UK-based IT infrastructure and managed services firm Ultima is embracing 'intelligent' robotic process automation (RPA) to help its clients automate repetitive business processes.
Through consulting, engineering and managed services, Ultima is eager to provide customers with the ability to scale RPA in the best way possible.
“We’re focused on delivering automation in lots of those areas and we’re now doing it using this lens we call ‘intelligent automation,’ which includes RPA but also has AI, IoT and data analytics," Scott Dodds, CEO at Ultima told Computerworld UK.
Intelligent automation is a flavour of RPA which seeks to leverage machine learning to replicate manual business processes in any system or application.
It can be applied to anything from front-end services such as data management, to sales, HR processes and other back-end systems. The benefit of intelligent automation is that the robotics processes are automated to keep up with all applications in an environment at once, Dodds explained.
“Our concept of ‘automate to innovate’ really glues the infrastructure layer and you have to be able to see and manage all of those different parts of the infrastructure to make sure the reliability is there in the managed service of those robot processes - that’s why we’re doing this from a slightly different angle, we’re coming from infrastructure up, into automation,” Dodds said.
“I think the more automated your infrastructure layer is, the easier it is to engage automation processes and manage that, so that a lot of it is not offline and becomes much more automated as a process,” he added.
According to Dodds, organisations traditionally integrate a wide range of different technologies, which makes ensuring they can all work together in the environment integral.
“When you think about pure RPA, not all companies have that infrastructure capability and they would have to engage other consulting companies to manage that, otherwise there’s too much risk in the process.
“A lot of companies don’t actually have that switched on or use that today and that’s another step ahead for us. We’re working with companies like Cisco and HPE Aruba to drive much smarter networking capabilities focused on automation,” Dodds said.
Ultima began modernising its own business with its move to the cloud and by automating different systems over the last two to three years. “It’s that concept of using some of this technology internally and making sure we understand it before we go out and sell it to a client,” Dodds said.
Ultima sees all forms of repetitive tasks or large-scale activities as potential candidates for intelligent automation.
Discussing the rise of robotics in the workplace, Dodds believes that businesses have become more aware of the need to implement automation, but still struggle to identify where to start.
“As [automation] gets wider over the next few years, and it will, clients will become more dependent on it and that’s a challenge as well as an opportunity because you can save a lot of time and money in processing, but if that process stops you have very little backup, because the people that were doing it have moved onto other things,” he added.