How to expand your RPA virtual workforce
- Posted on March 19, 2019
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
Nearly two years ago I wrote an Avanade Insights blog post claiming that robotic process automation (RPA) was ready for the big time. Since then, the RPA market has continued to go from strength to strength, growing 29% each year.
That’s no surprise, as nine out of ten senior IT decision-makers agree that automation is a key technology. RPA projects have already proven their worth, with productivity gains as high as 80%.
Blue Prism is one of the leading RPA software vendors, and Avanade is proud to be both a strategic partner of Blue Prism and a co-sponsor of Blue Prism World 2019, an event bringing together over 3,000 attendees in London on the 3 and 4 April.
Avanade will be there alongside Accenture at booth P7 in the Partner Village. On day two, Avanade customer Repsol, a global energy company, will be talking about the gains it has experienced since implementing automation from Avanade and Blue Prism.
The challenges to RPA’s progress
But the main focus of the event is the future of RPA. So, what’s standing in its way? There are clear fiscal and productivity benefits to having a piece of software to do repetitive tasks for you, freeing-up your skilled human employees to add value where it’s really needed.
But as organisations across the world embrace RPA, the whole market has matured. Two major challenges have emerged. Answer these challenges and you can unlock the potential of your RPA virtual workforce.
1: How to roll out your virtual workforce at scale
The first challenge is scalability: how do organisation’s like yours do bigger and better things with RPA? How do you go beyond small-scale, isolated use cases and make it work across departments and locations? I often see organisations that struggle to move past the initial implementation stage and discover real value-generation at scale.
You might have your RPA deployment processing invoices in China, but should the same RPA processes be used at your European locations? Should it be the same robot or a different iteration? Should the same people oversee globally, or at local levels? These are all good questions but failing to answer them can hold up the expansion of your RPA.
The biggest blocker to RPA at scale is governance – organisations need to implement robust operating models to manage your RPA virtual workforce. Blue Prism has a great answer to this question: its ROM, or reference operating model, sets the industry standard for how to manage and assess the work of your RPA bots.
‘Assess’ is a key part of this. From HR to finance and beyond, it’s important to evaluate your RPA implementations to understand which jobs it’s suited to and which it isn’t. What’s more, the success of an RPA implementation depends on the very culture of the organisation itself.
Of course, the answer to the ‘how do I scale up my RPA?’ question is more detailed than I can cover in this blog post. For a deeper conversation, come along to Blue Prism World 2019 and find me at booth P7.
2: How to unleash the real potential of your virtual workers
The second challenge is about going beyond RPA – how do you unlock the full potential of automation? RPA is just the first step on the path to what we call ‘intelligent automation’. Intelligent automation lets you automatically interpret data and return results. In other words, it adds cognitive services to the existing RPA layer. Intelligent automation doesn’t replace RPA, it complements it.
This lets your virtual workforce mimic human skills, such as reading and understanding documents and content, and therefore a level of decision making. Intelligent automation can read emails, read PDFs and make follow decision trees against a set of rules. It can respond intelligently to customer requests, further freeing up your real-world workforce to focus on more important customer requests that require a nuanced response.
Go beyond intelligent automation at Blue Prism World 2019
Want to see intelligent automation and cognitive services in action? We’ll be running a live demo at Blue Prism World 2019, booth P7.
You might be asking yourself, ‘why is Avanade an authority on RPA and intelligent automation?’ Quite simply, we have the experience and technical ability. Avanade’s 4,200 business and automation experts have completed over 6,000 automations for more than 350 clients across a range of industries. We’re also the only IT services company with Blue Prism Certified Training Partner status.
Blue Prism’s CEO and Co-founder, Alastair Bathgate, puts it best: “Avanade’s experience in problem solving for clients allows our teams to apply RPA technology pragmatically to a business problem, achieving tangible benefits quickly.”
Come and say hello to Avanade in booth P7 at Blue Prism World 2019 on Wednesday 3 April 2019. I look forward to talking about your virtual workforce and how we can make it even more productive and useful.