When asked a group of people on how automation should be looked at, 100% of the respondents said that we should look at automation in a holistic manner not just focusing on application modernization or integrations, or workflows, or RPA. The approach should be on Intelligent Automation/Hyper Automation. Today, let us unravel this from a BPO perspective.

BPO – Business Process Outsourcing: any IT intense work that are outsourced to a vendor who administers the business process with measurable performance.

There were times a decade or two ago, where more work translates to more people to execute. The outsourced vendor will ramp up and down depending on the volume of work.

Back in days, when a BPO team had to be ramped-up it means a whole team must work to get the ramp-up achieved. For example, Hiring, training, transport, workspace, infrastructure etc., this is a huge, concerted effort that needs to be orchestrated.

Do you think is it worth the hassle when you can have digital workforce who can do lot of these mundane things?

Isn’t Intelligent Automation another form of outsourcing rather insourcing?

It is indeed true that the Intelligent Automation is a type of out/insourcing where the tasks are assigned to virtual workforce (software bots) instead of human workforce.

Software bots comes with superior precision and work quality. There is no room for error, there is no delay in process, there is no fatigue, no need for additional training for ramp-up. It is as simple as you train the software bots once and forget it till you make a change in process or the UI or application. However, make sure to measure and monitor the bots.

When asked a group of experts this question “Are BPOs lagging in automation adoption? 81% of them said they are lagging.

It is high time BPOs embrace the power of Intelligent Automation and utilize the human intelligence far better.

Why IA for BPO?

If the BPO providers can turn to intelligent automation for mundane and data intense work, they can offer other services at a lesser cost.

If a BPO provider is struggling to ramp-up because of time zone differences, skills etc., BOTs are the best friends who are equivalent of 3 employees with availability never in question.

What are the typical challenges for a BPO provider to adopt automation?

1.      Restricted access to client systems could be their primary challenge

2.      Not having access/knowledge to end-to-end process

3.      Scope of the process is limited

4.      Contract timeframe is limited

How to overcome these challenges?

  1. Be proactive in approaching the client to let them know what they are missing out in the current outsourcing operating model.
  2. Embrace IA technology along with a partner to scale quickly.
  3. Work on the right Automation COE model that helps your organization to scale
  4. Work with vendors to identify the right set of enterprise level platforms to help in automation

Overcoming these challenges will create a virtual disappearance of low-value task roles.

The intent should be to reduce low-value tasks from a human shoulder to give high-value tasks to the human.

The high-value human task will be centred around core business knowledge and the ability to handle exceptions coming from virtual workforce. This can also eventually bring in high-value jobs to onshore or nearshore on a similar time-zone.

More importantly, the shift in operating models can happen from FTE based to outcome based while SLAs can be made much more relevant to customer centric rather than process centric.

When we turn to Intelligent Automation these are some of the benefits we can witness in the BPO space as an immediate result

  1. Data Integrity
  2. Security
  3. Auditable
  4. Increase in SLA adherence
  5. Increase customer experience
  6. Evolution of alternate work streams

These are not the only reasons to adopt Intelligent Automation. If you want to improve business process, you need to look at process automation as the key. Customer experience is the key lever to future proof the business. When you automate, the decision makers can spend more time on customer experience, process rather than the administration of human effort in executing the mundane/menial tasks.

Talk to us for more insights and share your views to exchange knowledge.