HERE’S WHY THE TRAVEL AND TOURISM SECTOR SHOULD OPT FOR RPA!

“If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet,” said Rachel Wolchin.

As the world spreads its vast expanse before us, the sky is really the limit when it comes to travelling. Owing to this tremendous diversity, it seems quite an idea to leave our mundane existence behind and retreat on travel sprees every once in a while – ‘detoxing’ from the stress levied on us by our otherwise fast-paced lives.

While this idea certainly sounds exciting, there are certain industries that exert tremendous efforts to ensure that our travel plans are a resounding success. Last time, we spoke about one of these industries – namely, hospitality. We shared with you some of the ways in which RPA and AI can help this industry ascend in its journey by doing away with repetitive and rule-based tasks. We’re back with a blog; and this time, let’s look at some ways in which RPA can help the broader domain of travel and tourism:

1. DIFFICULTIES IN REGULATING THE REGULATORY COMPLIANCE? ALLOW RPA TO STEP IN!

As more and more previously untouched places are now being explored, it is also very important for any nation to ensure the safety and security of its citizens, and make sure that its tourists comply with the requirements pertaining to the same. However, organizing and maintaining a systematic record of thousands of tourists can become cumbersome and time-consuming. While it is natural for humans to commit errors, it is not advisable to risk security by not keeping track of the validity statuses of passports, visas and other legal documents. That’s where RPA steps in. With automation, it is now possible for software bots to organize all security-related documents and information. Moreover, this stored data is also easily accessible and can be easily updated in case of any changes in regulations. Why worry, when your software bots can act as your guards and ensure security?

2. DO WE HAVE AN EFFICIENT PROCESS TO PROCESS THOSE PAYMENTS?

With the expansion of any industry comes the massive responsibility of processing payments and orders at a large scale. While this process is important in any domain, it can become very tedious for employees to carry out the processing. Allow RPA to run its magic wand over this business process and ensure an error-free processing of your payments and orders!

3. MEET YOUR AWESOME CHATBOT BUDDIES, AGAIN!

Chatbots or virtual assistants represent today’s intelligent and efficient digital world. As in many other domains, they play an extremely important role in the travel industry, too. Today, with several travel websites and online booking portals, not only the ease of travel by itself, but also the process of  planning and organizing of the trips has become truly efficient and unbelievably quick. Now, with virtual assistants entering the picture, you can now receive suggestions pertaining to the best plans and modes of travel right at your fingertips. Plus, these virtual assistants also come with exciting features such as the sentiment analyzer, which identifies the customer’s emotional states based on their calls or messages, and intimates the customer care department accordingly.

Wait…that’s not it! Virtual assistants are also capable of much more. Take Hello Hipmunk for example – the official smartie virtual assistant of Hipmunk, the reputed travel website. Try adding Hello Hipmunk on CC in your emails concerning travel, and sit back as this virtual assistant derives all the key details about your excursion and provides you with relevant suggestions!

4. UPDATING PNR STATUS HAS NEVER BEEN EASIER!

Passenger Name Record or PNR is one of the most important documentations in the domain of travel and transport. It is stored in a repository called Computer Reservation System (CRS). It consists of important passenger details including his/her name and contact and ticket details. With thousands of passengers booking their tickets to different locations on a daily basis, it becomes very time-consuming for the staff at the back-end to document such data. And so, RPA enters the picture to help out. Software bots can enter and store the PNR information of more number of passengers in a day than humans manually can. The bot can also easily update any changes in this information. What’s more, automation makes this process quicker and error-free!

5. CANCELLATIONS CANNOT BE AVOIDED, BUT MONOTONY CAN!

Plans change, unexpected events occur, change is the only constant. Okay…the bottom line is that ticket cancellations are bound to happen. And on a daily basis, they happen in large numbers, especially in airways and railways. Manually documenting these cancellations can be unproductive for the staff to whom this task has been assigned. You guessed it…RPA is our solution! Process bots can easily update ticket cancellations on the system and automatically declare the vacancy of these seats in the transport. Automation software can also carry out refund transactions efficiently.

Research has proven that travel leads to a number of health benefits, including lowered stress levels and reduced risk of heart disease. However, without proper amenities, the travel experience can turn out to be disastrous. So, we owe it to the travel industry to help it get rid of monotony and ascend in its journey. Let’s welcome automation today!

Sources:

  1. UiPath
  2. NIIT Technologies
  3. WNS

HERE ARE 6 BENEFITS OF RPA AND AI IN THE HOTEL INDUSTRY!

“True hospitality consists of giving the best of yourself to your guests,” said Eleanor Roosevelt.

Travelling and exploring new cultures and cuisines certainly unfolds an exciting world before us. With massive diversity in this planet , there’s plenty of room for discovering the world around us. However, while exploring new places and cultures, have we thought about the efforts involved in creating a world conducive to our adventures? The hospitality industry leaves no stone unturned to ensure that this process of exploration is made comfortable for every tourist. From accommodation and transportation to food and luxury facilities, the hospitality industry works around the clock to ensure we make good memories.

In such situations, it often becomes tedious for humans to be everywhere. And that’s where AI steps in! We’re back with a blog; and today, it’s time to consider some ways in which AI can work wonders in the hotel and hospitality sector. Before we go, check out our previous blog on RPA in travel if you haven’t yet!

