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How Robotic Process Automation is Innovating the Insurance Industry

How Robotic Process Automation is Innovating the Insurance IndustryThe insurance industry has always been one in which growth, profitability and competitive advantage have been significant challenges. This is becoming increasingly true as we steamroll full speed into the digital age. Today’s tech savvy consumers are changing the way they interact with insurance companies, trading traditional agent-based service for a more modern, real-time, virtual experience. Robotic process automation provides the ideal solution for this need.

To demonstrate this, let’s consider the following real-world scenario. A consumer in need of auto coverage goes on his or her mobile device and does some comparison shopping of various insurance companies and plans. Once the choices have been narrowed down, this consumer will then request a quote from each company. From there he or she will accept the most favorable quote/policy and complete the transaction with a purchase.

This may seem simple and straightforward to the consumer, but in reality it requires a complex workflow which involves generating a quote and then underwriting and issuing the policy. That workflow must execute seamlessly in order for the customer to be satisfied. What’s more, all of this must be handled instantly, electronically and without human intervention. Furthermore, if the customer isn’t brand new, there may also be the issue of bridging legacy systems.

In the past, such a scenario would be quite challenging for even a well-known, established insurance company.

Enter RPA. Robotic process automation can effectively link systems and relevant data, solving the issue of integrating existing legacy platforms. This greatly improves efficiency while also addressing the need to manage costs. Companies don’t have to worry about implementing an entirely new system in order to remain competitive. From the consumer’s perspective, the entire process of purchasing an underwritten policy is quick and seamless, thanks to behind-the-scenes automation. Even the billing set up can be handled by the RPA tool.

For the insurance industry as a whole, robotic process automation can provide more overarching and widespread benefits. Greater innovation will lead to better service, which creates a healthier, more competitive environment for all the players in the market today. With RPA, time-to-market will also be decreased, which will ultimately result in lower expenses overall.

The insurance industry has always been one wrought with a number of intrinsic challenges. Those challenges have only increased in the digital age. Robotic process automation can offer all the answers to these issues and will continue to revolutionize the field as new situations and needs arise down the road.

Could your insurance agency benefit from robotic process automation? Download your free 30 day trial to find out today!


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*This post inspired by UiPath.

Leveraging Robotic Process Automation to Attract, Retain and Motivate Your Staff

Getting a Leg Up on the Competition with Robotic Process AutomationLike it or not, most jobs include a number of tasks that are repetitive, mundane and not very enjoyable. In years past, these tasks were a necessary evil, but today – thanks to the more widespread adoption of robotic process automation technology – these menial day-to-day functions are being eliminated. As a result, companies that have embraced and implemented RPA are finding that it’s giving them a competitive advantage, particularly in terms of attracting and retaining top talent.

Firstly, by taking away the need for human workers to conduct mundane tasks, you free them up to focus on things that they find interesting and engaging. For instance, some of your employees might prefer interacting with customers or applying their problem solving skills to resolve important business issues. With robotic process automation handling the busy work, those team members can focus on what they’re passionate about. This drives morale levels up and naturally improves productivity.

Another way RPA can bolster HR efforts is a reduction in sick time. While it’s normal to expect employees to take time off when they’re not feeling well, in some organizations, these numbers are higher due in large part to the nature of the work being performed. Being on duty for longer hours and/or having to meet increasing demands to produce a greater output can easily lead to a rise in employee illness and burnout. Robotic process automation removes this barrier.

There is also a significant cost savings to the business itself when the need for overtime and hiring temporary employees is eliminated. As a result, the monies that would have been earmarked for these expenses can then be put toward hiring and engaging highly skilled personnel. Being able to pay competitive rates can further help a business attract the type of employees that will further improve performance and growth.

The technology behind robotic process automation can often be enough of a selling point for a potential candidate for employment. With the Millennial generation poised to take over the workforce over the next several years, tech-savvy applicants will be looking for prospective employers that can offer them the best working environment. RPA can be the differentiator that makes one organization stand out amongst the rest.

