15 days ago

IBM Jumps Into RPA Market With Automation Anywhere – Perhaps A Turn To More Practical Challenges

IBM and Automation Anywhere (AA’s) today announced a collaboration (note-not a formal partnership yet) to integrate (AA’s) Robotic Process Automation (RPA) platform, used to create software bots to handle repetitive, task-based work, with IBM’s portfolio of digital process automation software, that includes IBM Business Process Manager and Operational Decision Manager. For AA, the partnership is a validation of its strong position in the RPA market, as shown in the Forrester Q1 RPA wave. For IBM, the partnership will enable clients to use AA’s RPA platform to create software bots that execute tasks within larger business processes managed by IBM’s software. Here’s our take.

IBM Can Add Smarts to AA’s RPA Platform

RPA works in a very dumb fashion today – mimicking human keystrokes and mouse movements – where all decisions must be explicitly programmed into the script. The result is that there are very few real decisions made beyond simple logic loops. Watson will be relevant down the road, but as a first step, RPA will benefit from IBM’s mature business rules engine (Decision Manager) or the embedded rules in the BPM platform. But as interesting, IBM’s content analytics, if part of teh collaboration, can allow AA to keep pace with unstructured RPA intelligence from Workfusion and other RPA competitors moving quickly in that direction. RPA use cases that comb through unstructured content will be ahead of chatbot and AI-based digital workers.

Further Market Validation For RPA

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15 days ago

IBM Jumps Into RPA Market With Automation Anywhere — Perhaps A Turn To More Practical Challenges

IBM and Automation Anywhere  (AA’s) today announced a collaboration (note-not a formal partnership yet) to integrate (AA’s) Robotic Process Automation (RPA) platform, used to create software bots to handle repetitive, task-based work, with IBM’s portfolio of digital process automation software, that includes IBM Business Process Manager and Operational Decision Manager. For AA, the partnership is a validation of […]

1 month, 23 days ago

Operating Models Must Evolve To Address RPA Gaps

The search for “quick solutions” to fragmented business applications has pushed RPA investment. I’ve taken over 200 hundred inquiries on RPA in the last six months and also attended Blue Prism, Automation Anywhere, NICE, and other vendors conferences and spoken to thier customers. About half the enterprises I have talked with are just starting out either in vendor review or staging early POCs, with the other half in production and looking for the next process to robotize. I’d estimate only about 10% are in any form of large scaled opertations. And most have tackled simple processes that I define as less then 200 human clicks replaced by a Bot that access less then three applicaitons.

But things are moving quickly. RPA tools are relatively cheap. And they work fast. There is no requirements document. You can download free RPA software and develop a Bot in a few days. And who needs a business case when projects can be self-funded from productivity gains? Yet, I’m sensing that early enthusiasm has led to tapping the breaks. Here’s why?

Stakeholders are not properly aligned to the emerging digital workforce. Yes. It might take only a month to build the digital worker. But six times that to get management and other stakeholders on board. In most organizations, the number of people working for a person is a measure of importance. So when you tell them you will replace humans with digital workers they are threatened. Tech management also has a long list of objections and may resist small changes to legacy systems that make Bots work better. Senior technical leadership is often not on board. And thats just for starters.

Some bad processes are getting robotized. RPA plugs gaps in legacy systems and sometimes will delay needed system modernization. Some processes you don’t want to institutionalize by adding robots. If we can improve things first, then do it.

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1 month, 28 days ago

RPA and the Future of Work, Dystopian Views

In the last several months, I’ve given ten talks on Robotic Process Automation (RPA), it’s relationship to AI and future affect on jobs. These were mostly at tech conferences where the audience is a mix of corporate and government technology and business leaders. The industries represented are diverse, as is the process focus and expertise. But participants are similar in important ways. They are excited, if not well informed, about the potential of AI and robotics. The average IQ in the room seems well above the US average of 98 which is is a solid ninth in world rankings. And lastly, they all will benefit either professionally or financially from the progression of robotics.

No shame in making money. I wish I’d made more. But there is more then a hint of nervous discomfort just below the surface that stems from the removal of humans from the workforce. There are many cute references to taking the robot out of the human. This is supposed to mean that we are using humans essentially as robots, and the less we do that, the better off they will be. But the fact is, many workers today are good at the routine, feel productive, and may lack the mental quickness for other tasks. Several firms had given human names to their new digital workers as if calling them Yoda or Jennifer will make them more accepted by the people they are replacing.

