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ROBOTICS PROCESS

AUTOMATION
USHERING INNOVATION,
COST SAVINGS

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TRANSFORMING CHALLENGES
INTO OPPORTUNITIES
Amidst continuous pressure from internal stakeholders to bring down costs,
the finance function has become leaner and more cost-efficient. The Chief
Financial Officers (CFOs) besides donning multiple hats(i.e. providing
forward-looking insights and support in strategic planning and
decision-making)continue to keep an eye on cost control, as well as respond
to evolving market requirements by improving organisational agility.

The CFO is looking to automate processes, in order to free up innovative technology solutions from the Finance and Accounting
resources to develop and support business strategy and drive Outsourcing (FAO) service providers, to deliver customer
critical business initiatives. satisfaction.
The CFO is moving beyond plain vanilla cost and labour arbitrage According to a recent study from Horses for Sources (HfS), 47%
advantages, offered under the traditional outsourcing model. of BPO buyers indicate automation as a critical component of the
As the clamour for differentiation grows, the CFO is demanding BPO service provider capabilities.

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ROBOTICS PROCESS AUTOMATION:
USHERING INNOVATION AND COST SAVINGS
In the Finance and Accounting Outsourcing (FAO) industry, Robotics Process
Automation (RPA) is fast emerging as a disruptive technology solution capable
of delivering multiple benefitscost savings, enhanced accuracy, scalability
and increased compliance.
According to Everest Groups Finance and Accounting Outsourcing FAO providers are increasingly leveraging RPA to better manage
Annual Report 2014, FAO Robotic Automation tools are up to the growing transaction volumes by automating routine processes;
65% less expensive than offshore-based full-time employees without increasing the FTE headcount. Thus, allowing the CFO
(FTEs). Therefore, not surprisingly industry analysts are looking at to realign resources to focus on strategic, high-value customer
RPA to transform the global outsourcing industry, and disrupt the facing roles.
traditional BPO business model.

TYPICAL AUTOMATION BENEFITS CURVE

Core Systems
Replacement

Maximised
Business Process
Benefit through Process
Robotic Management
Transformation
Automation

Screen Scraping

Cost

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ENGINE OF BUSINESS GROWTH
In the FAO space, processes such as Order-to-Cash (order management,
invoicing and collections, etc.), Record-to-Report (fixed asset accounting),
Claims Processing and General Data Entry, etc. are ready for RPA.
RPA is the go-to solution for organisations to benefit from process or access to client data through APIs. The software robot is
automation and advanced operational and process analytics; at non-intrusive and will function within the security controls
economically viable price pointssomething that was not possible and restricted access rights. In short, there is no compromise
with previous automation approaches. on security, resilience, scalability, compliance or operational
governance.
This is because the RPA platform uses the clients existing user
interface and enterprise applications (both in-house and in Furthermore, software robots are technology-agnostic and can be
the cloud) seamlessly, with the software robot logging into the used in any data-driven, rule-based processes. This makes RPA
application (similar to how a user would, albeit in a controlled a capability that can be leveraged irrespective of industry and
environment). This does not require back-end integration application, making it cost-effective.

Xchanging has already automated seven processes for some of our insurance industry
customers. The robots are working over 30,000 cases per month. We are already seeing
significant benefits from the robotics implemented to date. For instance, the average
processing time has reduced from around five minutes to under 10 seconds per unit and
12 multi-skilled robots are all able to work each process 24/7.
In addition, our robots now scan third party workbaskets for items that we are unable
to process and reject back to the source (broker). Buoyed by the encouraging results,
Xchanging is in the process of deploying more robots across other customer processes
and for our internal Shared Services functions.
Xchanging is also establishing the Blue Prism Competency Centre to spread the
footprint of RPA across the company. In addition, we are also setting up a scalable
environment to support the robotics platform and process modellers who have been
trained to build processes on Blue Prism (Xchangings robotics partner). We have also
created a dedicated and accredited RPA team, reporting into a RPA Product Manager.
We have embraced RPA and implemented the required infrastructure, framework
approach, delivery capability and support model for the initial wave of processes. With
this capability, we will offer true innovation to our customers and deliver creativity and
real process transformation -Product Manager RPA, Xchanging

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VALUE PROPOSITION OF RPA IN FAO

SCALABILITY AND FLEXIBILITY PRODUCTIVITY AND EFFICIENCY


The ability to replicate robotic tools Robotic automation tools are at
across geographies/business units least twice as fast as human FTEs
increases scalability and flexibility and can function 24/7

ACCURACY
ROBOTICS PROCESS Automation phases out human
AUTOMATION intervention, thus reducing
possibility of human errors

COMPLIANCE COST SAVINGS


Robotics allows data and processes Robotic automation tools are up to
to be retained onsite 65% less expensive than offshore
based FTEs

By eliminating repetitive and manually intensive processes, RPA drives efficiency,


enhances productivity, consistency and accuracy. This enables companies to improve
response time to new markets and adhere to global regulatory requirements