Finally, as a result of all of these benefits, employees that are more satisfied and engaged thanks to robotic process automation will tend to be happier and perform better overall. This can naturally lead to improved service levels, both internally as well as externally with customers.

Are you doing enough to attract, retain and engage highly talented individuals to your company?

Could robotic process automation give you better results?

Check out these ten tasks you can start automating today and then download your free 30 day trial to get started.





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5 Tips for Choosing the Right Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Product

You may already be aware of the many benefits robotic process automation can have for businesses, both large and small and across any number of industries. Figuring out which product is right for your particular company is a whole different ballgame. To help you make a more informed decision and ensure that you end up with the RPA product that best suits your needs, here are 5 things to keep in mind.

1. Ease of Use

First and foremost, you want a robotic process automation product that will be easy and efficient for your employees to use it. Otherwise, you’re defeating the purpose of implementing RPA in the first place. Look for a software provider that has experience in the RPA realm and offers either a demo and/or free trial period.

2. Core Developer Capabilities

A good RPA product essentially runs complex codes behind the scenes. That product should provide back-end developers with the following core competencies:

  • Ability to integrate seamlessly with other major software platforms
  • Out-of-the-box functionality
  • Extensive range of supported inputs and outputs (i.e. email, text, xls files, etc.)
  • Software provider support

3. Scalability

One of the key benefits of robotic process automation is the ability it provides an organization to effectively adapt to the changing needs of their workforce on a whim. To that end, you should look for a product that has the capability to scale up when demand calls for increased output and back down again as those needs wane.

4. Analytics

Another advantage of a good RPA product is the ability to collect, organize and analyze workflow metrics to identify areas where improvements can and should be implemented. This essentially allows an organization to truly optimize operational efficiency.

5. Multi-Faceted

Finally, a quality robotic process automation product should be functional on both the end-user side as well as the technical side. As an organization, you may decide that one of these two areas is more important than the other and adapt your evaluation accordingly, but both sides should always be part of the selection process.

Ultimately, your decision as to which robotic process automation product is right for you will also depend on many specific circumstances that may be unique to your business. The five criteria above, however, should at least provide you with a starting point from which to build.

Want to learn more about robotic process automation and how you can put it to use in your organization? Click here or download your free trial today to get started.

IT Process Automation Survival Guide




4 Common Challenges with Robotic Process Automation Outsourcing

4 Common Challenges with Robotic Process Automation OutsourcingRobotic process automation is one of the biggest advances benefiting businesses today. The ability to shift a large number of tasks to technology as well as scale up or down instantly based on need is helping companies of every size become more efficient and subsequently more competitive. The problem is, when you choose to have this handled anywhere other than in-house, things don’t always go as smoothly as anticipated. If you’re thinking of outsourcing RPA for your firm, here are 4 common challenges other companies have faced so you can prepare for them ahead of time.

Time-frames and Red Tape

Inevitably, if you are going to rely on an external resource for your robotic process automation, there will be plenty of contracts, legalities and other red tape to deal with. There is also a longer time frame for getting up and running because the process almost always involves competitive bidding, provider evaluations, negotiations and then the actual implementation.

In-house robotic process automation, on the other hand, does not come with nearly as many burdens. Additionally, because it is built upon a much deeper knowledge of the business in question and can be tested and improved over time, the results are typically much more favorable.

Technological Limitations

Because outsourced RPA requires providers to offer a robust, enterprise-level global solution that can scale to support the highest capacities, the robotic software technologies these providers rely on may be somewhat limited. This isn’t to imply that the offering is a one-size-fits-all approach, but rather that there aren’t nearly as many options to choose from as there are emerging technologies.

Handling robotic process automation internally provides a greater degree of flexibility and the luxury of choosing from a wider pool of platforms based more on what your business needs are and which product has the best features for meeting those needs.

