April 26th, 2013
Business Standard is reporting Barclays’ CEO, Antony Jenkins, telling investors that robotic automation, inspired by Japanese car manufacturing, could eliminate 30% of their workforce (40,000 employees) over the next ten years.
Controversial in many ways, but my personal opinion, as a bank customer (both personal and business), is that banks should be much more efficient and charge me less, whilst freeing up capital for investment in economic growth.
April 22nd, 2013
Blue Prism is participating in a webinar from leading sourcing analyst, Horses for Sources. We would be delighted if you could join us Thursday 25th April at 15.30pm UK time for “A Tour of Robotistan”. The registration link is as follows:
Definition of Robotic Automation (RA)
Business processes best suited to RA
How RA enables business process analysts to do software development
Enterprise end-user case study: Telefónica
BPO services provider case study: GenFour
How RA can help BPO providers win new business and improve retention
How RA shifts BPO providers’ focus from labor arbitrage to innovation
Robotic Automation demo
Audience Q & A
March 8th, 2013
Interesting piece from NS Ramnath in which he argues that, despite early warnings, large corporates can get complacent about innovation, allowing new ideas like software robotics to threaten their established business model.
You can read the article on the Forbes India website.
February 26th, 2013
Another balanced opinion piece on robotics across industry sectors, this time from Barry Matthews at UK sourcing consultants, source.co.uk.
Barry argues that it is unclear, so far, whether the rise of robots will have a positive or negative effect on humans but is certain that it will be “transformational”.
February 18th, 2013
There is a strong argument that globally, automation increases wealth and creates jobs. Even those that refute this, surely have to admit that automation can reduce offshoring and create jobs in the UK and US. In the case of services industries, this means the BPO sector, and specifically the part of the BPO market that has used “labour arbitrage” to move work to lower wage destinations such as India and The Philippines, for example.
The impact of automation, and particularly robotics is raging around the world at the moment. In addition to coverage in the NYT and The Economist, British Computer Weekly is also joining the debate with this – Will software robots really decrease offshoring and increase UK jobs?
February 11th, 2013
The history of this blog is littered with commentary trying to analyse why Business Operations come from Venus and IT comes from Mars.
If you work in IT, take a quick read of this article, published by an outsourcing analyst (Horses for Sources). Although intended to be aimed at the geeks and suppliers of the sourcing industry, it is also a lesson to internal IT colleagues in how Business Ops thinks, and why IT should focus on using technology to achieve business outcomes, not try to sell the technologies themselves.
You can find the article here: Sourcing no-no’s for 2013.
February 1st, 2013
I gave a speech at Intellect’s Automate Britain launch on 30 Jan. Here is the transcript.
My name is Alastair Bathgate. I come from a process improvement background. This is me in 1985; in charge of Time and Motion at an NGA and SOGAT82 unionised print factory. (If you want to learn about labour relations in the context of industry automation, take a TARDIS back to the post Eddy Shah 1980s printing industry.)
Having spent so much time stressing over minute improvements in manufacturing, a career move to a bank drew a stark contrast in the apparently relaxed attitude to process efficiency and product quality. I remember an article in the internal staff magazine where a team leader was trumpeting the significant increase in productivity created by the installation of a brand new mainframe terminal, the cost justification for which had taken several accountancy man years and the IT lead time approximately 6 months. The year? 1988. It was the second ever piece of end user computer equipment installed in the 200 FTE savings administration department at Bradford & Bingley. I worked in a fledgling O & M department.
Today, I am CEO of Blue Prism, a British software company pioneering software robotics for the back office. I founded Blue Prism to address the frustration operational managers have in making simple process improvements and the observation that the only way to address the problems was to employ staff…somewhere in the world.
I thought it would be good to start with a little history of robots in manufacturing.
Read the rest of this entry »
January 31st, 2013
Little fun story from a customer: A global fund manager. The automation team were up against time deadlines (no pun intended) to automate a “Deceased Notifications” process, on behalf of the UK Legals team. It was delivered bang on time, putting it live in mid January. So impressed and grateful were the ladies in the legal department after the first week of operation that one of them made this cake.
January 28th, 2013
Last week’s Economist ran an Outsourcing and Offshoring Special Report which contained an article titled Rise of the Software Machines. Mentioned alongside Blue Prism was IPSoft which caught my eye because complementary to Blue Prism’s back office focus, they are creating front office robots, that actually speak to customers. And more than that, they use autonomics to learn how to communicate in context. The website is worth a read, especially if you are a mathematics geek.
November 29th, 2012
Another interesting post on robotic automation versus offshoring from Ann All at Global Delivery Report. In addition to quality coverage, it does possibly, ahem, position Ann within a certain generation (indeed, my own). Do you remember the Jetsons? Bet you can’t remember the name of the robot maid – Ann has the answer to that too.