Automation Anywhere and Ayehu Collaborate to Provide an End-to-End Intelligent Automation Solution

San Jose, CA, March 3rd, 2020  – Ayehu, the leading provider of IT Process Automation today announced a collaboration with Automation Anywhere, a leading provider of robotic process automation (RPA), to provide enterprises with an intelligent, fully autonomous solution that handles common, repetitive tasks. By implementing end-to-end automation, it alleviates service employees to focus on higher value projects, leading to a more engaged and productive workforce that is ready for the future workplace.

“Ayehu chose Automation Anywhere as its strategic RPA partner so that together we can automate both front-end, business-focused tasks and backend IT infrastructure activities,” said Gabby Nizri, CEO of Ayehu. “Our technologies complement each other nicely and the product integration insures a smooth hand-off between Automation Anywhere’s RPA bots and Ayehu’s IT workflow.”  

Ayehu has joined Automation Anywhere’s Technology Alliance Program (TAP) and is developing a product integration that makes this end-to-end automation vision a reality. An example is a common, time consuming and error-prone task like employee on-boarding. This can now be handled by an RPA bot that enrolls a user in HR systems and sends them required information packets, and then triggers an IT workflow to add the user to a correct Active Directory group with proper role defined and the required permission for the applications they need to access.

“The alliance with Ayehu and Automation Anywhere further extends our capabilities for an organization’s IT infrastructure, allowing users to fully automate manual, repetitive functions allowing employees to shift their focus on higher-level, strategic work,” said Griffin Pickard, Director of the Technology Alliance Program at Automation Anywhere. “Many common tasks have both a user-facing, business-focused component as well as a backend infrastructure. Our partnership integrates two “best of breed” solutions that together provide a complete end-to-end intelligent automation solution that benefits both employees and customers.”

ABOUT AYEHU

Ayehu’s no-code Intelligent Automation and Orchestration platform is a force multiplier for IT Operations, helping Enterprises save 95% on time handling alert resolution, and achieve 35% cost reduction of labor-intensive routine tasks, while maintaining greater control over enterprise infrastructure – whether on-premise or in the cloud. Among our 220+ Enterprise customers, large MSPs such as Cognizant, Capgemini, Amdocs and LTI, are using Ayehu’s platform for its digital labor, increasing margins and operational efficiency by sending robots to work.


How AI is Revolutionizing the IT Support Role

Over the past several decades, the role of IT support has evolved from basic plug-and-play transactions to handling much more complex tasks and workflows. Unfortunately, the pace of technological change and demand for faster, more accurate and more seamless service has also evolved – in many cases, beyond what human agents are capable of. Furthermore, support teams are being hindered by antiquated processes and technology silos, preventing them from realizing their true value.

That’s why more and more organizations are turning to emerging capabilities, like machine learning and artificial intelligence, to help supplement and enhance the IT support role. AI tools, like intelligent chatbots and virtual support agents, have already proven highly effective in facilitating greater efficiency and superior end-user service.

IT Support’s Greatest Challenges

To truly recognize the impact AI can have, it’s important to understand just what today’s IT support agents are up against. Research has shown that L1 and L2 IT support personnel waste hundreds or even thousands of man hours each year simply due to time-consuming manual labor and inefficient infrastructures. Often times, agents find themselves having to switch between multiple systems and platforms just to accomplish a simple end-user support request.

Another major hurdle modern IT support teams face today is a lack of adequate access to data. Or, perhaps we should clarify this to lack of access to quality, usable data. Agents (and their managers) need access to insights like this in order to analyze and improve performance. Unfortunately, these insights are not always readily available in many organizations, crippling the support desk and ultimately impacting service levels.

When these issues occur, either individually or compounded, not only does the end-user become frustrated, but so do the IT support desk agents. And if they’re feeling unhappy, overworked and unfulfilled, they’re far more likely to churn, leaving organizations with the burden and cost of recruiting and training. It’s a never-ending cycle.

How AI Can Help

How AI is Revolutionizing the IT Support Role

To answer the call of these costly and frustrating challenges, organizations across the globe are turning to AI technologies. In particular, they are leveraging the power of intelligent chatbots to handle lower-level support needs. Imagine how much more valuable your skilled IT workers could be if they weren’t wasting half their day resetting passwords or restarting systems. Not only do virtual support agents resolve issues faster and improve customer satisfaction, but they free up the IT team to focus their efforts and skills on more value-added business initiatives. This is good for everyone involved.

Artificial intelligence can also assist with building out additional content resources, helping higher level agents resolve issues faster and providing invaluable insight to management to facilitate data-driven decision-making. Machine learning algorithms can automatically and continuously analyze past cases to provide real-time guidance for best next steps as well as identify and make suggestions on areas of potential improvement. It’s like having a consulting firm working on your behalf, 24/7/365, only without the hefty price tag.

