By Shak Akhtar, Global SVP Robotics Solutions, Redwood Software
Normally we use this blog to share insights, predictions and knowledge around automation, our own solutions and the wider RPA industry.
Today, we want to share our thoughts on a new report from analyst group Horses for Sources (HfS) in which Redwood has been proudly featured for its cutting-edge automation solutions.
In the report (available at http://bit.ly/2DUJiiw), HfS research director John O’Brien hits the nail squarely on the head, using a Allianz as an example customer to identify exactly where we differ from traditional RPA companies – specifically in the overview approach our solutions take to deliver higher levels of robotic process automation across end-to-end processes.
Through the provision of solutions that deliver up to 100% process automation, Redwood further supports the movement towards improving the functions of the back-, middle- and front-office as we know them today.
Once bitten, twice shy
There are a few different technologies all bundled together under the banner of ‘RPA’ solutions, but as O’Brien notes, not all are created equally.
“The traditional view of automation may be focused on cost saving and other productivity gains, but early engagements are demonstrating that it can drive end-to-end process delivery,” he says.
Desktop-based RPA, which relies on mimicking human activity on virtualized desktops, can automate tasks successfully, but it’s incredibly intensive from a development-resource perspective, can become expensive due to software license costs, and requires manned control towers for any sort of complex operation.
Conversely, micro-services that are automated only through the API are equally difficult to scale, due to their specificity.
The result is a dichotomy: RPA promises to reduce costs, errors, and complexity, all while meeting efficiency and full audit requirements. But in reality, early RPA buyers are often left disillusioned by the real-world experience.
In HfS’ research, only 58% of RPA customers are satisfied with their implementations as they stand today.
“A source of dissatisfaction is that end users are often attempting to knit together the long tail of discrete business processes and can miss the big picture that’s needed to transform operations end-to-end,” O’Brien states.
Thankfully, these are all pain points the Redwood Robotics solution works hard to redress, as HfS has recognized.
Where alternatives focus on the automation of a certain number of tasks for users, Redwood reviews entire processes during the scoping phase. That means application and system tasks are robotized alongside human activities. These solutions connect directly to commonly-used enterprise systems and packages.
HfS calls out our specific strengths around ERP automation, which can both eliminate manual workarounds used for multi-platform ERP management, and accurately automate legacy processes.
More importantly, ERP serves as a launch point for internal conversations among IT and operations stakeholders, as it’s a central system used by both departments.
Frequently, getting IT buy-in is one of the core organizational challenges for RPA deployment, but one that’s made simple when presented alongside the real-world gains of Redwood case studies.
“Redwood takes a technical approach to automation, and this can have its advantages. For instance, typically selling to IT means it is already well-aligned with corporate IT culture and demands for governance and compliance,” the report states.
The ‘Amazon of robotics’?
Amazon, as we’ve noted before, is an inspiring company in many ways. But can you remember the last time you interacted with a person inside the company as a customer? Probably not, and that’s by design, as Amazon has championed the ‘self-service’ approach for front- and back-office functions. The result for customers, regardless of the Amazon product being used, is simplicity and efficiency in the experience.
It’s this experience that Redwood customers get, through the delivery of a catalog of tens of thousands of plug-and-play robots ready to deploy in a whole range of scenarios. In addition, Redwood offers an orchestration capability unlike for customers make configuration changes or scale processes en masse – for example, when you want to roll out standardized processes to a new region.
“Redwood’s orchestration engine provides strong governance and controls for operations managers who can clone and re-use entire robotic process chains with just a few mouse clicks,” states the HfS report.
“Supporting this orchestration layer are visualization tools, which provide the ability to monitor and assess processes at the organizational and individual level. This is a fault-tolerant set up, with alerting, dash-boarding and SLAs built-in.”
Combined with multiple integration layers, our robotics solution provides a more scalable, capable and robust option, HfS notes.
“Redwood’s preferred option is to connect directly with the systems and applications in which the core data is held, although they can also access from the UI if needed. This eliminates complexity and builds a more robust approach to automation that removes a potential point of failure.”
The result of a simultaneous top-down and bottom-up approach to automation provides both oversight and insight without the need for expensive technical staff for management, scaling or (re)deployments.
“The cost of ripping and replacing legacy systems is proven to be unnecessary in light of intelligent automation. Viewing automation solutions in the context of where they are to be deployed and how they align with existing business requirements is key,” O’Brien rightly notes.
If you’d like to talk to us about how we can help robotize your processes or to discuss the research further, please get in touch with us at https://www.redwood.com/contact-us/
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