The whole subject of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is right at the top of the proverbial hype cycle. But that doesn't take away from the fact that there is something seriously big going on, with the potential for RPA to turn the BPO industry on its head. At Source, we are constantly being told that we are leading the RPA agenda, so therefore we wanted to get to the bottom of what the people at the centre of the industry thought about RPA and, crucially, whether it had reached its tipping point and could now move from hype to reality.
Simon Jackson is the latest addition to our expanding team of Sourcerers. Simon has more than 20 years experience working in the Utilities Industry and, importantly, was responsible for defining and implementing a very successful strategic programme of Robotic Process Automation (RPA). We interviewed him to find out what an RPA expert actually does...
This blog comes to you from a surprisingly hot Stockholm and the Nordic IT Sourcing Forum where I find sourcing challenges are… exactly the same as in they are in the UK! While its sadly disappointing that the experience in the Nordics is the same as elsewhere, confirmed by the Whitelane research which suggests that over half of customers are dissatisfied with their outsourcing to a greater or lesser extent, the problems are reassuringly common – which means they are fixable! But joy! standing out from the usual outsourcing challenges was a subtle theme of continuous improvement over delayed perfection (Reggie Russan, Head of IT Operations, KONE) or as Peter Vestergaard (Head of IT Services and Infrastructure, DSV Group) very directly put it “I’ll take chaotic action over orderly in-action”, Peter’s presentation (by far the best of the day) called for a social constructivist approach to solving difficult problems, taking a leap into fixing the issues over the traditional systems thinking of planning, measuring and monitoring. He also championed the use of ‘unusual approaches’ to service provider management in his presentation ‘red to green’ including; Spending money on bonuses and not on penalties – making sure the 1st line managers get the benefit Praise the individual when they do a good job and copy their manager – their commitment to you will be stronger as a result Promote good examples and praise initiative even when it's not 100% successful – rewarding this initiative will foster more of it in the future Never criticise a person, always the job Commit to full openness, never have pre-meetings before seeing the service provider Expose your service provider to the whole challenge, even if it makes you look weak or stupid, they want to help you sort it out Profile your service provider, what kind of person are they and how do they like to work – consider if they have visual/audio or introvert/extravert preferences and tailor your approach accordingly For large/important service provider visit them every 3 months and spend time with the people doing the job, next time ask them to present what they did since you were last there However, the chaotic approach to getting things done came with a health warning “it's highly recommended that you succeed if you’re taking this approach – otherwise you can’t prove it wasn’t you that screwed it up!”
Our mission at Source is to build remarkable relationships for (and with) our clients. By doing this we believe we are able to dleiver positive outcomes for everyone that is involved. And we don't just look at this one dimensionally through the lens of the contract: most outsourcing deals will fail or under-deliver because of the people that are involved. We work closely with EQ Partnering, a specialist change management and leadership firm, so that we can bring an holistic approach to building remarkable relationships for our clients. This brief article, written with EQP, is the first in an occassional series that looks at how collaboration at a personal level can make all the difference between success and failure of an outsourcing deal.
Robotic process automation (RPA) is currently the hottest topic in outsourcing. Whether an organisation’s driver is the very significant cost reductions such automation brings, the in-year payback, the relatively discreet (and therefore low-risk) implementations, or the markedly improved quality, the impact of this exciting new generation of capability is already being felt by the first sectors adopting the new technology. To really appreciate the impact, it is worth looking at a real and current example: the utilities industry, where in the last two years the true potential of RPA is being unlocked.
We are very chuffed to announce that Simon Jackson has joined Source to head up and build our Robotic Automation practice. Source are already considered thought leaders in this space, and Simon's capabilities and experience will allow us to further develop our Robotic Automation advisory offerings.