Creating an engaging customer experience is more readily achieved by embedding increasingly sophisticated digital and cognitive technologies into the very fiber of an organization’s processes, from its front office right through to its back office.
Successful organizations are both strategic and nimble, leveraging the power of real-time data to reduce inefficiencies and enhance their effectiveness. Agile businesses predict their customers’ needs before their competitors do. More importantly, they have the ability to act on those predictions, which is essential for getting ahead in today’s global digital economy. Investment in cognitive technologies (those which mimic human thinking and have the capability to learn) will be required for having intelligent operations in the enterprise. An intelligent enterprise has the ability to inform and implement better business decisions by leveraging data and smarter technology.
In a study conducted in partnership with IPsoft, HfS Research interviewed 100 C-Suite executives to understand their views, expectations, and strategies, along with their investment plans for cognitive technologies. This report discusses opportunities and challenges that business leaders see for moving their organizations toward being truly intelligent—knowing their customers, using technology most effectively, and infusing cognitive technology into the fiber of their business operations.
Table of Contents
- Smart investments in cognitive tech will help solve business problems and collapse internal barriers
- C-Suite executives seek to align operations with business outcomes
- Cognitive Agents are at the Forefront of Investments
- Cognitive Tech is Driving Intelligent, Self-Learning Business Operations
- Intelligent operations of the future: cognitive is a lever for theOneOffice core
- OneOffice by Definition
- Impediments to OneOffice: The Challenges of Aligning the Enterprise
- How to track the impact?
- Using cognitive glue to construct OneOffice
In the 3rd of our series on the important Intelligent Automation Skills of the future Digital Worker, we’ll focus on Planning and Sequencing – a complex yet crucial skill set needed for any software robot to be productive, efficient, and effective in the Digitally Transformed workplace.
Planning and Sequencing, which is sometimes simply referred to as “Cognitive Planning”, is classed as one of the “executive functions” of the brain. It is the skill that is involved in the formulation, evaluation, and selection of a sequence of thoughts and actions to achieve a desired goal. As humans, we do this without conscious thought every day. Even the simplest task you perform – such as making a cup of coffee – requires a carefully orchestrated sequence of tasks to achieve the end goal.
Digital Workers must be able to work within the same operational parameters as their human counterparts, which means that an Intelligent Digital Workforce should be able to cope with complex orchestration and sequencing of its tasks, with the minimum amount of human intervention as possible.
Careful Planning = High Performance and Reliability
To automate a process effectively, the process needs to be captured and optimized for execution by a Digital Worker. Recording and automating broken and inefficient processes—the “Digital Duct Tape” approach – will not generate the results you’re looking for. Neither will it move you closer towards a truly digitally transformed process, because the result will be sub-optimal and guaranteed to require unnecessary human intervention.
To achieve true digital transformation of a process, you must understand that process in its current form – including its inefficiencies – and attempt to repair them before automating. Yes, it’s true that this takes longer than simply hitting a record button (as with up-in-no-time Desktop Automation technologies), but the results are stark, when you look at the ROI delivered by some of our customers over long periods of time. A Blue Prism Digital Worker is designed to require as close to zero intervention as possible.
Take our customer Npower as an example. 2 million hrs of work are currently delivered back to the business annually, with 400 robots. These robots are managed by just 2 people. This efficiency and reliability is just not possible without a methodical approach to planning.
Of course, now there are technological advances, like Process Mining – a feature brought to the RPA industry over a year ago, through a first-of-its-kind Technology Partnership between Blue Prism and our partner MINIT – that are allowing us to simplify this process capture and planning stage.
Process Mining allows you to take unstructured data from logs and other “dark data” and build a picture of your process as it is today. This gives you some valuable indications of where you may have inefficiencies – and therefore opportunities to automate.