When IT support agents have access to the most up-to-date tools and innovative capabilities like AI, they’re jobs will be made infinitely easier. Trained workers will be able to apply their skills to more meaningful work, end-users will receive faster and better service, while at the same time, organizations will realize improved satisfaction levels, higher productivity and efficiency, and lower costs overall. That’s what we call a win-win-win!

Want to experience this kind of breakthrough for your IT support team? It’s as easy as downloading Ayehu NG. Click here to try it free for 30 days and put the power of AI to work in your organization.

Slash MTTR with Intelligent Automation for AIOps

Author: Guy Nadivi

There seems to be confusion in the marketplace about the term “AIOps” as far as what it means exactly, but there’s much less confusion about what it can do – Improve IT’s customer satisfaction scores by reducing noise, lowering call volume to the service desk, and slashing MTTR.

These are the types of benefits every IT organization is demanding, and the good news is they’re attainable right now.

Ayehu has partnered with Edge Technologies to show you a vision of what that looks like, and give you a glimpse at the promise that AIOps can bring to your IT organization.

Many of you have worked for years in the IT Operations and Systems Management space. Some of you may recall that in the mid-‘90s, Enterprise Systems Management and Business Service Management (or BSM for short) emerged as new disciplines that would bring together distributed systems and mainframes into a single pane of glass to solve problems. As you may know, Gartner killed off the BSM category in 2016 because vendors failed to deliver on these promised benefits.

In many large enterprises, the picture today still remains the same. Does this scene look familiar to you?

The CIO is still asking “why has customer experience dropped for our core service?.  The IT Ops Manager is unsure what the cause might be as everything looks good thanks to fantastic ”monitoring”.  And the SRE can’t make sense of any of the screens because he/she is suffering from information overload and isn’t sure where to look. No wonder MTTR is high!

Even with today’s AIOps vendors, and a market where new ones seem to be entering the space every week, the promise of universal views into your operations remains elusive.  Nevertheless, it’s still a highly sought-after goal.

So the question is, what is preventing progress towards that goal?

Today, we still continue seeing knowledge and visibility silos across the enterprise from business units, support, operations, and engineering functions all the way through to 3rd-party service providers.

This is one of the main challenges to overcome if AIOps is going to succeed. Internal politics, tool proliferation, and un-integrated workflows continue contributing to the slow adoption of AIOps.

Sound familiar?

The promise of a “single pane of glass” never materialized leaving teams to use point products with limited integration and different data formats. The result?  A huge and costly inventory of tools to manage and operate leading to more frustration.

It’s widely accepted across the industry that most monitoring dashboards today fail to provide required operational views that business needs.

AIOps aims to fully automate IT Operations workflows, but the reality today is that enterprises still struggle with tool sprawl resulting in the “swivel chair” effect. Your triage and remediation workflows are still very much reactive in nature, but the goal is to prevent incidents from happening in the first place as much as possible, right?

Also, in our experience over the years, the tools used today are more than likely to be replaced at some point, so the best approach is to have a vendor agnostic data visualization and integration solution for your dashboarding needs. The tools supplying the dashboard data feeds will come and go.  Replacing them is a simple configuration change in Edge.

In order to break the knowledge and visibility silo challenges and create intelligent operations dashboards for increased AIOps adoption, think of the process in three parts:

Part 1:   Integrate all required data sources ranging from customer experience and your enterprise IT domains to give business and service health views by role. For example, executive, manager, and analyst views.

Part 2:   Integrate your existing event management, monitoring, and IT service management tools at the data and web layers to maximize your existing tool investments, skills, and standard operating procedures to become more proactive than ever before.

Part 3:   Integrate your process automation tools (such as Ayehu) to create convenient and frictionless workflows that can be executed in either attended or unattended mode.

Now that we better understand the problems and obstacles in the way of making progress, let’s walk through the process of creating ideal intelligent operations dashboards for your AIOps initiatives by uniquely combining your data and tools into role-based views of your business and services.

When we think about digital transformation and the outcomes businesses are looking for, one of the goals CIOs have longed to achieve is ensuring that business and enterprise IT are completely aligned. This has been a goal for as long as most of us can remember!

To reflect that in our intelligent operations dashboards, let’s start from the top-level (see graphic below),which is a set of first-level business, customer, and end-user experience (EUE) dashboards that appeal to all levels of the organization.

The second level is a triage dashboard, designed to allow teams to quickly identify whether the server, network or application layer is the source of an outage or service health issue.

The third level is a dependency-mapping dashboard that links application, network, and server infrastructure together in topology views to understand the business impact.

The fourth level is individualized dashboards specifically designed for teams and dedicated roles — application, infrastructure, and network monitoring dashboards.This level of dashboard is where SMEs can directly access your existing best-in-class tools using Edge’s unique web UI proxying capability.

The fifth level gives you access to your raw data including logs, events, packet traces, and call stack traces for example —so that detailed analysis can be performed in context to the issue being investigated.

By combining your data sources and tools into universal views using a single platform like Edge, you can provide appropriate dashboards to your executives, management, and SMEs that provide them access to the content they need and tasks they need to perform to be successful in their daily jobs.

