By David Poole
In my first blog (5 Reasons Not to Use BPO for RPA (Part 1)) I suggested that the BPO industry is staring into the headlights of the emerging “as a service” economy and that the industry as we know it is approaching 20 years old but has never been faced with so many opportunities or threats. I also covered three reasons why I believe that BPOs would not make a good partner on the RPA journey – ‘Conflict of Interest’, ‘Business People Outsourcing’ and ‘Consistency across GBS’. Without further ado, below are my other two reasons…
The fear of missing out (FOMO) has driven many of the BPO providers to rush to find partners or in the case of some of the larger BPO’s to start developing their own solutions. Some were faster to respond than others but in many cases were under quite some pressure to have something to say to their clients. The fact is that there is still no universally accepted comparison of the various technologies that make up the automation, RPA or artificial intelligence products. The reason for that is that they are all different. They have emerged from legacies of multiple other applications and with few exceptions are essentially repurposed recently into enterprise business process automation tools. None of them are truly universal tools in the way we are used to selecting an Oracle or an SAP. They are point solutions that require a number of supporting tools around workflow, management and hosting.
There are very few advisors in the market capable of giving a truly independent view of the market and the products available. We advise great caution in selecting the right tool on the basis of requirements rather than being the tool that your BPO provider plumped for and is now trying to justify.
5. RPA is relatively quick and easy to implement
Whilst there is complexity and good advice is worth taking, many of the automation tools are relatively easy to manage and configure if they are set up properly and sensible investments are made in developing some internal capabilities. A specialist consultancy of which there a handful including Symphony Ventures can very easily assess all of your business processes, design a target operating model and provide a detailed business case which typically gives an ROI of 8 – 10x over a 5 year stretch, in less time than it would take to negotiate a BPO contract that will be much more disruptive and will not give anything like that level of return. RPA projects involve a relatively low investment upfront and as such often pay back within a 12 month period.
So there you have it. In my 20yrs as a leader and innovator in the BPO space, it is my opinion that we are in a time of inflection and true disruption. The beneficiary of this change is the Enterprise. And, we at Symphony are excited to be accompanying our clients on this journey.