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Are Bots the Second Coming of BPM?


There is an interesting discussion initiated by Peter Schooff @bpm.com

Are Bots the Second Coming of BPM? What do YOU think?

My Thoughts:

Bot adoption is definitely growing exponentially (if not on implementation in many places, in discussions for real). Sometimes it is a bit chaotic too – as everyone leverages the buzz words like bots, chatbots, ML, NLP, AI, RPA and many more to reach the nirvana state instantly in their enterprise. It’s a good thought – appreciate it, but not all enterprises need a bot for their specific business scenario and it is a journey. It is important to do a reality check if Bots is what you need or just automation.

Bots do complement the processes and provide some breathing space in scenarios like:

  • Developing “Self-Healing processes“, where the system understands and learns to resolve an exception or issue (based on predictive Analytics and historical data)
  • Chatbots – for enhancing customer experience and round the clock support
    • Overcoming the mundane tasks of a customer on boarding process (monotonous & manual intensive)
  • Contact Center applications – avoiding hand-offs, tabbing multiple applications and tedious data entry
  • ..many more

Bot adoption in an enterprise is not a mandate, instead, it’s a trade-off between Customer Experience (if the business really needs it) vs Maintainability (with investment + supporting yet another set of robotic process). It should be adopted judiciously.

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Bots can be considered as a Segway for Business Processes. If the nuts & bolts of the Segway are set-perfectly-right complementing the Business Process riding it, it can help you cover a great distance swiftly – enriching the customer experience; else you never know where you will finally end up, it could even be the bumpy roads of the enterprise or customer sentiment dismantling it”

Happy Learning!! 🙂

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What’s your take?? Any thoughts!

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How Do You See the Relationship and Interplay Between AI and BPM in the next Few Years?


There is an interesting thread started by Peter Schooff @ BPM.COM Forum – click here

Some really nice thoughts and comments/links.

My Thoughts:

MyPoV : How Do You See the Relationship and Interplay Between AI and BPM in the next Few Years?

The state we are in the BPM (Business Process Management) roadmap, was not realized overnight. It is getting enriched day-by-day by rattling with BPM in the enterprise playground with experience, learning, implementations, failures, scenarios and tagging along mushrooming disruptive technology trends. BPM with its inception as a process modeler/development /integration/orchestration/BAM etc. has matured as an enterprise wide platform to meet [more or less] the enterprise demands of transformation/mobility/decisioning/ACM/next best actions/mobility/social/analytics etc.

The same holds good for AI/Cognitive Computing. AI (“Artificial Intelligence”) is undoubtedly the “Nirvana” state which every enterprise/organization is trying to achieve as the final destination. But it does not happen over a blink of an eye, instead it is an evolving journey.

The journey to AI can be broadly classified as:

BASIC COMPUTING [scripts + repetitive steps in a single application]

ENHANCED COMPUTING [rpa + monotonous repititive job across applications]

COGNITIVE COMPUTING [machine learning + analytics]

  • Basic Automation :
    • Human with tools | structured data sets | Goal: Labor Efficiency
  • Robotic Process Automation [RPA] :
    • Human augmented with Robots | unstructured + patterned data sets | No Decisioning (targeted for Head Down Workers) | Goal: Labor Efficiency
  • Autonomics :
    • Robots augmented with humans | unstructured + patterned data sets | Goal: Labor Elimination
  • Cognitive Computing :
    • End to end robots with human oversight | unstructured + NO patterned data sets (targeted for Knowledge Workers) | Goal: Labor Elimination
  • Artificial Intelligence – AI :
    •  Fully automated with NO human involvement | unstructured + NO patterned data sets  (targeted for Knowledge Workers) | Goal: Labor Elimination

When we talk about the relationship and interplay between BPM & AI in next few years, the targeted enterprise audience is presumed to have matured over “enhanced computing” and addressed/identified all the underlying challenges w.r.t. monotonous manual intensive repetitive jobs/activities.

