Information technology is an inseparable part of our everyday life. Enterprises rely on it to conduct their day-to-day operations. With such a demand comes a constant requirement for technical talent. IT consulting has grown to become a large global market with an estimated current valuation of $45+ billion. The Robotic Process Automation market will be a $15 billion industry by the year 2020. Servicing these requirements is CoSourcing Partners.
Today the company has branched into the rapidly emerging field of Robotic Process Automation (RPA). As the name suggests, RPA mainly deals in automating desired aspects of a company’s operations in order to maximize return on investment and optimize its production and deliverability.
In conversation with Rita Brunk, the Executive Vice President of CoSourcing Partners
Q. What inspired your organization to venture into Robotics process automation (RPA)?
Initially, CoSourcing Partners primarily focused on IT project staffing in the areas of business transformation and legacy systems modernization in the healthcare industry. In 2016 one of the company’s largest clients approached us with an RPA request. We had never dealt with this technology, and honestly, the acronym itself was new to us. After some initial research, we came to the realization that RPA is a rapidly emerging trend among businesses, and it complemented CoSourcing Partners’ core business. We already knew how to recruit and place individuals with technical expertise. We were able to provide resources for that client, and still do so. What has changed is our scope and reach by differentiating ourselves through offering RPA operational assessments, COE consultation, implementation, development, and RPA staff augmentation.
Q. What were the initial struggles in branching out to RPA?
In the first quarter of 2016 in the U.S., RPA was still pretty much unknown across most of the industries in the US.
At first, only the finance, banking and insurance sectors got onboard, and they were able to reap quick and significant improvements from RPA. They also purposely did not publicize how RPA could free up resources, improve process efficiency, reduce costs, and decrease production time significantly. It was not until the latter part of 2016 and early 2017 that you began to see articles appear in technical magazines that talked about how RPA enables operations in the front-office; as well as the core operations of a company.
In order to respond to this growing market, we needed a way to differentiate ourselves. To do that, we focused on what we felt was a shortcoming in our past experiences as a customer with Service Providers. The biggest negative was that Consulting Companies came in with the intent of staying indefinitely; submitting a big invoice, along with a 30-page PowerPoint presentation describing how much could be saved but not HOW to deliver the savings. We vowed to steer CoSourcing Partners in a different direction.
Q. How did you structure your offerings?
Our primary goal is to look out for the interests of the client. Although we partner with some of the leading RPA vendors, we are not a reseller. Doing so might bias us toward a specific vendor because our commission would be at stake. Further, instead of endless PowerPoint presentations, we wanted to get into the consulting piece of the practice by figuring out exactly what their situation is and present detailed steps about how to proceed. We have built our consultation practice on understanding a client’s situation with absolute clarity.
To deliver a strategic roadmap of automation opportunities, we will assess the client needs over a fourteen-day period and vet out the top 20 opportunities. We provide an estimated development time for each of the 20, a cost model showing the payback for each of the identified opportunities, and finally, we rank according to what will have the biggest impact, and thus, need to be done first, second, third, and so on in order to facilitate a sustainable automation roadmap. To summarize, the client knows what they’re going to do, how long it’s going to take, what it’s going to cost them and, most importantly, what is the return.
Many Service Providers want to be our client’s vendor, but we want to be their PARTNER and that’s part of the logic for the name of the company—CoSourcing Partners.
Q. Do you see artificial intelligence playing a role in your company’s operations?
Not today, but perhaps in the future. RPA is the automation foundation, building up to cognitive/machine learning and then finally, artificial intelligence. For most of the automation done in the back office of a company and for most of the core operations, all you need is RPA. A smaller percent needs the cognitive/machine learning, and an even smaller percent still, needs AI. AI is very expensive, requiring development with algorithms, usually by a Data Scientist. When the need arises, we provide these resources too!
Meet the Executive Vice President of RPA at CoSourcing Partners, Rita Brunk
Rita Brunk has more than 5+ years of Robotic Process Automation and 20+ years finance, IT, process optimization and business transformation analytics. Rita plays a strategic role in leading and building the Company’s Robotic Process Automation services practice.