Aecus on Smart Automation – Webinar Series
See below for the list of previous Aecus on RPA webinars and upcoming events:
RPA Platforms – Hosted by Aecus Partner Paul Morrison, joined by guest speakers from Blue Prism, UIPath, Automation Anywhere and Slaughter & May. Listen to the on demand recording here.
Smarter Automation – AI & Cognitive – Hosted by Aecus Partner Paul Morrison, joined by guest speakers from IPsoft, Celaton and Slaughter & May. Listen to the on-demand recording here.
Getting Started with RPA – Thursday 11th May – 12.00-13.00pm – Register now.
What is Smart Automation?
Automation is not new, but a new wave of ‘Smart Automation’ technologies is now maturing. Smart Automation is designed to be implemented quickly and cheaply, which means that a whole new range of activities in the front, middle and back office can now be automated.
Buyers of Smart Automation are looking to improve efficiency, reduce error rates, accelerate processes, and provide new insights into business problems. This is transforming the world of work, and is having a major effect on how organisations are plan the delivery of their services, including changes to their scope of outsourcing and shared services.
There are many different types of Smart Automation available, but the two most important are RPA and Cognitive Automation.
Robotic Process Automation
RPA is a new type of software that acts as a ‘virtual workforce’. It mimics human admin work by operating your existing applications and systems. It is particularly well-suited to highly transactional and repetitive tasks such as data entry, rekeying, reporting, formatting, archiving and working with several company applications at the same time. RPA doesn’t require deep integration with legacy systems, so is affordable to implement and scale.
RPA is being adopted by a wide range of organisations, in cross-industry processes like Finance, HR, Procurement, and well as industry-specific processes like banking, insurance, retail and public services. Organisations are using RPA to: Provide 24/7 availability; handle peaks and troughs in transactional processing; reduce resources costs for processing by 40-80% per activity; shrink turnaround time by 80% for key processes; reduce error rates in reporting; free up talent to work on higher value tasks not data entry and number crunching.
Cognitive Automation is a series of technologies that imitate human processes for acquiring knowledge and understanding – such as seeing, questioning, spotting patterns, learning. Cognitive Automation technologies can work with unstructured data (such as voice, vision, email), and often include a capability to learn over time (i.e. to improve performance by spotting patterns in the work it does). Cognitive Automation is a subset of Artificial Intelligence (AI), and is not one type of software – it is a series of technologies that are increasingly embedded across an organisations systems.
Cognitive Automation has been deployed by some organisations, particularly in Financial Services, Pharma and Technology, but uptake is starting to rapidly accelerate. Organisations are using Cognitive to: Scan and triage high volumes of unstructured data; provide real time analysis of business operations; spot new patterns in risk, procurement and marketing data; improve conversion rates / sell-on; provide lower cost customer engagement through realistic chat or voice bots; provide rapid response to customer complaints; free up talent to work on higher value tasks not data entry and number crunching.
Making Smart Automation happen
RPA and Cognitive are much quicker to implement than previous generations of technology change (such as bespoke application or ERP development). But they are also unfamiliar disciplines, and their speed generates a new set of challenges around super-quick change – transformation can occur in months rather than years.
Aecus experience shows that all organisations move through 4 phases:
- Discover – From initial questions about what Smart Automation can achieve, identification of one or more high potential opportunities to trial, to selection of a trial technology vendor, and an initial Proof of Concept automation. This phase ends with the Proof of Concept working in a test environment, typically generating momentum and buy-in for a full programme.
- Mobilise – To proceed with a large scale Smart Automation project, organisations need to prepare for rapid and profound change. This can entail selection of one or more long term technology platforms, full scoping of the automations to be delivered, plus detailed planning around business cases, the operating model, and commercials.
- Implement – To deploy Smart Automation to a live production environment requires a formal cycle of design, build and test. Depending on the technology in question, this could take 2-3 months per cycle. Implementation may start with a single Pilot implementation, but will scale to a larger programme or ‘factory’ of deployments, rolling out the technologies to different processes and parts of the business. This will require capability development, such as communication, training and often the formation of a Centre of Excellence.
- Evolve – Once up and running, organisations continue to monitor, extend and improve their Smart Automation activities. This can take the form of monitoring performance, adding further automated scope, or learning from the insights generated by automation.
These phases are reflected in the Aecus Smart Automation Routemap. Aecus provides support to organisations at each stage of this journey.
Aecus Smart Automation Routemap
Getting started in Smart Automation
The first steps in RPA and Cognitive are typically the most difficult. Terminology and technologies are unfamiliar, and it can be difficult to know where to start.
First 3 Steps: Taking RPA / Cognitive further with Aecus
Why Aecus for RPA and Cognitive services?
Aecus has deep experience in Smart Automation, from its strategy, design and implementation work for clients. Aecus insights are based on direct working knowledge, rather than just theory and research.
Aecus Smart Automation Project Examples
In addition, Aecus have a 15 year track record of working in outsourcing, shared services and global services innovation. Aecus understands the bigger picture and implications of Smart Automation, not just the detail.
Why use Aecus for RPA / Cognitive services?