1. NEW GUESTS? ALLOW AUTOMATION TO LAY THE RED CARPET…

Welcoming new guests and ensuring their comfortable stay is every hotel’s responsibility. However, the more luxurious the hotel, the more the number of clients; and more the efforts exerted by the staff. That’s where automation and AI step in to make life more efficient. With guestroom automation, hotel rooms can now be automated to adjust temperature in accordance with the ‘occupied’ or ‘vacant’ status of a room. Moreover, with the Guest Automation System being applied in leading five-star hotels today, guests can operate all electrical appliances (including the A.C., fan and lights) using the ‘master switch’. The Shangri-La hotel in UAE famously applies guestroom automation in providing day-to-day hospitality services to its guests.

2. ENTER, GUESTS! SO…ENTER MORE DATA?

The entry and exit of your guests translates into a lot of data entry. And this task induces monotony for the hotel staff. The good news is that this data entry task is very much ‘automable’! With automation, all your data pertaining to the occupancy status of the rooms as well as crucial information to promote sustainable living – such as data on energy saving and staff responses to guest calls – can now be taken care of.

3. BECAUSE THE ENVIRONMENT HOSTS US EVERYDAY…

Just like a hotel hosts its guests on a daily basis, the environment around us also hosts us every single day, providing the necessary resources and space. And so, it follows that we, as a society, owe it back to nature. A report by Energy Star states that 47,000 hotels across America incur an annual expenditure of $2,196 per available room, which amounts to 6% of all operating costs.

This alarming statistic is reason enough for the hotel industry to begin to consider environment-friendly alternatives on priority. AI is here to help you out in your journey towards a sustainable living. It does so by enabling all electrical appliances in a room to be automatically switched off when the occupancy status of the room changes to ‘vacant’. What’s more, the electricity automatically switches to standby mode when the guest is not in the room, but still somewhere in the vicinity (for e.g. at the balcony).

4. KNOCK, KNOCK! CHAT-BOT SERVICE…

Like in many other domains, chat-bots and virtual assistants are very important in the hospitality industry, too. They are available to your guests 24/7, answering questions and providing assistance. These allow for more efficient customer service, preventing any delays in attending to your guests while also providing a much-needed respite to the hotel staff.

5. NOW, YOUR MOBILE PHONE IS LITERALLY THE ‘KEY’…

No, the word ‘key’ isn’t just a metaphor. With the digital transformation attaining unimaginable heights, your phone can literally act as the key to your hotel-room! Now, some five-star hotels have enabled digital check-in for their guests. Here, the guests can check into their hotel rooms using the hotel app instead of queuing up at the reception to collect the room keys. This is not only a major time-saver for the guests, but also allows the hotel staff to engage in more productive tasks within hospitality.

6. “HOW DID WE FARE?” NOW, YOUR HOTEL GUESTS CAN FEEL FREE TO SHARE…

Guest reviews are very important sources of constructive feedback for any hotel; however, it often happens that this feedback is not very comprehensive due to lack of time on part of the guest. Moreover, hotels are often apprehensive to directly approach guests for their feedback. Automating the guest review process ensures that guests who have recently checked out of the hotel receive custom emails requesting their feedback. This allows guests to fill up the feedback forms in a relaxed manner while also increasing the possibility of a more in-depth feedback.

CONCLUSION

While digitization is the way to go for any hotel to increase its efficiency, it cannot replace the personal touch provided by human staff. The key to successful automation in this industry is to identify the processes that are indeed monotonous and to automate them in order to increase overall efficiency and promote employee growth.

SOURCES:

1. HospitalityTech
2. Revfine
3. Energy Star
4. Pacific Controls

DATA SCIENCE IN YOUR DAILY LIFE: There’s a data scientist behind those movie recommendations!

Do you remember the last time you watched a Netflix crime thriller movie like “The Departed”, and in turn, received recommendations for other amazing movies such as “The Godfather”? Welcome to the world of data science and Machine Learning!

In the 21st Century postmodern world, every nook and cranny of the world is in the process of becoming connected through virtual reality. CDs, DVD players and even cable television are now being considered “worn out” and “old technology” in order to pave way for more upcoming and happening ones such as Netflix, Prime and YouTube. However, what’s even more upcoming is that this technology seems to understand our unique preferences. Not only, this, it also suggests other relevant TV shows and web series based on one’s viewing habits. The same applies to online shopping as well. It may have happened scores of times that Amazon suggested other cool Apple products based on your previous iPhone 6 purchase.

The question that now arises is how these websites can be so omniscient as to recognize multiple unique viewing and purchasing habits so efficiently and accurately. Moreover, they can even crawl the database for other similar items and present it to the respective Internet users. We’re back with a blog, and today, let’s venture into the upcoming and exciting world of data science! This domain has been popularly termed by Turing Award winner Jim Gray as “the sexiest job of the 21st Century”. Let’s have a sneak peek into the world where data scientists are busy with their numerous algorithms. These allow machines to independently carry out these prediction tasks with ease:

1. SO WHAT’S SO SCIENTIFIC IN DATA SCIENCE?

While science and technology have ensured that machines and technical equipment make our lives unbelievably efficient and quicker every single day, there is still a severe direct dependence of technological equipment on humans if the traditional sources of science and technology be relied upon alone. It is also important to ensure that technology work by itself for a major part of its functioning, instead of depending on constant human intervention. Moreover, with the inception of modern-day software and myriad online platforms to ensure that the world is well-connected, there is a massive explosion of data produced every single day. Just as it is essential to ensure less clutter and more clarity in our external worlds, the online world also needs to be maintained and de-cluttered on a regular basis.