By combining business and related service health metrics along with the power of integration with your data and tools, you can rapidly identify root cause, fix the problem for good, and slash your key performance indicators such as MTTR. Many Edge customers report having happier customers, greater alignment between business and IT, eradication of visibility silos, and overall better decision making and outcomes from their deployment.

Not least of all, their most valuable assets (people) are more successful in meeting their goals and performing their job tasks.

Now let’s talk a bit about automation.

Digital Transformation is a buzzword you hear a lot about these days.  It doesn’t have one standard definition but can basically be understood to mean the collection of technology, process, and even cultural disruptions an organization adopts to maximize its competitiveness in the 4th industrial revolution.

Those technology disruptions can include things like cloud computing, artificial intelligence, chatbots, and of course automation.

The process disruptions include things like Agile or Six Sigma, and a cultural disruption might be something like repositioning the organization’s focus to be better aligned with the customer journey.

For IT departments, digital transformation ultimately boils down to optimizing and accelerating delivery of computing services, regardless of whether the customer is external or internal.

When it comes to incident monitoring, one thing an IT department can do as part of its digital transformation, is to consolidate the visualization of all their various monitoring tools into a single pane of glass, as Edge Technologies enables.  A unified dashboard providing a 360° view of operations, can also provide an extraordinary opportunity to not only centralize incident monitoring but also to automate incident remediation.  That represents a big step forward in the digital transformation of data centers, and a perfect example of how 1 plus 1 can sometimes equal 3.

A recent paper published by Gartner (ID G00390283 – October 9, 2019) advised its readers that an ideal performance monitoring dashboard framework must aim to “Provide for the rapid triage and remediation of performance issues…”.

No argument there. Ayehu and Edge Technologies agree that combining automation with performance monitoring is central to an ideal dashboard framework.  But perhaps the most important word to emphasize in Gartner’s recommendation is “rapid”.

Unfortunately, “rapid” is not an adjective that the vast majority of service desks can use to describe their MTTR today.

MetricNet, the IT consulting firm that publishes benchmarks, performance metrics, and scorecards for a variety of IT-related activities, claims that the average incident MTTR is 8.40 business hours.  If you’re an end user in an organization who just submitted a ticket to the help desk, you do NOT want to hear that it will take an average of 8.40 business hours to remediate your issue.  On the contrary, you want to know that your IT department is doing everything it can to expedite a resolution for your incident, before it starts hampering your personal productivity.

When it comes to MTTR, your mileage may vary of course, depending on your IT organization’s ticket backlog, user population density, and complexity of tickets handled.

Regardless though, one universal factor that’s slowing down almost all IT organizations is the ever-increasing user demand for IT services, which often leads to growing system complexity in your environment to accommodate that growth, and ultimately results in ever increasing pressure on your staff to keep up. 

However, people don’t scale very well.  Even the very best data center workers can only do so much.  At some point, and that point is pretty much right now, automation has got to do more and more of the repetitive, tedious, laborious tasks all this growth in demand for services and increased system complexity is creating.

That’s why consolidating visualization of all your monitoring tools into a single pane of glass and incorporating automated incident remediation into that dashboard, can give your IT department the critical boost it needs to overcome the lack of human scalability.

If you’re interested in test driving Ayehu NG v1.6 with all its cool new features, download your very own free 30-day trial version from the link below:

https://info.ayehu.com/download-free-30-day-trial-ng

How to Future-Proof Your Business with Intelligent Automation

How to Future-Proof Your Business with Intelligent AutomationAutomation has become a staple in IT operations. Yet, despite its prevalence, many of the automated processes currently being used are antiquated. The fact is, IT infrastructures have evolved substantially over the past decade or so, and continue to do so at a rapid pace. In order to maintain a high degree of integrity, automated processes must also adapt. Adopting more intelligent automation will not only dramatically improve internal operations, but it will position your organization leaps and bounds ahead of your competitors.

What is “intelligent automation?”

Unlike conventional automation tools of the past which were capable only of executing simple, manual and easily defined processes, intelligent automation and orchestration platforms are able to undertake tasks and workflows that are far more complex. Not only is intelligent automation capable of making decisions without the need for human input, but it can also evolve and improve itself over time.

Why is intelligent automation beneficial to IT operations?

IT ops has long been tasked with the overwhelming duty of doing more with less. Today’s IT teams, however, are also being depended on to drive innovation, and at a much more rapid pace than ever before. Intelligent automation facilitates both of these things by streamlining operations and freeing up skilled staff to apply their expertise to more innovative business initiatives. Furthermore, automation is dramatically improving the delivery and integrity of information, which paints IT ops in a positive light.

What are some of the biggest challenges IT ops face today?

Among the many challenges IT operations face in the digital age is the need to increase agility while maintaining as little disruption to existing processes as possible. IT teams must continue to meet (and in many instances exceed) business demand while also looking toward the future and finding newer, better opportunities to grab onto. It’s a delicate balance between meeting the needs of today and anticipating what the needs of tomorrow will be.

