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Courtesy of Nintex's Eric Smith below is a transcript of his speaking session on 'Driving Rapid Results with RPA' to Build a Thriving Enterprise that took place at the RPA & Intelligent Automation Live Virtual Conference.
Driving Rapid Results with RPA
If you think that RPA is costly, development-heavy, or difficult to deploy, think again. Many processes from the simplest to the most sophisticated can now be automated, even in the cases in which your more traditional RPA might not have been an option.
The latest iterations of RPA are overcoming the high failure rates and development costs of previous years to deliver rapid, cost-effective solutions across different parts of an organization all while maintaining control and governance.
He's coming from Denver, Colorado, and he is a senior product marketing manager for Nintex And I'm talking about Eric Smith.
Eric Smith is a Senior Product Manager and new tax or responsibility for a low code, workflow automation products, including new tax workflow cloud, and the text ... software. And his role, he is responsible for being the internal voice of their customers. Eric works of members from their product, sales and marketing teams to build an execute product marketing strategist focusing on addressing and solving the automation needs of our audience. So, Eric, thank you so much for taking the time to be here with us, sharing with us what's best in terms of technology implementation of the approaches that have worked with ... and their customers. So, I'm gonna hand it out to you.
Thank you again, for being part of our journey today.
Awesome, thank you very much. Let me go ahead and show this.
so thanks very much, I really appreciate everybody being here today, and thanks for letting me kick off your session.
Just want to start by giving kind of a quick overview of just ... is and Gateway. Everybody has an understanding of really, why we think about process automation in the way that we do.
... is a global leader in digital process automation software and our mission is to transform the way that people work through process intelligence and automation.
And I know a lot of mission statements are really buzz wordy.
And for us they do have some buzz words but they're not buzz words to us internally. It really frames the way that we think about everything we do.
You know, we're really passionate about helping our customers succeed and working with them to find the best ways to help them do so.
We've been around for 16 years, and in those 16 years, we've worked with businesses.
In the thousands, we've worked with more than 10000 customers, including 50% of the Fortune 500.
And we've worked with them to help them find tools that really streamline the processes that they need to automate, then drive efficiencies across their entire enterprise. You know, a lot of our customers are leveraging the text to process, to automate thousands of processes, and we have some of our largest customers, are automating almost tens of thousands of processes with us every day.
So before we jump in here, to talk about RPA, I just wanted to talk about, you know, really the core of why we're all here today. And, you know, that's digital transformation, it's not a new word, we all know about it.
We know that companies are under extreme pressure to really improve their efficiencies, and really just drive business processes in a better way.
You know, digital transformation, really is it's leveraging digital technologies such as RPA, truly remake those processes, and make them more efficient and effective.
one thing we really have heard from our customers, and I'm sure everyone on this call knows, despite the efforts people are making to digitally transform, a lot of companies are still very heavily reliant on manual processes.
Now, a lot of people are still using papers or using e-mail, spreadsheets, and the like to really accomplish each processes and it's just time consuming. Pretty mundane. And, you know, it takes time away from what you really can be focused on.
So, when we talk to our customers, there's really a couple of trends that we hear from them about why this struggle is happening, why they haven't yet digitally transformed.
So first of all, they really lack visibility into the manual business processes that are happening within their business.
It's, if you don't really understand them, as I said, in the beginning, it's really difficult to automate them, and also having a bad understanding of them, just makes it a really bad process when you automated. one thing I've heard throughout my lifetime and in Texas. The best way to bake a, the best way to make a bad process worse is to automate it. So, really, without that, understanding, it's, it's hard to, it's hard to get it done a lot. And a lot of companies don't really feel like process management is really well understood, or even addressed within their organization.
Secondly, a lot of the tools that were historically available were really targeted at that, helping, like the technical developers solve really complex problems. So, it was really relying on coding.
Like I said, it only answered the needs of the very complex problems. And, today, those resources, those highly technical developers, they tend to be not really existed within a lot of today's businesses.
So, that becomes really hard for these processes to be automated, without that need, and without the right tools.
Then in order to stay competitive, you know, one of the things that companies really need to do is, is, is get their process is automated so they can, you know, just get better value out of the enterprise solutions they're bringing into their organization. But what we hear a lot from people is that they just don't have the right tools, they see that they're very lightweight, Or, like I said, they're very rely on heavily complex coding.
So it gives these people, and companies just a tool that it really lacks the capability and the power, and so they're just really used for the most simplest processes out there.
So, you know, as we're going to talk about RPA today, there's a couple of things to keep in mind.
You know, it's, it's really just one part of the broader solution of automating your technology stack, and it really is needed to be part of the solution to really drive transformation the solution that you choose. It needs to blend power and ease of use.
