Digital Workforce Robotic Process Automation and SAP
September 3, 2019
By Oscar Perez
How are companies leveraging Artificial Intelligence (“AI”)? Big data and other technologies are making Artificial Intelligence a reality that is affordable. There are estimates that Artificial Intelligence will increase the global economy by trillions of dollars in the next ten years. How do you approach AI projects? What is the return on investment? What is the most efficient approach? What are the best applications to leverage Artificial Intelligence? Successful AI implementations require central multi-disciplinary functional business and technical teams. Teams that focus on the business priorities that generate the highest return on investment. Once implemented, AI facilitates business decision making. Analysts will be able to get guidance from the AI solutions or corroborate the analysis.
The development of Artificial Intelligence solutions needs to be iterative using feedback from the business users to improve future versions. In such cases, development is done in several months, not years. We have seen AI Fraud Management solutions delivering returns in months. Besides using cross functional teams to implement AI, a harmonious and integrated data management/architecture and platform is another key to success. Data management is the foundation and source for the Artificial Intelligence solution. The best approach is to harmonize the data and then launch the AI initiative.
Robotic Process Automation (“RPA”) is the natural evolution of SAP systems. Years ago, SAP systems brought standards, governance and Business Processes to corporations. Today, the opportunity is to automate your core SAP back-office processes. We bring together knowledge of Business Process Re-Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and RPA technologies. RPA allows companies to automate repetitive manual SAP processes done by business users. It enables companies to eliminate potential user errors and to reduce cost. The benefits delivered by RPA solutions are:
- Improve business throughput and output while reducing overall cost
- Improve accuracy
- Enhance governance, controls and compliance
- 100% availability, ready to work and scalable RPA Digital Workforce
- RPA Digital Workforce does not require supervision
RPA is an area where Big Data and Artificial Intelligence Solutions can be leveraged. RPA solutions automate manual repetitive processes using business rules and AI. Automating repetitive manual processes is saving companies millions of dollars. The following business process can be automated using RPA:
- Human Capital Management (“HCM”) – Automation of Human Resources processes from recruiting, on-boarding, talent management and others
- Enhance the Customer Experience and Customer Relationship Management (“CRM”) by leveraging efficiencies of the call centers
- Digital Supply Chain – Improve material flow, reduce inventory levels, improve manufacturing levels while providing optimal product availability.
- Finance and Controlling – Improve accounts payable, use RPA to automate the creation of invoices, and financial planning processes. The repetitive tasks of accounts payables clerks using SAP can be automated. RPA can process the reconciliation, invoice, and payments. RPA can also automate three-way match of invoices, goods receipts and purchase orders.
- Automation of proof reading, legal contract review, and knowledge management – AI framework that can understand the structure and content of legal documents, (agreements, legislation, etc.). Tools used by lawyers to automate and enable legal tasks.
About the Author
Oscar Perez has over 24 years of experience in developing business strategies, leading complex business transformation projects, program project management, business case development, business process development, and solution software selection. By focusing on the automation of manual processes since the 1990s and the development of SAP BDC applications that simulated the repetitive actions of SAP business users, he has gained the invaluable experience necessary to equip the RPA bots with digital skills including the business processes and actions.
Mr. Perez has conducted project reviews for Goldman Sachs, Bain Consultants, Brown Brothers Harriman, McKinsey & Company, Norges Bank Investment Management, P. Schoenfeld Asset Management, Iconiq Capital, Greencape Capital Pty Ltd, JMI Equity, Coatue Management, The Boston Consulting Group, Altrinsic Global Advisors, LLC, Technology Crossover Ventures, La Financiere de L echiquier, Platinum Asset Management, Invesco, Guggenheim Partners and private equity firms. Mr. Perez currently serves on the Board of Directors of Credit Capital and BRACHIN LLC. He has functional expertise in SAP Leonardo, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, supply chain, SOA, SAP, CRM, RPA, procurement, corporate finance, and product marketing. Mr. Perez specializes in software selection and implementation of SAP ERP packages. Mr. Perez has appeared in publications including Computerworld, InformationWeek, and The Wall Street Journal. He is a frequent speaker at industry events and is quoted by business and trade publications.