Why aren’t more organizations adopting intelligent automation?

Automation in its traditional form has worked well for IT ops, mainly because it can be leveraged on an ad hoc basis, such as with custom scripts and job scheduling. These days, however, things are becoming far more complex, with many different layers of virtualization and applications stacks of varying ages, along with combinations of public and private cloud solutions, all of which must be aggregated to deliver a single, streamlined IT service. In this environment, the concept of integrating intelligent automation can seem overwhelming. The good news is, it’s not nearly as complicated as it may seem.

What’s a good way to get started with intelligent automation?

A great way to introduce intelligent automation into the mix is to start small. Identify the big wins – or those routine, manual and time consuming tasks and workflows that when automated will produce the greatest return on investment quickly. Figure out what your IT operations team is wasting precious time and resources on, and then start deploying robots to do the dirty work. Keep in mind, however, that in order for intelligent automation to truly be beneficial, it must eventually become an integral part of the entire infrastructure. It’s ok to smart small, but make sure you’re working toward the big picture.

Without question, adding intelligence to automation will facilitate far greater productivity and innovation, while simultaneously setting the bar higher in terms of speed and agility for IT operations. Organizations that successfully deploy intelligent automation will easily surpass their competitors who do not, ultimately positioning themselves at the head of the pack.

Where do you want your company to be? Get a jump on the competition and future-proof your business with intelligent automation. Experience it for yourself by taking Ayehu for a test drive today.

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7 Tips to Win the IT Talent War

7 Tips to Win the IT Talent WarAs any IT leader will acknowledge, attracting top talent is only half the battle. It’s keeping them on that’s the real challenge. And with an average employee tenure of only about 3 years, it’s a serious concern for many organizations across the globe. Add in the complex, fast paced and highly stressful role of IT support and you’ve got quite the conundrum. So, what’s the secret? How can you do things differently so that your company remains as safe as possible from cyber-attacks while your talented employees stay on for the long haul? Here are 7 tips to point you in the right direction.

Keep them challenged. The last thing you want is for your IT support personnel to become bored and stagnant in their current positions. Avoid this by investing in ongoing training, setting up mentoring programs, and offering opportunities to learn about and master new strategies and technologies. The more you keep your IT employees engaged and involved, the less likely they’ll be to look elsewhere.

Rotate project time. Being stuck on the same project day in and day out can lead to fatigue and frustration. Consider rotating employees onto various IT projects so that they don’t feel stuck. This will provide exposure to and the opportunity to learn about new skills and also open up the door to be able to approach long-term projects from differing perspectives – both of which can benefit your organization.

Give them the tools they need. These days, keeping up with the onslaught of cyber-attacks is nothing short of exhausting. Don’t leave your IT personnel out to dry by making them handle this monumental task manually. Arm them with the technology they need to do their jobs better, faster, more efficiently and more effectively, such as intelligent automation.

Provide a safe place to vent. Without question, the job of keeping an entire organization safe from breaches and outages can be incredibly stressful. Additionally, IT security personal often feel tense due to the amount of classified and confidential information they are entrusted with. Provide an opportunity and a secure avenue for these employees to vent their feelings.

Encourage time off. Everybody needs a little down time, but given the fast-paced and highly stressful field of IT, these employees could probably use some time off more than anyone else in your organization. This is where technology can help. By automating a good portion of tasks and leveraging the cloud to embrace more flexibility, your team can take the much needed time off they deserve without the company feeling any negative impact.

Use realistic metrics to measure success. One of the biggest reasons IT professionals find themselves dissatisfied at work is because they feel they aren’t being adequately recognized. This is often due to a lack of clear and specific metrics for success. Management should set realistic expectations, communicate openly and routinely measure progress. Good work should be rewarded and areas of improvement identified and addressed in a positive, productive way.

Empower them. If your employees feel that their only option is to come in every day and put in 8-10 hours of labor, they’re not going to develop any kind of connection or loyalty to your organization. On the other hand, if they know that the work they do plays a direct role in the “big picture” and that their achievements are tied into the company’s overall success, they’ll be much more plugged in, which means they’re more likely to stay on for the long haul. Empower them by inviting ideas and encouraging autonomy.

Are you doing enough to keep your IT personnel satisfied, engaged and plugged in? If not, you could be facing higher turnover, which can negatively impact your company’s bottom line and also leave you more vulnerable to things like outages and cyber-attacks. By implementing the above tips, you’ll create a more positive work environment that fosters longevity. Happy employees will work harder to ensure that your organization remains strong, secure and successful.

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

4 Steps to Intelligent Process Automation Breakthrough

Intelligent process automation is rapidly transforming the global economy, delivering momentous gains to enterprises that adopt it at scale. One recent article by McKinsey revealed that some organizations have been able to automate 50 to 70 percent of their workflows, generating ROI that reaches into the triple-digits. In addition to cutting costs, intelligent process automation can also deliver precision, speed and enhanced customer experience.

