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Automation Drive:
Your Business — Reimagined

Welcome to our next edition of BTB. This month we examine how the new face of automation is providing opportunities that enable your organization to embark on a new journey – rethinking and reimagining the way you do business.

Capgemini’s Automation Drive brings a unified, open and dynamic suite of automation tools, services and expertise that serve your business as a continuously evolving source of innovation and value.
Lanny Cohen, Chief Technology Officer, Capgemini

Automation Drive. Machine Powered, Business Reimagined.

Reimagined automation helps businesses transfer repetitive functional and cognitive processes to machines, enabling them to achieve more in less cost.
Rethink and reimagine the way you do business. Embrace the challenges and fresh opportunities to embark on a new journey.

Capgemini’s Automation Drive brings a unified, open, and dynamic suite of automation tools, services, and expertise that serve your business as a continually evolving source of innovation and value.

VIDEO Learn how the Automation Drive’s framework, tools and IP, and services can invigorate your business
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Reimagining Business Through Automation

André Cichowlas, Head of Group Delivery, Capgemini
Learn how to combine the machine power with your business vision. Automation is a way forward to enhanced productivity, quality, and agility at a reduced cost to your business.
Machine Powered, Business Reimagined

Organizations need to navigate change by utilizing machine capabilities to orchestrate more competitive ways of working.

Automation Drive combines machine power with your business vision to deliver new ways of working, drive innovation and increase business value.

Driving Competitiveness in the Digital Revolution

Today, the amount of data exposed to organizations in the digital world is growing exponentially and at a rapidly increasing speed. In this era of constant high-speed data flow, traditional ways of working are no longer sustainable.

With automation, leading organizations are transferring repetitive functional and cognitive processes to machines, solving complex business problems at a pace and power far beyond the capabilities of human beings. To automate means to enhance productivity, quality, predictability and agility while decreasing time-to-market—at a reduced cost to your business. But automation is a journey machines cannot make alone. Capgemini helps organizations navigate change to orchestrate new and innovative ways of working to drive business growth.

Automation Drive: your business—reimagined

Automation Drive embraces the challenges and sources fresh opportunities that enable your organization to embark on a new journey, rethinking and reimagining the way you do business.

Capgemini’s Automation Drive brings a unified, open, and dynamic suite of automation tools, services, and expertise that serve your business as a continuously evolving source of innovation and value.

Three key components of the Automation Drive Suite

Automation Drive Framework

Gain unique guidance and insights into your automation strategy with an index of business impact drivers that deliver: productivity improvements, increased quality, heightened agility, and faster time to market—all linked to the full spectrum of automation technology. The Automation Drive Framework embraces the full spectrum of what automation has to offer your business, from monitoring, robotics and orchestration services, to advanced artificial intelligence and cognition, along with fully autonomous services.

Automation Drive Tools and IP

Stay agile and competitive by combining leading-edge Capgemini automation tools together with best in class partner technology, and monitor the main trends in rapidly evolving automation technologies to assess and apply the right tool to the right purpose.

Automation Drive Services

Continually enrich your business with new innovative services, and bring speed and scalability to your end-to-end value chain with analysis and strategies that are designed to fuse automation into each of your business and IT processes.

Leverage a continually evolving ecosystem of value for your business

Capgemini is at the forefront of automation technology. By utilizing the processing power of smart machines to create new ways of working, we are able to help organizations reimagine their business vision. We have a long track record of delivering automation services and solutions to forward-thinking organizations across a range of industries and regions. We know that in order to be truly successful in this new reality that the automation journey is not just about the evolution of technology, it is also about the evolution of trust. By tapping into Automation Drive Suite services and capabilities, you will find new competitive ways to make automation the growth engine that works for your business. Together we will:

  • Drive greater growth with automation as the engine
  • Drive greater efficiency and resilience with automation technology
  • Drive greater agility and responsiveness with automated decision making

Connect with our global network of experts to ensure your automation journey optimizes your processes and adds substantial business value to your operations.

