Some vendors have complicated pricing like separate studio license, separate bot license, separate orchestrator license, etc. It is always advisable to go for simple license strategies as it adds more clarity and transparency to it. Choosing a vendor based on their pricing strategy can be a cost-effective decision.

Conclusion

RPA can help enterprises save time and money while enabling optimum use of resources. However, choosing the right RPA vendor plays an important role in the successful implementation of RPA and faster realization of ROI. Enterprises should carefully go through the above criteria before selecting any RPA vendors. Each tool has a specific purpose and one must evaluate the full potential of an RPA tool.

AssistEdge RPA, an award-winning and cohesive automation platform that offers new opportunities for scaling up and helps enterprises accelerate their journey towards complete digital transformation. From being an Innovator with the best market approach to a leader in Attended Automation, AssistEdge RPA combines the power of RPA and AI, thus empowering enterprises to be future-ready.

Reimaging Corporate Banking Through Digital Innovation

When it comes to digitization, corporate banking has traditionally lagged behind retail banking. Yet, several factors over the years have spurred a greater focus on innovation and digital transformation in this space. Ever since the 2008 banking crisis, there has been far more emphasis on minimizing NPAs through a stricter regulatory framework. A growing breed of fintechs has brought in new, innovative offerings that have added to the competition – putting pressure on both topline and bottom-line growth for traditional banks. A difficult macro-economic environment has added the strain.

On the other hand, with the proliferation of technology across enterprises of all sizes and sectors, corporate banking customers have been vocal in their push for more convenience, smoother transactions, and a better experience overall. They demand and expect their banks to provide the same experience that they are now accustomed to in their retail banking transactions.

All these factors have led to a digital transformation drive and innovations in customer experience, process simplification, and efficiency. In the last few months, the COVID-19 pandemic has added a greater sense of urgency to this transformation effort as enterprises grapple with a completely new environment with social distancing becoming the new normal. As businesses come to terms with the quantum of change and limp back towards normalcy, banks have a unique opportunity to support their customers and ease their pain.

There have been some impressive efforts by banks in terms of digitizing their offerings over the last year. When we had invited our digital banking community to nominate their breakthrough innovations for our annual Infosys Finacle Client Innovation Awards in January 2020, the response was overwhelming and impressive. We received 300 nominations from banks across eight award categories – the highest ever in the history of this awards program.

Specifically, on corporate banking, we saw that banks that have prioritized comprehensive digital transformation stand to have a competitive edge over their peers. Below, I’ve presented some key observations and trends in corporate banking garnered from studying these award entries.

Customer Experience

While corporate banking customer seek a retail-like experience, their needs and priorities are very different from those of retail customers. Therefore, solutions tailored to their needs, whether it is enabling seamless international payments or timely payroll processing are extremely valuable. We saw a huge focus on redesigning the channel experience for corporate customers.

One great example was Santander Corporate and Commercial Bank UK, which was a winner in the Corporate Banking Digitization category for large banks. To cater to the expectations of the millennial workforce of its corporate customers, the bank added self-serve capabilities, friendly and intuitive workflows, and emphasized on a best-in-class transaction experience. For instance, it greatly simplified payments by presenting users with an accurate visual map of the steps involved in the payment process.

Paperless Processes

In the face of a sluggish lending environment and shrinking margins, we found that several banks invested in modernizing their legacy infrastructure, enabling straight-through processing, and bringing in process automation.

We had banks that enabled its corporate customers to originate and complete several complex transactions digitally – something that was earlier available only to retail customers. These initiatives also ensured an omnichannel experience that is seamless across devices such as phones, tablets, and laptops.

Banks are focusing on easing the corporate banking experience through a single application that enables self-servicing capabilities for customers without the need to go to a physical branch. For instance, ICICI Bank, which was also a winner in the Corporate Banking Digitization category, launched InstaBZIZ for its MSME and self-employed customers featuring several products and services that are being offered for the first time on a digital platform in India.

Another area of focus has been portals catering to supply chain and trade-finance clients. These portals enable corporate banking customers to submit all trade requests such as letters of credit, guarantees, and trade loan requests online. This translates to reduced paperwork and shorter turnaround time. These services are even more valuable today as customers and bank employees alike are forced to work remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The current environment may have forced corporate banks to significantly accelerate their digital transformation journeys as they empower their customers to function seamlessly in the new normal. These investments will, however, bring massive gains in efficiency and engagement – saving hundreds of manhours for both banks and clients.

We announced the winners of the Corporate Banking Innovation category of Infosys Finacle Client Innovation Awards as part of a Webinar series. If you would like to hear from three of the winners on how they are rethinking the corporate banking experience, do tune in at the link below: https://www.edgeverve.com/finacle/client-innovation-awards-2020/#3_webinar