And in order to ensure that the technology of Machine Learning and organization of data may be incorporated to software systems, it is important to move one step beyond traditional science and technology, and embrace the world of ‘data science’.
Data scientists perform a world of algorithms – incorporating scientific techniques and systems in order to organize and store massive amounts of online information. If the internet world is a cobweb of information, data scientists are the spiders – venturing through the silk-threads efficiently.

2.WHOA! SO DOES A DATA SCIENTIST PERFORM THAT HERCULEAN TASK?

The job of a data scientist is seeped into statistics and algorithms. Data scientists apply predictive modeling, machine learning and inferential statistics in the course of their work. Applying these different tools and techniques, a data scientist then traces certain unique patterns that are characteristic of specific internet users; and systematically stores this information in the database.
However, the task of a data scientist does not end here. A data scientist also uses the technology of Machine Learning, and allows your software to become independent enough to implement these algorithms effectively, so that the machines do not have to depend on humans every time such predictions need to be carried out.
And that, my friends, is the mystery behind all those Amazon and Netflix recommendations that you receive when you’re on an online shopping spree, or when you binge-watch your favourite web series on that lazy weekend!

MEET YOUR CHATTY CHATBOTS: 5 Ways in Which Chatbots are the Best Virtual Assistants

“Chatbots are the new websites, and messaging platforms are the new browsers,” someone said.

Whether it’s typing out a letter or sending out invites for meetings, personal secretaries have done it all. While these jobs have been creating employment, we can all agree that these jobs are far from lucrative. The rule-based, repetitive tasks often tend to reduce people to two hands performing uninteresting tasks without applying their intellect.
So how about a personal assistant who is ever-willing to help – whether it’s setting your alarms or informing you about today’s weather; or simply raising your spirits with a joke or tongue-twister when you’re under the weather. Welcome to the world of chatbots, your 24/7 personal assistants!

We’re back with a blog, and today, let’s dedicate a blog post to our dedicated, diligent, and sometimes quite eccentric, virtual assistants. These virtual assistants have been around for quite some time now, starting with the first of their clan, Apple’s Siri. According to Go-Gulf, the number of people using virtual personal assistants may reach 1.8 billion by 2021. Today, we have a handful of virtual assistants; including Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google’s Google Assistant for smartphones and Google home; performing a world of tasks for every day:

1. YOUR CHATBOTS DON’T SLEEP AT WORK. AND THEY’RE AT WORK ALL THE TIME.

Let’s face it. Human assistants must not be overworked under any circumstances; and they deserve their 7 hours of sleep and timely breaks. Ever observed Cortana or Alexa not in their seats owing to tea-break or simply because they have already finished the given hours of service? Your chatbots are never, ever exhausted. Whether you want them to carry out extensive research for your business, or entertain you with a poem on one of those insomniac nights, they are available 24/7.

2. HUNDRED QUERIES, ONE ASSISTANT

Life can certainly be chaotic and confusing sometimes. And don’t we all look for that go-to person to consult during times of confusion? But how many queries can even the most learned and well-informed person answer at once? Yes, let’s face it – humans do have their own limitations, and it’s alright. And that’s why we have designed chatbots who can perform tasks that humans generally can’t – such as processing, with unbelievable accuracy, hundreds of queries asked at the same time from a thousand different devices; and providing suitable, spontaneous, and sometimes even witty responses to every individual. That’s the beauty of Artificial Intelligence.

3. CHATBOTS ARE LIKE CHAMELEONS – THEY CAN ADAPT THEMSELVES TO EVERY SCENARIO!

As discussed before, humans cannot be everywhere; and different online platforms have been designed by us in order to facilitate easier and more efficient communication across the globe. With chatbots having entered the scene, the question arises as to whether these awesome assistants can be integrated to the vast repertoire of systems and platforms built by us over the years. The answer is a resounding YES! Your chatbots are like chameleons – they can easily change colour in order to adapt themselves to the environment they are exposed to. Thus, they set up shop at practically any domain; helping you with your queries and organizing sprees; your chaotic moments and phases of boredom.

4. NO, THERE ARE NO ‘PAY-DAYS’ FOR YOUR CHATBOTS!

While the job profiles of customer service executives and personal assistants have always ensured employment generation, these occupations, needless to say, function on salary basis. You cannot, and must not, hire a person with dismal or no income provided to him/her. However, chatbots do not need three square-meals a day. They are more than happy to reside in the software platform in which you place them, making it their forever home; and when you ask Siri or Google Assistant whether they have families of their own, their ultimate happiness is in serving you! Other virtual assistants and chatbots are no different. It is quite economical to maintain your chatbot; updating it from time-to-time and modifying it to meet the requirements of the given platform.

5. HUMAN SPONTANEITY MINUS HUMAN IMPATIENCE = CHATTY CHATBOT

Your chatbot can converse with you about almost anything under the sun – keeping the to-and-fro nature of human conversation intact, while also eliminating the negative aspects of the same; such as boredom and impatience. This gives customers a near-perfect interaction experience, where they are helped by the chatbot with great precision, regardless of the time of the day/night, and the complexity level of the question.
And last but not the least, chatbots can even be customized to entertain you in whatever rational way you deem fit – right from playing games with you, to reciting poems or jokes, and engaging in occasional situational comedy during the course of your conversations.

