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A First Look at Blue Prism’s New RPA Initiatives

 

Today’s announcement from Blue Prism covers new product capabilities, new service and design support services, and a new go-to-market framework that underscores the importance of automation as a means to enable legacy organizations to compete with 'born-digital' startups. Blue Prism’s announcement is equal parts perspective, product, and process. Let’s examine each in turn.

Perspective

The perspective Blue Prism is bringing to the table today is the notion of empowering digital entrepreneurs within an organization (under the flag ‘connected RPA’) with the intent of either disruption-proofing that organization or at least enabling self-disruption as part of a deliberate strategy.

In Blue Prism’s view, this is best accomplished through a package of three organizational automation design concepts. The first is the federation of the center of excellence concept – which is not to say that existing CoEs are obsolete, but rather now serve as a lighthouse for other disciplinary CoEs within, for example, finance, production, and customer care. Pushing more organizational automation authority and responsibility outward into the organization, in Blue Prism’s view, enables legacy organizations to begin acting more like ‘born-digital’ disruptors.

The second such principle, enabled by the first, is the concept of significantly accelerating the process of moving from proof of concept to at-scale testing to enterprise deployment. Again, the company positions this as a means to emulate born-digital firms and build both proactive and reactive organizational change speed through rapid automation technology deployment.

And third, Blue Prism is emphasizing the value of peer-to-peer interaction among organizational automation executives, a plank of its strategy that is being served through the rollout of Blue Prism Community – an area in Blue Prism Digital Exchange for sharing best practices and collaborating on automation challenges.

Product

The product announcements supporting this new go-to-market perspective include a process discovery capability, which will be available on the Blue Prism website. For those readers who recall seeing Blue Prism announce a partner relationship with Celonis in September of 2018, this may come as a surprise, but the firm has every intention of maintaining that relationship; this new software offering is intended as a lighter process exploration tool with the ability to visualize and contextualize process opportunities.

Blue Prism is careful to distinguish here between process discovery – the identification of processes representing a good fit for automation – and process mining, a deeper capability offered by Celonis that includes analysis of the specific stepwise work done within those processes.

Blue Prism also announced today the availability of its London-based Blue Prism AI Research Lab and accompanying AI roadmap strategy, which focuses on three areas: understanding and ingesting data in a broader variety of formats, simplifying automation design, and improving the relationship between humans and digital workers in assisted automations.

In addition, in an effort to put its expanded product set in the hands of more organizations, Blue Prism is also going to open up access to the company’s RPA software making it easy for people to get started, learn more, and explore what’s possible with an intelligent digital workforce.

Process

Finally, the process of engaging Blue Prism is changing as well. The company has established, through its experience in deployments, that the early stages of organizational automation initiatives are critical to the long-term success of such efforts, and has staged more support services and personnel into this period in response. Far from being a rebuke of channel partner efforts, this packaged service offering will actually increase the need for delivery partner resources ‘on the ground’ to service customers’ automation capabilities.

Blue Prism’s own customer success and services organization will offer to provide Blue Prism expertise into the customer programs through a series of pre-defined interventions that complement and augment the customers’ and partners’ efforts. The offering, entitled Success Accelerator, is designed around Blue Prism’s Robotic Operating Model (ROM), the company’s design and deployment framework. The intent of this new product is accelerating and accentuating client ROI by establishing sound automation delivery principles based on lessons Blue Prism has learned in its deployment history to date.

Summary

Blue Prism’s suite of product, process and perspective announcements today underscore an emerging trend in the sector – namely, the awareness that automation offers real improvements in organizational speed and agility, two characteristics that will be important for legacy organizations to develop if they are to compete with fast, reactive, born-digital disruptive startups.

The connected RPA vision that Blue Prism has outlined highlights the evolving power of automation. It extends beyond the limits of traditional RPA, giving users a compelling automation platform which includes AI and cognitive features. Furthermore, the new roadmap, capabilities, and features being introduced today enable Blue Prism’s growing community of developers, customers, channel partners, and technology alliances.

Comments to this post:

  • The COnnected RPA concept underlies the notion of using RPA strategically. It enables transformation of large-scale processes - Record to Report, Order to Cash, Hire to Retire, Procure, to Pay, etc. This drives real business value and FTE reductions, as opposed to tactical "Co-bot" or assisted automation plays that are cute, but don't really move the needle.

    Jan 30, 2019, by Frank Pendle

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