However, Process Mining alone is not enough. Dark data will not give you insights into the human driven decision making or intuition that went into the process. Neither will it provide you with the “WHY?” behind highlighted inefficiencies. For that, you need to dig deeper and Blue Prism is diligently researching ways to bring together dark data and human insight in such a way that addresses both aspects of this problem. Our partner DXC is beginning to tackle this problem in their APA platform, by combining customised process mining with human process annotation. Armed with this level of insight and process transparency, business leaders can automate processes in their fully optimised forms.
The Importance of Orders of Operation
While it’s important for you to properly plan the process and program your Digital Worker, all that planning would be futile if proper sequencing and orchestration weren’t in place.
Any process will involve a sequence of steps that are likely to have a very critical order of execution but will also involve many decisions and diverging paths along the way. Many of these will involve re-usable and repeated steps. The Blue Prism platform was designed from the ground up to encourage modularity and reusability. The Blue Prism designer and release manager enables a “build once, use many times” approach to process automation. Once you have programmed your resilient integration with an application, this can be easily used in many business processes with ease. Everything is designed to be parameterized, to maximise the reusability and minimise process specific customization.
Thanks to our advanced Control Room and Queue management system, Digital Workers can work in tightly co-ordinated harmony across one or many different tasks. Building a Control Room was not an afterthought for us – it is a core component of the software that has been embedded and refined for almost 10 years.
This efficient sequencing and reusability means we are able to deliver at much higher scale than other products.
Take our customer Western Union. In just 6 months, they have been able to automate more than 21 processes, realise £1m saving and reassign 48 FTEs to more valuable workload.
Where next? Our current research and product development will focus on making this orchestration fully autonomous – the Digital Workers of the future will be fully self-managing.
Data is the New Gold
It’s important to be sure that all the steps performed by your Digital Workers can be audited and explained along the way—especially because of regulatory requirements and compliance audits – but also because having a strong, built in audit trail and metrics from your processes and Digital Workers enables you to identify areas for greater cost saving and process efficiencies. The Blue Prism platform offers best in class, built in analytics and supports feeding data into an external analytics engine. Ultimately, this data will support greater insights and Machine Learning to further improve your efficiency.
Blue Prism is also the only platform that offers true, enterprise grade audit and non-repudiation. Our platform automatically logs and records every action take and changed to give you 100% visibility into your process workflows. The data collected is centrally stored in a tamper-resistant environment, making it an irrefutable piece of a compliance audit, if needs be.
Final Thought – Planning and Sequencing in an AI Enabled Future
In the world of GDPR and the digitally transformed workplace, non-repudiation and audit will begin to become even more important than ever before. Consider how you will explain to your auditors how you arrived at a decision, if that decision was fully or partially automated? Do you understand which parts of your process are driven by deterministic, rules-based decisions and which are based on non-deterministic, machine learning driven decisions? Can you guarantee that all these steps are audited BY DEFAULT, without relying on a developer to remember to program them into the process?
The Blue Prism platform is already the most prepared to support these new regulatory requirements and our latest research is focused around making it even easier for you to extract the data and create the specialized reports you need to protect your business.
UAE’s leading bank adopts Blue Prism’s Digital Workforce to transform business operations while increasing customer satisfaction
LONDON, AUSTIN and DUBAI — Feb. 14, 2018 — In its efforts to continue pioneering innovative banking solutions, UAE’s leading financial institution, Mashreq, announced that it is working with Blue Prism (AIM: PRSM) to increase productivity, improve customer experiences and deliver new services.
Mashreq selected Blue Prism’s secure, scalable and easy-to-use Digital Workforce to deliver greater operational efficiencies, higher accuracy and a massive reduction in processing time for new and existing customer services. The bank is using Blue Prism to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) and automate dozens of mission-critical processes across multiple business functions, including banking operations, compliance, customer care and their technology help desk.