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A ROBOT FOR EVERY RULE-BASED PROCESS
The CFO is constantly challenged with ensuring optimal resource utilisation
and cost reduction. Therefore, organisations are constantly looking to identify
processes which can be automated. Rule-based, routine and high-volume
processes, predictably susceptible to human error and miscalculations, are
ideal for RPA.
Some of the areas where RPA can help organisations improve Large call centres or customer service centres handling high
working capital management, enhance productivity and efficiency call volumes, in multiple languages. With voice recognition
include: software, progress in language processing by machines and
ease in information retrieval, RPA can enable customer service
Processes having structured input source, with readable data
executives to answer customers in natural language, rather
(sourced from spreadsheets, database, forms, etc.) or routine
than in software code
workflow tasks. The presentation-layer automation software
follows the steps defined in a rule-based, non-subjective Processes that require data transfer across multiple systems,
process and does not alter the existing IT architecture. The which can leverage the software robots to help drive record,
RPA software continues to carry out pre-defined steps, and without the expense of technical integration. By incorporating
can be easily scaled up or down, to adapt to dynamic business RPA into operations, FAO providers can create one master
requirements process, that can be emulated by the robots in the clients
specific systems
Remote management of IT infrastructure, automated
processes under RPA can address and resolve problems on Data being collated from multiple sourcesweb pages
its own. In addition, RPA software can also improve the service for orders, invoice workflow, email exchanges and excel
desk function and monitoring of network devices. By separating documentsRPA can be leveraged effectively to automate
business scalability from the need to add headcount, high-volume, low complexity tasks. Organisations can thus
enterprises can easily manage short-term business demands ensure optimal resource utilisation and also improve employee
without adding to the employee strength productivity

APPLICATION OF RPA IN BUSINESS PROCESSES

Robotics Automation can be effectively


used by teams and individuals who:

Undertake structured, Access more than one Use workflow enabled


repeatable, computer system to complete a interaction with people
based tasks process
Perform complex Do information search,
decisions based on collation or updation
algorithms

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VALUE DEFINED, VALUE DELIVERED
Organisations expect RPA to drive productivity (by automating transactional
tasks) and profitability (by gleaning relevant business information from
unstructured operational data). RPA allows companies to save 50-70% on
labour costs by making intelligent use of resources, near-zero error rates,
improved compliance and reduced process cycle time.
Therefore not surprisingly, a large majority of the CFOs are already FTEs are deployed into existing transactional systems operating
contemplating RPA to automate a large percentage of their the processes in exactly the same way that human FTEs do today.
rules-based, repetitive back office processes resulting in:
INCREASED COMPLIANCE TO REGULATORY NORMS:
LOWER COST: Organisations are wary of the possibility of experienced process
Robotics Process Automation can create a 25-50% cost savings. associates skipping any step in the standard operating procedure.
Process automation enables round the clock execution at a The robots are programmed to follow the SOP and hence perform
fraction of the cost of a regular FTE model. A software robot can the task in exactly the same way, every single time. In addition,
cost as little as one-two ratio the price of an offshore FTE and as robotic automation also generates extensive audit trails at the
little as one-fifth the price of an onshore FTE. This number can be keystroke level, which provides an extra level of assurance during
significantly greater, given overnight system availability. testing and production.
Analysts, however, add a word of caution for organisations
HIGHER EFFICIENCY:
considering RPA to be a replacement of their existing systems.
Robots can work 24/7, 365 days a year, with no vacation breaks Enterprises need to remember that RPA does not and cannot
or attrition. This leads to reduced cycle time and enhanced completely replace the existing systems, but can only perform
productivity. specific rule-based repetitive tasks. In addition, the cost of
building automation into the systems should also be well thought
ENHANCED ORGANISATIONAL PRODUCTIVITY AND
through. With increasing incidents of data theft, organisations
QUALITY:
are treading cautiously when it comes to providing access to
RPA can help organisations enhance organisational productivity confidential business data, under RPA.
without significantly modifying the existing process flow. Robotic

IN SUMMARY
Robotics Process Automation is maturing in terms of credibility, clarity and
applicability, as more and more organisations are embracing it. According to
Gartner, the focus of outsourcing is shifting from resource augmentation to
outcome-based managed services.
As this continues to evolve, the role played by RPA will be even and collections, the dataincluding correspondence, claims,
more significant. Besides process automation, this technology complaints and invoiceare received via email, fax, post and
can be applied to a wide range of domains including information paper, etc. The potential to combine RPA with new Artificial
technology support and management, and automated assistance, Intelligence (AI) engines, would help overcome this challenge.
etc. Therefore, together with AI, RPA can make deep inroads in the
F&A domain.
The main challenge with RPA is with respect to handling
unstructured data. In the F&A domain, especially in payments

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THE BENEFITS OF ROBOTICS PROCESS AUTOMATION

QUALITY/ACCURACY/ FLEXIBILITY/ APPLICATION INTEGRATION REDUCED


RISK MITIGATION MULTI-TASKING VIA USER INTERFACE DELIVERY RISK

CUSTOMER DATA COLLATION


EFFICIENCY/COST SATISFACTION MI, AUDITING AND MIGRATION
BASE REDUCTION AND SECURITY

OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY TECHNICAL

ROBOTICS PROCESS
AUTOMATION

8 | ROBOTICS PROCESS AUTOMATION


AUTHOR
Raja Subramanian
Group Enterprise Architect -
Xchanging

Raja.Subramanian@Asia.
Xchanging.com

REFERENCES
http://www.blueprism.com/industry/industry.php?cat=8

http://www.sourcingfocus.com/site/featuresitem/8353/

http://www.irpanetwork.com/what-is-robotic-process-automation/

http://www.everestgrp.com/2014-03-robotic-automation-drives-value-in-fao-market-insights-14141.html

AMERICAS EUROPE ASIA-PACIFIC


281 Winter Street Suite 380, The Walbrook Building, 25 Walbrook, Xchanging Towers, SJR iPark, EPIP Area,
Waltham, MA 02451, USA London, EC4N 8AQ, UK Whitefield, Bangalore, 560 066, India
Phone: +1 (781) 916 9111 Phone: +44 (20) 3604 6999 Phone: +91 (80) 3054 0000
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@xchanginggroup
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2014 XCHANGING JAN.15

9 | ROBOTICS PROCESS AUTOMATION