by: Xina Seaton, VP, Customer Experience at Blue Prism
This week, Blue Prism held its inaugural Pulse, a community driven event designed to bring customers together to share ideas, network, learn from one another, and have fun! With more than 75 attendees, the energy in the room was undeniable. The questions and interactions between speakers and the audience helped provide insights into the changing nature of work itself and how Intelligent Automation and RPA in particular is the prime catalyst for driving the Digital Transformation sea change.
The event featured customer case studies, an open panel discussion and a product roadmap session which is predominately driven by input from customers and provides an open ecosystem of integration with Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, Google and in fact represents the industry’s first and only certified RPA reference architectures from Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.
We kicked off with Curt Burghardt, VP of HR Shared Services and HR Systems for Walgreens, where he is focused on leveraging RPA “to put the human back in human resources.” As Curt shared their automation journey he highlighted a few keys to success:
- Get both the IT and business process owners involved early
- You need IT to think about security, infrastructure and data privacy, but having the business process owners in the process early eliminated fear and brought a level of expertise on the process that isn’t documented.
- He left the group with this, “Don’t delay setting up a COE and RPA governance because as people start to see it work, they’ll want it and they’ll want it fast.”
Jon E. Theuerkauf, former managing director and head of performance excellence at BNY Mellon took the group through the success they’ve seen because of RPA. “The promise of RPA is real, but the challenge realizing that promise lies within our own institutions,” he said. “The complexity comes due to the lack of consistent data structures, multiple or irregular sources, undocumented process steps, etc. so play – experiment – and get out of your old way of thinking. You will learn, iterate and improve over time.”
This lends itself to the need for organizations to pick the right RPA solution that has the flexibility of adapting to any process, is enterprise grade and most importantly, can scale.
Another key topic discussed is the importance of organizational design, talent re-engineering, and change management. While these are critical components to any technology implementation, the anxieties are amplified when employees are fearful they will lose their job to a robot. However, for most attendees, this was simply not their reality. Automation is allowing them to scale with the resources and capacity they have and freeing up the human worker to focus on higher-value employee or customer-facing tasks. However, the group did recognize the cultural shift that was upon us with the latest “industrial revolution” we are in the midst of and recognized the importance of training, re-training and managing the change as the shift to automation evolved within their businesses.