Point of View by André Cichowlas – Reimagining business through automation
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Race Against The Machine – will you do what they told you?

Ron Tolido, Senior Vice President, Capgemini Group CTO Office
We are soon to see bots driving our cars, flying planes, serving us food, and doing what not…But, are we culturally and psychologically ready to entrust? Read on…
Way back in history – you know, when the PC, Internet, smartphones and Pokémon Go were still unknown – IT was simply known as “automation”.

CPU power enabled computers to process data and make calculations much faster than humans, hence certain activities were automated. This rendered the human equivalents of it obsolete, obviously to the dismay of the individuals involved. But processes changed roles and capabilities evolved and people moved on, using systems to support them in their new work activities.

The information and communication dimensions of computers became more important, access to it became democratized and business and IT alignment took central stage: Information Technology (IT) – and then Information and Communication Technology (ICT) – was born.

The information and communication dimensions of computers became more important, access to it became democratized and business and IT alignment took central stage: Information Technology (IT) – and then Information and Communication Technology (ICT) – was born.

Automation changes its focus, first of all – ironically, if you like – to optimizing, combining and replacing human activities that are carried out with systems in the first place (Robotic Process Automation, anyone?).

The Bot effect applies machine learning and cognitive capabilities to automate communicating with humans.

Leveraging a flood of data, predictive analytics, rule-based systems, and Artificial Intelligence can make thousands of automated decisions and act accordingly in a split-second, arguably with a higher success rate than humans, and obviously faster.

Bring it all together, and sooner or later completely autonomous systems will drive our cars, fly our planes, run our manufacturing plants, and essentially take care of any other task for which we assumed that human insight was crucial (including the presidency, but let’s not even go there for now, way too tempting).

The question is not really whether these highly automated systems are qualified to do their jobs. In fact, quite soon we might need to demonstrate why we would be able to still do something ourselves, for example driving a car. The real question is: will we let them do it? What if Computer Says No and we just feel it should be Yes? What if it says Leave It To Me and we don’t really trust it do it?

The success of automation in its new, ultra-smart incarnation, may yet again prove to be much more a matter of culture and psychology than applying the right technologies. Realizing that, here are a few guidelines you may want to consider in order to properly race the machine:

  1. Do It Yourself First. Assuming you are on the IT side of things, start applying automation to your own processes first. There are many areas in the IT lifecycle that utterly qualify for this, as proven by the advent of DevOps, which heavily relies on a highly automated “tool trains” to continuously build, release, run, and repeat. But also the service management dimension of IT, including helpdesk and provisioning of IT services, is an obvious candidate. Use these IT-facing initiatives as a way to become more productive and get familiar with the next generation of technologies. But even more, show your business clients first-hand how it’s done, that it its feasible, and that it delivers real results.
  2. Choose your battles. You may want to initially consider smart automation in areas that are easier to accept for humans: activities that follow relatively simple, unambiguous rules and are non-critical in terms of their business impact, for example. Then again, ultimately machine learning will prove itself most in areas that are too complex or overwhelming, or even tricky for humans; cognitive technologies may be able to deal with even the fuzziest, unclear context.
  3. Explain and engage. A crucial quality of a successful technology breakthrough is that it be properly explained to its users. When a system tells us on what metrics it has based its decision, what algorithms have been used – preferably in simple, natural language – and what confidence it has in being right (expressed through a percentage, for example), it feels more natural to transact with it. Also, providing the user with feedback mechanisms to rank the quality of the logic and improve its performance will help to create a better bond between man and machine – perhaps with the aide of machine learning. Ultimately, making the technologies applied and accessible to the business – for example through a simple but powerful self-service platform – will dramatically improve the acceptance levels.
  4. Think Augmentation. Artificial Intelligence should become Augmented Intelligence. Automation should become Augmented Automation. When technology is a seamless, natural complement to us as human beings, augmenting what we do, rather than replacing us or eating away our self-esteem, we are truly unleashing the power of the machine.

