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Journeying into Fourth Industrial Revolution with Robotic Process Automation

With the rapid adoption of emerging technologies, Verizon has already seen the positive impact of RPA in Finance, Supply Chain Management (SCM) and Customer Service functions of Verizon’s businesses

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With more companies pressing robots into service to automate their processes, the question “is my job at risk?” looms large. But beyond this virtual-workforce-replacing-me conundrum lies a wealth of opportunities for better customer service while building human capital alongside. And herein lies the true potential of Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

A gradual shift across industries where RPA is integrated with processes and technologies is inevitable as organizations are pulling all stops to serve their customers better.

When our business has to scale, leveraging the strength of our superlative network, we have to reimagine and transform our technology and processes to bring in the much- needed agility to deliver on our mission to be a brand that customers trust.

With the rapid adoption of emerging technologies, Verizon has already seen the positive impact of RPA in Finance, Supply Chain Management (SCM) and Customer Service functions of Verizon’s businesses. With SCM transactions being repetitive in nature, we were presented with an ideal opportunity for automation, pivotal to support new business growth through better cost efficiencies. In order to help keep costs down while achieving process innovation and superior customer experience, Verizon is revamping its supply chain by simplifying procurement technology.

  • This was enabled by embracing the new technologies around blockchain and bots for automated procurement.
  • Verizon has already reaped bottom-line benefits from the program, recapturing significant revenue in inventory stored in warehouses through the visibility afforded by better supply chain technology.

But cost was not the sole guiding factor for RPA adoption at Verizon. In the area of customer service, the speed and efficiency of RPA, reduced the time to respond to customer queries and improved the customer experience exponentially.

But the big challenge was ensuring co-existence of digital worker (executing RPA) and humans who were working on the current value chain. All towards augmenting the value realization on cost efficiencies and customer experience. The success was attributed to the following factors:

  • Assessing business and customer experience impact: Clear identification of use cases where the tasks were based on well-defined rules and repetitive in nature and is targeted towards efficiency and experience.
  • Embedding RPA into current IT design: Ensuring RPA has clear interfaces with IT architecture and reuse of the existing service. Any process or system change is propagated methodically to RPA implementation.
  • Pairing with Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) technologies: To increase the effectiveness, where input data classification was needed RPA solution was coupled with insights from Machine Learning and NLP.
  • Establishing governance and control: Every process automation bot is reviewed in design phase for its relevance and suitability for process efficiency and effectiveness before implementation. Each bot is assigned a digital worker id and continuously monitored for working SLAs
  • Adopting and Executing as Center of Excellence: Centralizing the use case development, design and standardizing the measure of return on investment (RoI) across different functions where the process automation would help in business transformation goals.
  • Focusing on Human Capital: Reskilling and realignment of human resources to newer value streams where they can support the growth areas of business handing over the routine and repetitive tasks to be executed by machineIf we are ready to take up the challenges and address concerns around the adoption of machines in high-volume routine functions and continue to connect with employees to pique their interest for new learning, technologies like RPA would not only make the business better for our customers it would also help upskill employees and prepare them to be more hands on with emerging technologies.

If you have an interesting article / experience / case study to share, please get in touch with us at [email protected]

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