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Marketplace: Using Intelligent Automation through Pay Per Use services

July 18, 2019 - Abhiroop Mankin Analyst - Product Management, EdgeVerve

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Robotic Process Automation has been rapidly making its presence felt in a myriad of industries and domains. One of the most versatile automation solutions available in the market, it’s heavily domain agnostic.

Robotic Process Automation is a game changer for business leaders. From increasing efficiency at a reduced cost to helping CIOs comply with changing regulations, RPA streamlines processes for a mid-level manager.

RPA is as domain agnostic a solution as you can get to solve your day-to-day enterprise problems because it focuses primarily on UI automation.

While all of this sounds hunky-dory in theory, the reality is a tad bit more complicated. If you juxtapose this from an implementation perspective, it is almost impossible for an RPA solution to build in-house features which will cater the needs to all use cases across domains. That leads to RPA solutions relying on substantial programing and customizations. Though the customized solution packages are different, there is bound to be usability overlaps between industries and domains. This led to the inception of the marketplace by mid-2018 in the RPA industry.

AssistEdge, one of the top products in the RPA industry is launching its own marketplace. The marketplace will act as an aggregator portal for business processes and use cases which might be relevant to their customers across verticals.

To understand how a marketplace works, we can take a look at how technology giants like Amazon and Facebook transformed from their core offerings to a marketplace. No matter how diverse their user base is, there was a scope of collaboration that they envisioned gradually during the growth phase.

Currently, both Amazon and Facebook have a marketplace offering where users can buy and sell products/services and collaborate on a global scale. Similarly, AssistEdge has heavily focused on creating an ecosystem for both the enterprise and the developer to collaborate on use cases which have similar functionalities as well as underlying applications.

RPA marketplace offerings can be broadly classified into three categories:

The broad level of offerings/categories of an RPA marketplace described above are all critical from an implementation perspective, but the Intelligent Automation/Cognitive Services aspect takes prime importance primarily because of the complexity of implementation of a similar in-built intelligent solution. An easier option for enterprises would be to avail services of an RPA marketplace and choose cognitive solution packages which make the solution smarter.

A classic example where a cognitive solution becomes crucial would be automating invoice processing. Invoices might come in different formats from different vendors, and it might create a furor of confusion for the RPA software to process the desired output. This is where a Machine Learning model can help where they can train the software to identify invoices of different formats and extract all crucial data like vendor name, payment method, account number, etc. which are required to process the particular invoices.

The real-life enterprise use cases for Intelligent Automation would span across domains. Apart from the classic Invoice Processing example cited above, there are various other use cases which require diligent training of the data model starting from Fraudulent Claim Detection to Intelligent Credit Assessor to Sentiment Analysis. Implementing processes with such level of intricacies would require an immense amount of time, money and resources should an enterprise choose to build it from scratch. It would be easier to visit an RPA marketplace and simply download such cognitive process packages. A little tweak here and there with the input parameters and voila the process is ready for deployment, thereby reducing significant time and cost. Moreover, enterprises can crowdsource expertise level from the entire ecosystem of RPA developers, and cherry-pick their solution from a plethora of options.

The marketplace promises a healthy ecosystem of service providers and consumers. The providers have the opportunity of building customized solution packages for a large consumer base with IP protection while ensuring full authority over the pricing model of the same. On the other hand, consumers of these solution packages have the assurance of quality from providers, a comparative view of different processes uploaded by different providers with a consolidated bill for all the services availed from the marketplace. Marketplace will redefine how enterprises consume automation as a service and elevate the experience for the entire ecosystem as a whole and its imperative that RPA practitioners keep an eye out on the recent developments by AssistEdge and the industry as a whole.

Abhiroop Mankin

Analyst - Product Management, EdgeVerve

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