In order for organizations to enjoy the full value of intelligent process automation, IT leaders must be willing to take a guiding role. Unfortunately, many IT executives find this challenging, whether due to the increased complexity of IT processes, lack of understanding and/or clarity, inconsistent or fragmented tools that hinder scaling, or the misconception that intelligent process automation cannot be adopted without major re-engineering of existing processes.

How can these challenges be overcome? And how can IT leaders succeed in their automation initiatives? The answer to these questions lies in the following four key steps along the intelligent automation journey.

Step 1: Evaluate the high-level potential value

The first step in becoming an intelligent process automation leader starts with the development of a clear business case. This involves assessing the potential high-level value of the company’s main IT activities. Some examples of what these areas of value might look like include:

Incident Response – A significant number of IT incidents are initiated through support desk requests. These typically result in tickets being created and assigned to Level 1 support agents. While these are the obvious candidates for automation, the portion of tickets that are escalated to specialized L2 and L3 agents are also ripe for the picking, thanks to the advanced technology behind intelligent process automation. And since these activities are generally well-documented, categorizing and prioritizing them by automation potential should be relatively straightforward.

Planned Activities – In addition to the one-offs and unexpected support tickets that crop up, IT is also responsible for performing a number of planned activities on a regular basis. These activities typically include things like backups, upgrades and patching. They may also involve more complex security audits. The amount of time and resources required to perform these duties can collectively add up to around 20 percent of the IT budget. Calculating this figure can help determine the potential savings intelligent process automation can deliver.

Introducing New Applications – From a business perspective, this activity is often viewed as the one that produces the most significant value. It can also account for an additional 20 to 40 percent of the time and resources put forth by IT. These activities are not exclusive of application development, either. They also include such tasks as testing and hosting. This places increasing demand on both the application team as well as the infrastructure group.

Step 2: Dig deeper to identify which specific use cases are best suited for intelligent automation.

Determining how to effectively implement intelligent process automation requires a deep dive to uncover the root causes of issues. It may also involve the untangling of complex systems and the development of an accurate picture of how to leverage automation to extract the greatest value. In other words, the process is a complicated one and requires a certain degree of commitment. Let’s take the three potential use cases above as an example.

Incident Response

Automating IR begins with identifying which incidents are the best candidates, which can be challenging. The goal should always be digging deep enough to uncover the “why” of documented incidents. Without this information, efforts are futile. Text-mining can help by automatically reading ticket descriptions and extracting the necessary insights to sort them into three categories:

  • Automatable
  • Requires machine learning
  • Highly cognitive/manual

This analysis should leave you with a prioritized list of incidents to automate and the type of automation best suited for the job.

Planned Activities

Most enterprise-grade IT departments rely on industry-standard tools to manage their infrastructures. Unfortunately, due to factors such as advanced customization, adjustments due to mergers and specific user requirements, managing these systems often requires a significant amount of manual effort, diminishing the overall value.

For instance, despite the widespread adoption of infrastructure and application monitoring tools, support teams are often unable to respond effectively to the logs being generated, either because there are too many of them or because of the many reasons why they are being generated in the first place. As a result, IT leaders are often unclear on how to approach intelligent automation implementation.

In situations such as this, machine learning technology can be “trained’ to identify the reasons behind alerts and then either recommend or autonomously make better decisions on which action to take. This eliminates much of the complexity for the IT team.

Introducing New Applications

Many IT executives fall into the trap of focusing solely on the reduction of manual labor. As a result, they fail to see and achieve the full value potential of intelligent process automation. Faster and more accurate delivery of applications requires the development and design of a new operating model, with an emphasis on DevOps and agile.

Reviewing this entire process to gain an understanding of how to make the most use of this new operating model can result in entirely new approaches to work. Intelligent process automation can facilitate some of these new ways of working. For instance, automating the testing process will enable applications teams to iterate more quickly. Likewise, developing a self-service model for things like automated server provisioning allows the operations team to become more responsive. The list goes on.

Step 3: Execute your proof of concept

In order to demonstrate the true value and validate your case for intelligent process automation, the next critical step is executing a proof of concept. A great place to start with this is incident management. Organizations that have successfully deployed intelligent process automation for incident management have been able to achieve substantial cost savings in a relatively short period of time.

Thankfully, there are many different incidents that can quickly and easily be automated to support your proof of concept, including such tasks as password resets and employee onboarding. In its most basic form, a proof of concept requires the following:

  • Collaboration with subject matter experts to identify where automation can best be applied and understand all the steps and systems involved in a particular process or workflow.
  • Careful selection of an intelligent process automation platform. Look specifically for products that can be integrated with existing systems and applications and offers pre-packaged, no-code options. (This will enable rapid adoption and time-to-value.)
  • Obtaining necessary IT and overall business approvals with regard to regulatory constraints, security guidelines and access limitations.
  • Ongoing testing and monitoring to capture results and document value

This phase is also an ideal time to consider building stronger internal intelligent automation capabilities; for example, developing a team to spearhead a future automation center of excellence (CoE). This team will ultimately become the foundation and engine that drives all IPA initiatives.

