HyperAutomation: finding an approach that suits your company

Throughout this interview, Joost van Wendel de Joode, Director Business Partners Benelux at UiPath and Steve Heggen, Head of HyperAutomation at Fujitsu Luxembourg share with us their best practices to address the Automation of processes, combining Fujitsu’s strategic approach and UiPath’s latest technologies.

What do you think made your partnership a success?

JV: Fujitsu has made significant investments in enablement and business development around Automation. Combining this with market knowledge, vertical expertise and management consulting is exactly the direction and support which is making our joint clients further successful. We are pleased that Fujitsu has chosen UiPath’s suite of solutions. Our market leadership with RPA, combined with a full set of Automation tools driven by services from Fujitsu is key for joint success, not only on international level, but also in countries, which results in local engagement on client level.

SH: Since the beginning of our (Hyper)Automation journey, a few years ago, we have been sharing our vision with UiPath that fits with Luxembourgish context. We can talk about a bi-directional partnership. As UiPath is at the cutting edge of technology, we benefit from all innovations that come out of their research and development department. Our customers have therefore the opportunity to rely on both our experience in the domain and on UiPath latest technologies as they are investing heavily in products and methodology improvements.

How would you determine the choice of a bottom-up approach rather than top-down when automating processes?

JV: One of the challenges for clients in determining which software to choose is the startup investment and not knowing if it will be contributing to their own organization. Investments in ERP and CRM for instance are important for having a solid and stable company, but these investments are huge and, while needed, might not always bring a positive ROI on the short term. In addition, these solutions often do not provide a further competitive advantage.

UiPath enables companies to start small and experiment in different business areas. With the expertise of major partners like Fujitsu, a client can often determine the benefits of Automation within some weeks. When we started in Luxembourg more than 4 years ago, this was the standard method and today, this is still possible at each level.

With that said, Automation is now also on the top of the agenda in the boardroom. Clients are not just automating 5, 10 or even 20 processes, the possibility of providing a solution for all employees results in savings in time and resources on all levels. More and more, the combination of a bottom-up and top-down approach is common practice.

SH:  Indeed, we notice that a hybrid approach can be much more efficient. If the whole decision chain is directly convinced and synchronized, the scaling will be faster and an interesting return on investment will be quickly reached. Fujitsu has also a very pragmatic and iterative approach that can fit for a bottom-up approach. While the journey that starts with a PoC is always comfortable and safe, it might be a bit slower to develop plainly across the organization in comparison with a top-down approach.

Being a global organization, how does UiPath position Luxembourg from a strategic point of view?

SH: We (Fujitsu) found that UiPath solution suits the Luxembourgish context because the solution is flexible and scalable. Moreover, the UiPath ecosystem is really complete and offers all the extensions that will be essential to reach a HyperAutomation level. This means that the platform will support “standard” robotic Automation but will also provide a large panel of cognitive features to interpret documents, to interact with humans, to build applications, to put the human in the loop … That’s a very appreciated “one stop shop”.

JV: UiPath has outgrown all of the RPA competitors in a short period. The key for that success has several explanations: our technology and investment in R&D, our free community versions and free public academy, our partners, and investments to make our solution known. We are as well not only a global organization but also have people available locally where possible.

Luxembourg might seem a smaller region, but it houses many important companies with a reach far beyond its borders. With offices in France, Belgium and Germany and deep partnership with Fujitsu in Luxembourg, we can make ourselves available for face-to-face meetings on client request. Most of these companies we work for have a strong desire for innovation and Automation is therefore a central topic.

What are your three tips for a company that wants to start automating its processes?

JV: There are many reasons for using Automation, 3 tips I reckon we always highlight:

  1. Start experimenting: RPA as a solution has a very low entry barrier. As an example, we allow companies to start with our licenses with a free trial without any obligation;
  2. Get support: we encourage our prospects and clients to get engaged and make use of our free academy. Nevertheless, getting advice and support from certified consultant companies is crucial for success both in the beginning as well as in a growth phase. Fujitsu is a Diamond partner which guarantees our clients they have the right qualified employees to help;
  3. Engage your employees: several years ago, people were afraid that Automation would lead to job reduction. Since then, it has been proven that taking away mundane tasks have conducted to much more efficiency and more satisfied employees.  As such, these latter provide valuable input for new Automation projects, which brings a more effective use of the technology.

SH: In addition to the tips offered by Joost, I would like to call attention to these points:

  1. To engage with employees from both IT and business sides. At Fujitsu, we share our experience and show a large panel of examples depending on the customer’s sector. We are offering awareness sessions in order to align every people on the same level of knowledge about HyperAutomation capabilities and challenges.
  2. Once you are aware of Automation possibilities, you can then discover the candidate processes: based on a pragmatic and very structured approach, we offer a dedicated first mission of processes discovery. For each candidate process, we provide a full analysis and our advice on the best approach to adopt;
  3. And eventually, we are able to support our customers in the definition of ambitious goals and start the journey:  to take full advantage of the powerful HyperAutomation platform, it is important to be ambitious and position the initiative as strategic for the company.

What are the next trends for HyperAutomation?

JV: There are several directions we see as UiPath. On the employee side, we have always predicted that it will be common to have a robot for every employee. Several of our larger clients have taken steps in such direction, sometimes for a common group of employees – e.g all finance managers – but we already have clients with robots for each of their worker. On the “discover” side, we see further integration of process and task mining with Automation of all types of processes. Artificial intelligence will start playing a larger role. Yet, before looking into the future, we still also see that we are now at the beginning of the journey with Automation. As such, we advise our clients to get guidance on what works best for them; this is perhaps the most important aspect of our partnership with Fujitsu.