3 minute read 4 Feb 2021
Communication is important in any workplace

Why RPA is the smart way to begin your process transformation

By EY Global

Ernst & Young Global Ltd.

3 minute read 4 Feb 2021
Related topics Telecommunications

Automation is the vital piece of the puzzle as operators transform the customer experience. 

This article is part of the EY NextWave Telecommunications Journal

In brief
  • True transformation requires organizations to look beyond siloed departments and at the entire business.
  • RPA plays a pivotal role in removing tedious tasks and allowing operators to make the most of the digital era.

Picture the scene: a sterile factory setting with no humans and no sound. Just robots, working through their tasks, finding ways to become more efficient as they go along. This scenario, as anti-utopian as it sounds, is what many people think of when you say to them “robotics process automation (RPA)” — yet it couldn’t be further from the truth.

In reality, RPA has a pivotal role to play as operators transform themselves into organizations ready to make the most of the digital era. RPA works alongside humans. And for telecommunications organizations specifically, it’s a vital tool in transforming the customer experience. But it’s important that RPA isn’t just viewed as a quick fix to a change in circumstances, or a fast-track to making cost savings — it’s actually just one step in a much bigger journey.

Forget the tech and create the business case

As a tool, intelligent automation (IA) is effective in helping businesses become more efficient. It helps improve the quality of information processed, improve the traceability of that information, and ultimately, increase customer satisfaction thanks to the optimized operations it enables.

IA is often used to transform back-office processes. But today, we at EY have also identified the opportunity to apply RPA to online transactions and customer-facing transactions in call centers. Telcos may be looking for ways to integrate things such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and image recognition to change transactional and online processes. But forget the tech — the main driver should always be an organization’s business outcomes.

Every client interaction should begin by establishing the business problem. After all, true transformation requires the entire business to be looked at — not just siloed departments. And instead of leading with a singular technology that solves an isolated challenge, it’s important to identify the growth opportunities, define the ideal long-term change — and then build a business case around it.

A transformation program should be viewed holistically, and digital IA is just one piece of it. Bringing together the right elements is essential to achieving the right outcome.

The importance of change management

Telcos looking for the right way to integrate automation into their transformation may find themselves seeking a trusted third-party partner confident enough to navigate these complex environments. An advisor with the right capabilities can take an objective look across the entire organization and collaborate internally to put the unique pieces of the puzzle together in a way that focuses on the customer.

Critical to everything is customer input, especially when the systems in question are used heavily by agents in call centers. It’s important to work with these agents to help make sure they don’t feel like they’re being replaced by technology. On the contrary, you want to excite them by showing them that once their tedious tasks have been removed, they’ll have far more time to engage customers.

Therefore, in addition to having senior management, a control team and IT embedded within the process, having change management in place is vital. Because, as good as the new processes and systems might be, you need to make sure that everyone will embrace the change. That’s why it’s also wise to involve your transformation lead from the start because they’ll be able to look at the bigger picture better than anyone else. And once you have the big picture and the business case in mind, you can fold in the right automation to achieve the outcome you are looking for in your transformation.


When it comes to automation and RPA, don’t sweat the details too soon. Forget the tech and focus on your business outcomes — it’s the most effective approach that anyone can take.

About this article

By EY Global

Ernst & Young Global Ltd.

Related topics Telecommunications