Step 4: Build intelligent automation capabilities to scale

Achieving the full benefits of intelligent process automation requires the development and nurturing of certain skills and capabilities, in addition to rolling out an entirely new company-wide culture. This is essential as successful adoption of IPA requires that automation become embedded into the very heart of the organization itself. There are plenty of ways to accomplish this, but generally speaking, companies that have been successful have done the following three things:

Build on success to expand into new areas of IT (and beyond).

Once the basic tasks and workflows have been automated, it’s time to move on to more advanced level-2 and level-3 activities. The IT team should be expanding beyond incidents to begin leveraging the AI and machine learning technologies to assist with things like analytics and decision support. The goal is to eventually roll out intelligent process automation to as many routine and complex processes as possible.

Spread the word.

With a strong foundation of capabilities and experience, IT leaders can begin to position themselves as subject matter experts for the rest of the organization. This process involves continued outreach, such as connecting with other leaders across the enterprise to advise them of the specific benefits IPA can have for them. This outreach also provides the opportunity to identify additional areas where automation might be beneficial.

Explore the advanced elements of intelligent process automation.

While the majority of organizations have thus far only focused primarily on simple process automation, the future belongs to those with an eye toward artificial intelligence and cognitive learning. These solutions are already making an impact on companies with forward-thinking leaders. The best way to break into this arena is to start working on small AI initiatives. From there, just like basic automation, you can continue to build, expand and grow.

Intelligent process automation is maturing rapidly and quickly becoming a core component of the IT landscape. IT professionals who recognize the importance and understand how to develop their automation capabilities have the potential to become respected leaders in the process – a title that will serve them well throughout their careers.

Free eBook 10 time-consuming IT tasks you should automate

3 New Roles AI Will Create for Humans

What if we were to tell you that robots are not coming to steal your job, but instead, they’re coming to give you a promotion? Would that change your perception of artificial intelligence? Probably. Thankfully, in most cases anyway, it’s the truth. While AI will, inevitably, make some roles obsolete, it will simultaneously be creating newer and even more lucrative opportunities for humans. In fact, we’ve pinpointed at least three distinct job categories intelligent automation will open the door for. Let’s explore each of these below.

Trainers

Artificial intelligence is just that – artificial. Yes, it is capable of improving autonomously, but someone still has to be there to tell the program what to do and ensure that everything is moving along as it should be.

For example, before you can tell your virtual assistant Amazon Alexa that you want her to call your spouse, you first have to “teach” her who your spouse is and what phone number should be used. Once AI tools and platforms have the basic understanding of what’s expected of them, they can then continue to self-learn, but just like any student, they need to be taught those basics first.

Evangelists

Like it or not, artificial intelligence isn’t going anywhere. In fact, according to Gartner, 70% of organizations will assist their employees’ productivity by integrating AI in the workplace by as early as next year.

Yet, despite this looming proliferation, not everyone is quite comfortable with the concept of AI. Fear of the unknown is still a very real problem for many organizations. That’s where AI evangelists come in. These are human experts whose role, at least in part, is to explain computer behavior to others.

Having champions of intelligent automation will enable the enterprise to overcome fear and resistance, clearing the pathway to successful digital transformation.

Managers

As smart as AI is, it’s not necessarily something you can simply set and forget. To the contrary, human oversight is still very much needed to ensure that systems are working properly, securely and responsibly.

The fact is, while chatbots have the capability of learning and communicating, they lack many of the characteristics that are innate to humans. One need only look back to the Microsoft Tweetbot debacle of a few years ago to understand this.

In March of 2016, the computer mega-giant introduced its interactive chatbot named Tay to the world of Twitter, with the goal of engaging 18-24 year olds with the concept of machine learning. The chatbot was taught to interact with other users like a real human through reading and processing actual tweets.

Unfortunately, within hours, savvy Twitter users had transformed the formerly innocent bot into something vile and offensive. Simply put, AI has the potential to run amok without adequate human oversight.

How Humans Can Prepare

Within these three categories there will be numerous positions and opportunities for human workers to future-proof their careers. The best place to start is through education. Learning new skills and gaining a fundamental understanding of intelligent automation technology can make you an invaluable asset and catapult your career possibilities.

Ayehu’s Automation Academy is designed to provide individuals of every level with the up-to-the-minute knowledge, experience and tools necessary to develop and expand their automation knowledge. Best of all, it’s available completely free of charge. Develop your skills today to become a trainer, evangelist or manager of tomorrow. Enroll for free today!