Roles, Responsibilities and Job Security

When an organization chooses to outsource RPA, the resulting shift in the roles and responsibilities of existing IT personnel can be quite disruptive. Many day to day tasks will no longer be handled in-house, and without adequate work to go around, downsizing will likely be a necessity. This can lead to an overall dip in morale across the entire organization, which is never good for business.

Conducting robotic process automation in-house, on the other hand, creates a completely different dynamic in the workforce. While efficiency levels will go up, operating costs will drop dramatically. Those employees who were once responsible for the tasks that are now automated will still be valuable to the company, it’s just that their roles will evolve. Furthermore, they will be freed up to take on more challenging work while the costs associated with keeping everyone on board remain constant or may even come down.

Governance/Compliance

Since outsourced automation means that human processes and activities will be reduced, the benefits to the business will naturally be more outcome-based rather than focusing on full-time equivalent (FTE). As a result, the delivery model will need to be closely reliant on customer business processes. This can complicate the internal governance process because any unanticipated changes could potentially impact automated workflows.

Because of this, workflow governance and compliance structures must be designed to incorporate complete transparency of any and all business process changes. Without an adequate plan in place ahead of time, a potential disruption could cause significant problems for the business as a whole. These challenges are mitigated when robotic process automation is handled in-house.

If you have questions about whether handling robotic process automation within your organization might make more sense than outsourcing, we’d be happy to discuss your specific needs. Contact us today!





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Surprising Benefits of Robotic Process Automation: Scalability

Surprising Benefits of Robotic Process Automation ScalabilityImagine how much your company could accomplish if you had a veritable army of employees at your disposal. More importantly, what if these employees were perfectly happy waiting in the background for the next time you needed them? Believe it or not, that’s precisely what you’ll get with robotic process automation. Let’s take a look at the surprising way RPA can provide your business with the scalability you need to stay on top of your game.

Instant Access

With human workers, it’s not feasible to dramatically increase your workforce whenever the need arises, nor is it easy to decrease your numbers when things get slow. There’s a complicated process behind all of this and time is not on your side. With robotic process automation, however, you have a team of robots who are ready, willing and able to get the job done at any given moment.

Consistency

Bringing different employees up to speed via on-boarding and training can be challenging and time-consuming. Not to mention the fact that you have to initiate the entire process over again every time someone new joins the team. Robots, on the other hand, can be “trained” in groups of any size with the outcome being routine and perfect consistency across the board.

Cost Savings

Recruiting, hiring, training and retaining talented employees costs money. In addition to robotic process automation providing the ability to scale up or scale down instantly as well as train and deploy thousands of bots while maintaining complete consistency, all of this can be done at a reduced cost to the business.

Now, let’s take a look at a few real-world applications of these benefits.

Scenario 1

Your business is launching a new product and, as a result, will incur a substantial increase in transactions. Your current workforce is already maxed out and you don’t have the time or the ability to hire any additional employees. Robotic process automation can step in and bridge the gap, handling the influx of work at any capacity necessary without the major hassle and expense of staffing. Then, once things settle down, you can scale back down to normal as needed.

Scenario 2

Business has been particularly lucrative as of late and you’ve had to increase output significantly to meet the increased demands of your customers. Suddenly, the market takes a turn for the worse and your numbers start to rapidly decline. With robotic process automation in place, you won’t have to face the possibility of laying employees off. Rather, you could just scale back the number of robots.

Scenario 3

One of your biggest competitors has launched a new product or service and you’re scrambling to develop and implement something similar. Chances are you can’t afford to hire a slew of new employees to help bring your comparable product or service to market and doing so would take too long. Conversely, putting too much pressure on existing team members could result in costly mistakes and QA issues. RPA, on the other hand, is available at the ready to take on whatever is necessary for you to remain competitive.

Without question, robotic process automation has the potential to bring your business to the next level. Are you ready? Give us a call today or download your free 30 trial now to get started.





