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.