At the North American Shared Services & Outsourcing Week in Orlando, EnableSoft’s Foxtrot RPA team joined approximately 1,000 high-energy and optimistic attendees to discuss best practices and the latest trends in the shared services space. Organization reps from a range of different industries, including financial services, retail, utilities, restaurants and more, enjoyed the expert presentations and engaged in interactive sessions. Conference discussions focused on how companies can best centralize their back-office operations, including HR, billing and accounting.
The essence of shared services is the efficient and economical delivery of services. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software was a natural fit and theme for the event. For more information, read the 2017 State of the Shared Services Industry Report, to learn more on how productivity and efficiency are impacting shared services operations.
A company decision-maker understanding and buying into process automation technology is one thing, but a key question discussed at the IQPC-organized conference was: Are people going to use it? As we all know, not all boardroom decisions translate successfully to the front line where people must live with a rule or software tool. At the conference, visitors to the Foxtrot RPA booth were mostly inquiring about automating manual processes within accounts payable, accruals, invoice processing and HR in order to increase overall productivity within their organizations.
A digital jack of all trades, RPA software turned heads at the event with its flexibility and ease of use. While process automation technology can boost organizational efficiency, it can mean a massive change for that organization. Conference attendees that experienced the most success with RPA had planned ahead to ensure adoption. They chose RPA solutions that were designed with front-line users in mind. They also selected solutions which allowed their organization to start small at the task level and eventually mature to enterprise-wide process and productivity improvement.
In a business world where many professionals view robotic implementation as a zero-sum game — robots replacing real people — there can be resistance, even fear, to such a technological change. Starting modestly with the tool and engaging frontline or back-office employees can show them they will be empowered, not replaced. The conference represented a shift in understanding that, rather than making human workers obsolete, RPA software like Foxtrot handles the manual, mundane and transactional work so that employees can focus on the more rewarding, knowledge-based duties.