Silicon Collar looks at machines and humans at work in over 50 settings across industries and countries. On this blog I will excerpt many of those settings over the next few weeks. On Deal Architect I will excerpt more of the policy parts of the book.
Continuing further south, in San Jose, we encounter Mihir Shukla, CEO of Automation Anywhere. He has a modest ambition aimed at using business process bots that perform task-based work alongside humans, freeing the human employee to focus on higher value work:
"You know Uber is the world’s largest taxi company but doesn’t own taxis. And Airbnb is the largest hospitality company but doesn’t own real estate. We want to be the world’s largest employer with the fewest number of people."
He imagines this to be the workforce of the future for the modern enterprise—human workers (FTEs, or full-time employees) working alongside software robots (AFTEs, or automated full-time equivalents). “We’ve automated over two million hours of manual work,” said Shukla, “and this is just the beginning.”
Shukla is delivering this solution today in a category called Robotic Process Automation (RPA)—process bots for a wide range of knowledge worker jobs: the help desk and other positions. An example comes from ANZ Bank, which has deployed hundreds of business process bots that join human FTEs in handling low-level tasks in its institutional and retail banking businesses. By the end of 2016, they expect to have more than 1,200 bots up and running in their digital workforce. These bots help with processes such as progress payments for construction loan mortgages and audit certificates that integrate data from several ANZ systems. Shukla said the best marketing of the ANZ back office has been to say to its business units: "Bring as much business as you want us to process. We are not a bottleneck anymore.”
Photo Credit: Automation Anywhere