I worked as a financial executive for about 20 years and I was able to witness various movements of companies throughout this period - from facing the millennium bug, going through various ERP implementations to the "digital transformation" and the automation processes much talked about in the present time.
Having lived as a technology entrepreneur for 5 years and started working as a venture capital investor for 1 year now, I continue to see the same pains executives face in large companies. Cost cuting, seeking to improve the quality of customer service in an increasingly connected world and facing complex tax laws – are challenges common to all sectors, but this time, there is a difference - robotic process automation. robotic process automation, or RPA) is already a reality in several economic sectors around the world and has arrived strong in Brazil as well.
That robots made of hardware had already revolutionized industries and their production lines, we all know, but few, like CTOs of large companies and IT consultants, know that they will allow the redefinition of processes and the reorganization of companies in the most diverse areas.
These coded robots are already serving customers, paying bills, processing invoices, optimizing logistical routes and even selling. “Early Adopters” companies already experience considerable cost reduction, increased revenue, greater efficiency and quality in business processes, with greater customer satisfaction – especially millenials, who no longer want to talk to people to solve problems.
Some of these robotic technologies belong in the field of Industry 4.0, but in fact they should be labeled Services 4.0. Due to its nature, the integration of robots in platforms enabled with Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IOT), Big Data and Machine Learning (ML) is highly viable and greatly expands the possibilities of gains in every way for those who adopt this practice.
These combined technologies are now being used daily by startups and are being incorporated into the routine of practically all business environments.
According to research by Markets and Markets Global (https://www.marketsandmarkets.com), the global market for digital process automation is expected to grow from $6.77 billion in 2018 to $12.61 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 13.3% in the period.
Robotic automation as an investment thesis makes special sense in Latin America, where the cost of labor charges, combined with the tax and procedural complexity of many business activities, makes using robotization an essential survival strategy for local businesses. All sizes.
Compared to other countries, Brazil in particular is so complex that activities such as customer service, bank reconciliation and document entries and collection need real armies in the back office - to name just a few administration-related functions that are performed by 1 or 2 collaborators in developed countries.
In addition to the inefficiency of the repetitive tasks performed by professionals, the labor charges, benefits, physical and management resources needed to carry out and coordinate the activities performed represent a huge financial burden for companies, especially those in the services and retail sector. The result is lost revenue due to inefficient customer service, lost profitability due to high costs and variable quality at the top.
Customized digital process automation solutions and services are bringing critical benefits to businesses, helping them transform the way they operate, streamlining their workflow to drive critical business initiatives.
While automation empowers organizations to constantly improve the customer experience, innovate faster and drive revenue growth, traditional methods limit an organization from responding quickly to changing market and customer expectations on an enterprise scale. There are many opportunities in this area with the growing demand for streamlining business methods and integrating IA and ML.
Digital process automation also faces challenges such as compatibility issues with existing business process applications and services, and especially slow and distrustful adoption by companies. There are many cases of failure and the results often fall short of the promises made by consultants.
Another factor that supposedly restricts its growth is the issue of data security and privacy, since process automation deals with individuals' personal information. So far, the most frequent way of implementing RPA is through the combination of process consulting with the construction of robots in software factories - we see a trend shaping up for this offer paradigm to evolve into a consolidated form of solution, in form of Software as a Service.
Given this scenario in which the market indicates that more and more companies are betting on the use of tools related to Industry 4.0 in their daily operations, Bertha Capital decided to invest in Indigosoft, a company that is a leader in innovation in this segment in the country.
Its technology is a complete platform that has robotization as its axis, but that brings together other technologies that exponentialize the results for clients, such as Big Data, IA and ML.
The innovation was to transform the main business processes that demand a large number of people into service “applications” – such as omnichannel service, hiring employees, IT service desk and processing invoices in ERPs, to name a few examples.
Its SaaS model completely changes the way companies can hire and enjoy these business functions, with less risk and much lower transaction costs compared to traditional models.
Indigosoft is one of several companies that will transform the way they produce – a trend that is taking hold ever faster with the digitization of processes, data-driven decision making and the replacement of people with robots.
As a society, it is up to all of us to face this reality through the training and education of service and back office professionals. Challenges are posed and solutions are available in the face of a path that seems inevitable: process automation.