RPA Targets The Cubicle Working Class

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10 months, 16 days ago

Top Reasons The OpenText Acquisition Of EMC’s ECD Will End Up As A Positive For Customers

EMC purchased Documentum in 2003 for $1.7 billion, a very high price tag at the time, and did not grow the core business. Today, the Enterprise Content Division (ECD) business unit consists of Documentum, next-generation content platform Project Horizon, and the archiving solution EMC InfoArchive. Core Documentum products include the Documentum platform, xCP and D2, midmarket ECM solution ApplicationXtender, Captiva, and Document Sciences xPression; additional products include Kazeon, MyDocumentum, and eRoom. A mix of aging and newer and aging technology but lots of customers, which is what OpenText seems intent on accumulating.

A Fresh Focus On Documentum Is Overdue

Documentum products received good ratings in five Forrester Wave evaluations, yet never realized their market potential under EMC. Their future with Dell only looked bleaker. OpenText acquisition gives hope.

A Spinoff Was The Best Hope

EMC is set to become a private company as funding for the deal comes from Michael Dell, private equity firm MSD Partners, and investment firm Silver Lake. As we said in November of 2015, Documentum will only prosper if it’s spun into a separate, agile, and more strategically aligned entity. And with OpenText it has.

Customers Should Stay The Course, At Least Through 2017

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1 year, 3 months ago

Pega Buys OpenSpan: Watch out – RPA Vendnor Landscape Is About to Change

Enterprises, in their quest to reduce labor costs are applying RPA technologies. Yet they do not have a well-defined set of principles and best practices including how to position RPA with other process tools and initatives. Today it may have become a bit more clear. Pega is the first tech provider, and only BPM market particpant of substance, to purchase an RPA provider (OpenSpan). The combination brings robotics, analytics, and case management together – and that makes sense. Think of Pega’s process/rules capibility firing off a set of RPA scripts.

RPA in many respects is an alternative, some would say the polar opposite of Pega’s current business model that feasts on the transformitive “big IT spend” for BPM, case management, automation, and customer service projects. RPA does not require invasive integration. It is a quick hit for automation, a “low touch” approach for process improvement for brittle legacy systems. The bottom line. Enterprises that employ labor on a large scale for process work, can gain efficiencies by just automating repetitive human tasks for the “as is” process.

OpenSpan is nice pick up for Pega that will help with back office BPM work, but more so with contact center environments where the agent requires human and machine multi-tasking that often spans multiple windows and web applications, few of which are integrated with each other. Cumbersome process flows, rekeying of data and lack of integration add up to lengthy call times, reduced accuracy and an overall increase in customer frustration. Pega/OpenSpan, will give Jacada, and NICE a run for thier money and the future integartion with Pega’s analytics tarcks where the RPA space is heading.

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1 year, 4 months ago

The Blind Spot For Man-Machine Collaboration

We are kicking off a research series on the future of work for “production services,” with a focus on administrative and customer service jobs where a high degree of automation is projected. Basically, cognitive computing may do to white-collar jobs what robotics did to blue-collar jobs. This may lead to radically different work patterns and unintended consequences. Enterprises risk blindly bringing in advanced analytics without a best practice approach that covers change management and identifies gaps in the formerly human-driven process that affect compliance, customer experience, and efficiency. To date, few are doing serious thinking about a force that will lead to a restructuring of work that is more profound and far-reaching than the transition from the agricultural to the industrial age.

Please take or send this survey to businesses contemplating or using smart machines to augment human-based processes. They will receive a free copy of the report.

Thank you.

https://forrester.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_6RI5qO6FJ2S13z7

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1 year, 4 months ago

The Blind Spot For Man-Machine Collaboration

We are kicking off a research series on the future of work for “production services,” with a focus on administrative and customer service jobs where a high degree of automation is projected. Basically, cognitive computing may do to white-collar jobs what robotics did to blue-collar jobs. This may lead to radically different work patterns and unintended consequences. Enterprises risk blindly bringing in advanced analytics without a best practice approach that covers change management and identifies gaps in the formerly human-driven process that affect compliance, customer experience, and efficiency. To date, few are doing serious thinking about a force that will lead to a restructuring of work that is more profound and far-reaching than the transition from the agricultural to the industrial age.

Please take or send this survey to businesses contemplating or using smart machines to augment human-based processes. They will receive a free copy of the report.

Thank you.

https://forrester.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_6RI5qO6FJ2S13z7

Read more