The industrial revolution spurred the onset of machines replacing humans in heavy duty tasks that enhanced not only the profits of the enterprises but also the health of laborers. These can be considered to be the first instances of using “robots” in industries. Since then, advancements in technology have resulted in robots being employed to do tasks where human involvement is not required. The biggest exception to this rule can be considered to be the service sector, where humans are employed to manually execute repetitive administrative tasks, leading to error-prone process execution and a waste of human hours. This is where Blue Prism, an Austin-based company makes a difference. It offers RPA software platform that helps enterprises build a different kind of workforce. A digital workforce that follows rules-based business processes and interacts with systems in the same way that everyday users do. A digital workforce that enables business operations to be agile and cost-effective through rapid automation of manual, rules-based, back office administrative processes, reducing cost and improving accuracy, and freeing up the employees to focus on the tasks at which they excel. A digital workforce which the enterprises can teach countless skills; the more it learns, the more efficient it becomes; it can be small one day or large when the business hits a spike. "Digital labor is the future of work, and there is a long tail of unaddressed automation in the services," says Alastair Bathgate, Co-founder and CEO of Blue Prism.
Bathgate had worked in the enterprise software field since 1996 before which he spent a decade in managerial positions at a leading bank. All these have enabled him to understand operational business processes clearly and how technology can be leveraged to improve efficiency and service. "RPA is the game-changer," quips Bathgate.
"Digital labor is the future of work, and there is a long tail of unaddressed automation in the services"
An Enterprise-Strength RPA Platform
Blue Prism is a robust, highly-scalable, powerful, and flexible RPA platform that provides businesses with a business-owned and IT-supported digital workforce. This digital workforce is built, managed, and owned by an accredited operational team or the company's Centre of Excellence. This code-free workforce can be applied to any department where clerical or administrative work is done in a non-invasive way. Additionally, this out-of-the-box platform has the functionality to meet strict standards of security, control, data integrity, change management, scalability, robustness, and scheduling.
Blue Prism has been built using the Microsoft .NET Framework. It automates applications and supports various platforms, such as the Mainframe, Windows, WPF, and so on, presented in ways including a terminal emulator, thick client, and so on. Additionally, being designed for a multi-environment deployment model with both logical and physical access, it includes a centralized release management interface and process change distribution model providing high levels of visibility and control.
Software robots put process where process belongs, inside smart systems
This provides businesses with a centralized model for product development and reuse. Blue Prism is also proven to support PCI-DSS, HIPAA and SOX compliant processes while providing the necessary security and governance.
The highly scalable software robots can be deployed both on the cloud and on premises. The platform's grid-based architecture addresses potentially significant seasonal variations in operational demand while ensuring high availability, high performance, failover and disaster recovery scenarios.
Blue Prism's Active Directory integration aligns the user access management of the platform with other enterprise applications. It has high levels of flexibility for both encrypting the stored data and securing the communication between different resources. The secure storage of network and software credentials allows passwords to be private from the administrators while providing a detailed oversight to the IT security team.
Additionally, Blue Prism also offers analytics and reporting to drive meaningful BI and MI reporting. It records every system login, change in management action, and decisions and actions taken by the software robots to identify inline process statistics and for real-time operational analytics. Through all these activities, Blue Prism enables management to get snapshots of the organization's performance, improvement opportunities, and identify the scope for revenue and customer satisfaction.
Blue Prism Accreditation Program
Blue Prism offers a comprehensive mentoring and accreditation program to educate their clients’ resources on developing and delivering low maintenance automation to be processed by the digital workforce. The trainees are escorted through an ongoing methodical and controlled accreditation program at a pace that suits them. Following this, further learning is done via the Blue Prism Portal where users receive high-quality eLearning courses to refresh their skills, gain knowledge about advanced or complex subjects, and get on par with the functionalities of the latest products.
Resources receive certification only after completing the online accreditation exam. To appear for the exam, individuals should have completed all mandatory training modules and then have had a minimum experience of three months of configuring processes in a client or partner environment.
Helping Users Build Expertise
The comprehensive Blue Prism ecosystem includes Technology Alliances and Training Partners for customers to have skilled resources and customer guidance for end-to-end process automation efforts. This combination of industry knowledge, expertise, and the technology of a diverse range of products and platforms provide digital workers with an array of capabilities including document management, process mining, and so on.
Blue Prism delivers training courses on their self-led online training platforms or in a classroom through their accredited training partners. The partner community ensures that expertise is available over multiple industries and specializations to provide support and mentor individuals or organizations that seek to gain a recognized certification.
Additionally, the accreditation provided by Blue Prism ensures clients and partners that their RPA teams have not only demonstrated their skills but also have completed necessary training with regards to their role.
Comprehensive Support for Best Utilization
Blue Prism strives to ensure that their clients have all the support that is needed for continued use of their product. For this, they provide a comprehensive support program that includes a customer portal, service reviews, infrastructure reviews, user groups, and an online help desk.
The Blue Prism Customer Portal is an online resource that provides users with a variety of resources such as product documentation and guides, data sheets, and others. They have a user group which is an interactive, collaborative environment for users to share ideas, discuss problems, share solutions, and offers suggestions for future product functionality. Additionally, their help desk is an online service portal, where once registered, users can access both previous and current tickets through the online helpdesk and also raise new requests through the self-service option.
Furthermore, Blue Prism’s service reviews are aimed at helping clients have a look at the support performance and process, including outstanding issues. It also provides updates on new releases and upcoming projects and other important dates. Their infrastructure reviews are like a "health check" that is designed to take a close look at the hardware and associated software platforms. It deals with best practice recommendations, features that could aid performance, and growth review.
Helping Clients Surge Ahead
Blue Prism has helped their clients from various industries including, but not limited to, banking, insurance, healthcare, logistics, retail, travel and transport, and so on. Some of their major clientele include The Co-operative Banking Group, Shop Direct, and so on. With their industry agnostic technology, Blue Prism has helped their clients surge ahead of their competitors.
In a typical use case scenario, Blue Prism helped WorldHotels, a hospitality enterprise that curates independent properties around the globe for travelers, automate key customer-facing processes. They were facing issues with managing their different distribution channels and associated rates of their member hotels. Blue Prism was set up to automatically audit hotels and send reports to the hotels and WorldHotels over a 28-day period. If there were any audit discrepancies, both the hotels and WorldHotels had copies with them to discuss the setup and changes in detail. "Through implementing Blue Prism not only have we saved time and money, but it has allowed us to deliver information that enables our hotel community to optimize their business based on up-to-date and consistent data," affirms Torsten Rolke, Director, Global Revenue & Distribution, at WorldHotels.
The Impertinent Need for RPA
“Software robots put process where process belongs, inside smart systems,” remarks Bathgate. He ascertains that smart software robots are the answer to filling the missing gaps in traditional IT systems. He envisions a robotic ecosystem where users can leverage best-of-breed solutions for AI, cognitive and cloud technology. “Consider the benefits to an a la carte menu of services and capabilities that would let you free up the creativity of people to do more valuable tasks: seek out that new market, revitalize sales, spot new opportunity and double output with virtually zero cost,” concludes Bathgate.