In discussions with stakeholders in the evolution of Intelligent Automation (IA), HfS is constantly on the lookout for new technology providers that could add innovative and complementary approaches to automating service delivery. As part of these discussions, we were briefed by executives of WorkFusion on how combining crowdsourcing and machine learning is offering new capabilities to the continuum of Intelligent Automation solutions.

While the key value proposition of IA is to get higher levels of automation by shifting service delivery from labor arbitrage people based solutions to delivery through innovative automation tools, WorkFusion’s approach (at least in parts) is to break up processes into micro tasks which can be completed through automated systems and crowd sourced staff. It is achieving that through a platform approach that is combining business process microtasking and machine learning (ML) through BPM functionality.

Looking the value proposition in more detail, WorkFusion breaks up complex processes into microtasks and delegates each task to either a machine tool (e.g., RPA, scrapers, OCR, text analytics) or a person depending on the complexity of the work. For tasks that require human judgment, the platform integrates internal employees, contingent workers, outsourced contract workers, and cloud workers. WorkFusion has APIs with global on-demand cloud talent markets, which is useful for increasing scale and language coverage for human tasks. The platform provides interfaces, which guide analyst through the day-to-day work of unstructured data categorization and extraction. As analysts perform the tasks, WorkFusion applies statistical quality control to ensure data accuracy and uses this high quality data to train ML to automate predictable work. The result is a hybrid workforce of robotic process automation (RPA), learning algorithms, and human talent for exceptions that together represent the continuum of process automation, including RPA and cognitive capabilities.

The service provider’s sweet spot are processes that are both high volume and high complexity. Examples are reference data, know your customer (KYC) processes, gaps in anti-money laundering (AML) standards, trade operations, supply chain and marketing research. Consequently, the vertical focus is on financial services and in particular on information providers. In KYC and AML WorkFusion’s approach competes with other IA propositions while in other processes it could sit on top of RPA or other automation tools.

WorkFusion is providing an additional innovative instrument for the IA toolbox available to enterprises and service providers. It is another example of the interdependent and often overlapping approaches on the continuum of IA. This approach breaks up processes into micro tasks is augmenting automation with labor. By expanding lower level RPA capabilities and Machine Learning it is augmenting business analysts with deeper insights.

Many organizations as well as service providers are building out a portfolio of IA tools. Therefore, given the nascent, albeit maturing state of the market, there are many opportunities for technology startups. HfS would welcome discussions with other organizations that can add distinctive approaches on the journey toward the As-a-Service Economy.




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