Automation: Is it the end of our Jobs?

Smart Automation is transforming the way we interact with our information systems by eliminating repetitive tasks and increasing the proportion of structured Data inside the organizations.

Are we realizing the potential offered by automation?  The answer is No.

Today, only few organizations are equipped with several and complementary automation platforms. The technology penetration in mid-sized companies still low, and the maturity and depth of Smart automation roadmaps, with OCR and NLP, are rarely used.

Such a delay seems unlikely. The classical reluctance to invest in technology doesn’t explain it all : is there also a discomfort linked to social concerns about automation ? More clearly, would automation be a lever to destroy our jobs?





A fear that comes from far:

This is a recurring idea with each technological or industrial upheaval. From the beginning of steam engines to the digital tsunami that we have been experiencing for over a decade. At each stage, there is doubt, fear and anxiety, and short-term impacts followed by wealth creation opening new perspectives. At the end, technology and innovation are nothing more than tools in our hands. It’s how we use them that makes the difference: a real tool for progress and growth or a simple and quick lever for financial optimization?

The is no doubt that Smart Automation is a differentiating factor for two reasons : it is a tough competitive lever, but above all, an unexpected growth lever. Think of everything we can achieve while keeping our spending under control. To be at 110% of our capacities while remaining at 100% of costs ! This is feasible because the ROI of automation projects are globally amortized in less than a year. In other words, the implementation costs are repaid in a few months, with very low recurring costs compared to the other technologies.



A real opportunity :

Automation is also a key factor of well-being at work. Obviously, Millennials generation have a new relationship to work. The aspects of pleasure and personal achievement are important. Automation plays a role by avoiding tireless tasks with low added value. Imagine robots on our machines, interacting with us constantly, detecting our actions in real-time, and offering help to go faster on our tasks (writing and personalization of emails, cross information extraction from applications, automatic data-entry of reports, etc.). The impact on our comfort and our productivity would be significant!

I do not doubt that companies and social partners are mature and pragmatic. They just need clarity in the objectives and foresight in the method. An automation roadmap can only succeed if it is accompanied by transparent communication, proactive change management policy, and ambitious and audacious training plans.

 




A step towards digital responsibility :

From an ecological point of view, automation is a tool that simplifies information systems. Thereby reducing the complexity of hosting infrastructures and their associated carbon footprint. Combining this with smart rationalization and urbanization approach, it is possible to optimize digital infrastructures, by customizing modular architectures, able to manage automatically their own scalability. These are all promising factors regarding the inevitable ecological transition that is looming.

We should trust each other ! Let’s use this technological innovation to go further and faster in our transformation, and consider it as valuable asset that can help to cross the deep awaiting crisis. Humanity has always transformed these critical moments into foundations of progress and prosperity.

 



Mehdi Nafe

 

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AI accelerated RPA projects: an interview with Olivier Chosson, COO at Novelis

Today we invite you for a transcript of an interview conducted by NICE who welcomed 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) – to discuss the question asked by 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, COO Novelis

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 calm 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 being 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.

Automation

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 this process: processing time, applications involved, nature of the technologies present, structured, or unstructured data. Following this audit of the qualification of the work, a decision-making summary is presented to our client where processes to be automated are prioritized by complexity and the associated ROIs. By integrating this general vision, decision-makers have the means to make the right choices.x.

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.

La seThe second approach is technological and based on artificial intelligence. By installing a solution such as NICE’s Automation Finder, we can give extremely precise insights into processes, but even more so, to tasks that can be automated.

This technology is very helpful for accelerating an automation roadmap within a company!

EBesides, its implementation is really simple because it only requires installing an application on the workstations of the team. This approach respects all security constraints for personal life via white and blacklists of the applications observed and the fact that the compiled data is not integrated with the unitary origins of the apps.

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 and the solution summarizes the following:

–         The number of tasks identified

–         Their natures (copy/paste, navigation, documents used, …)

–         The repetitiveness of the identified process

–         The time spent on each of these tasks

–         The relevance of the potential ROI

Dashboard Automation Finder
Automation Finder Dashboard

To be honest, starting with the first phase of process evaluation and then launching an automatic detection initiative seems to us as the winning 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 avoid browsing and data re-entry by employees: we recorded 70,000 occurrences over 4 weeks.
  • Another KYC related opportunity with more than 4,000 occurrences identified, saving tens of hours of processing time. Which was primarily 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 is interesting with RPA technology. Implementation budgets are manageable. Projects are set up quickly and ROIs are as measurable as and yet faster to achieve than heavy ERP migrations. This is not a quick fix. But as the London School of Economics recalled at a fair in England on the subject of automation: RPA is the technology that offers the highest ROI compared to all other technologies observed.

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 be operational with the quality delivered and the value provided. Automation Finder has been designed to trace facts and quantified data. Such a solution is clearly the second stage of the RPA rocket.


Merci -thank you to the NICE team for this interview! !

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Novelis / NICE Advanced Process Automation : video clip

Novelis is pleased to be a partner of NICE and its RPA solution. NICE has more than 15years of experience in the automation field, especially around the special needs around the contacts centers, the desktop automation. NICE has launched two years ago a virtual assistant called NEVA which is able to help and support the employees and their daily tasks.


Novelis is also part of the alpha program of NICE for the third year in a row. This program has the objective to participate to the evaluation of all the releases done by NICE. It’s also the opportunity for Novelis to share its points of view for the features, the needs identified in the different projects done.


Please find below our video with NICE as our partner :

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