INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH
INTERVIEW WITH MR. G.VENKATARAMANAN(GV),
President & Business Head Global Business Services,
Olam Information Services, Pvt Ltd
What are some good practices that enterprises can adopt to drive cultural change for technology adoption, given that this is an indispensable factor for driving returns?
At Olam Information Services, we take pride in our young workforce, who are digital natives and who expect the same user experience in Enterprise applications as they are used to in their personal lives. We encourage employees to share their innovative ideas through EUREKA (digital idea generation platform) & the forces from the ground are driving some of these changes. This platform at our GBS division brings greater diversity in thinking and allows for cross-pollination of ideas and faster deployment. Rapid digitization and transformation are vital in keeping these young minds interested in the workplace. It is no longer a top-down approach. The capabilities required of managers are also changing – they must manage a team of employees and digital workers(bots).
Several organizations take a POC route before making RPA decisions. What is your view about taking this route and do you think if this is a good practice?
A POC is a great tool for building trust with clients and moving to a pilot stage. It helps in developing a suitable assessment; Given the RPA dependence on sensitivity associated with dialog screens, organizations must weigh an RPA tool in the context of their organization’s IT landscape. We have formulated POCs on both Automation Anywhere and with UiPath – the early results from the POC helped fashion our usage strategy of the tool based on the use cases. This also helped recalibrate the tangible and intangible benefits of the automation use case for the POC. – What are the critical success factors to maximize returns from RPA? – For us, simplify| Optimize |Automate| Replicate (SOAR) is a core success factor. We build a funnel to check if enhancements can achieve the objective in ERP or Reporting engine. If not, a feasibility check is necessary for the RPA amenability around defined parameters. At our Global Business Services, we weigh each process around 12 parameters to assess the amenability of the process for RPA automation. Even if all the activities in a process are not amenable, do not lose heart – attempt to automate the amenable activities to gain benefits in pockets. To skin a complex process, look at process simplification and an amalgam of technologies of which RPA could be one of them.
How will technologies such as AI, ML, NLP, and Process Analyticsalign to meet the needs of the business users?
Our approach has been to look at modular solution blocks using AI/ ML, NLP, etc., and combine these in pockets to gain more from the RPA automation. RPA tools are evolving with newer features that leverage AI/ML – which gives prebuilt components to jumpstart automation. These cognitive wrappers help convert semi-structured use cases to be automated using RPA. Process mining capability maturing within the RPA tool sets will help do more automation.
How do people within shared services need to be reskilled to get ready for the future?
Today OTBS workforce comprises:
- Functional / Domain experts
- Tech-savvy employees
- Functional business architects [FBA] – techno functional employees
- Full-time digital workers(Bots)
Strategically increasing the FBA employee base will give the organization an edge in managing the technological evolution in the marketplace. There are multiple ways of doing it, such as focused certifications for Domain / Function experts or on-the-job training as part of the Citizen Developer Program. By doing so, an organization can build an army of fungible resources coupled with cutting-edge technology; the sky is the limit!