Artificial Intelligence can certainly make life more efficient in every way; and the ‘chatbot’ wonder is probably the best example of the same. However, chatbots go one step beyond the macro level of Artificial Intelligence, to include the benefits of AI’s subfield, Machine Learning; which enables them to carry out their tasks independently, without human intervention. In a lot of ways, having bestowed life on AI and ML, humans have created forces that are capable of performing unbelievable feats that humans are either totally incapable of, or require to invest excessive amounts of time and effort to complete. However, it is important to keep in mind that it is, after all, the human caliber and intellect that has led to such an invincible creation in the first place; and so, it is our responsibility to use our creations in as optimal and secure a manner as possible.

RPA, EVERYDAY: 5 Ways in Which RPA Helps You in Your Day-to-Day Life

It’s no secret that Robotic Process Automation is slowly taking over the repetitive, rule-based tasks in organizations. Process robots are rapidly paving the way for companies to engage in much more productive and stimulating tasks and progress in their journey. According to Forrester, the RPA industry will be worth $2.9 billion in 2021. But RPA has also taken over a significant place in our day-to-day lives, without even our realizing it. Every day, we interact with different technologies that quietly make our lives a little more efficient. They allow us to focus on more dynamic tasks instead. We’re back with a blog, and this time, we shall discuss some significant functions that RPA performs in our day-to-day lives:

1. SHOP ASSURED AS YOUR SOFTWARE BOT MAKES YOUR REPOSITORY!

You so love that classy pair of shoes. You add it to your cart, check-out to purchase the product, pay for the product, and successfully place the order, before you get back to what you were doing before. But have you ever wondered what processes take place at the other end? Once you place your order, they are then tracked on repositories, and it is after stock maintenance that your item is finally dispatched to you. If done manually, these tasks are extremely time-consuming and monotonous. They prevent any other form of productive activity that might actually benefit the retail website. And hence, process robots often take over, and make life more efficient; both for the sellers as well as the buyers. Happy shopping and selling!

2. IF IT’S A WEB, LET AUTOMATION BE THE SPIDER!

With millions and millions of individuals and groups operating on the internet day in and day out across the globe, web analytics can become extremely complex and tedious. Moreover, such a vast repertoire of users also calls for a wide variety of target groups, leading to extremely diverse consumer needs and requirements. In such a world of cut-throat competition, it is essential for organizations to come up with out-of-the-box advertising and marketing strategies in order to attract the attention of such a wide audience. And in such a case, tasks such as carrying out static web analytics can certainly become tedious and tiring. This is where bots enter the scenario, and crawl the internet to come up with all the data required for advertisers to then consider interesting advertising hacks and strategies. It’s a dynamic world – let’s not limit ourselves by performing monotonous tasks.

3.‘TROUBLESHOOTING?” SHOOT THE TROUBLE WITH RPA!

Brainstorming on the solutions to complex organizational problems can cause frustration and boredom in an employee; moreover, since ‘imperfect’ is the synonym for ‘human’, it is but natural for human decision makers to commit errors in their decision making process. However, bots and AI are different. Using RPA and AI, one can automate these troubleshooting processes, thus making work-life more efficient and error-free.

4. HOW MAY OUR PROCESS BOT HELP YOU TODAY?

The helpdesk is usually our preliminary go-to area in case of any complications or issues relating to the website or service in question. But have you wondered how the super-humans behind the helpdesk manage to answer you in that courteous tonality despite having just answered fifty calls in the past half an hour? Yes, it can get quite tedious. And let’s face it, the customer-service persons deserve their breaks, too. That’s when process robots enter the picture. Process robots can act as the connecting medium between the customers and customer service personnel; in that it is possible to automate those aspects of the conversation which are static and common to all customers. So, the next time you indulge in a customer-service interaction, remember that it may not always necessarily be a human behind the desk – it could be a bot.

5.YOUR BOT CAN ROLL OUT YOUR PAYROLL!

Ever experienced a delay in receiving your pay? That’s because the poor humans dealing with your salary have to enter payroll information pulled out from different sources into your payroll system. And this task, of course, is extremely time-consuming and repetitive. Why not recruit a bot for this process? And so, in modern times, there is certainly a probability that a process bot deals with your payroll system.

A lot of times, people fear that RPA might take away from them the humanness afforded to them by their mundane lives. However, the above examples are testimony to the fact that this is far from the truth – process bots do not take away the human angle from a person’s everyday life. They merely help everyday living become more efficient and comfortable.

CHANGE MANAGEMENT IN RPA: What if my already automated process has to go through a change?

“Change is the only constant. Hanging on is the only sin,” says Denise Mcluggage.

If there is any living example of the above idea, it is life itself. A caterpillar would most likely stagnate and destroy itself, if it decided never to break free of its comfortable cocoon. If a seedling remained under the soil in its most basic form, flora and fauna would never see the light of day. And last but not the least, had the caveman become complacent in the uncertain safety of the cave, we at XLNC wouldn’t be writing this blog.