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Some of the interesting use cases that enterprises can adopt based on the BPM + AI/Cognitive Computing duo are:

  • General
    • Developing Self-Healing Processes [process optimization, exceptions and anomalies that are resurfaced during execution being auto corrected based on the past resolution steps → analytics & machine learning driven]
    • Evidence based learning – data driven
    • Adaptive and Predictive analytics + Past scenario based Actions [Machine Learning] for decisioning
    • Virtual workforce controlled by Business Operation Teams
    • Handwriting to Text or Speech (Identification & Learning Graphology Techniques)
    • Debugging, Troubleshooting and Solution Wizard
    • Text & Mail categorization/recommendation
    • Support Issues and enriching KeDBs (Knowledge Error Databases)
    • Self-Driving Cars – by building artificial intelligence and algorithms
    • Image Processing
  • Banking / Retail / Telecommunication
    • Identifying Prospective Customers and Partners
    • Satisfactory index of the Customer (based on relationship, transaction, marketing campaign etc.)
    • Fraud, Waste and Abuse of Claims
    • Forecasted Credit Risk and credibility of the customer
    • Effectiveness of a Marketing Campaign
      • Eg: How many accepted the offer and how many rejected it. Any decisive factors leading to acceptance.
    • Cross Selling and Recommendations
      • Eg: Ecommerce sites : People who purchased this product also purchased this
    • Contact Center (helps the CSR to engage the customer during the call with the relevant data)
      • Eg: We have seen that you have ordered the cheque books to a separate address (different from the registered address) – would you like to change your Address Details
  • Healthcare & Life sciences
    • Scanning & Screening –  Biometrics
    • Drug Discovery based on the component mix
    • Diagnosis and remediation based on the Symptoms, Patient Record and Lab Reports
    • AECP – Adverse Event Case Processing Scenarios based on drug, patient, geo, climatic conditions, past history, food intake etc.
  • Security
    • Handwriting / Signature / Fingerprint / Iris / Retina Verification
    • Face Recognition
    • DNA Pattern Matching
  • ….and many more

Definitely, there are concerns in adopting the Artificial Intelligence on the Day-1 [it may not be a cake walk]. There are lot of factors that are getting disturbed from our traditional paths, and it is only a matter of time for the thoughts to sink , the dust around the buzz to settle down and most importantly GETTING the CONFIDENCE of RELYING BLIND-FOLDED on a MACHINE/ROBOT.

To cite a few scenarios: Are we comfortable and confident enough to sit in a driverless car or airplane? Or are we fine as a financial institution to manage all our high-profile privileged customers based on an algorithm? May be / May be NOT always.

To summarize,

  • it becomes crucial from organizations to define the a bucket or business scenarios which can be an eligible candidate for BPM/Process & AI – avoiding RISKS that can have catastrophic effect on the customers/organization. To be precise, the RISK of Loss should not be more than the investment on AI.
  • time and exhaustive scenarios are the key factors that will enrich the intelligence of the system based on real time transactions good[favorable] or bad[un-favorable] – is the business prepared for the same?
  • it is important to have a balance between the enhanced customer experience and the operational cost reduction with virtual workforce

The business benefits that Enterprises can reap by augmenting BPM with Artificial Intelligence are:

  • Reduced Operation Cost
  • Elevated Customer Satisfaction / Experience
    • Right Product to the Right Customer at the Right Time via the Right Preferred Channel
  • Reduce Customer Churn
  • Personalization through Prediction and Intelligence
  • Increased Workforce Productivity
  • Help organizations unlock the value of the wealth of data they have in-house
  • Close the gap with the new online providers by offering real-time decisions

New terminologies like SPA [‘Smart Process Automation] are also coined, considering the process and cognitive computing/AI duo. Enabling the Process to select the best performing algorithm on the fly.

What is your take – How Do You See the Relationship and Interplay Between AI and BPM in the next Few Years?

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Happy Learning 🙂 

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