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How Automation Projects Come to Life in Telecom

By September 09, 2020

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During this webinar, an industry expert discussed how an automation project comes to life from the initial business problem through implementation and even post-implementation maintenance. We’ve included a short transcription of the webinar, beginning at 10:00 of the webinar.

Michael Weiss, Ai4: How does an automation project come to life from the initial business problem through implementation and even post-implementation maintenance. How does this actually happen? 

Shipra Mitra, Sprint: So two things: first of all, automation projects - and I'll talk about intelligent automation projects here. I'll break it out into three phases of life. The first part is trying to understand opportunity. That itself is actually pretty complex. The reason it's complex is, you can come up with an idea. You're doing your process today and you come up with an idea two ways, either you want to make the process better or you just want to automate what you have today. What we look for for immediate solutioning is what do you have today that we can automate because we know what the process is. You don't have to reinvent the process. When people come up with thinking of changing the process and bringing automation, it becomes more difficult. This is when it comes up from ground up and come up with ideas.

However, it could be told that instead of people coming up with ideas, there is an initiative from the top saying listen guys, you have so many people I'm going to drop your budget by say 25%. So go figure out how you're going to do it. And that sometimes drives automation because that's the only way you can achieve with that budget reduction. There is no other way and that point. That's a different kind of engagement that comes in with option B where you look from the top you say, where are the most resources getting impacted.

So you start to see if you can automate those and then change them to pertain to something else. So the project of top-down versus bottom-up is very different in the automation world in how it's handled. But once that opportunity comes up, you definitely want to show value for each one of them. The value could be direct, could be indirect, could be, hours saved, could be bottom line, could be compliance. There are different aspects of value that you can show. 

Also it could be engagement, like a consistent behavior - a consumer appreciates a consistent behavior way more than inconsistent behavior or unexpected behavior. So that also brings automation to the focusing of the risk value. What you do next is during the build itself, there could be two ways of building it. If it's simple enough, the business units can do it themselves. You can do your own automation depending on what you're using, like Alteryx. You can do your own drag and drop and create an automation process for yourself to move the data or you can use some RDA tools to do that. 

But when it becomes very complex. When it becomes that there are security concerns, there is captcha involved, there are other sources that you don't have control over that you want to do, you bring in IT who kind of has these projects for you. So that's the build part. 

Then when it comes to actually maintaining and running, this is my glove. If it's an intelligent automation process, that means there needs to be a process owner. When you have a process owner, that person is responsible for the process - which means in the old days, all projects used to be IT support. 

For intelligent automation, it is actually business coming in because think of a bot as being an assistant to you, so if the bot comes up and it doesn't work properly, you should understand why as a business owner. It could be that you handle exception use cases coming in and the bots can't handle it. As a business owner, you need to know, do you want to retain the bot or do you want to manage it by people? How many exceptions are coming in? So that's why business owner engagement during the maintenance is so important for automation. 

Of course there are other things, like there could be IT changes triggered by IT. So it's a complete joint ownership when it comes to maintaining automations.


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