Introducing Ayehu NG v1.6 – New Advanced Features

Author: Guy Nadivi

If you’re an existing user of Ayehu NG, or even if you’re just thinking about trying us on for size, you probably know that one of the core strengths of our solution is how easily and quickly you can plug Ayehu into various ITSM platforms, cyber security tools, operating systems, messaging and notification solutions, and increasingly chatbots and AI services.  Almost all of these integrations can be activated seamlessly without writing a single line of code. 

And the purpose of providing you with all these pre-built integrations and connectors that make up our ever-expanding ecosystem, is to simplify your ability to orchestrate automation across any platform in your environment.  All from a single pane of glass!

We add new integrations and their accompanying activities to Ayehu on an on-going basis, but sometimes, that hasn’t been quick enough for some of our customers and prospects. 

In our last release of NG, v1.5, we introduced you to its new Activity Designer.

This new functionality allowed you to build your own activities from scratch, in Python, C#, or .NET.  Many of our customers use the Activity Designer to create activities for actions against external systems that we don’t currently connect to. For example, you can use it to connect to Dropbox, Google, or any other third-party system that has accessible APIs.

SDK

In this new version 1.6 of NG, we’ve added a software development kit.  This new SDK means that now, in addition to being able to build custom activities, you can build entire custom integrations!  So if you’d like to integrate Ayehu with a platform we don’t currently have an integration with, you can do it yourself.  This might be especially helpful if you’ve got a homegrown application that’s the only one of its kind, and you want to automate certain tasks for it.  You can do that with the new SDK, and orchestrate the workflows from right inside Ayehu NG, just like you do for your other platforms.

NG-to-NG Migration Tool

In the past, migrating an NG workflow from a pre-production environment like DEV or TEST was a bit challenging.

In release 1.6 though it becomes a breeze with our new NG-to-NG Migration Tool.  This tool makes moving workflows from a DEV or TEST environment much simpler because it brings over almost all the entities associated with that workflow into your PRODUCTION environment.

BTW – this comprehensive migration can be done on a single workflow or an entire folder of workflows.

Slack Bot

Many of you have been taking advantage of Ayehu’s integration with Slack to build intelligent bots which provide your end users with powerful self-service remediation capabilities, that have eased the strain on your service desks.

In version 1.6, we’ve greatly simplified the process of configuring a Slack bot to just one click.  On top of that, we’ve also activated an “Add to Slack” button on our Slack Integration page so you can easily register your bot with Slack.

Configurable Password Policy

Ayehu NG v1.6 now has enhanced security for configuring default password policy. This means that passwords for all new accounts will be much stronger.  You can now set your own default password strength and parameters based on your organization’s security needs.

So if your password standard requires 12 characters, two special characters, and a number, you can now set this as default and it will be enforced across all local accounts in your environment. If you prefer synching accounts from your Active Directory, then NG will default instead to the password policies you’ve established in AD.

Updated Installer

Another improvement NG v1.6 introduces is an updated installer, which simplifies installation while also providing greater visibility into the process.

In the image seen here, you can review all the components to be installed on a component selection tree.  The most popular components are selected by default, but you can easily toggle the ones you don’t want. We’ve also added a pre-requisite screen check to ensure that the installation will complete successfully, and to let you know if any minimum installation requirements are lacking.

Refreshed Login Page

This new feature is more about aesthetics than anything else, but we’ve refreshed the login page with a bit more of a dynamic look and feel to it.

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BMC Helix Remedyforce Integration

Finally this newest release of NG includes an integration for BMC’s Helix Remedyforce.  It’s basically a duplicate of the existing BMC Remedyforce integration capabilities but on BMC’s Helix platform. This new integration allows you to Create, Update, and Get records from Helix Remedyforce, as well as execute SOQL queries.

If you’re interested in test driving NG v1.6 with all its cool new features, download your very own free 30-day trial version here.

To watch a replay of the live webinar and see these new features in action, click the image below.

5 Biggest Blunders Organizations Make with AI

According to Gartner, implementation of artificial intelligence has skyrocketed by 270% over the last four years, with spending on AI software and hardware anticipated to soar from the present amount of $37.5 billion to a whopping $97.9 billion by the year 2023. There’s no argument. AI is here to stay, and it’s going to become a truly integral part of our everyday lives. As such, business leaders in every industry are wondering what AI means for their organizations and, more importantly, how they can capitalize on the tremendous opportunities this innovative technology presents.

In order to be successful with AI, however, it’s imperative that leaders not move forward too quickly without adequate awareness of the many obstacles that could delay, limit or even completely destroy their efforts. Specifically, here are five common traps many organizations have already fallen into that you can hopefully avoid with your own AI initiative.

Being misled.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but not every AI product on the market is what it’s presented to be. In fact, many less-than-forthcoming and often downright dishonest service providers are selling what amounts to glorified automation tools. Automation is great, but the true value of AI lies in its ability to become smarter and more autonomous over time. Don’t be led astray. Do your homework and, if possible, take potential platforms for a test-drive before you invest. Trust us – you’ll know the difference.

Putting the cart before the horse.

