In the wake of the pandemic, when business leaders are grappling to manage technology and logistics challenges, large-scale intelligent automation has come to the forefront.

Since opening its robotic process automation (RPA) Centre of Excellence together with Blue Prism in Malaysia in 2019, Capgemini has been helping organizations unlock the value of intelligent automation across a broad spectrum of industries, including telecommunications, banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI), utilities, logistics, manufacturing, consumer products and retail.

This collaboration has helped to drive large-scale RPA implementations and intelligent automation projects in the Asia Pacific region, supported by trained practitioners whose expertise is used to address the real-world needs of local clients.

It has also enabled Capgemini to help customers take full advantage of Blue Prism’s digital workforce capabilities, thereby increasing productivity, improving customer experiences, and delivering new services.

DigiconAsia had the opportunity to discuss the merits and challenges of intelligent automation with Gaurav Modi, Managing Director, Capgemini Southeast Asia, Hong Kong & Taiwan, in the context of the joint RPA Centre of Excellence with Blue Prism.

Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, what are the merits of adopting large-scale intelligent automation?

Gaurav: Leveraging a spectrum of technologies – like Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and smart analytics – which we refer to as Intelligent Automation, serves to transform complex work processes and build a digitally augmented workforce at scale for many enterprises today.

In the embrace of more digitalized ways of working, the adoption of Intelligent Automation has been scaling up across the broadest range of processes and workflows within enterprises. Organizations are leveraging it for customer experience, growth focus as well as efficiency gains to optimize processes.  The proliferation of intelligent automation is substantially increasing organization agility and that’s competitive advantage.

In the wake of the pandemic, when business leaders are grappling to manage technology and logistics challenges as a result of the new ways of working, large-scale Intelligent Automation has come to the forefront in helping companies to limit disruption, stabilize and get back to business faster. The reimagining of the new normal and how companies can operate with automation has since become a key imperative to building a resilient enterprise.

In what ways could enterprises in Asia Pacific leverage RPA and AI to unlock untapped business value?

Gaurav: The focus and guiding principle of RPA and AI have to be centered around improving organizational agility across functions, and measured against the KPI’s of how revenue, costs, growth, profitability and sustainability of the organisation.

Looking purely from a productivity lens, RPA acts a catalyst of change when it comes to unlocking productivity benefits that have long been tied up in manual processes. Industry research has shown that RPA can drive up to 25-50% of cost savings by automating data-intensive, repetitive tasks, and by improving the accuracy and efficiency of process execution.

The expansion into AI further enables enterprises to take digital transformation to the next level, with the ability to automate – either partially or entirely – more complex tasks with increasingly sophisticated means.

In the rapid digitalization landscape across APAC, a number of industries – like banking and financial services, as well as telecom and utilities – have combined RPA and AI into their insights-driven initiatives. These solutions include corporate knowledge management, chatbots and voicebots, generation of insights as well as interpretation of data for corporate reporting and many more.

Enterprises that traditionally have multiple legacy and siloed systems have also gained strategic positioning from the application of RPA and AI augmented solutions to their businesses which has enabled them to unlock the true power of digital and next generation of innovation.

What are some key challenges organizations may face in embracing intelligent automation?

Gaurav: While most enterprises acknowledge the need to harness new technologies such as AI, robotics, and automation to stay ahead of the game, many still lack the clear understanding on where and how to leverage these tools to deliver optimised benefits. Coupled with a shortage of digital talents who are skilled in automation technologies to drive such transformation programs, this has inevitably led to inertia in adopting these new technologies, confusion over deployment and governance, as well as significant process knowledge gaps.

In some cases, businesses can fail to realize a return on its investment in automation or may find that innovation is suppressed by an overly cautious approach borne out of a fear of failure.

One common theme we have seen is that the effectiveness of these initiatives around intelligent automation is limited by the operating model of the organization. The siloed, and sometimes independent, nature of decisions organizations make, means that these initiatives start, but stay very localized.

Without senior executive push, organizations struggle to push these through the entire spectrum of functions and, eventually, business case benefits are not as strong as they could have been.  Organizations often end up spending more time validating the efficacy of the technology platform, rather than spending the time to bring all stakeholders in the mix and having a buy-in necessary for the overall initiative to succeed.

How would Capgemini’s ongoing partnership with Blue Prism – especially the joint RPA Centre of Excellence in Malaysia – help organizations address these challenges?

Gaurav: The current partnership with Blue Prism and the joint RPA Centre of Excellence in Malaysia brings together our global assets, process knowledge, domain experience and technology expertise. This, combined with our focus on organizational change, ensures that we have the necessary resources for our customers to succeed in this journey.

We also work closely with Blue Prism to ensure certification and training on the latest technology.

The collaboration is also designed to support and accelerate customer adoption of these technologies. Together with Blue Prism, we hope to enable enterprises to operate smarter and build enhanced relationships with customers and employees alike, all while driving their innovation to become more competitive. Bringing together the tools, knowledge, and best practices from global engagements, with subject matter experts skilled in multi-domain experiences and a strong expertise of RPA in the region, we aim to plug in the knowledge gaps and help businesses not only implement automation, but also be able to continuously reap its benefits in a sustainable manner.

With the COE ensuring a healthy pool of resources becoming accredited with RPA training and certifications, we also want to enable our customers and enterprises to take advantage of our expanding digital workforce capabilities as we continue to help increase their enterprise productivity, customer experiences and delivery of new services.