When Fan Hui, one of the world’s top Go players lost to Google’s AlphaGo system (featuring the highly advanced Tensorflow artificial intelligence platform) he felt sad that even this game – long considered the final frontier with the human mind still superior – now became to domain of machines. But by examining the sometimes otherworldly moves of AlphaGo, he started to appreciate the sheer beauty of it, learning new ways himself as well and clearly improving as a player.

It’s where automation becomes augmentation. And we realize it is no race after all.

* Thanks to Menno van Doorn for originally using the concept of “Race Against The Machine” in a presentation.

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The Future of Work

Systems that can apply rules-based work will fundamentally change the way companies recruit and train their staff, the skills people need, and how they are deployed.
For decades, even centuries, the way people work has been influenced by advances in technology. Major inventions like the Spinning Jenny, which accelerated the process of weaving, the steam train and the printing press are just a few examples of devices that created quantum leaps in productivity and communications.

The same process is happening today, but with one crucial difference: innovation is speeding up. A castle from the tenth century looks a lot like one from the eleventh, but compare a telephone from 100 years ago with the latest smartphone, and the scale of advancement becomes clear.

More recently, it took just 10 years for technologists to go from the first mass produced mobile phones, capable of storing numbers and sending text messages, to the iPhone, which incorporated a camera, internet and a constellation of apps that underpin how we work today.

Such lightning progress has triggered a paradigm shift. Experts are referring to it as a fourth industrial revolution, characterized by the principles of agility and lean business practices, and driven forward by cutting edge ideas such as machine learning, big data, and the internet of things.

But one principle stands to create more physical upheaval than even these major technological wonders—automation.

Systems that can faultlessly run through rules-based work will fundamentally change the way companies recruit and train their staff, the skills people need, and how they are deployed. It will govern decisions on location and which buildings are fit for purpose, as well as the management structure that makes decisions and carries them out.

This issue was tackled at the launch of Capgemini's Applied Innovation Exchange Lab in London, part of a global network of nine exchanges created to facilitate collaboration between start-ups, academics, and industry on key developments.

The London Exchange combines the know-how of Capgemini experts with leading partners and a community of new businesses that are collectively defining future trends. The theme of the event was the “Future of Work”, with the role of automation technology at its core.

Delegates at the event were given access to a host of interactive tools and presentations and were encouraged to share their views on the opportunities and challenges of emerging organizational structures.

Eleanor Winn, head of EMEA at SIG, is a sourcing expert advising businesses on how to get the right blend of internal and external capacity. She explains how the event helped to crystalize the challenge for decision-makers.

“The world of work is changing fast,” she explained. “Where companies are offshoring tasks, they are now considering using software. In a globalized economy, companies must be agile, but getting large groups of people to change tack can be a drawn-out process".

“Automation releases organizations from this problem, because robots do not behave like people. They don’t mind where they are located and they don’t need a tea break. There are clearly huge benefits to this, because it creates economies of scale and frees up companies to locate in the world’s most cost efficient locations.”

Adele Every, an innovation and SME champion at Capgemini, was also struck by the benefits for “collaboration, communication, and coordination,” as well as the prospect that automation software will free up people to work on creative projects.

In theory, many menial jobs will become obsolete in an automated future in the same way that robotics spared thousands of workers the tedium of the factory line. Redeployed workers will work in customer-facing roles and innovation projects that require a human hand.

She said, “The pace of change will never be as slow as it is today, which is pretty terrifying but amazingly exciting at the same time. We can bring partners together and develop new things in a few short hours. There will be a lot of change in the next few years and it’s about how we can manage that change.”

“From what we have seen, individuals need to think more about how they develop future skills. Companies – particularly small businesses – are changing the way they innovate, so we need to quickly get to grips with how these developments will change the way we work.”

Meanwhile, Barry Matthews, another delegate and managing director of Alsbridge, a sourcing advisory firm, said automation would create a need to protect workers in jobs that will soon be overtaken by computer programs.

“We have been looking at how technology will change the way we work and the organizational structures, how they will differ and what it means environmentally and economically,” he said.