We’re back with a blog! Today, let’s discuss the most constant factor in the face of the earth – ‘change’. And in automation terms, change takes the form of a process known as “change management”. RPA can change an employee and organization’s lives in very efficient ways. But it can also prove to be a very unwelcome change to some organizations. This is because it pushes the workforce and its members out of the comfort zone of repetitive tasks. Coupled with this dilemma, there can also be certain sudden changes in the already planned end-to-end automation process. This can further lead to confusion and a general animosity towards automation. But proper change management can transform the entire scenario:

1.WHAT IS CHANGE MANAGEMENT?

Imagine you’ve spent all your valuable time identifying a certain business process that can be automated. You’ve held meetings with SMEs and automation software providers regarding the end-to-end automation process. Then, the RPA developers get to work, committing themselves to giving life to your bot. But suddenly, an organizational policy changes, and you realize with utter disbelief that the bot being developed for you no longer has a utility value in its original form. So now, are your time, energy and efforts all in vain? “Not at all,” replies change management. Change management helps you modify the automation process by adding or eliminating processes as required.

2. BUT…TELL ME MORE. WILL IT CAUSE A HOLE IN MY POCKET?

Rest assured. If an automation software platform offers change management, it should also ensure that one carries out the process efficiently and cost effectively. The automation software providers are typically prepared for any alterations or modifications that may take place at any point of time in the course of the process.

A typical change management process begins with the client disclosing the need for a change in the already planned end-to-end process. Then, the client and the automation software provider sign an agreement with regard to the changes agreed upon between the two parties with regard to the ongoing project. Here, the client also specifies the priority and complexity levels of the change to be carried out. He/she also gives a Timelines matrix indicating the approximate duration of the project after incorporating the required changes. The client also notifies the provider about the changes via the Change Management module. We then deploy the changes in the bot, along with the Exception Management information; i.e., what the bot must do if the process cannot be performed, for some reason, in the usual manner.

Once the bots are developed basis the decided changes, a customer satisfaction survey is conducted. Here, the customer gives an account of whether we have performed the change management in a satisfactory manner and implemented it purposefully. Then, the Solution Architect validates the Exception Management process and evaluates the resolution percentage rate. After this, we gauge the customer satisfaction once again. We then draft a report based on the same. Lastly, we draft and update the change management module and conclude the process.

CONCLUSION

Change is a very integral part of any process. Regardless of the amount of planning that goes into developing a process, it is always important to be mentally prepared for any sudden need for a modification or even elimination of the project. And change management is the solution to your RPA change requirements.

RPA AT WORK: What are some Business Processes that can be Automated?

“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all,”says Peter Drucker.

Comprising 2% of the total body weight, the human brain is said to be the most complexly designed structure in the universe. It comes as no surprise that the capabilities of the human mind are incredibly vast and almost limitless. In such a scenario, the only factor that prevents the mind from achieving its full potential is…humans themselves.
And when we rule-based tasks without engaging this mighty power within us, we are negating the immense potential that lies within us. That’s where robots step in, and relieve us of such uninteresting, repetitive tasks; enabling humans to utilize their mind to the best of their ability.

But the question that now arises is, how do we efficiently classify which tasks can be automated? And since there are innumerable domains across the globe, how can we dissect the tasks within each one and arrive at a conclusion? We’re back with a blog; and this time, we shall talk about the different processes that can be automated within various popular fields:

1. LET’S MARKET AUTOMATION FOR YOU, WHILE YOU MARKET YOUR PRODUCT GLOBALLY!

Tom Fishburne says: “The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.”

You might have the best product or service in the world, but unless you know how to advertise it, the product cannot achieve its full potential. And if a domain as dynamic and stimulating as marketing be reduced to a bunch of monotonous and stagnant tasks, marketers cannot reach their maximum caliber either. And RPA helps you fly as a marketer, by breaking down and simplifying tedious processes such as client communication.

While planning and executing out-of-the-box strategies may sound very exciting and upcoming, marketers often rightly begin to feel exasperated when it all ultimately boils down to sending bulk messages on social media, and e-mails to dozens of potential clients every single day, and boring notifications to your clients each time you’re done with that innovative and catchy blog post. Your software bots can jump in here, and perform all of these tasks for you. Whether it’s sending out pings, or answering those ‘tring-trings’, your bot is always at your service.

2. WHO SAYS SALES DOESN’T REQUIRE CREATIVITY?

A lot of people misconstrue the sales sector to consist solely of ‘selling the product’. However, sales, when performed optimally, is nothing less than a creative art – right from sounding professional and convincing to the customers, to generating leads, the sales department has a lot of responsibility on its shoulders. So instead of bringing in something different to the table, and thinking of innovative ways to attract potential customers, why should the sales team settle for anything less?

Tasks such as manual data collection, and sending e-mail attachments and bulk messages can impede creativity, and lead to monotony. RPA is your magic wand to transport you to a far more dynamic world, where sales can be stimulating and challenging, as opposed to static and stagnant. Also, using the different lead generation automation tools, you can now not only automate your leads, but also rotate the processto evenly accommodate all platforms and sectors.

