Mr. Gißmann, can you describe your background and expertise in the field of Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?
For decades I have always been on the lookout for new technologies to meet our customer-centric approach. We started working on the subject of RPA as early as 2001. At that time, however, no one was using the terms that are used today. We started with an approach that is now known as Robotic Desktop Automation or Attended RPA. Here, software robots – or simply bots – support the activities of the contact center agent. The bot searches for relevant data for the customer’s request, makes suggestions and, after a confirmation by the employee, completes the process – in real time during the customer call. I and my team developed one of the largest Robotic Desktop Automation projects with 1,400 customer service agents for the energy provider E.ON.
What led you to bring RPA to Germany?
After our initial success with Robotic Desktop Automation, we have seen that there are also many applications for the full automation of processes. As a result, we then came across the topic of RPA in the USA. It was already clear to us at that time that it was not a question of whether to use RPA, but only when. So, step by step, we put together a strategic portfolio with the market-leading RPA software platforms, including Automation Anywhere, Nice and UiPath.
We can certainly be called RPA pioneers in Germany. Today, we operate a platform for our customer Deutsche Telekom on which more than 1,000 bots continuously run processes. This is probably one of the largest RPA installations worldwide. We are able to initiate and implement RPA projects for our customers in a short time, including the establishment of a Center of Excellence for robotics. A classic “enabler” in other words.
How will technology evolve? What are you and your teams working on?
In addition to the classic form of using RPA, as an on-premise installation, we also offer RPA “as-a-Service”. This makes us a platform provider and complements RPA solutions with innovative apps, innovative frontends and AI. The RPA-as-a-Service platform goes far beyond classic RPA and thus meets the requirements of “Intelligent Automation”.
Our approach is to make it as easy as possible for our customers to use RPA. To this end, we offer a constantly expanding number of pre-packaged bots that our customers can use immediately. In addition, we offer various machine learning services for advanced skills such as intelligent document analysis or image recognition.
What if your customers are not yet ready for the cloud?
No problem. Of course you can still use our entire range of products on premise.
How much does RPA cost?
There is a very simple calculation. Assuming that an FTE in Germany has a value of 100, then this value improves to 66 for nearshoring, 33 for offshoring and 10 for RPA, i.e. the bots. This naturally means that very short ROI periods are possible – under half a year.
Where will we be in 10 years?
AI will fundamentally change the relationship between people and technology. AI will herald a new age of productivity. We are already prepared for these challenges and will continue to develop our solutions in this direction to make intelligent automation as easy as possible for our customers.
Mr. Gißmann, thank you for this interview!