IT outsourcing industry stung by spending bottlenecks is constantly scouring for innovative ways to deliver IT services with lowest spending possible. One such emerging trend in response to economic uncertainity and spending dilemma is “Robotic Automation” for outsourcing industry.
Robotic Automation is the automation of methods/tasks with “Robotic FTE’s” specially designed and configured to create a “Virtual Back Office” to process manual back office processes. So what’s new for Robotic Automation. The saving economics are jaw-dropping; an onshore FTE costs $80K, which can be easily replaced by an offshore FTE for $30K and the same FTE cost for robotic automated task costs for $15K or less than that. Robotic automation gives you the outsourcing advantage that too without the drawbacks of managing and training offshore labor.
Robotic automation is said to be pioneered by Blue Prism, a British start-up. Blue Prism’s customer list includes, O2, the Co-operative Banking Group, Shop Direct, RWE npower, Fidelity Investments, the NHS and Experian. Blue Prism has a vision to give business units a tool to automate all the ad hoc processes on their own, addressing their custom requirements without lengthy IT process, costly onshore workers. It calls this concept of outsourcing as “robotic automation,” and refers to the custom applications produced by its software and methodology as “robots.”
There are several striking advantage of robotic automation. It can deliver a new level of efficiency for outsourcing industry. It also embodies a new economic model for business process management. It delivers savings on the cost of offshoring by effectively automating the offshore person for certain processes. And, above all, Robotic automation gives you the outsourcing advantage that too without the drawbacks of managing and training offshore labor.
Blue Prism asserts, BPO’s which fail to adopt this technology, as part of their own offerings, risk losing out to competitors who are embracing this approach or potentially seeing customers start to take back processes in-house at the end of the contracts. Dave Moss, CTO and Co-founder of Blue Prism states that this technology is used by accredited operational business teams to build their own process automations to support ever changing business and operational demands. Robotic Automation could drive the next generation of BPO’s.
Mobile operator O2 has deployed Blue Prism’s software to automate business processes, which will reduce the cost of back office operations and cut its reliance on offshore recruitment to cope with spikes in workload. O2 expects to save millions of pounds and get a ROI in the first year, with year two and three delivering pure savings.
James R. Slaby, Research Director, Sourcing Security & Risk Strategies at HfS Research asserts “For low-cost outsourcers, robotic automation represents a significant threat, giving buyers a very cheap alternative to offshore FTEs with none of the political disadvantages.”