If you are running a robotics process automation (RPA) or intelligent automation (IA) program, you’re likely aware of the importance of the control room function. In the RPA lifecycle, after process management and the actual delivery of the automation builds, the SS&C Blue Prism control room function is the third and final stage where the automations are moved into production.
In the truest sense, the control room function is where the rubber meets the road for each of your processes. This function is crucial, not just for ensuring all schedules and ad-hoc runs are successful, but also for handling exceptions.
When you’re looking at an IA program, the worker bees are the digital workers running 24/7 to ensure mundane, repetitive tasks are taken care of efficiently.
What Is the RPA Control Room?
The control room is effectively the supervisor managing your growing digital workforce.
Like a supervisor in the real world, the control room operations also ensure all the digital workers are delivering to expectations, removing any roadblocks and meeting business goals.
Managing Confidently Using SS&C Blue Prism RPA Control Room
Any automated process goes through a review prior to the development cycle to assess the expected business value resulting from automating that process. There is usually an achievable, quantifiable benefit value, which helps decide if the process merits automation. And if it does, what its priorities are.
However, after automating processes many organizations find leakage of business value. The expected business benefits don’t accrue as predicted. That’s where the control room operations play an important role.
Issues arise when a process has:
- Frequent exceptions that are not well handled
- Unanticipated errors
- Target applications needing change
- More human intervention is needed than initially planned
While not all of these can be remediated from the control room, many can be directly changed – or else influenced – to reduce or eliminate that value leakage. If remedial steps are not taken, it may require reconsideration as to whether the process should stay automated or move to humans. That’s if that control room doesn’t have good control over the operations.
The control room function is also key in ensuring that the delivery of intelligent automation services is aligned with business requirements. This function straddles the delivery team, which builds processes, and the business teams, which consume the services of these processes.
The success of control room operations, therefore, also depends on the effectiveness of the governance it is set up with, along with the business and delivery teams.
In any given week, the leads from this team should be engaging with business teams to review operational issues and better understand where an automated process sits in the business flow. This ensures the delivery is aligned with the business and that there is a strong working relationship with the extended digital workforce.
Therefore, the SS&C Blue Prism control room is truly the vanguard of business confidence in the IA program.
Driving Demand with Superior IA and RPA Service
If processes are consistently successful and any exceptions are handled efficiently, businesses won’t just want the digital workforce for the already-automated processes. They’ll be keen to expand the number of automated processes.
This demonstrates the very important role the control room operations unit plays in IA program demand generation. Demand generation is not just driven by the identification of processes that are worthy of automation. It’s also driven by the confidence of the business operations team that a process will deliver benefits consistently once automated.
The team in the control room works very closely with the operations leads of the areas where the processes have been automated. Besides discussing the requirements of business operations when running these processes, the discussions often also bring up new opportunities to automate the upstream or downstream side of existing automated processes.
Strong governance between the control room and the team involved in process discovery can lead to some interesting conversations about where demands are coming from, significantly, at one mid-sizing Asian banking customer, such an opportunity stream accounts for almost 15% of the new automation pipeline.
From a chargeback point of view, this function is a major contributor. That’s because a lot of the ongoing chargeback cost comes from the control room operations. An efficient control room focused not just on handling exceptions, but on reducing them by forging a strong partnership with business operations, can significantly reduce the cost of its operations.
In fact, the holy grail of control room operations is not to have a “manned” center at all. If automations can be built in a robust manner with airtight implementation of change management and all underlying systems on point, then the result should be a 100% success rate. And that’s without needing any human intervention to track, remediate and report on exceptions.
While this may sound surreal to many, the focus should really be on minimizing exceptions. Not just to reduce cost, but to deliver an unparalleled superior quality of service – without exceptions and working 24/7.
With all this knowledge, it’s surprising to see some organizations treat control room operations as a commoditized function, with a focus on managing schedules and alerts on the pane. That’s missing a big opportunity to play a pivotal role in the organization’s intelligent automation journey.
Several leading organizations are focusing on getting the right mix of skills into their control room. And to validate the use of automation across their business even more, they’re increasingly automating several of the repetitive tasks – even in the control room.
Clearly, the SS&C Blue Prism control room provides a great opportunity to drive the value of IA and further drive efficiency within its own operations.
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