What are some of the requirements that your clients have and how does CoSourcing Partners mitigate those needs for them?
We have a principle where we come in, teach the client “how to fish” so to speak, and then we get out. In the long run, we believe that we both win by using this principle. RPA is a new technology, so most times clients don’t know what they are looking for. We help them figure out what they need and help them go review various RPA software products to find the one that best suits their business needs. Further, we can do an automation opportunity assessment in 15 days. We teach our clients how to identify an opportunity for automation first, then return onsite and vet out 20 of their process models and rank them according to payback.
One problem with RPA is that clients grab something low risk to automate, and as a result, there is no payback. So, we try to help them automate something that is of value to the company. Another issue is that clients may have insufficient capital budget for RPA in the current year, and as a result, we have partnered up with a leasing company to help clients write a lease to build a bridge to cover development and software costs externally that they can then pay over a course of two years. Some Clients may be small and thus, don’t have the funding for full-time resources so, we offer these customers a half of a resource (development time) from our remote Development Center of Expertise and then can increase the time if needed.
How exactly does CoSourcing Partners provide coaching and training to clients before the start of the implementation process?
We provide clients with what we call “street-smarts.” It means that we give best practices on how to write programs even though you are not a developer. We also show clients how they can reuse code which is one of the biggest benefits of this technology. This technology also has a drag-and-drop feature, which means that a lot of the activities are pre-programmed to avoid the need for additional coding. As a result, we encourage people to use that feature instead of writing code.
We have a principle where we come in, teach them how to fish, and then we get out. With this principle, we believe we both win in the long run
In most cases, a software salesperson goes to a client, sells licenses, and does a simple automation over a few days to make the client comfortable that RPA works in their environment. These automations are called a proof of concept (POC). However, POCs are mostly throwaway code, so we discourage them, and instead, suggest our clients do a ‘Pilot,’ i.e. take something low risk, automate it and put it into production quickly. That is enough to earn the approval of the key decision makers. Absent this approach, many times, the salesperson gets their commission, but the client doesn’t know what to do next. That’s where we come in. We call these “false starts.”
We work for 15 calendar days (5 onsite) and teach them what to look for. This includes vetting out 20 automation opportunities (estimated development time, payback models for each) and ranking them according to their payback. A good payback is 12 months or less. This provides them with at least a two-year vision of where to go and what the impact on their business will be.
How do you handle clients requiring support during the process, or in the future?
We always keep our ears open to the client needs. We have a remote Development Center of Expertise where clients can buy either a portion or full-time resource at a lower than onsite cost, with named resources as opposed to an anonymous group of people from an off-shore outsourcer. These can be used for consulting assistance, maintenance or traditional development. The other thing I would like to point out is that we will not support a client with anybody who is not certified in the software they provide service for. Our customers come first and that is critical. That is why we make sure that the resources we provide are properly vetted out, have been tested, and they know what they are doing.
To help our readers understand you better, could you cite a success story about how one of your clients benefitted from your services?
In the last year, we had a new RPA client who wanted to do something risky for their supply chain company. The automation required a combination of RPA and machine learning, which is something I wouldn’t recommend for their first automation. We mapped it out and predicted the duration of implementation to 16 weeks and completed the project on time. Ninety-days later, when we met with the CIO, and asked how things were going, he said, “I can count on one hand the number of times, a systems implementation went without a hitch, and yours is one of them.” You can’t get a higher compliment than that. The client’s payback on the project was in month 4. As we advise our customers, a good project pays itself back in twelve months or less. Automation not only allowed them to free up people, but also to pick up revenue the manual process missed.
What are the key differentiating factors that set CoSourcing Partners apart from its competitors?
The main differentiator is that we don’t just do development, but mentor and train as well, while working with the client. In other words, we teach them how to fish. We have extensive knowledge and certifications in the top five products. I, myself have worked with this technology since 2013 and my current team since 2016. Finally, we are flexible. If the customer can’t buy the whole resource, we can sell them half. If a client wants to put their POC into production to prove its value to their leaders, we provide them with a low-cost development package. We are constantly evolving in order to suit the customer’s ever-changing needs.
Where do you envision the company’s position in the near future?
I believe 2020 is going to be a killer year for us in the RPA space. We observed that some clients are already asking for estimates to put RPA in their 2020 capital budget. Further, a study by a highly regarded IT Research firm stated that 83 percent of the companies in the US will at some point invest in RPA in the next year. This creates a lot of opportunities for us; but more importantly, a way forward toward success for our clients.