When the Olympic Games took place in 1968, the world record for the men’s high jump hadn’t been beaten in five years. Back then, the standard approach to the jump was the straddle method, which involved jumping over the bar face down, lifting each leg over individually.
Everything changed at those Games in Mexico City. A young American named Dick Fosbury surprised everyone by curling backwards over the bar, flipping both feet over together behind him. (Fosbury didn’t know it, but a young Canadian girl named Debbie Brill had been developing the same technique, which some called the Brill Bend.)
Fosbury won gold. His method went mainstream, and less than three years later, the world record was broken using what by then was being called the Fosbury Flop. It’s since risen a further 17cm.
It’s that sometimes, a small change in one place can become a big change everywhere. You can reimagine how you do things. And over the next few pages, you’ll see how that’s true in business, too.
Capgemini’s Digital Global Enterprise Model is a simple, complete transformation platform. It brings together our deep understanding of technology and automation, our experience of running worldwide operations, and the finance insights we have gained from delivering services to leading global brands.
That was then…
In its early days, business process outsourcing (BPO) was primarily focused on labor arbitrage. It worked on a straightforward “lift & shift” basis, without much emphasis on delivering value: operations were transferred en bloc to the services provider and run under contract against the parameters of a service level agreement (SLA). There was some scope for process improvement, but not much: the focus was mainly on quantifying the operation and on offsetting responsibility for it, replacing some people with others in another location.
It has now become a recognized mechanism for delivering transformation, and Capgemini’s Global Enterprise Model (GEM) was the first stage in that evolution.
Capgemini’s aim has been not just to shift processes, but to rethink them – end-to-end, across geographies and business units, using levers of transformation and seeing how they might work together. GEM was our template for its achievement. It’s been a highly successful approach, achieving significant improvements in productivity and ROI – but the world is moving on, and so has our model.
… this is now
To help our clients keep up and even get ahead in the digital age, we have re-imagined our model to transform the future of finance.
The Digital Global Enterprise Model, or D-GEM, is a flexible, platform-based architecture. It provides a complete overview of an organization’s people, processes, technology, and governance with control points, accelerating the transition to transformed, future-proof processes.
With D-GEM, GEM’s traditional technology business lever has been extended to incorporate automation tools and enablers. This is not just one addition, one difference. The technologies to which we have access have gone through a real revolution in the last three years. The way we connect processes and people have changed. They collectively form a bigger part of the story.
D-GEM brings together 400 F&A process flows with supporting narratives and approximately 1,000 transformation recommendations, enabled by 60 tools across three F&A towers (P2P, C2C, and R2A) and 3,500 robots.
Automation is enabling us to do even more, and its tools deliver an improved customer interface and the potential to create even more value.
D-GEM is a flexible model that can be adapted to the needs of individual enterprises, whatever their sector, whatever their scale. It takes full advantage of the evolution of automation and analytics to transform every factor and function.
Seven levers – supercharged by automation
Achieving the right team structure to perform, extend and supervise activities
Optimizing people’s performance will always be important, but automation can dramatically alter both the scope and the outcome of what they do, thereby influencing the grade mix.
We see three automating forces that can ultimately create an upward trajectory of performance:
- The performance and replication of tasks
- Augmentation of managers’ ability to supervise, giving them a broader span of control. They can use technology to supervise the accuracy of people’s work
- The redistribution of knowledge of complex tasks to less experienced people at the bottom of the organizational hierarchy. By making this knowledge more accessible, lower grades can gain new skills faster than hitherto.
Give people better tools, such as Transversal, and give them early, and you’ll increase not only their value, but their sense of value. It’s good for their careers.
Optimizing the virtual configuration of the Global Delivery Network to deliver services
Every organization needs to make best use of its strengths. Traditionally, these may have resided in particular places: this location has language skills, this one has accounting expertise, this one holds deep regional business knowledge, and so on.
Technology brings virtual concepts into the mix, and blurs the boundaries. Just as servers and storage can operate as single entities even when they reside on physically distinct machines, so automation enables the creation of virtual delivery centers (VDCs), defined by need and function rather than merely by location.
At Capgemini, we have created virtual delivery models such as these to manage the automated workforce. This means that knowledge, ideas and expertise that hitherto resided in just one geography can now be brought into the cloud and can more easily be shared and applied as best practice throughout the organization.
We believe that upwards of 40% of traditional activities can be automated and conducted in the VDC. For us, the location of the future is the virtual data center.
Achieving the right mix of skills and capabilities with insight and automation
Integral to Capgemini’s Global Enterprise Model was the principle that organizations and individuals improve their performance by learning, whether through experience or via formal training initiatives. This lever addresses competencies at all levels. The advent of increased automation is that everyone now needs to develop greater technological literacy, and everyone needs to use this technology to extend their capacity to solve problems, too. The lack of such knowledge can be a barrier to progress: a study that Capgemini published earlier this year, “Reimagining Finance for the Digital Age,” reported that organizations all levels of automation experience – “novices” and “masters” alike – mentioned a lack of relevant skills internally, at levels of 30% and 27% respectively.
With the insight that automation brings, managers can better understand their team’s training needs and act to plug gaps. This demand-driven knowledge approach means not only that they can identify and address needs, but that they can also ensure people are learning well. What’s more, they can identify people who are particularly keen on learning, and begin to map career paths accordingly.
As well as changing how people acquire competencies, automation also changes the nature of the competency itself. The many different roles within an organization all stand to evolve as automation’s benefits are brought to the business. They all can grow and extend their role-specific achievements – and because they are inter-dependent, they all can enhance one another, too.