Once you’ve got a true AI platform at your disposal, it’s easy to get so excited about the potential artificial intelligence presents for your company that you end up getting ahead of yourself. Keep in mind that AI isn’t an end, but a means to that end. Achieving big-picture goals often requires accomplishing smaller milestones along the way. Focus first on identifying specific business issues, pain points and areas of the business where AI can provide fast, measurable wins and then scale from there. Slow and steady wins the race.

Forgetting data.

The fact is, the outcome of an artificial intelligence engine is only as good as the quantity and quality of the data it is able to ingest. You can’t expect an AI platform to start churning out valuable insights or begin learning and improving contextually if you don’t adequate data to begin with. It’ll work to a degree, but it’ll produce substandard results, so what’s the point? Start by determining whether or not you have the right architecture in place, and if not, focus your efforts there first.

Leaving silos.

If you’re looking to store grain, silos are great. If you’re trying to implement an organization-wide AI initiative, not so much. Why? Because an effective, end-to-end AI strategy inherently depends on integration of data and collaboration of teams. You may have mapped out areas within your organization where AI might help, but if you don’t break down the roadblocks that exist within your infrastructure, don’t expect good results. Data gathered from one team that isn’t shared with the data scientists managing AI models is useless without seamless collaboration.

Failing to invest in skills.

Sure, the beauty of artificial intelligence is, well, that it’s artificial. Implemented properly, AI can run circles around human employees, performing work faster and eliminating error. That said, humans are still very much needed. In fact, some would argue even more-so now than ever before. Without the right team to ensure everything is running smoothly, you’ll quickly lose ground. Thankfully, fighting the war for external talent isn’t necessary. Oftentimes, reskilling in-house employees is not only sufficient, but a much better approach. In either case, an intentional investment in skills is equally as important as choosing the right AI platform.

Artificial intelligence presents tremendous opportunity for organizations of every size and industry. But in order to be successful with AI, leaders must apply their own human intelligence to the process. By knowing which common blunders to steer clear of, like the five listed above, successful implementation and the business value that follows will be well within your reach.  

How NOT to be an intelligent automation failure

How NOT to be an intelligent automation failure

According to a recent survey by IDC, of the organizations already using artificial intelligence solutions, only 25% have developed an enterprise-wide AI strategy. What’s holding them back? Well, according to that same survey, most failed AI projects occur due to lack of skills, staff and resources, as well as unrealistic expectations. So, how can you avoid and/or overcome these common roadblocks with your own intelligent automation implementation? The following five tips should help set you up for success.

Start with the right partner/product.

First and foremost, you want to make sure the technology vendor you choose to work with is reputable and offers a robust, agile and scalable product. The right intelligent automation platform can easily make up for three of the main causes of implementation failure: lack of skills, resources and staff. But remember – not all products or vendors are created equal. Look for a partner that has a proven track record with other satisfied clients and offers plenty of support after the sale, not just before it.

Assemble the right team.

If enterprise-wide proliferation of intelligent automation is your goal, then handing it off as a part-time project to team members who are already juggling a full workload won’t help you achieve it. Being successful with AI requires an all-hands-on-deck approach, and for that, a dedicated team is necessary. If you can’t afford to hire experts? No problem. Train and reskill your existing staff. Just don’t make it an afterthought, or the results will suffer.

Align your goals (and be realistic).

As mentioned, one of the main reasons an intelligent automation initiatives fails is unrealistic expectations. If you’re heading into the project thinking you’re going to automate everything right out of the gate, there’s a massively good chance you’re going to end up disappointed. Instead, start slow and work your way up. Identify and automate the areas of your business that will produce the quickest and most impactful ROI, and that directly support the company’s overarching goals and objectives.

Take time to understand AI decisions.

When adopting artificial intelligence, it’s crucial that you are able to understand the ‘why’ behind each decision made by AI. Taking a lackadaisical approach simply won’t cut it. For instance, if your AI is automatically approving some applications but declining others, you need to be able to confidently point to the factors that went into those decisions. This is important because while AI has come a long way, it’s not 100% infallible. Being able to quickly and effectively address and correct mistakes is key.

Keep it real.

Let’s face it. Change can be a scary thing. And perhaps nothing is more fear-inducing to a human employee than the idea that intelligent automation is going to render them irrelevant. You can’t expect to successfully achieve organization-wide AI if you don’t have the support and cooperation of everyone – especially those who will be directly impacted. People will inevitably have questions. Be open, honest and transparent. Communicate clearly and consistently how the impending changes will not threaten but instead improve their lives. Change doesn’t have to be a roadblock, as long as you manage it.

Without question, intelligent automation, powered by AI and machine learning, is poised to become a complete game-changer. The challenge lies in an organization’s ability to effectively implement it. By following the five tips listed above, you can avoid the common pitfalls plaguing so many others and position your company a step ahead of the game.

The best time to start is now! Download your free 30-day trial of Ayehu NG and put the power of intelligent automation to work for you!