3. DON’T LET THESE WORKFLOW PROCESSES HINDER YOUR ‘WORK FLOW’!

“The secret in business is creativity,” says Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. However, the door to creativity is often blocked with uninteresting and repetitive tasks involved in operating the business. When these tasks are taken care of, businessmen can typically begin to think out-of-the-box, and come up with interesting business solutions. RPA understands the predicament of businessmen, and works to perform all the manual tasks for them, thus paving way to a more dynamic and bright future. From efficiently managing reports and data, to digitalizing various business processes and handling client communication, your bot can do it all. Business Process Automation can lead to considerable cost reduction in business, and improve the company-client relationship to a great extent.

4.HUMAN RESOURCE EMPLOYEES ARE ALSO IMPORTANT ‘HUMAN RESOURCES’…

From profile selection and recruitment, to employee contracts and documentation, and ensuring a conducive working environment, the Human Resource department serves as the backbone to any organization. However, while facilitating a workable and humane environment for other employees as well as candidates and potential employees, employees from HR often end up carrying out a number of robotic tasks themselves. These tasks include documentation of details of every candidate and employee; creating and maintaining employee records; managing and updating records pertaining to employee benefits, payrolls, transfer and retirement, etc.

What if your bot takes care of all the monotonous documentations and record maintaining, while you continue to focus on unraveling the full potential of your human resources? Yes, this is 100% possible with RPA. Process robots can manage a number of tedious tasks such as maintaining a record of employee on-boarding and off-boarding; keeping a track of when employees become eligible for benefits; sending out bulk messages to employees in order to intimate them of any organizational changes and new developments; leave requests and records (Paid Leaves, Sick Leaves etc.); performance appraisals; and maintaining a record of transfers, retirements and pension packages. Have you automated your HR processes yet?

5. NOW DON’T TAX YOURSELF WITH TAX ANYMORE…

Filing tax returns and maintaining tax records can certainly be a taxing job. Let’s make it easier for you. RPA can help to automate tax processes relating to computation, verifying tax returns, and conducting taxation comparisons. RPA can bring about a world of convenience and efficiency to both tax administrators as well as taxpayers, by making the processes of both collection and payment much easier.

Business processes require humans as much as they need bots. The human brain can come up with extremely unique and innovative business ideas and solutions. And process robots take care of all the rule-based processes that have been bogging down humans all along. In order to optimally exercise the capabilities of a bot, it is important to consider whether a particular domain of business consists of ‘automable’ processes; and if so, the other paraphernalia surrounding it, including the end-to-end automation process, the duration, and the budget involved. With effective automation of relevant processes, one can certainly expect upcoming businesses to flourish in the years to come.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PHYSICAL BOTS AND SOFTWARE BOTS?

Ever since the inception of the very first robot in 1954, we have escalated to having innumerable such tasks delegated to robots. All the while, we work on other more intellectual and gratifying tasks. But when it comes to the 21st Century world, it’s a whole different story. Today, human race is oscillating between two interrelated (and sometimes quite muddled up!) worlds – the real, physical world and the virtual online world. If the real world consists of real robots performing industrial tasks, the virtual world comprises of software bots performing software tasks. The similarity – both perform repetitive, monotonous tasks that allow humans to do greater things. The differences? Let’s see:

1. Umm…no, you can’t see a bot. But you can feel its presence…

Robot. The word may most likely give rise to a distinct image in your mind – metallic and robust, with a robotic vocal sound that responds to your commands with some tutored words…that’s your physical robot, which can do wonders in a real, tangible environment. But software bots are nothing like a physical robots. A process robot is somewhat like the air around us – the naked eye cannot see it, but its presence can be felt all the time. Hiding behind the hardware of your screen, they can make your life much more efficient and hassle-free.

2. Your process robot works “behind the screen”.

There’s a lot of ground-work that goes into any form of industrial sector. Employment and progress often involves stagnant and monotonous behind the scenes tasks; such as welding, product inspection and testing, labeling and painting in the tangible world; and tasks such as mindless data entry in the software one. And both types of tasks call for automation, for the simple reason that they are both rule-based, and promote stagnation. While your physical robot performs the tangible rule-based tasks workplace-based tasks, your process robot performs similar tasks from within your computer screen.

3. There’s “work in progress” everywhere. Only, the workers are differently skilled.

Since physical robots have an external countenance, making a robot involves not only programming and automation, but also external designing and development. And hence, the process of manufacturing industrial robots is quite different from developing a software one. However, the manufacturing process for both has a similar basis – of creating entities that will serve a definite purpose.

4. Maintain your robot, if you wish to retain your robot.

A robot is incapable of experiencing boredom or applying elsewhere for work. But it is not an invincible force by any means, and hence, requires regular maintenance and update. Your physical robot is…well, physical; and so, one needs to maintain it both physically (hardware) and mentally (software) in order to function in an optimal manner. In contrast, process robots, as already mentioned, are not physical entities. Does that mean they do not require maintenance? The air around us is invisible, but clean air aids better health, isn’t it? It’s the same with process robots. While they aren’t visible, they need to be constantly monitored even after deployment in order to ensure that they continue to perform in the manner expected. Moreover, they have to be scalable, i.e. flexible enough to be updated as and when required by the respective industry.

At the end of the day, while the activities performed on either side of the monitor may be different, the purpose and motives of development and deployment of bots is common and binding – reduction of rule-based labour, and promotion of more innovative ones. As Rod Grupen rightly pointed out:

“At bottom, robotics is about us. It is the discipline of emulating our lives, of wondering how we work.”

