Event introduction and background

Exclusively for Digital City Festival 2020, MIDAS – Manchester’s inward investment agency, the Department for International Trade and Business Growth Hub have teamed up to invite a range of innovative start-ups and SMEs from Greater Manchester and across the world to pitch their products and services to an expert panel of Manchester-based businesses and investors.

Some of Manchester’s most successful companies face challenges that hinder them in reaching business objectives – from delivering outstanding customer service to reducing their carbon footprint. The companies we’ve partnered with – our ‘dragons’ – recognise that these challenges provide opportunities for innovation and want to work with pioneering small companies to improve their products and services.

Distinguished Panellists

Andrew Gilligan
Andrew GilliganHead of Research & Insights at City Football Group
Paul Cooper
Paul CooperTechnology Strategy & Effective Delivery
James Ruddiman
James RuddimanStrategy Manager at ao.com
Louise (Jones) Day
Louise (Jones) DayAssistant Director of Marketing & Communications at Manchester Central

Event updates

As the UK braces for the unknown and unprecedented impact the coronavirus pandemic could potentially have on the economy and local businesses, there is already a little unspoken fear among the few attendees at the “Pitch to the Buyers” event at Digital City Festival.

Nevertheless, after refreshments the room gets partly filled up with delegates and panellists and as we are still figuring out an alternate gesture to greet each other, now that handshake is frowned upon, the first pitch of the day starts.

Martin Keelagher, CEO of Agile Automations, a leading and the only bespoke RPA scale up out of Manchester begins the introductory 5-minute “Pitch to the Buyers”.

Here we list all the key points discussed along with the video of the presentation.

What is RPA and how we, at Agile Automations, stand out from the other solutions in the market?

RPA solutions are your digital workforce and supports existing members of staff by automating mundane and repetitive tasks.

Great analogy would be to imagine the most efficient member of your team, take all their knowledge, subtract all their tendencies to make mistakes and multiply their efficiency by the factor of 100. Now you have a robot that sits on the users’ computers and performs tasks following set rules.

Our solutions stand out from the market in these six key areas, which give them the cutting edge and make them super versatile.

  • Efficient and targeted – Custom-coded to meet the specific need of each client
  • Cost effective – No use of 3rd party software or licences. No upfront investments in infrastructure changes
  • Extremely agile and scalable – powered by our APIs that improve with use, thanks to machine learning
  • System, process or industry agnostic – applicable to any rules-driven process involving any size of data
  • Fully supported – we support and maintain the RPA projects for our clients from start to finish, covering all aspects of the project involving discovery, scoping, development, implementation, training and ROI evaluations
  • Modular and adaptable – We proactively build and maintain robust APIs that target industry’s major systems so when there is a need for a change, we do not need to rebuild the entire solution

What is the use of RPA solutions in different industries?

Legacy Systems

One of the great examples is the finance industry where banks have several legacy systems and that could have grown to even bigger number, over the years, due to several mergers and acquisitions. These systems, having been deployed by separate vendors over the time, never talk to each other and soon the bank realises that they have several different data sources.

Traditionally, banks used to hire more and more members of staff to reconcile the customer data or simply serve customers in silos via different independent teams driven by types of products.

This is not only true for the banking industry but is also applicable to any industry where big data and several systems are involved.

RPA solutions can sit on users’ desktop or on server and reconcile the data among all these systems and create “one version of truth” for the staff members accessible on demand to serve the customers efficiently.

Constant change driven by competitor products, market analysis and regulatory obligations

All businesses across all industries have one thing in common. Each of them wants to be agile, efficient and gain that competitive edge by improving their systems, service or products.

In this race, further pressure is added when the regulatory requirements too change with the changing economy. In recent years we have seen the industries going through hell of the time trying to meet new regulations like FATCA, Sanctions, PPI, AML in banking while Food Standard Agency (FSA) and Advertising Standard Agency (ASA) in retail to name the few.

All these add additional burden on already stretched human resources at the company. The RPA can play a vital role in helping businesses meet these obligations. All report making, transactions and sanctions checking, and all other mundane activities can be easily done by a robot, while the members of staff can concentrate on serving the customers.

RPA in retail, legal and service industries

Although, the finance industry has been at the forefront of implementing the RPA solutions following the 2008 financial crisis, there is a huge potential for efficiency savings outside of the finance industry.

For example, retail and service businesses can benefit by automating tasks like, stock-management, inventory, invoices and account reconciliation, payments, payroll, online market analysis, competitor checks and reporting and just about anything where computers and data are involved.

Legal sector can benefit by using robots in their paralegal work like shifting through the cases, creating template based documents and making legacy hardcopy documents in digital format using technology like OCR and using RPA to further add CRM like functionality to enable further search and retrieve the data.

In practice, how does it work? How does Agile Automations work with clients?

Our unique proposition includes all the key stages of RPA implementation including Scoping/POC, Development, Testing, Implementation and Training, Maintenance and on-going Support.

  • Scoping/Proof of Concept: We work closely with our client in identifying the processes (discovery and feasibility checks) suitable for the automation. This includes, working in partnership with the consultancy firms, a thorough scoping of the existing processes, streamlining steps to enable automation. We prioritise the best processes that can be automated and can deliver swift benefits.
  • Development: We develop using industry standard .NET technology that allows us to be agile, connect with almost any system in the market and automate the processes fully end-to-end. Our agile development methodology enables benefits realisation right from the first iteration.
  • Testing: We perform thorough testing of the robots on dummy customer data on sandboxed systems within clients’ own infrastructure. This enables plethora of scenario analysis and checks without compromising the integrity of the data.
  • Implementation and Training: Unlike some off-the-shelf products and RPA software studios provided by our competitors, our clients do not need to invest in hiring technical staff for implementation, neither do they have to pay any licence fees to use software. We implement our RPA robots and provide full training using user-guides and videos to all staff members.
  • Maintenance and On-going support: We proactively monitor all the native systems such as SAP, Dynamic CRM, Backoffice and ensure that our APIs are up to date in line with the updates of these native systems. This ensures we can maintain our robots at lightning speed without having to redevelop. We also work closely with the internal change management teams to ensure that any system or process change driven by regulatory requirement or market analysis is taken in consideration. Our proposition includes ongoing support package giving complete peace of mind to the client that the automations will stay fit for purpose.

In our view the key benefits of Agile Automations RPA solutions are;

  • Control: Complete end-to-end audit trail
  • Efficiency: Empowering the work force to add value to the business
  • Cost: reducing the cost of implementation of new services/products and mitigating risks

View video of the presentation here:

Conclusion

Scrum development methodology combined with extensive experience in developing custom coded RPA solutions, we at Agile Automations are changing the desktop RPA scene towards a more sustainable and reliable adaptation of RPA into the businesses.

Can your business benefit from such relentless commitment to perfection? Contact us to find out more!