AI accelerated RPA: Interview with Olivier Chosson, Novelis COO
Today we present you a transcript of an interview conducted by NICE welcoming Olivier Chosson, COO & founder of the company Novelis (www.novelis.io) – consultants in technological integration (Automation, OCR, NLP, IA, micro-services, development of business applications) – who discussed a question relevant to key decision-makers: how to accelerate my digital transformation projects with RPA technologies?
NICE: Hello Olivier, so how did this confinement period go for Novelis and how is the recovery going?
Olivier Chosson : Hello everyone. I think Novelis lived through this period much like most companies in the sector. Project stoppages in March and April, and now an intense recovery, especially around automation issues.
We also took advantage of this rather quiet period to reflect on our support strategy for the coming quarters, review priorities, and initiate new projects. I also want to say that during this period, working from home allowed us to increase empathy with our contacts, whether in the private or public sector. The relevance of Novelis has further increased.
NICE: At Novelis, how do you see the topic of RPA for the coming quarters?
To answer the question, the topics on automation will continue to progress in the coming months. The challenge is to go beyond the few robots in the accounting and finance back-office and to manage systematically other departments. For example, a large American pharmaceutical group has taken it to the next level by automating more than 450 processes. At NICE, they support large international groups in deploying thousands of robots. It is, therefore, possible and it works from the moment when we follow a relevant methodology, whether we know how to identify the eligible processes no matter how complex they might be. It is important to go beyond the short-term dimension and be able to offer business models at the organizational level. Otherwise, this technology would only be a functional “add-on” in the IT architecture of the organization.
NICE: How do you address this problem of identifying eligible processes to propose a roadmap that is both ambitious and realistic?
We have two approaches. The first is our Process Assessment offer. It is the ability to mobilize our best experts in business analysis to identify, alongside our customers, the processes that can be automated. To do this, we apply a methodology combining interviews with business executives, shoulder surfing the employees accomplishing the tasks, and analyzing intrinsic data linked to each process: duration, applications involved, nature of the technologies used, structured, or unstructured data. Following this qualification audit, a decision-making summary is presented to our client, in which we prioritize processes to be automated by their complexity and associated ROIs. By integrating this general vision, decision-makers have the means to make the right choices.
At Novelis we are also primarily technical architects. These recommendations are made in compliance with urbanization rules and with the concern of building maintainable and scalable solutions and architectures. With this in mind, IT Departments who lack the technical expertise must not be omitted from these projects.
The second approach is technological and based on artificial intelligence. By installing a solution such as NICE’s Automation Finder, we can get extremely precise insights of processes, but even more so, of tasks that can be automated.
This technology is very helpful for accelerating an automation roadmap within a company!
Besides, its implementation is really simple because it only requires installing an application on the team’s workstation. This approach respects all security constraints for personal life through observed applications’ white- and blacklists and the fact that the compiled data is not integrated within the apps’ unitary origins.
After a period of 15 to 20 days, the data is consolidated and analyzed by the solution using artificial intelligence. It is then possible to identify the tasks that can be automated. The solution summarizes the following:
– Number of identified tasks
– Nature of the identified tasks (copy/paste, navigation, documents used, …)
– Repetitiveness of the identified processes
– Time spent on each of these tasks
– Relevance of the potential ROI
To our point of view, starting with the first phase of process evaluation and then launching an automatic detection initiative seems to be the best approach.
NICE: Can you tell us about an Automation Finder project and what it helped you bring to your client?
Often when trying to automate tasks, the stages of a process in which human insights are involved can be complex because it usually requires human validation, which is a big responsibility. However, some steps in this process can be optimized and automated.
This is why we carried out this project with our client and the results were very relevant. We have identified the following processes:
- Sending a structured email pre-completed with a Desktop Automation solution, based on information collected in real-time, that accumulated 1,100 actions per month!
- Collecting and consolidating customer information KYC (know your customer) to relieve their employees from browsing and data re-entry: we recorded 70,000 occurrences over 4 weeks.
- Another KYC related opportunity with more than 4,000 identified occurrences, saving tens of hours of processing time, mostly concerning the recovery of contact details.
Beyond these benefits linked to saving time, securing data, and the ability to deliver an optimal customer experience, the quality of the employees’ work has also improved: unnecessary and uninteresting tasks are entrusted to the Desktop Automation part.
NICE: In terms of time and budget, where do you stand?
This is also what’s interesting with RPA technology. Implementation budgets are manageable. Projects are set up quickly and ROIs are as measurable as heavy ERP migrations, and yet faster to achieve. This is not a quick fix. But as the London School of Economics recalled at an English fair about automation: RPA is the technology that offers the highest ROI compared to all other observed technologies.
At Novelis, our consultants and engineers are pragmatic. Indeed, organizations need new strategies, a roadmap, and principles of governance, but above all, they need to maintain common sense and to be operational with the delivered quality and the provided value. Automation Finder has been designed to trace facts and quantified data. Such a solution is clearly the second stage of the RPA rocket.
Thank you to the NICE team for this interview!