RPA PROJECT AND COST REDUCTION: With XLNC, These 2 Terms may now be Uttered in one Breath!

“If saving money is wrong, I don’t want to be right,” says William Shatner.

While it does seem a romantic idea to spend all the money one earns and live a lavish life, saving money can never go out of fashion as long as products and services all come with price-tags. And that’s probably why a lot of organizations are extremely apprehensive about undertaking end-to-end Robotic Process Automation independently. A number of automation software giants charge extremely high prices for these automation processes if approached directly. But wait…does this mean that your monotonous ‘data entry operator’ job would continue to thrive, with humans working away like machines? Should the high cost of a product or service deter a potential client from availing the same?

We, at XLNC, shout ‘NO!’ to both these questions. Let’s make things easier for your clients. At every stage, we support and guide you, so that your RPA development project turns out to be top-notch, and you can safely close down that monotonous ‘data entry’ post! We are back with a blog, to discuss the exciting cost reduction strategies we have in store, just for you:

1. High costs can cost you highly. May we come in?

Do you find it difficult to choose from the myriad types of automation software available in the market? Do the high prices of these automation tools deter you from using them? XLNC to the rescue! We have a team that is adept at working on all of these platforms, including UiPath, Automation Anywhere and Softomotive, with whom we are officially partnered; and Blue Prism, with whom we are in the process of networking. This opens up a whole new world of exciting choices for our clients in terms of selecting the appropriate platform.

Further, this also brings about a great amount of flexibility in terms of the budget. We also provide highly customized and tailor-made solutions specific to your requirement. For instance, if the project specific to your company is not very highly scalable in nature, we can suggest to you the more economical alternatives, such as UiPath and Softomotive. Did the enterprise pack of the previous automation software platform you had approached sound too expensive to handle? XLNC to the rescue again! Our partnership with all the important automation platforms is not for nothing. It helps us to cut costs considerably, thus ensuring a more economical approach to your automation project. Further, OEMs typically do not perform implementation when you approach them directly. We, at XLNC, offer you a detailed, 360 degrees, end to end solution, which becomes another reason for you to become our clients!

2. When we are your source, don’t worry about resource!

Resources can be a big question mark while contemplating to embark on the RPA journey. What if I don’t want to go for the entire RPA process? What if I don’t get the right resources? A lot of ifs and buts often deter an organization from investing in the process. And now, XLNC to the rescue.

We understand that you might sometimes require solutions only for a particular stage, as opposed to the process as a whole. With our ‘resource augmentation’ service, we are also happy to provide you with these micro services.
Here, if you already have a software, such as Automation Anywhere or UiPath as your base tool, we start off with the planning for your project, followed by the sourcing, and ultimately the deployment and monitoring. Our job does not end with having deployed the bot to your organization. We continue to keep you in loop, and constantly monitor the bot, in order to determine if it’s functioning well, and if any changes are required in it.

In addition, for every RPA project, we also shortlist those processes which, if automated, can possibly benefit individuals and organizations. We then run these processes through simulation software tools such as iGraphics, which help us to decide those stages or aspects where our existing process is redundant, and which can do better with innovation. This can also help to reduce your costs significantly.
We hope, through all these activities, we would be able to convince you of the dedication of our RPA team and the processes shortlisted by us.

Another feature that brings about a world of difference in the automation process is change management. Change management comes in when the entire process has already been chalked out, and then, suddenly…there is a modification to be made in one of the stages as per the business. Now, do we need to revise the entire format? Fret not, as XLNC is also capable of managing these sudden changes in a very effective manner.

3. Hey, that’s not it! We also structure your infrastructure for you.

“We need to stop talking about infrastructure as an engineering prospect, and more as an economic one,” someone rightly pointed out. That’s why we believe in providing you with the right infrastructure, which is economical, while also being highly specialized all at once.

So we have certain methodologies in place, which ensure that not only your current RPA project, but also any future undertakings, are secured and cost effective. All of these methods are packaged in the Centre of Excellence, which signifies the highest standard of implementation. We strive to achieve this with every client with whom we work. Right from the planning to the delivery stage, we try and loop every relevant team member, from executives to the topmost management, and train them about the various aspects of RPA. These persons discuss the purpose of this RPA project, the logic behind a particular solution, how it should be developed and the possible benefits that the organization as a whole, as well as specific individuals will achieve once the solution is deployed.

Following the detailed planning and the chalking out of an end-to-end process, we begin the actual development stage. Here, different team-members can buddy up with us and understand the whys and hows of things. With this knowledge sharing taking place, we are able to educate them about the limitless possibilities of RPA, not just for the organization, but also for themselves. This not only provides the employees of an organization with general information about RPA, but also makes them independent enough to carry out their own project without the help of a third party should they wish to go in for another RPA project sometime in the future. This helps one to reduce the instances of RPA failure, as well as ensures that an internal solution group is created within the organization itself.

With regard to knowledge management, we keep a systematic record of any obstacle that may come our way during the end-to-end RPA development process. This becomes a repository of sorts, which an organization can refer to, should it be met with any impediments during future operations.
With us, not only your present, but also your future is secured.

4. Technology meets cost reduction. Utopia? No. Reality!

We believe in providing you with the best services, with extremely specialized experts on board, and using the best technological equipment, and keeping cost-reduction always in mind. Yes, this is for real. Right at the start, we try and understand your ‘as-is process’, where we meet your SMEs and take into account your exact requirement, so we can deliver accordingly, and avoid all jargon.