So, it really, you want it to be able to be used by your business users who use it every day, without really relying on IT, but you need IT to have that, that power to really control governance and security.
So moving forward here, just a quick stop, I'm sure everyone on the call knows what RPA is. Everybody on here is super smart and is using RPA on a daily basis.
But for those of us who are new to RPA, I'll just give a quick overview of what it is. It's just a tool that utilizes bots or what's you're often hear called digital workers and they perform actions that are similar to human tasks.
So, but they work at higher speeds, and they don't really have errors that, and they mimic the same mouse clicks and the keystrokes that are performed by humans.
So a lot of people use RPA for common tasks, including a lot of simple things like entry, journal, entry tasks, applying cash to your business, you know, data cleanup, data changes. That's one of the things we see a lot of our customers using RPA for. Really, if you look at it, any repetitive rule based tasks that doesn't involve a ton of human interaction, is really perfect for RPA to handle.
So think of things like copying and pasting data from one system to another, opening e-mails and attachments, performing calculations, moving things to a database, or gathering data from websites and documents, and then moving it into another system to use.
one thing that RPA really does is it just brings a wealth of new possibilities to the automation tool set that you have internally.
They're used across legacy systems. It can access systems that don't have an easy to use API system, You can use kind of click and training to access legacy systems. It also helps solve really the issue of human rights.
It lets your humans focus on the more mission critical tasks to the business and let RPA do kind of those repetitive mundane tasks, and free up their bandwidth to really drive innovation within your organization.
So, how does a bot operate, I think. Again, pretty self explanatory.
But for those of us who are new to it, you really do want to think of it as kind of a linear task. You really, you need something done.
You know, it's something that's repetitive. It's rule based, it's something that you don't want to spend your time doing.
So you can create a project or a bot flow within your designer, then send that bought off to do that task for you. So it'll work. You can either do it attended or unintended, let it run while you're doing something else. Or monitor it's running. And let it go out there, Really accomplish that task for you.
So like I said previously, you can focus on innovative ideas to drive the business and let RPA go out there and do your, you know, your journal entries, your Excel, moving, your data systems, all that. So you don't really need to be focused on on that.
And you'd be surprised at how much time it frees up, I know, know even in my job at ..., there's a lot of things that I would love to use RPA tomorrow to automate, but.
It's, it's just not, it hasn't happened yet.
So I think one thing that we really need to take a second to talk about is really what RPA is. Not A lot of what we hear from our customers is. So, RPA is AI, right, And it's not.
But they are really 2, 2 tools that work super well in conjunction with each other, to really drive efficiency, and intelligent Flo's AI is really focused on being a decision, augment or so when you pull it into your automation tech stack, you want to think of it as it takes on kind of the decision making tasks that are typically human-based. And it uses its rules and its learnings really speed up and make those decisions more efficient.
So think of things like the retail space, one of a lot of retail banking are two that are using it, but retail is, is using it really well.
When you're shopping online, you're generally going to be served a ton of product recommendations that are based on prior algorithms that correlate with your past purchases, Products you've searched, what others like you, have searched for, and then using AI in their workflow. It serves up products that are really relevant to what you're looking at, making sure that you're seeing things that that AI assumes you're going to purchase.
And then if you look at banking, one of the things where we really see them use is when it comes to loan origination, typically loan approvals are a human-based task. They're reviewing a lot of your loan documents.
Your credit history, all of this, using AI, can use learnings from past approvals and denials to really determine if that loan should be approved. So, it takes out the manual work of processes, processing the loan data by itself, uploading, transferring those data across systems. So you let AI really make that decision. And then hand it back over to RPA to handle those manual tasks. So your bankers, your frontline people can be focused on customer experience and less on the routine behind-the-scenes approval process.
So, if we look here, these are just common tasks that we see across our customers that they're using RPA to tackle.
So things like processing data, extracting form from PDFs, connecting to system APIs, hacking the legacy systems or systems that don't have API access, opening e-mails and attachments, moving them to certain folders. Looking at things like move, data migration, and entry.
So like I said before, it's a lot of manual tasks that don't require a lot of human interaction, They're very rule-based, and they just free up your time to be focused elsewhere.
So when you incorporate your RPA into your process automation and your digital transformation toolkit, it does a lot for you. Things like higher quality services, as I said, it let your employees be focused on providing really top-of-line customer service to the front-end customer and less on that, mundane routine tasks. Let RPA do that, or pay doesn't need to interact with your customers. So let it be focused on, behind the scenes stuff, and let your people be focused externally.
Looking at, you know, even employee, improved employee experience, employees are able to increase their productivity. And they spend less time on those mundane tasks. So it allows them to be a little bit more or a lot happier, and just get a little bit more enjoyment out of their day-to-day work.