IT Process Automation Survival Guide




Four Industries that Robotic Process Automation is a Perfect Fit for

Robotic Process Automation is a perfect fitAs the concept of robotic process automation becomes better understood and more widely embraced, it will inevitably end up in just about every industry. For now, however, there are still certain fields for which RPA is ideal. Here are four such industries that we believe will ultimately revolution the way work is done through automation.

Banking/Finance

Banks and other financial institutions are already leveraging automation to handle many of their day to day functions, but given the ability of robotic process automation to integrate and bridge legacy systems, its adoption will only continue to rise. Not only can RPA make the lives of database administrators much easier, but it can dramatically cut costs at the same time by reducing and/or eliminating the need for human input in a growing number of functions.

Legal

If there was ever an industry that relied heavily on record keeping, legal would be at the top of the list. For this reason, robotic process automation is poised to make a huge impact. And while implementing RPA may be a bit more of an undertaking for the legal system, the outcome will be well worth it. Imagine using technology to sort through mountains of documentation in mere seconds as opposed to having a human worker handle such a time-consuming and labor-intensive task. Not to mention the enhanced analytics ability.

Insurance

Another awesome benefit of robotic process automation is its ability to maximize efficiency in fields that have an extremely high volume of transactions. This is why the insurance industry is such a great fit for RPA. Not only can automation revolutionize the claims process, but it can also save a good deal of money because of its scalability. As needs fluctuate, RPA can adapt instantaneously.

Utilities

Another transaction-heavy industry is that of utilities. Electric, gas and water companies can leverage RPA to automate a wide variety of routine tasks, from billing and debt recovery to meter-readings and even customer service. Additionally, instead of humans having to handle time-consuming duties like trouble-shooting failed readings, robotic process automation can tackle the majority of the work, drastically improving productivity.

Of course, these are just a few of the many industries that can use robotic process automation to maximize performance, streamline operations and cut costs. Could your company be next? Download your free trial today.




IT Process Automation Survival Guide




4 Common Pitfalls to Avoid When Implementing Robotic Process Automation

automated robot journalismThere are a great number of benefits to be realized by the adoption of robotic process automation, also called RPA for short. For instance, leveraging automation can boost productivity, lower operating costs, improve service levels and significantly reduce error rates. That being said, because this technology is relatively new, there are certain pitfalls that IT professionals should be aware of so they can avoid any negative impact on the department and company as a whole. Let’s examine 4 of these common drawbacks.

Lack of a Mature Strategy

Understanding the need for and benefits of automation isn’t enough to successfully implement a tool like robotic process automation. If you are considering adopting RPA, it’s critical that a detailed strategy be developed well in advance of doing so. What tasks, processes and workflows will be turned over to technology and how will that roll-out work? Planning ahead can help avoid potential bumps in the road, making for a much smoother implementation.

Lack of Adequate Governance

One of the greatest things about robotic process automation is that it never deviates from its course, which is why RPA is credited with lowering and/or eliminating error rates. The problem is, when and if any part of a particular process is changed, unless it’s properly communicated, documented and applied, the RPA will inevitably fail. This is why a strong governance framework must be in place.

Overly Optimistic Approach

While the newer robotic process automation products are certainly being designed to be as user-friendly as possible, it’s important to remember that there will still be a learning curve and that software is innately inhuman. That means that unless it is properly programmed, it will not necessarily work without issue right out of the gate. Keep a more conservative perspective and you will be prepared to handle any glitches that may occur.

Not Defining New Roles

As tasks and workflows are transitioned to automation, the roles of employees will inevitably change as well. Remember, RPA isn’t meant to replace human workers, but make their jobs easier. Still, many of the duties that were once handled by people will no longer exist as part of the day to day activities. As this shift occurs, be prepared to adapt and transition employees into new roles within the company.

Robotic process automation stands to take the IT world by storm. As its adoption becomes more widespread, however, it’s imperative that those in charge of its implementation understand the potential pitfalls ahead of time. This will provide for a much more successful roll-out and help make the transition to RPA easier to manage across the entire business structure.

Curious about how robotic process automation works and whether it would be a good fit for your business? Click here to learn more or download your free trial today to get started.





