Robots Are in Your Contact Center’s Future
Currently, DA is being adopted primarily in back-office operating environments to track workload and employee activities; however, digital transformation is creating new opportunities for this technology in other operating departments. As digital channels are adopted and more servicing takes place on the desktop, the need to analyze these activities is growing. Just as recording provides transparency into what was happening in the voice channel, DA is needed to deliver insights and analytics about employees’ desktop activities. And once DA identifies the trends and opportunities to enhance employee and system performance, RPA can be deployed to improve compliance, performance, accuracy, quality, and productivity.
The competitive landscape for RPA and DA is confusing. Many vendors claim to provide these capabilities, particularly robotics, but significant differences exist among the offerings. DMG Consulting has analyzed the market and has identified eight RPA and DA vendors that should be considered when making a selection:
• Automation Anywhere. It is the provider of Automation Anywhere Enterprise, a cognitive robotics process automation platform.
• Blue Prism Group. It offers RPA solutions for contact centers and back offices.
• Cicero. This vendor sells an RPA solution, Cicero Automation, and a DA solution, Cicero Insight, for contact centers and back-office functions.
• NICE. The company offers an Advanced Process Automation suite with RPA and DA capabilities for contact centers and back offices.
• OpenConnect Systems. It provides real-time DA, RPA, and operational intelligence solutions for contact centers and back offices.
• Pegasystems. This vendor sells an RPA solution, Pega Robotic Automation, and a DA solution, Pega Workforce Intelligence.
• UiPath. Its solution for contact centers and back offices supports attended and unattended RPA.
• Verint Systems. Its Automation and Desktop Process Analytics solution combines RPA and DA.
INVESTING IN ROBOTICS
Adoption of RPA is picking up rapidly as companies realize the benefits of these applications. Companies are starting slowly, testing out one or two robots to determine if they deliver quantifiable benefits and are worth the time and effort to set up. These solutions are very appealing because the companies that sell them have figured out how to deliver them with easy-to-use development environments. Once a company determines that a robotics offering is worth the investment, it gets more motivated about finding new uses for these automation tools. The trick is to find the right applications for RPA.
RPA may not be the most exciting technology to enter the market, but the simple value proposition is part of its appeal. Robots can be highly productive tools that get a job done without complaint or needing a break. They can automate many types of activities in the front and back office and throughout enterprises. DMG imagines a future where companies can purchase a robot from an app exchange for a specific activity. While it’s likely that some of the robots will need customization and integration, others may be put to work with minimal effort.
Digital transformation is affecting the entire enterprise, not just the service organization. Companies need DA to provide visibility into employee performance and the customer experience. DA and RPA are quite different but highly complementary technologies that can both make significant contributions to enterprises and their customers.
DMG predicts that the RPA market will experience rapid growth and adoption during the next three to five years. Opportunities will come from both attended and unattended use cases, which DMG expects to be combined over time. We also expect artificial intelligence to be embedded in RPA applications to enhance the level of automation. This is not to say that RPA is going to replace human cognitive thinking and processing; instead, it will be used to enhance it.
Donna Fluss is president of DMG Consulting. For more than two decades she has helped emerging and established companies develop and deliver outstanding customer experiences. A recognized visionary author and speaker, Fluss drives strategic transformation and innovation throughout the service industry. She provides strategic and practical counsel for enterprises, solution providers, and the investment community.
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