“We are harnessing the power of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to create customer-centric solutions that can help us deliver on the promise we have made to our customers—to enrich their banking and financial experiences through innovation,” said Mr. Sandeep Chouhan, Group Head of Operations & Technology at Mashreq Bank. “The efficiencies and improvements enabled by Blue Prism’s Digital Workforce Operating System cut across numerous departments and enable us to be more responsive and agile as an organization. After evaluating several RPA offerings, we selected Blue Prism because it was the most scalable, secure and compliant solution available.”
As a result of automating many internal tasks and processes, Mashreq Bank has seen more than 150,000 secure and error free transactions executed daily. Mashreq’s deployment of Blue Prism has delivered a better issue TAT (Turn Around Time) by 65 percent on manual processes, and reduced customer complaints by 90 percent. In addition, individual branch productivity is up by 60 percent while human worker costs are down by almost 87 percent due to the bolstering of human workers with RPA tools that boost productivity.
“Industries like banking, insurance and financial services are ripe for the disruption and digital transformation that RPA brings,” said Dr. Jing Bing Zhang, Research Director and lead analyst, Worldwide Robotics and Asia Pacific Manufacturing Insights, IDC Asia Pacific. “The level of automation goes beyond streamlining administrative and transactional tasks. Service quality and time to service – how fast you can deliver service to customers – are the dominant drivers in intelligent automation, especially the adoption of RPA technologies.”
“We’re seeing expanding implementations of our Digital Workforce solution in the financial services sector from organizations looking to disrupt and drive more meaningful customer interactions,” said Alastair Bathgate, CEO, Blue Prism. “More companies are harnessing the power of automation to facilitate secure and compliant transactions while also freeing up human capital that can focus on delivering innovative, new services and improving the overall customer experience. We are excited to see a top bank in the UAE embrace RPA and achieve such impressive results with our Digital Workforce Operating System.”
In 2017, Blue Prism was named one of MIT Tech Review’s 50 Smartest Companies and recognized as the winner of the 2017 UK Tech awards. Over the past year, the company added several established brands to its roster of clients including AIG, Alberta Treasury Bureau, Allstate Insurance, Bechtel, Boeing, DeNA, DTE Energy, Dun & Bradstreet, Ericsson, Fannie Mae, GIC, Honda Motor Company, Kaiser Permanente, KBL Bank, Maybank, National Grid, Schroders, Sony Pictures, United Utilities and Walgreens. Blue Prism also attained the highest customer satisfaction rating of 96 percent in an independent customer survey by Knowledge Capital Partners (click here to download report). The survey of global Blue Prism customers highlighted satisfaction for platform adaptability, scalability, security and employee satisfaction.
Established in 1967, Mashreq is the oldest Bank in the UAE with award winning financial solutions and services. Throughout its 50 years’ history, Mashreq has differentiated itself through innovative financial solutions, making it possible for its customers to achieve their aspirations. Today, Mashreq has a significant presence in 11 countries outside the UAE with 21 overseas branches and offices across Europe, USA, Asia and Africa.
Mashreq launched its new Vision and Mission recently, outlining its commitment towards its clients, colleagues and the community. In line with its new Vision to be the region’s most progressive bank, Mashreq leverages its leadership position in the banking industry to enable innovative possibilities and solutions for its customers across Corporate, Retail, International, Treasury and Islamic Banking. Mashreq is proud to be the first financial institution in the UAE to be awarded the Gallup Great Workplace Award for four consecutive years from 2014-2017. Mashreq also continues to invest in recruiting, training and developing future generations of UAE National bankers.
About Blue Prism
As the pioneer, innovator and market leader in Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Blue Prism delivers the world’s most successful Digital Workforce. The company’s software robots automate repetitive administrative tasks while meeting the requirements of the most demanding IT environments, where security, compliance and scalability are paramount.
A common problem affecting enterprise companies is how to best expand revenue growth, while at the same time, minimize cost growth. Businesses like Amazon and Google have a significant operational advantage through the use of digital technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), which drive exponential growth while at the same time, contain costs. This video introduces how digital operations can be performed through AI-driven software robots.