IT Process Automation Survival Guide




Getting a Leg Up on the Competition with Robotic Process Automation

Getting a Leg Up on the Competition with Robotic Process AutomationIn today’s increasingly competitive world, businesses simply must find a way to remain a step ahead of others within their industry. One of the best ways to accomplish this goal is by employing robotic process automation (RPA). Here are just a few of the reasons why, as well as some best practices for overcoming obstacles and achieving widespread adoption.

Benefits of Robotic Process Automation

What is it about robotic process automation that can drive the ongoing success and future growth of a business? Well, for one thing, it helps maximize productivity. When all cylinders are firing, the output of the business is at its highest level. This naturally leads to improved customer experience, both internally and externally. The greater your service levels, the better your company will fare against the competition. It’s sort of like a snowball effect. One or two minor benefits lead to several much more impactful ones.

Common Roadblocks to Robotic Process Automation

Of course, a business cannot achieve the above benefits unless and until they’ve successfully deployed robotic software. The problem is, there are still a number of common objections that can make this task challenging. The following roadblocks must be addressed and overcome in order to move forward in a positive direction.

Lack of Operational Knowledge – It would seem straightforward that IT management would recognize certain workflows and processes that can and should be turned over to robotic process automation, however, it’s not always that simple. The truth is many in leadership roles do not fully understand the day to day tasks their workers are responsible for; therefore they fail to see the urgent need for automation.

Poor Publicity – Let’s face it, robotics have gotten a bad rap in the media. Many people still view automation as a threat to human jobs and therefore are resistant to its adoption. When key decision makers are among those with such an opinion, obtaining buy-in can be an uphill battle.

False Idea of Complexity – Sure RPA is complex. In fact, the right tool should be robust and sophisticated enough to handle a wide range of tasks and workflows. At the same time, for the actual end-user, it’s not nearly as complicated as it may seem. Getting the powers-that-be to understand this can be challenging.

Overcoming These Hurdles

While each organization may experience these challenges to differing degrees, one thing remains constant. Those businesses who have successfully implemented robotic process automation have done so by applying certain best practices, which can and should be duplicated by other companies facing similar obstacles. Here are a few key areas on which to focus when attempting to obtain faster adoption of RPA:

Response to Budgetary Woes – Businesses in every industry are under increasing pressure to “do more with less”. RPA can help achieve this goal, saving money while simultaneously improving efficiency, boosting productivity and streamlining operations. Demonstrate this to those in charge and you’re sure to garner some attention.

Addressing Urgent Pain Points – What areas are truly causing costly headaches and bottlenecks within the organization? Can RPA be applied to these areas to achieve a different (better) outcome? Identifying the most impactful and urgent pain points and positioning automation as a solution can help gain better traction.

A Champion of the Cause – Having at least one influential leader on board with the concept of adopting robotic process automation can significantly improve the chances of success. If need be, apply the two best practices above to gain buy-in from one or more key individuals and you’ll soon have an army of backers pushing forward for your cause.

These days, making it in any industry requires the strategic ability to stay one step ahead of the competition. Without question, robotic process automation is one of the most effective tools for achieving this lofty goal. By knowing what the common objections to RPA are and having a clear-cut plan in place to effectively address and eliminate these obstacles ahead of time, you’re sure to position your organization for optimum success.

Ready to get started? Check out these 10 daily tasks that can easily be automated to save you time and then download your free trial to begin leveraging the power of RPA for your business.





eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate




How Robotic Process Automation Reduces Business and IT Costs

Why Automation is a Must-Have for IT Operations TeamsIn order to stay ahead of the competition and realize continued success, regardless of industry, businesses are under increased pressure to continue to find ways to reduce costs as much as possible. Robotic process automation provides the ideal solution while also improving productivity and efficiency, which can ultimately lead to higher profits over time. Here’s how.

