The Director (Enterprise Applications) of an Indian media giant opens up on their journey of evaluation and implementation of RPA in their organization. Here are the excerpts:

How and When did you feel the need for RPA in your organization?

CIO had a technical background and had been exposed to concepts of RPA. Also, most CIO conferences have been talking about automation in the last couple of years. So exposure was available. I have been spearheading the RPA journey in the organization too. There was a feeling in the top management that Digital transformation was going to happen only through RPA.

What drivers brought RPA into the forefront?

The organization was in a growth mode all along. However, with global concerns of slower growth and also a need to be more cost-efficient, RPA came into focus. Speed, accuracy and reducing cost were seen as the drivers to dig deeper into RPA.

What was your journey to select an RPA product?

We had many service partners who were working with multiple automation products. However, we wanted to evaluate and shortlist products that fit our needs. Hence we started with an initial evaluation of the different products for automation.  Blue Prism, Automation Anywhere, UiPath and a startup automation product were in the shortlist.

We looked at whether the product had an India presence and focus, availability of talent, the effort involved in learning the tool, whether we could enable business team members to automate their work and ROI.

We identified a PoC use case and shared with multiple products. And, we were most impressed by UiPath during the PoC. More importantly, our VP of finance (who gave us the PoC use case) felt that his team could learn and build their bots themselves.

How did you go about “productionizing” RPA?

It took us time to justify the investments – we had to consider recurring investments, aspects of maintenance and management as well. We did multiple rounds of discussions on identifying the model of implementation and the best way to reach our ROI.

Based on these discussions, we decided to roll out UiPath and only attended bots initially. We realized that the counter starts ticking from Day 1. Hence we had identified quite a few use cases and kept everything ready even before we signed off on the licenses. This ensured that we could get started and showcase value quickly. We had a mixed team of in-house business team and UiPath engineers in building the bots.

What were some challenges that you faced during the journey?

Sentiment around automation was definitely a challenge – until people saw that they were making their own lives easier. Also translating processes from someones practice/memory into rules that can be automated was a challenge. Thankfully we did have some of our business folks building the bots – so we could move things a little faster

What would you sum up this journey as?

How we launch RPA is a lot more important than what we launch. It’s a team effort that requires blessings from top-down for it to succeed.

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