August 16, 2016

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An invitation to ride the automation roller coaster

Automation is quickly becoming one of the most attractive technological tools. There is a deep desire within enterprises to automate everything. They love the images of precision and speed it conjures.

Automation is seen as the short route to process accuracy, access to process execution at scale without a linear increase in costs, and a lowered dependence on expensive talent. This is exciting, but automation is also extremely challenging and frustrating to implement. Behind successful automation lies the ability to capture and model the right data, understand the complexities of processes, customers, business goals, outliers and their impact – all within the context of domain and industry, which is what automation research comprises.

So, when we launched our Automation Research Center (ARC) in Chennai, the idea was to make automation realistic for customers. The ARC, I can tell you, comes as a relief to customers who want to experience automation because it does not use PowerPoint presentations and long lectures.

The automation roadmap is orchestrated using tools, processes, data, and effective utilization of the descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics platforms. The trick is to understand work volumes and where to attack with automation as your key weapon. The ARC presents customers a rugged, industrial environment in which they can see and experience the benefits of automation without the pain and frustration of repeated failure. Most customers find the ARC an eye-opener. We are not surprised by this. When they see demos of the many platforms we have – some of them being Legacy Modernization Platform, Zero Touch Support, and the Analytical Platform – they see real automation within the context of their business. They are also able to visualize the strategy and support required to get their automation initiatives off the ground; can see where automation research will reduce work and deliver value; clearly understand the engagement models best for them and the benefits they can expect; and have a clearer idea of the commercial implications of automation.

This is what evokes the biggest smile about the ARC -- it very effectively and efficiently vaporizes old school thoughts about automation that revolve around cold AI, bloodless robots and dehumanized processes. Customers can clearly see that when processes are well defined and predictable they benefit from automation, while the unpredictable ones are best tackled using human expertise.

I also see that customers are exhausted listening to generic stories about automation. They are tired of reading the trying tales in RFP responses. Customers are itching to take a real ride on the automation roller coaster. The ARC is their ticket for this ride. I invite you to experience it yourself.