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What’s beyond RPA?
More RPA.
“As RPA becomes the standard way of organizations to do
these tasks that have currently been ...
The end of BPOs as we know them
What's beyond RPA? More RPA.
Despite being a relatively new
technology, automation has
alr...
What's beyond RPA? More RPA.
RPA, cognitive tools and AI solutions: a match
for success
Not long ago, cognitive and AI
cap...
What's beyond RPA? More RPA.
An alternative to this path is
that proposed by UiPath, and
consists of “baking the
cognitive...
What's beyond RPA? More RPA.
This is why robotic BPOs or
consultants such as Capgemini,
Genfour or Symphony are
important ...
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What’s Beyond RPA?

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Although still a relatively young technology, RPA has managed to break the mould in terms of how companies approach their business processes, by offering them solutions that deliver speed, accuracy, simplicity and efficiency. Moreover, RPA has also dramatically changed the role and purpose of BPOs in the market, triggering an ever increasing need for change and evolution. With the emergence of even more disruptive technologies, such as cognitive and AI tools, the buzz around automation is getting bigger and bigger.

Published in: Business

What’s Beyond RPA?

  1. 1. What’s beyond RPA? More RPA. “As RPA becomes the standard way of organizations to do these tasks that have currently been done by people, moving information through and between systems, the desire to learn about it is going to increase.” Guy Kirkwood, UiPath What's beyond RPA? More RPA. A recent conversation between UiPath’s Guy Kirkwood, Genfour’s Andrew Rayner, Symphony’s David Poole, and moderated by Horses for Sources’ Phil Fersht on the future of RPA brought to the attention a variety of topics, such as: RPAs impact on the BPO market, the essential aspects to successfully implement RPA that organizations need to keep in mind, the evolution of RPA with the advent of cognitive and AI tools. 1
  2. 2. The end of BPOs as we know them What's beyond RPA? More RPA. Despite being a relatively new technology, automation has already started to fundamentally change the way BPOs work. And the guests of the Behind RPA webinar agree. But first, let’s get to the numbers: ▪ Horses for Sources estimates that $44.8 billion will be spent on BPO automation in 2021, as opposed to the $2.3 billion spent in 2016, ▪ in BPO & Shared Services the automation spent will reach $65 billion by 2021; ▪ also, two thirds of the ITO and BPO organizations are not pleased with the current conditions in the market. Automation cannot be stopped and traditional BPOs will not be able to escape implementing robotic solutions. David Poole considers that, while BPO organizations will struggle with shifting towards automation, RPA will nonetheless make outsourcing obsolete. Indeed, smart BPOs have already made the move towards automation. For example, Capgemini and Cognizant have, in fact, become robotic BPOs, providing automation as a service. In exchange, Andrew Rayner offered a more reserved approach, considering that there will still be certain functions and services that will never be automated, particularly those that involve handling complex unstructured data, difficult problem solving typically not based on clear rules, analytical decision making, devising policies and more. The BPO industry can most definitely take advantage of the strategic advantages offered by RPA: employees will get new skills, will be more empowered and productive. 2
  3. 3. What's beyond RPA? More RPA. RPA, cognitive tools and AI solutions: a match for success Not long ago, cognitive and AI capabilities were seen as part of an „evolution continuum”, that started with RPA and finished with Artificial Intelligence. Currently, there is a great buzz around cognitive and AI solutions, even though RPA is still an adolescent technology. Not surprisingly, all the webinar’s guests agreed that there is still plenty of room for growth and maturing before taking on any new technology. The reality is that both customer organizations and RPA implementation consultants need to go back to the basics, as RPA is only now starting to mature. Organizations wanting to adhere to RPA need a deeper understanding of the automation environment, with stable governance models in place and a well-defined Center of Excellence. The Center of Excellence in particular is an essential component of any RPA deployment within an enterprise, and can best be described as a robotic operating team. It is comprised of members–sponsors, champions, change managers, business analysts–that fulfill well-defined roles with the clear purpose of implementing and managing automation as efficiently, safely and quickly as possible. And many businesses are yet to understand the importance of the RPA Center of Excellence. Furthermore, a recent concept arose: that of free RPA. While it may be a strategy designed for the purpose of selling some vendors’ cognitive and AI solutions, free RPA is likely to be difficult to implement and indemnify. It is also risky, because it is an organization’s sole responsibility to deploy it at enterprise level. 3
  4. 4. What's beyond RPA? More RPA. An alternative to this path is that proposed by UiPath, and consists of “baking the cognitive and AI tools” into an RPA platform and providing all these as a whole package. In this case, what’s important is the integration of open source APIs from large companies, such as Microsoft, IBM Watson or Google that allows partners to build their own APIs on top. Cognitive tools and AI do not represent the evolution of RPA as once thought, but they can converge and create a single solution. The general opinion is that different solutions, be them RPA, decision making tools, AI tools, will be combined to meet customers’ needs. As Andrew Rayner mentioned, what will matter is how all these tools will be put together, giving the example of UiPath in terms of making an easier integration of different expert technologies. Finally, it comes down to identifying the right tool or mixture of tools for the right purpose. Best practices remain key for the future of RPA RPA has risen and is here to stay. It will continue to be implemented in an ever larger number of organizations, and has already created a new breed of automation-powered BPOs. These companies identify the correct tools for their customers’ needs, set up Centers of Excellence, handle the IT functions, manage robots, make the design and carry out services, provide skilled resources and more. They are important actors in the automation industry and act as brokers between the solutions’ vendors and the end client. As Guy Kirkwood stressed, “RPA is easy to understand and pilot. It is not easy to implement at enterprise level.” 4
  5. 5. What's beyond RPA? More RPA. This is why robotic BPOs or consultants such as Capgemini, Genfour or Symphony are important partners of both RPA vendors and the end customers. UiPath launched its RPA Academy with this very strategic purpose: to empower, democratize, and build a community of developers working for a common goal. And that goal is to make RPA easier and efficient to implement in shorter time frames. Once enrolled, they will have access to the UiPath Studio Community, the platform’s free version, to use in training, and the UiPath Forum, where they can exchange ideas, add questions and answers, report and solve bugs, as well as share their experience with automating different apps and UI Frameworks. And we already see the fruits of this labor, since, for example, Deloitte is already set out to train approximately 5000 of its employees. RPA is undeniably changing the way in which businesses operate, and is quite likely to disrupt the entire BPO market. Adapting, looking for new solutions, learning the processes and the rules of implementation, finding the right sponsors, setting up Centers of Excellence are tasks that organizations will have to look into. Automation will not wait for companies to catch up; it is here, and is constantly evolving. 5

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