‘RPA Robots for Hire’ Will Allow Companies of All Sizes to Lease a Fleet of Robots
With UiPath predicting the worldwide RPA market to be worth $US2.9 billion by 2021 (up from just $US250 million currently), Robotic Process Automation is certainly here to stay.
Leigh and Daniel Pullen, founders of the pure-play RPA specialist CiGen, talked to The Australian Financial Review about their “Robots for Hire” service, and more.
“RPA Robots for Hire” will allow companies of all sizes to lease CiGen’s own fleet of robots for the short, medium or long term. In particular, smaller companies can leverage Robots for Hire as a means to remain cost competitive in their market sphere.”
Read the full article below.
Second wave! Incoming! No, it’s not a computer game, but battalions of smart robots that are poised to revolutionise the world of work.
The ﬁrst wave — physical robots — is now well established in industries such as manufacturing and mining.
The next wave — software robots — will embed Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in ofﬁce computer systems around the world.
You can’t see these robots, nor invite them to morning tea. You also don’t have to pay them over time, sick leave, holiday pay or super.
You can implement them on site or hire them when needed, under “RPA Robots for Hire” deals offered by Australian company CiGen, a pure-play RPA specialist, which wants the beneﬁts of robotics to be available to small and medium businesses as well as large enterprises.
Leigh Pullen, executive director at CiGen, says: “Complementing our full-service model, we have a ﬂeet of robots that a ccompany can lease for the short, medium or long term. In particular, smaller companies are using our RPA Robots for Hire service as a mean store main cost competitive in their market sphere.”
Forrester Research forecast in February that the RPA market worldwide would be worth $US2.9 billion in 2021, up from just $US250 million in 2016.
Europe and the UK have led adoption to date, but the US is set to overtake them by the end of this year. Australia, New Zealand and Asia are poised to show strong growth over the next 12 months.
Software robots can work 24/7, making rules- based decisions and performing repetitive tasks with precision, consistency and speed.
“Back ofﬁce” robots work unattended, while “front ofﬁce” robots work hand in hand with customer-centred staff. Augmenting such software with artiﬁcial intelligence and machine learning will vastly expand the scope of RPA, placing it within the much larger ﬁeld of Intelligent Automation.
CiGen partners with Ui Path, which was named Technology Leader and Star Performer among RPA vendors by Everest Group in 2017.
“We partnered with UiPath in early 2016 after reviewing a number of RPA vendors,” Pullen says. “We ﬁnd UiPath’s technology is top-of-class, enabling fast and accurate automation, and it’s backed by a competitive pricing structure, for both entry level and long-term installations. We were also inspired by UiPath’s vision to strategically evolve beyond purely rules-based automation and towards cognitive and machine learning automation, with the ability to plug in and take advantage of leading AI technologies such as IBM Watson, Google and optical character recognition ABBYY.”
CiGen has observed the shift in perception and acceptance of robotics as a key tool in an increasingly digitized ofﬁce. “About 18 months ago, when the hype around RPA started to build, the big question was: Can it do the job?” Pullen says.
“Now we are going beyond that hype cycle. RPA has moved to proven technology and is providing tangible beneﬁts to the companies that deploy it.”
UiPath’s Chief evangelist Guy Kirkwood, says: “My general prediction is that RPA will become the standard way that organisations run their operations.”
CiGen’s full-service model comprises end-to-end implementation, detailed training, client support services, RPA management and UiPath product sales. On the advisory side, they offer an extensive range of services including suitability assessments for speciﬁc processes, RPA efﬁciency audits and best practice guidelines to help organisations plan for and overcome challenges that can hinder their automation journey.
For businesses looking to cut costs, the arithmetic is compelling. An unattended robot can do the back ofﬁce work of three to ﬁve people, but costs approximately one- third of a job outsourced to alow-wage country such as Malaysia or the Philippines.
“With metrics like this, the opportunity to repatriate or retain services locally is stronger than at any times in ce off shoring began 20 years ago”, Pullen says.
The ﬁrst sectors to embrace the robotic process automation transformation have been banking, ﬁnance and insurance, with superannuation, government, IT and telecommunications also well into the adoption phase. Core functions and processes that organisations seek to automate are typically common across many sectors — accounts payable, payroll, procurement, data entry/ validation and regulatory reporting, to name a few.
“For this reason, as RPA use cases start to circulate, we’re seeing increased engagement from sectors such as utilities, media, ports and mining who are now actively pursuing RPA beneﬁts,” Pullen says.
“Further, companies are realizing that even bespoke processes that may be company or sector speciﬁc are also ripe for automation — think mortgage processing, insurance claims and utility ﬁeld services, for example.”
Fears have been expressed for the impact of robotics on white-collar jobs across industry, but Leigh Pullen says that Europe, the UK and CiGen’s own experience in Australia and New Zealand has not shown anything like the reduction in employment predicted.
“Instead, companies have used the opportunity and head count ﬂexibility that RPA offers to strengthen customer service, mobilise resources to more customer-centric front ofﬁce positions, or expand into new business lines and services.”