By Shail Khiyara
When you’re chartered with continuous process improvement for a $30 billion multinational corporation, you’re constantly looking for faster, less expensive, less IT-intensive ways to achieve scalable, sustainable change. So, when Steve Sikes, director of continuous process improvement for industrial manufacturer Johnson Controls’ global business services group (GBS) learned about enterprise RPA at a conference a couple of years ago, he knew he needed to explore it further.
As he explained to the April 2018 Blue Prism Café audience, he invited the top RPA providers on Gartner’s list to do a proof of concept on three accounting processes in the company’s U.S., Slovakia, and China centers, as global capabilities were critical to the company’s needs. Sikes’ team then used a Pugh Matrix to evaluate each of the software solutions against 25 criteria, including: an enterprise RPA solution that could be shared across multiple functions and departments on a global scale; security and auditability; and quick ramp-up and an ability to scale quickly. Johnson Controls selected Blue Prism because of its top-ranking scores on all the criteria.
“By supporting a decentralized development and ownership environment, we’ve been able to scale at a very fast pace.”
“With robotics, I can take a process that ran yesterday and in 10 minutes figure out what the capability is, what the exceptions are, and start to attack those exceptions with remedies.”
“There’s tremendous value in the RPA solution, and it’s just a matter of squeezing out that value.”
“The reality is you actually need to deploy one entity and build on it, because the speed with which you can do the second, third, fourth, fifth and so on is going to be much faster, but you want to make sure your base process works, then stabilize and grow it.”
Third, IT and business need to work in concert, with the right balance for your unique needs. “We [the GBS team] own the building, development, and resourcing, and set the priorities. IT owns responsibility for the architecture, how it’s configured, and how robots are accessed.” Fourth, make sure you have leadership support to help with pushback and wrong perceptions, change management cannot be forgotten.