Then for companies who are super regulated and need to stay compliant, RPA can ensure greater compliancy.
Because it it really reduces the human error. And it you can update it on the fly and make sure that your systems and your processes are staying in place with compliance and security regulations. Lastly, it really decrease costs. It, It's really quick and easy to deploy modern RPA solutions. So the time to value is a lot quicker than trying to train someone to go through it. Or even using a Legacy RPA tool.
So taking a look at really, you know, the traditional RPA versus the modern RPA, there are a lot of differences, as I stated earlier. Traditional RPA really required complex developers who came in. They really understood how to code. How to build out these complex solutions.
Today, and they're very easy, a lot of the RPA solutions, .... It's drag and drop. You, you do what you need. You can click on Systems of record, You can really get a bot deployed very quickly. Simply slow time to value. So you really required a lot of your technical resources. Now It's: it's fast time to value your business. users can go in there, they can learn the tool quickly. They really can deploy these buffalos at speed.
Because of the speed, you're really seeing a quicker time to value, You know, speed costs more, so it was less flexible before you were spending more time getting these bots deployed.
Now, you can scale baht flows at, at rapid speed with unrestricted bots. So if you need one Bob to complete the job, or 100 to complete a job, modern RPA solutions really allow you to use the amount of bots you need without really increasing the cost prior to modern RPA traditional cost. You'd see an escalating, the more bots you put on.
And then similar here, high implementation costs versus low implementation costs, because it's easier to use, it's drag and drop.
It doesn't require heavy, complex coding, Much easier to implement. Much easier to be used by people like me who are in marketing, and are not super technical, but can really jump in and learn the tool pretty quick.
So, where do you want to start here?
I think a lot of people know about digital transformation. They know about RPA.
They know about a full automation stack, but they're really not sure exactly where to get started. So, as we talked about earlier, our pay, it's just one component of the entire successful process automation strategy.
Do you really want to look at kind of a full business process automation solution, to really help you automate and, and, and bring in RPA as a component to that? So what is business process automation? You know, RPA, it can function on its own.
We have a lot of customers who do use RPA strictly on its own for simple tasks such as, you know, journal entries what we talked about before, but to really make strides in process excellence and automation, and just to maximize the organizational efficiencies that you have across your company and increase your cost savings.
You really want to use RPA as a component of your larger business process automation, just to make it a lot more impactful.
So, BPA, which is business, business process automation. Sometimes you'll hear it referred to as digital process automation, or digital process management, really, In essence, It's the idea of workflow audit automation.
So, if you think about it, it's really that orchestration of work that allows you to manage the flow of work across any human based tasks, your robot, robot based tasks, including RPA, or really any systems that you need to connect into across your organization.
It's that, that end to end approach, That really helps you understand what tasks need to be done, by what type of user. Whether that's a bot, a human, or a system access, It gives you the ability to really build out complete applications that can span the entire business process. So this can include, you know, your workflow and orchestrations.
Things like forms and dashboards your end users are using, really to utilize and be more efficient in their day to day. It also can include things like connecting your human resources system to your accounting system. So it's really that full tool to bring in and just make sure that the entire business from A to Z is talking to each other. Another really big benefit of business process automation.
It's just the visibility it gives the organization into the end to end processes, regardless of who or what is involved in that process. It's, It allows for more governance that allows kind of at the upper level of the organization to understand what processes are automating across the business. And where we typically see BPA brought him into it involves processes that just cover a lot of different people.
A lot of different tasks, and multiple different organizations within your business. So, like, loan origination, safety, inspections, vendor management, and so on.
If you think of things like a purchase agreement, it's a really good, real-world example of an extremely manual process, that it can be easily automated with BPA and applying rules and learnings. It can really, it can really streamline the process. So automation allows for the distribution of those documents throughout the process to be sent at the right time to precisely the right people.
And then, once they're all submitted, that form data, can flow right back to your CRM system. Send off an e-mail to your professional services team, and let them know that they need to begin the onboarding process, and really kind of streamline that process? Make sure you have a better customer experience, and, like I said earlier, just, you know, understand. Really end to end where everything's happening within the process. Time.
It makes sure it's happening at the right time, so you can guarantee to your audience or your customers a much better user experience with a time that they know they're going to get an answer because you're, you're automating the process. So, you can make sure people are getting back to them at time.
So, as I said, you know, Business, process automation, it's a really great way to get your processes automated, There's gotta be some limitations. So, you know, organizations, they really want their workflows to include connectivity to their on premise applications, like SQL Server, their legacy applications, or even interact with applications that have limited API functionality.