Automation carries within it the potential to fulfil the performance improvement principle and transform grades throughout the enterprise. It transforms our thinking about competency: instead of being about how you’re doing your job, it’s about how quickly you can learn to do your job. It can help to close the competency gap, by changing how we manage knowledge in the organization. That’s why, as part of Automation Drive, Capgemini created an Automation Academy and Automation Library. Their purpose is to empower managers to learn about what automation can do, and make it work for them.
Aiming to move beyond lean processing into high performance and consistent value
The aim of Capgemini’s ESOAR methodology (Eliminate, Standardize, Optimize, Automate, Robotize) has always been to re-engineer processes to drive best practice and optimize business value.
D-GEM increases the scope for ESOAR’s application, so organizations can reap further benefits from their investment. Whereas before, they could aspire to best possible process performance, now they can look further afield, extending process discipline to deliver at scale and in new ways.
For instance, how can we refocus the resources we’ve liberated and apply them to entirely new areas? Let’s say financial recording is now running sweetly and is less demanding: does that mean we can now add value by enhancing reporting processes with the time and budget we’re saving?
Establishing an automation-first approach to deliver productivity gains of up to 40–60%
Automation represents an evolution not just of the technology lever. It makes a transformative difference to the performance of all the others. It’s the means by which the “Five Senses of Intelligent Automation” can be realized (see ‘How to make a change – and unlock value’).
Automation uses best of breed technologies to create platforms rather than a single ERP. We map its technologies to the human senses to help us reimagine how each of these technologies can change the way we work. These technologies have within them sophisticated AI techniques that enable the bot to work intelligently. When all these senses are connected to knowledge and are integrated, a fully artificially intelligent platform can be achieved.
D-GEM is informed by our Group Automation Drive, and matches all the relevant technologies to where they can make best make a difference to an organization and its processes.
In short, D-GEM can help the CFO get a head start in setting out on the automation-led transformation journey.
Automation is set to be the Fosbury Flop or the Brill Bend of the enterprise: changing one thing can change everything.
Steering the ability of pricing to drive behavior and effect transformation
It’s long been the case that pricing can shape business models. For example, low-budget airlines have changed customers’ expectations about the levels of service they’ll receive and the size of bags they can carry.
Automation enables us to calibrate services better. It can not only improve outcomes but the very business model that gives rise to them. For example, an enterprise that regularly buys in certain products or processes can choose to standardize around its best available options, and to run the procurement process that oversees these purchases on an as-a-service basis. But there will always be exceptions – occasions when the default volume option is not applicable – and the pricing model needs to be sufficiently flexible to accommodate such instances. Automation can make it easier to identify and handle such exceptions.
With D-GEM, pricing is increasingly driven by value and less by cost alone.
Driving transformation, aligning accountability and expectations, and demonstrating delivery
Traditionally, service reporting was binary. It consisted of answering yes or no to the question of whether expectations had been met.
Capgemini’s GEM extended the scope. It aimed to ensure that organizations could be certain they were achieving efficiency, effectiveness, control and value.
D-GEM takes this a stage further still. It reflects in addition on adoption and customer perception of the service, and also looks to leverage Big Data analytics to understand where more value can be created for the enterprise.
Technology can provide a much richer expectation of what transformation can deliver, and how it can be measured and tracked.
Once again, D-GEM’s ability to automate increases value and creates new opportunities.
How to make a change – and unlock value
Reimagine the future with the “Five Senses of Intelligent Automation”
Learn more about the “Five Senses of Intelligent Automation.”
Re-engineer processes using ESOAR methodology
Capgemini’s ESOAR methodology assesses and addresses the gap between intelligent automation and organizations’ current situations, re-engineering processes to drive best practice and business value:
Employ the Digital Global Enterprise Model (D-GEM)
Review and harness the impact of automation on processes, places, people and operations:
D-GEM can deliver:
- Productivity gains of up to 40–60% upfront, depending on speed of adoption.
- Paperless core business processes that connect silos and enable the processing of multiple inputs at reduced cost.
- Straight-through processing and touchless business administration with continuous access to reliable data and information.
- Alignment of business processes for better outcomes and improved visibility of corporate performance.
- Automated libraries to easily gather, store, and use knowledge to determine what happened last time and what the best next actions should be.
This paper opened with Dick Fosbury and Debbie Brill. When they each started trying something new, neither of them could have known they’d be changing their sport for decades to come.
Similarly, the change that automation represents can have profound effects not just on the development of technology in an organization, but on every other business driver. A single change of approach can have consequences that extend far beyond immediate circumstances. Processes, places, people, and operations can be transformed. Efficiencies can be achieved, both locally and at scale. Insights can be gained, enterprise-wide, and used to shape strategy. Value can be created and increased, to levels that even in recent years may have been hard to imagine.
Traditionally back-office finance systems were expensive and clunky. Reconfiguring them was hard, entailing a huge rollout.
The Digital Global Enterprise Model changes all this. In the past, major changes were imposed – they were done to people. Now, the automation integral to D-GEM means that change is something that is done both with us and for us. Its aim is no less than a metamorphosis of the businesses to which it is applied, in a digital world facing a fast-changing future.
D-GEM. Change the way you look at one thing. Change everything.
About the author:
Carole Murphy leads Capgemini’s Finance Powered by Intelligent Automation Practice, and is responsible for developing and delivering transformational solutions for our clients. Drawing on over 20 years of experience across operations, consulting, and transformation, Carole helps large global organizations achieve their business objectives and operational excellence through BPO-led transformation and alignment of Capgemini’s Business Services and Group assets to deliver efficiency, value, and improved control in their operations.