In an interview with CIO Applications, Steve Burke, the CEO of DigiBlu, elucidates some exciting insights about his organization, its unique value proposition, and roadmap for the future.
Provide us with an overview of DigiBlu.
We are award winning specialists in implementing and operating Digital Workforces, using intelligent automation technologies. With deep experience in helping organizations transform, DigiBlu offers counsel to executives on how to make automation a strategic priority in order to realize step-change performance improvements. DigiBlu is a Blue Prism Delivery and Capability partner that builds technology ecosystems around the Robotic Process Automation (RPA) core and redesigns business processes to deliver superior value to our clients. In the right industry, at the right time and with the right partners, we are focused on being the best at what we do. We provide our clients two routes to intelligent automation; via RPA, using Blue Prism and then adding cognitive and cloud technologies, or straight to an integrated suite of technologies, using the Thoughtonomy platform. Our market-leading experience in intelligent automation creates opportunities to innovate business & operating models, to re-imagine services and business processes to do things more effectively.
Could you elaborate on your solutions portfolio?
We have deep expertise and long experience in business process management and are experts in improving as-is processes and in redesigning them too—across ecosystems, geographies and along value-chains—to cross boundaries and leverage the power of intelligent automation. Our Intelligent Automation Engineers are thoroughly trained and formally accredited and are specialists in solutions design and configuring RPA and associated intelligent automation technologies. Organized by competencies, we capture lessons learned and build best practices, such as our proprietary Operating Model for the Digital Workforce and “Build, Prove & Evolve” method for rapid execution. As a Capability partner, we also help build internal capabilities for our clients so they can implement and operate their own Digital Workforces.
Our market-leading experience in Intelligent Automation creates opportunities to innovate business & operating models, to re-imagine services and business processes and do things more effectively
How does DigiBlu engage with clients?
When organizations begin their automation programs, they often use RPA tactically, for automating easy-to-implement as-is processes, spreading automation thin and wide. This can mean scale but doesn’t necessarily correlate to value. However, as credibility is gained, and the power of RPA - as an Operating System for the Digital Workforce - is appreciated, so organizations look to other technologies (such as chatbots, OCR, cloud computing) to open up use cases and automate customer interactions. Such capabilities, integrated with RPA, also bring about the potential to re-imagine processes by orchestrating and automating activities from customer engagement to fulfillment, turning decisions into action without external intervention. This gives organizations the potential to achieve competitive advantage and unlock superior value. With this understanding, we engage clients to think big even while starting small.
As the Digital Workforce scales, so it should be positioned as an enterprise asset. Bots don’t need shifts, work 24/7/365, are multi-skilled and don’t need to be organized in silos. The principles of scientific management, designed for people, no longer apply to the Digital Workforce. The bots don’t recognize boundaries and their capacity can be dynamically orchestrated to handle automated processes, against SLAs, 24x7, balancing workload across all runtime resources to address peaks and troughs in demand and planned and unplanned business events, without the need of additional human resource or training. Ultimately, the operating model is itself transformed around the integrated human-digital workforce. Rather than get there slowly or by accident, DigiBlu seeks trusted relationships with client executives to guide them towards this aspiration, helping them every step of the way.
With an intent to help our clients create and operate multi-purpose Digital Workforces, as a strategic enterprise asset, we trust that our collaborations with blue-chip organizations make this realizable and, with the understanding that we are all still feeling our way into the 4IR territory, we are grateful that they let us try new things out.
Could you provide us with an example of deploying a Digital Workforce as a Strategic Enterprise Asset?
One of our clients is an international financial services company that provides life insurance, investment, savings, asset management, banking, and personal insurance solutions. They were excited by what they’d heard about RPA and initially explored its potential through a pilot. Our approach demonstrated RPA’s potential, then we ‘reset’ the program to set the foundations to scale and progressed into full implementation, switching from a tactical to a strategic orientation to achieve competitive advantage and unlock superior value.
The start seemed slow as they became familiar with RPA, as IT infrastructure was established and governance was set-up, and it took us six months just to deploy the first two processes, on five bots. With the foundations set, however, they scaled fast. Just four months after the reset, they’d achieved 173 deployments to automate 17 large processes by orchestrating 60 bots. The initial financial targets were met and the investment in RPA achieved a positive ROI in just seven months. The improvement in customer experience (increase in Net Promoter Score to world-class 78%) was also a very pleasant surprise, which has helped shift the focus from just back-office operations to addressing customer interactions. The client is now scaling to cover the entire organization, using hundreds of bots.
What does the future look like for DigiBlu?
In January, we inaugurated our Robotic Operations Centre (ROC) in Cape Town, which provides a differentiated proposition for outsourced services as an alternative to the traditional BPO model – one that isn’t based on labor arbitrage, extends the reach of the service offering and is super responsive. The ROC will provide for remotely managed implementations and operations (a cloud-delivered Digital Workforce) as well as Business Processes-as-a-Service (BPaaS), for clients worldwide. We shall reinforce success in our SA heartland - where we get to try out many innovations - and expand into the rest of Africa. We have recently launched a new DigiBlu business in London, will be launching BPaaS offerings in the US and will be operating out of Hong Kong by year end.