Robotics Process Automation

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Blue Prism Competitive Landscape

Blue Prism offers RPA technology across the globe through their software robots that automate data and processes. Some of their top competitors include Automation Anywhere, UiPath, and Pegasystems. An overview, products and pricing, target market, and competitive advantage of each of the above companies is detailed on the provided spreadsheet.

Findings

Blue Prism has some of the pricier RPA technology in the market. Offering their services at around $10,000/robot per year, their services are more than twice as expensive as some other services from other companies. Other prices range between $2,000-$4,000/year, or even tiered prices for larger purchases. Blue Prism also only has one robot technology that is available to their customers, while Automation Anywhere, UiPath, and Pegasystems all have 3+ options for customers to choose from.

While all of the above companies operate globally, they are all headquartered either in the United States or the United Kingdom. Pegasystems has the most customers, serving over 3,000 people, but Automation Anywhere is partnered with over 500 businesses.

Across all of the RPA businesses, the goal is the same: to eliminate repetitive tasks both in the front and back-office workspaces of other companies. While Automation Anywhere focuses mainly on the back-office work, others distribute the work more evenly. Further details on each company can be found in the attached spreadsheet.
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Robotics Process Automation Overview

Robotics Processing Automation (RPA) programs robots to execute pre-programmed rules and reassigns employees to execute higher-value activities. It can be used in a wide variety of industries like process automation, IT support and management and automated assistant. The main benefits of the process are increased productivity, lower error rates, and increased flexibility and scalability. A report by Mckinsey states that implementation of RPA can give a return on investment of up to 200 percent in the first year. It is predicted by PWC that 52 percent of sales jobs would require RPA by 2020.

A report published by Forrester titled "The State Of Robotic Process Automation" describes the stages of Robotics Process Automation. This report was also referenced by PWC in their report on Robotics Process Automation.

STAGE 1: Basic Digitization

This stage focuses on quality and testing, desktop consolidation, document workflow, task scheduling, and replacing data entry task, using a set of static rules. These use cases require no external knowledge or data, and rules are static.

STAGE 2: Enhanced Digitization

At this stage, the process starts analyzing unstructured data and identifies speech tagging and sentence segmentation using analytics and language processing. This is done to help plug more-difficult digital gaps. The RPA software extracts all external knowledge from the target document or data set. Content analytics and natural language processing begin to add intelligence to the process.

STAGE 3: Cognitive Decision Management

In this stage, the RPA software enables the machine or device to start using the collected external knowledge to perform more human-like decision-making like understand customers, query rules engines and complete transactions. Unlike the previous two stages, this stage requires dynamic rules capability. The technologies required for this stage are cognitive computing, data mining and pattern recognition.

Specifically for a sales process, RPA attracts more customers by reducing manual errors and providing faster service. RPA can be leveraged in the following way:
* Software pulls data from customer system and checks for new purchase orders.
*Once a purchase order is downloaded, it is immediately passed on to the legacy system.
* In a regular RPA, a human would manually validate the order but in case of Cognitive RPA, the customer contract is processed using Natural Language Processing (NLP) to extract terms and match them with the order.
* Then, the RPA software uploads the order placed by customer into Oracle.
* Discounts are automatically applied to the order based on the customer agreements.
* Finally, metrics can be set-up to measure customer experience (number of complaints, rework, etc) which can be used to develop a continuous improvement plan.

In conclusion, RPA will significantly increase customer satisfaction which in turn would increase sales because, according to a survey, 40 percent of customers will buy more when they experience great customer service.
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