And, even in the case where these API functionality is super robust, it's going to be challenging to work through the various screens, retrieving your target data, Um, and moving it from one application to another. So in many of these cases, you're going to see a lot of these workflows include an assigned, a task step, which generally sends an e-mail to a human who, then takes on the kit that, that step manually to make sure that you get it to its conclusion. But really, if we go back to RPA, This is a great way for RPA to come in.
Really step in and take on that human base task. And make sure that, you know, the process can continue. So creating appointments and outlook, updating on premise databases. Comparing and updating systems that can talk to each other, Like your CRM and your finance systems.
As I mentioned earlier, when this happens, if you base it on a human, the process can really slow down, and errors are likely to happen. So this is where you pull RPA back into your full automation stack, and just make sure that from end to end, the entire process isn't automated, is automated and can keep on running.
So, just like RPA, modern business process management, and automation solutions, they just don't have to be slow and expensive. You know, traditionally, discovery and mapping of processes was really challenging. The tool, there were tools that cause processes to be difficult to find. There's a lack of collaborations and standardization across your business.
You know, traditional automation projects require heavy coding and the development resources that you really need are not necessarily in the business, like I said earlier, and again, the time to value in the row. I was really slow because a lot of these projects took years and they are costly with consultants. They were rigid, and it just made the automation project really difficult to scale.
But when you take a look at the kind of modern, low code approach, the process, It just becomes a whole lot more simple. You know, low cloud automation, it, it, it's generally easy to use. It engages teams collaboratively to map, manage, and improve their business processes. Low code is also super agile, and it's easy to use by each line of business. So, it's easy to automate your processes across all of your systems and then change them on the fly as you need to.
Again, low code automation can be implemented in days, it's built for constant change, so your time to value and your Roi is as much quicker.
So I think one thing we, we hear a lot is, you know, when do I use RPA and when do I use workflow? Or when do I bring RPA into workflow? So for RPA, just kinda to sum it up here, you really want to focus on what you want to accomplish. For RPA, you're looking at high volume and repetitive processes, linear, complex, linear, linear projects that aren't super complex, you're looking at something that just really needs to execute kind of human tasks, that don't involve a lot of rules, or human interaction.
Um, looking at your legacy, your desktop applications, and a quick, a quick impact to your business workflow, you're looking at decision based and high value processes, things that are variable and not super linear, Driving kind of an end to end process automation.
You can look at both the cloud and a hybrid environment, and then you want a transformational impact to your business.
But as I said earlier, you know, I think it's, it's best to look at RPA really as a full, as a part of the workflow. It's, there are tasks you can use RPA to accomplish outside of your automation stack, but really to achieve that digital transformation, that we're all, who are all running after, you wanna make sure that it really is part of the, your ingrained workflow automation stack.
So, kind of a quick look at how we do it at an index.
Just to kind of show the full process of how we would work with a customer.
You know, when you really start, the first thing you want to do is document your process to understand what's actually being automated.
one thing that we recommend to our customers is bring in a Center of Excellence, that can work in conjunction with your process owners. You want to make sure that you capture what processes you intend to automate.
What they intend what they're supposed to accomplish, and then you collaborate with the others to ensure that the documentation that you you've documented is consistently up to date. And that any suggestions to improve the process, or route them to different people, that there's a process in place for people to make those suggestions.
Secondly, you know, once you have that clear understanding of what your processes are, you're going to want to you want to get them automated. So, you know, workflow, like I said, it's best for your just decision based tasks orchestrating that process from start to finish.
You've RPA, which you're going to use your for your repeatable tasks. And then, you have a lot of organizations still that are very reliant on documents. So you want to make sure that there's a way to create kind of data driven documents within your automation and bring in the power of E signature to keep the entire process moving, and really reliable.
BU, remove the reliance on any human interaction if necessary.
And then, know, we know that, really, that's not, this whole process is going to be the end. You know, processes are going to change, you're definitely gonna uncover bottlenecks, and you're gonna see optimization. Potentials that, are revealed you're gonna want, so you want to ensure that you have reporting at the top level, so you, your team, your IT team, your C level suite, can really understand how processes are running, and where they can be streamlined.
And then fundamental to all this is just making sure that you have the ability to connect all of your business resources. and system. So are the ... process platform. It's a tool that, you know, it really helps you make sure that, you're talking from A to Z across your organization.
Then you're also going to want to make sure that you're looking at your web apps and your systems, make sure you're taking advantage of API. So everything really is talking to each other.
So, I'll go quick, just to kind of show a couple of examples of how some of our customers have used RPA.
As I said before, the finance industry is, is a big RPA fan. It's probably where RPA has made its biggest splash.
We worked with Johnson Financial to really take a look at moving their data across organizational lines, and make sure that it happened quickly.
So they leverage and index RPA and its scripting capability to make to rapidly merge data and helped her administrators just great gain a greater understanding of what data revealed doing.