Once we have chalked out a plan and detailed process structure for your project, our technical experts design a Target Operating Model, which is a blend of the traditional ways of working, and the modern technological operations. We then present this Target Operating Model along with a guestimate of ROI. Out of all the processes shortlisted by us, we recommend the process that you should ideally start off with, so that your ROI can be seen as a chain reaction. Additionally, we may also do a Proof of Concept, if need be, for a particular process. In the ‘recommendations’ stage, the specific processes to be used in the RPA development project are earmarked, and the possible elimination of unnecessary procedures are carried out, which reduces your costs further.

And so, my friends, XLNC always stays true to its word of excelling at our excellent services. Are you still worried about cost reduction? Come, get in touch with us; and leave the rest to us!

9 REASONS WHY YOUR RPA PROJECT MAY FAIL: Automation isn’t Always Perfect!

As more and more industries and sectors across the globe have begun to delegate repetitive computer-based tasks to process robots, the world is now extensively placing its trust on the efficiency and infallibility of these ‘software magicians’. Two different humans performing the same chores, the same individual performing the same chores at different times can lead to different results. But we often perceive bots to be (and rightly so!) unmistakably consistent, faultless, almost Utopian entities.

Having said that, can RPA bots be so unbelievably perfect as to surpass their imperfect human-creators? Can your process robot ever goof up? And if so, what are the possible reasons for these errors? And how can they be rectified? We’ve already spoken about the various myths about RPA. So we’re back with a blog, and all set to present to you the top reasons for the failure of RPA:

1. Have you designed your design correctly?

“Good design is good business,” says Thomas Watson Jr. And when it comes to RPA, good design makes sensible bots. In order to create good bots, it is important to visualize how and where your bot should function, and what purpose it serves in its domain of concern. When one etches out the end-to-end process of design and development, the change-management processes, and the desired end-result accurately, the process robot can then take birth as a perfect entity.

2. Are you missing the woods for the trees?

The Gestalt theory states that while the comprising parts are important to form the larger picture, the whole is much more than just a sum of its parts. The same holds good for your RPA development process. While it is important to ensure that every stage of the bot development is taken into account with equal importance, your RPA project can turn out to be lopsided and faulty if we overlook all other processes for the sake of performing that one step to perfection.

3. Phew! Just created my awesome bot. My duty is now over. Err…is it?

Wait! Is it enough to simply create your bot and ensure it functions in the concerned domain? The world is evolving every day, and with the unstoppable changes constantly taking place around us, our bots cannot afford to be old-fashioned. For this reason, it is important to keep track of your bot even after it has been successfully implemented, and modify it whenever required, in accordance with changes in data systems, security aspects, or any other important facet that calls for an update of your process robot. Also, regular maintenance of the bot ensures that it continues to function effectively.

4. Are we all equally supportive of our bots?

More often than not, our innocent bots are feared and shunned by individuals or departments that can significantly contribute to its development and application. A lot of professionals, including accountants, do not provide extensive internal support in their fear of losing their jobs to process robots. It is important to bust these unemployment myths surrounding RPA, and garner their support for the development of bots.

5. Mentally ‘process’ your process. Too simple? Too complex?

It is important to microscopically examine the process to achieving the end-result before implementation. If your plan is too simple, you probably need to push the boundaries a little further. But don’t push it so far ahead that you have much more in your plate than you can chew! Select a practical, manageable process for designing your bot.

6. On your marks, get-set…not going?

How efficient is your bot? While bots do not have mood-swings and Monday blues, it is possible that they might not be as efficient as you had intended them to be; for the simple reason that there have been errors in coding and designing of the same. With repeated verification and second opinions, nothing is impossible…including your bot’s perfection.

7. Time and tide…you know the rest!

There are always enough instances around us that constantly teach us effective time management. Yes, RPA is a lengthy and time-consuming process. And yes, you would have to exert efforts. And…yes. It’s extremely rewarding. Since end-to-end processes may be exhausting and time-consuming, you must carry these out only when you have the resources of time and effort with you.

8. Scale ‘up’ your bot today.

Efficient development of consistent as well as flexible bots is the need of the hour. That’s where scalability comes in. When you make your bot scalable, you can develop additional bots in a cost-effective manner. Plus, you can then add new features to the same bot with little inconvenience.

9. Automation for efficiency, or automation for laziness?

“Everything that can be automated, will be automated,” says Robert Cannon, internet law and policy expert. However, it often happens that everything that need not be automated also ends up being assigned to bots. In order to avoid this malpractice, it is important to clearly define the purpose of the RPA development process, and the nature of the task to be performed by the potential bot. Lastly, one must not forget that while bots can be made to perform a few monotonous tasks for humans, they are the result of the human intellect, and can never replace humans in any field.

While the idea of perfection seems utopian in itself, it is still possible to attain a perfect bot if a rational and valid purpose, a systematic process outlined from start to end, and the right amount of time and effort, are all taken care of prior to, during and post its development. A perfectly automated bot can significantly contribute to developing a monotony-free and dynamic future for the world, while faulty automation can pose obstacles to the economy. In the words of W.L.W. Borowiecki:

If you automate a process that has errors, all you’ve done is automate the generation of those errors.

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