“The demonstrations brought to life how lots of relatively menial tasks are coming back on-shore and being carried out by machines; that's a hugely disruptive force in our industry. There will inevitably be job cuts but also job creation. Many large organizations have back offices full of people doing basic, rules-based tasks."

He added: “But there is potentially a big skills gap for someone inputting data on a computer, for example. Can you retrain them to be a customer service executive or a data scientist? People need to work for their own sanity, so decisions in this area will be crucial for society. We will need to double-down on infrastructure, change the way we educate our young people, and encourage entrepreneurship. It’s a huge challenge globally.”

Technological advancement is nothing new, but the speed of change over the next decade could take organizations by surprise. Automation is a striking opportunity and businesses must prepare now to take advantage of the many opportunities without falling foul of some of the risks.

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Optimize Your Automation

Vijay Karna, Business Process Change Management Leader, Capgemini
Are you living up to the ultimate aim of “Zero tolerance, Zero defect” for your organization? Create an impact by optimizing business through automation.
Automation of various back-office and integrated IT solutions is not new, but the immediate challenge is to combine existing systems and business sub-processes for real-time functionality; this is much more difficult. It requires a single, integrated business and IT strategy, management of sub-process chains as one process, and the ability to trace data from one end of an integrated process chain to the other. For many companies, creating and managing such an environment is expensive, time consuming, and complex.

Essentially, it involves delivering end-to-end business processes, such as Order-to-Cash (O2C), from integrated IT and business process management infrastructures. These new compound processes provide coherent control of activities that were previously loosely linked. The result is greater business optimization and flexibility.

Business optimization and flexibility through automation requires skills that integrate information technology systems and restructure applications, while relying on a clear and robust business process management framework to guide transformation through the integration. This can be achieved as shown in picture below:

Automation can also integrate people, processes, and technology to deliver end-to-end business processes that require no human intervention—by avoiding insufficient transactional data—to enable meaningful links or integration. These shortfalls can be solved by more mature and pervasive enterprise-class applications that connect and capture transactional data aimed at integrating specific IT and business processes, such as operating fewer data dictionaries with greater data efficiencies. There are various Business Process Automation tools available in the market but it is not a one-size-fits-all kind of situation. Automation of business processes requires connectors along with a data exchange layer to transfer the information. This can be achieved by mapping end-to-end business process workflows between individual platforms using a process driven messaging platform. A process driven messaging service gives you the logic to build your process by using APIs where you build workflows and then connect various systems.

Improved business process visibility is possible by means of new measurements. For example, with O2C we can track, monitor and optimize sub processes such as Promise-To-Pay transactions, broken promises, contribution towards Day Sales Outstanding (DSO) and Day Disputes Outstanding (DDO) and days beyond terms, and increased AR automation. The ultimate aim is “ZERO tolerance, ZERO defect”.

Business optimization and flexibility through automation can help decision makers and the C-suite prioritize investment in technology that can create business impact and continuous cost containment. Measuring the impact of business process automation using ROI as a baseline for time-to-value can help drive standardization of process workflows with specific business objectives. These should then be used as a stepping-stone to improve efficiencies and establish a foundation for robust business growth.

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Automation and Abundance

Tom Ivory, Head of Strategic Innovation, Capgemini
Learn about the transformative ingredients of today's automation. Listen to an insightful podcast on new tools of automation from a Capgemini expert, Tom Ivory.
The new era of automation is taking the lessons and experience from the past and rapidly transforming the way companies are using their resources to accelerate their business.

A decade ago, it was all about removing costs and improving efficiency. Today the emphasis is on applying technology in ways that free up human capital to create abundance, while maintaining low costs.

The cloud, inexpensive data storage, ever-stronger computing power, IoT, and real-time data analysis are the transformative ingredients of today's automation. Listen to an insightful podcast on new tools of automation from a Capgemini expert, Tom Ivory.

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Tom Ivory Head of Strategic Innovation, Capgemini
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