So, they were able to see a 95% reduction in labor hours, and around 16 hours were saved across the business of just moving process of processing the loans.
Secondly, here, Care First, which is a health care organization in Arizona, they selected RPA to really replace their inefficient macros and automatically execute multiple data related tasks.
So, doing this, they were able to see 40,000 provider records updated automatically. seven times more claims approved per minute, and it saved them nine hours per physician panel update.
So, again, it's just a really good way of, you know, freeing up your people's time, let them be focused on the customer experience and less time on kind of the routine mundane tasks. So with that, that's my, that's for, that's, well, I lost my ability to speak. That's all I have. So I will hand it back over to you, I'll say, and we can open it up for questions.
Eric, terrific, Terrific. Very, what an excellent overview, and get to get us started here, with the, we know, the concept of the applications of RPA. Now, I have a bunch of questions here, from, from the audience.
And, let's start with, let's start with Jeremy. Here, Dermot boy, asked Frost Citizen developer perspective. Is it better to turn a business user into a citizen developer? Or train them to write a bot or, or turn to develop our into a citizen developer. Train them to understand the business. Why has being a ... experience?
You know, maybe you, if you don't mind, can you talk a little bit about what this concept of citizen developer, and what that means, and, and, and what, what do you have you seen as best practices for that?
Yeah. So I think, I think you're seeing a lot more of the citizen developer trend of becoming a big thing today. And it's really taking someone like me, who's a marketing person, who has processes that I work with on a day-to-day basis. And teaching me how to really code that bot by myself.
So, you're not relying on your IT department from A personal perspective. I think, it really depends on who's going to own the process. If it's, if it's a process that I'm doing that simple. It's a marketing process. It doesn't necessarily require a lot of governance or security, then yes, I think it should be something. I, right.
I think one of the things I mentioned earlier, we really strive, we really stress that company should bring in kind of an automation center of excellence.
That's a group of people who can understand the challenge you're trying to accomplish and they can help you decide whether this is something IT should own the business should own, or if it should be owned in conjunction. I think the, like you said in the beginning, hosted the worst thing to do, is to automate a ****** process and make it get worse.
So, if you can bring in that center of excellence to really help you understand what you're trying to accomplish. They can help you make sure that, like, yeah, Eric, go ahead, Run this yourself. Or, no, you need IT to help you secure and govern this process.
So it's not a clear answer, But it really depends on what you're trying to automate and who should own it very well very well under that, that's helpful. Now, lots of questions around, and I will summarize the different questions around the theme of how to get started.
And, and what size of organization you need to have. So can you talk a little bit about, just, if someone is not doing RPA today? And they are thinking about, you know, starting to join. And they see some potential for value creation throughout the nation and maybe for RPA.
But they're not quite sure how to get started.
First of all, what size of organization can benefit from RPA? Do I have to be a Fortune 500 organizations that, you know, so I can benefit from it. And, and if I'm going to start small and scale. What are some of these tips or suggestions you would give to someone who's just getting started?
Yeah, just to answer the first question, no, I think, with modern RPA because of its time to value and its decreased costs, it really works for any size organization, I think.
Prior to ..., my career was more in the startup world, and there's no world that needs process automation and an understanding of their process better than startups, and because of its cost to implement, it is really a good value for, you know, a smaller level organization. But it works for up to your Fortune 500.
As I said before, it really becomes a component to your full automation stack.
So, have you are a smaller company? You know, you do want to look for something that's going to give you ease of use, something that's not really relying on your IT, so your business users can implement it quick.
It's not just a new tool that you bring in that sits in on a shelf, and no one uses it, and then you realize, when you do your tech audit, at the end of the year, that you have all these tools, no one's used. So, make sure that you're doing that.
But no, I think fer, you know, really size dependency. It's not really dependent on the size. It's dependent on the processes that you want to automate.
In order to scale this, I think one thing that we see a lot is people bring in RPA, or they bring in texts workflow Cloud, and they just try to start automating everything. I think you really want to take a step back, understand your processes, see which ones still work, which ones don't. Which ones need to be Autumn, which ones need to be improved. And then start slow. You don't have to, if you don't have to automate the entire process from A to Z, find kind of those mundane tasks and those repeatable tasks that RPA can tackle right away. Get those automated, still use some human Rely and see. And then slowly. do it over time. I think the one thing I try to tell people all the time is the automation stack is supposed to reduce stress. So the worst thing you want to do is come in and stress yourself out by trying to automate everything. So just start slow. Work with a provider. You know an index. We have a professional services team who will work with you to help you understand the impact of automating different processes within your business and just get their slowly. You don't have to do it. You know, the first day that you bring in in a tool.
Farewell. At the next question here and I'm even going to personalize a little bit, has to do with smart bots that you may have today.