First, let’s consider the actual concept behind robotic process automation, sometimes called RPA for short. This is essentially the term given to technology which involves the use of software to perform certain business processes and functions, typically in the IT realm. The more sophisticated the RPA platform, the more high-volume workflows it can perform, thereby making it all the more impactful to both the IT department as well as the business as a whole.

Robotic process automation is poised to make a significant and lasting impact on the business world, particularly because it will reduce the need to outsource work. While outsourcing was once considered the most effective way to manage costs while still producing a high-level output, RPA will make this practice all but obsolete soon enough. That’s because it’s even more practical. Rather than having to pay outside workers, all tasks can be moved back in-house and handled electronically. Subsequently, this reduces errors and enhances security. It also allows for better scalability.

In terms of actual savings, robotic process automation has been proven to cut business process costs by anywhere from 25% to 40% on average. In the IT field, RPA can bring about a savings of as much as 40-55%. That’s because the efficiency and productivity of three software robots can take the place of one full-time employee. Eventually, as more decision makers begin to recognize the benefit of and embrace RPA, this 3:1 ratio will continue to improve, as will the benefits and cost savings.

The ultimate adoption and growth of robotic process automation will require a more wide-spread shift in mindset amongst key decision makers. Rather than viewing business growth in terms of full-time human workers, the view will need to change to growth by transactions and customer experiences. For some organizations that have already made this evolution, the sky is the limit. One major commercial bank that began using automation for the 5,000 databases it supports realized a 60% cost savings within just 6 months.

As we move forward, it’s becoming more and more evident that RPA will have a significant and permanent impact on the way businesses are run. Your organization can remain ahead of the curve and positioned for future savings and success by embracing automation sooner rather than later. To get started, check out these 10 things you can and should be automating and then download your free trial to get the ball rolling.





eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate




Is Removing Humans from IT Using Robotic Process Automation Really a Possibility?

robotIn previous articles, we’ve talked a lot about the fact that automation isn’t something that humans should fear, but rather something that they should embrace. That it is something that will not replace humans, but rather make their jobs easier and more efficient. But is there really a possibility that Robotic Process Automation (RPA) will one day completely replace people in IT? And if so, is this an opportunity to embrace or something to fight against? Let’s consider it for a moment.

In one respect, allowing Robotic Process Automation to handle tasks that humans were previously in charge of is actually a huge opportunity for business, and for many reasons. First, it can drastically reduce the risk of costly errors. People inherently make mistakes – especially when their jobs involve repetitive manual tasks. One simple error can cause huge ripple effects across the entire organization and even result in lost revenue. Shifting to Robotic Process Automation for these tasks can eliminate this danger.

Replacing human work with automation can also help to improve efficiency. For example, IT Process Automation can take away the need for manual script writing and replace it with complex automated workflows that perform the required tasks faster than any human worker could. Additionally, self-service options eliminate the need for IT personnel to step in and perform routine tasks, such as password resets and system restarts.

So, does this mean that humans are slowly being eliminated from the workforce? Will automated machines – essentially robots – replace people as we move into the next generation of business? Well, yes and no. The fact is, Robotic Process Automation does present a huge opportunity for companies to save money, improve efficiency and output, reduce errors and much more.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re headed toward a nameless, faceless workplace that is filled with computers rather than people. Why? Because, in most cases the tasks that are being automated were meant to be automated. Back when corporations hired people to slave tirelessly, doing the same thing, day in and day out, where no thinking was necessary, there was no alternative. Now, with Robotic Process Automation, there is.

So yes, automation will replace many functions that were previously managed by humans – the functions for which computers and software are better suited. What this means for people is not that they will become a relic of the past, but rather that they will be freed up to focus on more important matters – matters for which human input is necessary.

While Robotic Process Automation will most certainly become a key component of ongoing success, the fact is, businesses will always need human collaboration, communication and innovation and these things cannot be replicated by computer programs and technology. For that reason, we foresee a future where IT Process Automation complements and supports human endeavors, but does not replace them. And from where we stand, that future looks bright for everyone.




IT Process Automation Survival Guide