BPO Bulletin

Implementing a Robotic Process Automation Center of Excellence

by Ken Neal
March 22, 2017

My colleague at Canon Business Process Services (Canon), Serdar Ercetin, BPO Advisor and specialist in the banking and financial services industry, says there is no question that robotic process automation (RPA) technology is disruptive. Any organization wanting to adopt RPA technology, according to Serdar, should envision it as a long-term capability that evolves strategically and increases business value. Limited RPA implementations are great way to demonstrate the overall value to all stakeholders without making significant investments.

In this post Serdar shares his insights on how a Center of Excellence (CoE) is an ideal way to embed RPA deeply and effectively into an organization in order to meet aggressive automation goals and realize RPA’s full value and return on investment. A well-functioning RPA CoE prepares the organization for more advanced automation concepts such as machine learning and artificial intelligence. Without the organized approach and framework that an RPA CoE would bring, transition to more advanced automation technologies would not be possible.

Getting senior executive-level support for the RPA journey and communicating a convincing message from top-down is the crucial first step. A successful CoE is a well-oiled machine that operates on a common framework involving both the organization’s operations and information technology departments. It is important to establish a team of advisors from both departments that understand RPA and can explain to various business units within the organization how RPA can improve daily operations. Listed below are some basic necessary components that should be in place in order to deliver the RPA message effectively across the organization. Every organization is different; hence components should be carefully analyzed to accommodate specific business needs and then agreed upon, organized and documented by the members of the CoE governance team. This approach helps significantly in delivering the value proposition across the organization.


Shared responsibilities between the Operations and IT:

  • Framework and operation model: Supported by IT governance
  • Business control and visibility: Supported by IT governance
  • Training and methodology: Supported and executed by IT
  • Exception handling and case management: Security and scalability provided by IT
  • Audit and change management: Supported by IT
  • Object re-use and rules management: Infrastructure hosted and supported by IT

Controlled by Operations:

  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Enterprise Infrastructure
  • Supported Platform
  • Secured Environment
  • Scalable Deployment
  • Operational Assurance

Hosted and Supported by IT:

  • Pipeline Management
  • Ease of Demand Management
  • Work Allocation
  • Change Model
  • Benefits Measurement
  • Data and Pattern Analysis

In summary, RPA can be a great tool for achieving immediate cost reduction and creating process efficiencies. But to realize the full and long-term value, companies need to adopt a CoE approach. Working with an experienced partner such as Canon Business Process Services can shorten the learning curve considerably and help you smoothly transition into becoming a RPA-enabled organization.

Feel free to visit the Business Process Outsourcing page of our website for additional insights and industry best practices including white papers, research reports, case histories and more.

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