I think it's related to that anyway. So here's my scenario. So, my wife is actually a leader on CMBS in the, you know, comore, commercial mortgage backed securities. And the, and the, and the, and if you look at the work that they do, it's like it's mind boggling because they do thousands of loans and contracts. And you think, wow, this thing is ripe for automation.
Except that very few of those loans and contracts are standardized.
They are like they will argue to death with the lawyers about how this, this, this contract is different from that, and so no single loan is like the other one, you know. You can argue about that, but that's how they feel about it.
And the question is, the bots are pretty rigid when we started creating them. Like, you know, things have to be in a certain format. A document hasn't some certain way, so that I can interpret the data, and then make some intelligent decisions about what's going on. But they're really not smart bots.
Now, I understand the industry hasn't shifted now, where smart bots are becoming more commonplace. That was a little bit about what a smart bot is. And what, what, how is, it really is Kenny look at contracts and see that this contract is different from the other contract. Because clause, such and such on page 72 did not exist suddenly the other contract. You know, what is the reality and what is D, and how much of it is just hype, you know, in terms of smart bots? So tell us about what the current state may look like.
I think, you know, everything is smart now. Everyone's trying to smart nuys all of their solutions. I do think that, you know, when you do so and smart RPA bot is one that has AI built into it, also.
And it is something that's going to learn.
So AI out of the gate is not going to be an intel. It's not going to be smarter than you or your wife when she's reviewing a contract.
But, using machine learning, natural language processing, like, even speech recognition, it starts to learn over time.
Hey, you know, cost 72. This has not been in any of the other ones I've learned, so let me flag this, and, that's how you would really work. The bot is, before you let AI really start making your decisions and being that decision, augment, or you want to start off with having it just raise and escalate things that weren't there before.
So, hey, I've noticed these words are here that have never been in any other contract. This clause was never in this contract. This has been red line. This is different.
Allow it to really escalate those to your humans, to make the decision, and then over time, it'll learn based on the decision that that human makes, how it should decide.
So I, I think a lot of what we see with AI, where people really kinda make a mistake, is just let it go off the gate.
You really need to give it time to build up that machine learning and those learn and those understandings before you let it be your actual machine is making decisions. But, yes, I do think that, you know, I don't think smart bots are a hype. I think that it's really something that's being pulled in to really streamline the process and it allows for some of the rigidity that you mentioned to really be removed and to create less data silos. I think that rigidity, then it kind of errors out about it causes a bot to then go back to a human. And you're based, you're relying on that human to finish the process. So, allowing the bot to learn and become smarter it, just it, it solves that gap on, you know, how do you really bring this process from A to Z, when processes are just becoming a lot more complicated overtime.
Very good. I want to go back to specific questions here, from the audience, and the lots of questions. By the way, audience. You're doing a great job. I can barely keep up with all the questions here, which is a fantastic problem to have. So I want to go to Mike Bukowski here.
Mike is asking, um.
I have a burdensome workflow to set up new vendors at my company, but only a small aspect of the process appears to be a candidate for traditional RPA.
So his question is: Does need tax offer a B, both BPA and RPA? and I think you already answered that, and the answer is, yes, you do.
But tell us a little bit about, you know, the business process automation before the robotic process automation.
And any specific, you know, how does that work? Is it a bit like a little bit more like process mining, where you're trying to identify the paths that the process follows for some sort of outdated process. And then document that. I mean, what is, tell a little bit about the step before RPA, the business process automation step?
Yeah, So, it's, it's a combination of two. There's, there are solutions that you can levy bring in to do. Business process: mining's really understand your processes. I think that's, it's an awesome, it's an awesome option to have.
But, really, when you sit down to understand the process that you want to automate, you want to bring into people who understand it thoroughly and make sure that you're documenting that process before you start any automation.
So, whether you are using a business process mining tool that will help you understand, you know, where there's gaps, where there's inefficiencies, that's awesome, but as the process owner, that's onboarding these vendors, you really want to be a part of the, the entire conversation to make sure that the people who then do the automation get it right.
And it's not something that makes the process worse. Or that there's a gap in the process where, you know, the gap, but the process automation tool won't know the gap. So you really want to sit down there, and then you look at tools like we have ..., Workflow. Cloud, which is our cloud based workflow orchestration tool. Then you bring those in, and you actually sit down to really build out your vendor onboarding workflow.
Leveraging parts of RPA, you know, MWC can call out to RPA for when it needs to bring information back.
We also have, there's other tools within the new Tech Stack. We have an index, sure, sign, where you can get document sign, ..., which can generate the documents to send for signature.
But you really want to sit down before you do any of that. And just make sure that you know that process from A to Z, Whether it's you doing it manually, and a system like Pro Map, which is our process mapping tool, or whether you're leveraging some process mining to see the inefficiencies.
But to stop rambling, you really you want to make sure that you have a full understanding, and that the automakers have a full understanding of that process before you even hit go.
You know, you know, Eric, I give you a lot of credit, because B, when a software development company, that's, you know, the has technology to sell technology. You do a wonderful job highlighting the importance of process ownership upfront. A lot of times, folks on the technical space, they don't even understand what that means. And they say, well, I'll come in and our solutions solving your problems. I want to highlight for our audience because I know the audience's incredibly qualified here, and you understand the importance of having governance on your processes and have brought us ownership. That is probably the number one failure mode for failures. Because, you know, if you try to automate a process that you don't understand, that you're gonna end up, wasting your time and your resources. Eric has really made this point now a couple of times. And pleased for those of you who are less experienced, does not take what Eric is saying for granted. You know, a lot of your organizations don't understand what the critical processes are. And certainly do not have clear ownership of the process.
And Joanne, I mean, so, when people say, well, let's, let's automate a process. You know, they all agree that it should be done, but nobody understands what is that needs to be automated. So these steps that he is highlighting are critical for success.
And, and, and I know he's season enough that he knows that if that doesn't do well, you're going to be blaming him and he's automation later on. But the reality is that, you know, you are the expert in your processes. You need to choose to convey that, that processing information at the right level so that it can be properly automated. Now, all right, switching gears here, I wanna go to, I'm going to Switzerland now with Marcus Paganini, who is the global leader for manufacturing excellence for Johnson and Johnson, a personal friend of mine, so Mark was great to have you with us. And this question is coming from a manufacturing perspective.
He's talking about, in manufacturing and the Andrew and supply chain, we do lots of process mapping, value stream mapping, and now we have this in, it, now. They're enabled by digital solutions.
And the question that he has, is there an integrated solution between this mappings that we have created an RPA. And it's in a way that this can be dynamic, can use as a continuous improvement process. Are there Dynamic tools for people who have no, their processes?
And they have, definitely, map them very well?
And they are real, They reflect the reality of what happens in the business, once you have this processes map.
This, do you have, like, is there a integrated, no dynamic mapping, an RPA solution out there that ... has?
So it's not necessarily from your mapping to RPA, but it would be part of your total workflow orchestration tool.
So you would then take the mapping that you have within your distribution centers, are within your manufacturing centers. And you would move that into kind of, your overall workflow automation tool. So something like an intact workflow cloud. And then from within there, there will be parts of the process that will be handled by RPA. So within texts, workflow clouds, you would then send that process out to RPA. I think, when you get to the level of process mapping and process automation, you are beyond just an RPA tool, You're now looking at a full end to end orchestration solution.
So, you would want to take it.
Put it into your your Orchestrator, which is the MWC at an index and then let MWC manage that process for you by calling RPA, calling out to your E signature solutions. Calling out to your systems of record, moving it directly from RPA, is probably going to bottleneck you. Because then, you're going to have to move it back to WC and back to RPA. So, yes, there are tools, There are ways to do a problem that, for us, will then send your process into MWC. And then, from MWC, you can automate that process by calling different tools.
But, I do think, to kind of wrap it up, I think, driving it directly to RPA probably wouldn't be the best solution for your use case.
But there are ways for smaller use cases that you can then automate and then kind of really go quickly build that into RPA. But actually pushing it to RPA is probably not the best use of time.
Very good. Very good, practical. We also appreciate that, Eric. Another question related to this backbone Systems is Coming comes from William Fuller. And he's asking, do you have to have a backbone, you know, automated system like an ERP system that's already implemented, or H A or E HR system? As our requirements for implementing RPA, do you need to have an ERP system before you can proceed with RPA?
No, I mean, a lot of companies do have ERP. I think your ERP system is really kind of to my previous sample example is going to be used a lot more by your entire or orchestrator. But know when your RPA is really for, you know, a simple job to a complex job. So, if you're looking to automate, you know, something across your, your payroll department, you don't necessarily need to have that ERP system in place to do it.
I think if you're looking to really automate from end to end, then you may want to have, you know, kind of your legacy business systems in place to really run the day-to-day. And then let, let an orchestration solution orchestrate those for you. But if you're just bringing it into accomplish something simple within your, your HR or your payroll team, then no, you don't. You don't need to have an ERP in place to do that.
Very good question. Another theme that has emerged on this questions here, has to do to upskilling or workforce.
I listen, I graduated like Threatening 30 years ago. It was like a long time ago. and of course, your expect that you're going to like, know how to use a spreadsheet. You know, like low Rose, Excel, whatever the thing was back then, right. You're kind of expect that you do that, You know, that, when you went into the workplace, I would say that as much as Excel was a thing 30 years ago, I think should they, when people graduate from college, should expect them to know RPA, slight. It should kind of have that. That's my gut feel.
But what is your opinion, Eric?
Do you know, how do you upscale workforces RPA from a bit more of a second glance perspective? Again? I'm not talking about making them developers, making them, you know, maybe the term they used before. The citizen developers? You know, making them, you know, as we do macros in Excel, or pivot tables in Excel, now, we have some sort of RPA capabilities, you know.
That we're learning college course, or which score somewhere, and we come to the workplace with that. So the question is, first of all, do you agree that RPA is becoming so mainstream? That, you know, everybody should know how to do it?
The second one is, how people who have no background, How do they get to know their feet, wet.
Yeah. No, I do agree. I think that, it is just a common tool that a lot of companies are using now. So similar to, needing to know how to do Excel. I think a lot of companies are looking at you to be able to come in and not necessarily understand RPA, but have enough technical ability to be able to learn it quickly.
The good thing with the modern RPA approach, which I showed a couple of slides back, is it really is the ease of use. So if you look at ... RPA, it's very much a drag and drop editor. You don't have to know how to code. It's not like the traditional RPA tools that were heavily reliant on coding. and would require you to become a developer And learn developer skills. You don't need to know how to write a line of code to start using RPA. You just need to know your process.
So if you're trying to automate a, an invoice, it comes into the e-mail, RPA sees the e-mail, moves it to a folder, sends it to your accounting team. It very much is drag, e-mail, and click e-mail box.
It's, it's super easy to learn. So I think from an up leveling skill, it helps people learn fast. It frees up time on your IT because they don't necessarily have to support and train and then it also lets IT govern the process from their end and be focused on what they want to focus on.
But yeah, I think, it's, it's a crucial tool. I think it also just makes work a lot easier, like I said before.
It allows you to do the more fun aspects of your job and less focus on kind of the, the repeatable tasks. But with a modern approach, it's, it's very easy to learn now.
Excellent, just to wrap up, then, on that note, does need tax offer any online resources for people who want to learn about RPA, and you know what is the best way of contact. Is that ... dot com? Or is there a different website? And what guidance would you have for people who want to know more about what you're discussing today? And maybe specifically about getting some additional training?
Yeah. So I'll start off with that. If there's any questions, I'm just eric dot smith at ... dot com. TR I see.
Reach out to me whenever you want, I will introduce you to who you need to be, who you need to meet. In order to help answer your question. We also have the ... university, which you can find at ... dot com. If you are an index, RPA user or any of our product, you can go to get some training. If you're not, you can go in to get some training just to understand how to use the solution. And then again, just at ... dot com. There's a lot of resources. Our blog, our resource section, there's a lot on there to help you from A, an index perspective, but also a higher level up, just to help you understand, kind of the automation market, how to select the right provider, The right provider might not being indexed.
So it helps you really understand who out there can help you really achieve, help you accomplish your goal.
The one thing that I really want to stress for people is, there's not going to be a one provider fits all. So you really need to understand what is the process you're trying to automate, whether that's globally at a large scale or just at an RPA scale, and then go find the provider. Don't don't try to pigeonhole the provider into what you're trying to accomplish.
That's, that's fantastic, Eric. I want to also remind everyone that now you have Erik's direct e-mail. Please make sure to e-mail him no information, visit
dot com to learn more. And, also, if you want to connect with him and all of the speakers that we have here for this conference, I put under the chat, and you should have received a message of a length on LinkedIn for the announcement of this conference.
If you look at the message at the very bottom, where I thank everybody for their collaborative leadership, you can see the LinkedIn hyperlink for every one of our speakers, so you can connect with him on LinkedIn if that makes sense as well. Follow his work there as well. And the, and also use that to the LinkedIn post for additional questions. So, we're going to be providing updates on that LinkedIn post and ask additional questions there, that the speakers will ping them to answer any other relevant questions you may have had a wonderful participation questions for everybody. I want to thank the audience for that. Eric, thank you for sharing your expertise, your wisdom, your very practical in your approach, which we really appreciate job well done.
Thank you very much. I really appreciate it. And enjoy the rest of the show.
Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, that is Eric Smith, from the tax sharing his expertise with us, and that we are going to be taking a break now. And when we come back, at the top of the hour, we're going to be, we're going to be talking to Christopher ..., who is the managing director of accounting practice, an RPA for Crow. And Chris is going to be discussing with us how crow is using RPA as a service to remove risk cost. And the effort of getting started with automation, so our real practitioners shared with us best practices and insights that can help us all accelerate excellence, innovation, and value creation in our organizations. So, we're going to be wrapping up, now, take a break, I'll see you back at the top of the hour with Christopher Denver.
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