Why Automation Is Needed In Telecom

Why Automation Is Needed In Telecom

Telecommunications is an industry entirely embedded in the fabric of our everyday lives. Never before have we been so connected. The means to make that happen to continue to be maintained and developed by the telecom industry at large. But how can they deliver better services? With automation, of course.

The constant ability to communicate in the 21st century is no longer a luxury; it’s a necessity in our personal and work lives. Telecom is a broad descriptor of a huge industry that looks after all the hardware and software that powers our communication. But, like any sector that has developed organically, there are many parts of it that are lagging behind and need automation to drive them into the future.

What Is Telecom Automation?

Automation in telecom is the use of technology to carry out a job or task that traditionally would be done by a human. The type of tasks it covers, most commonly, refers to a digital interaction like clicking a mouse or pressing a key on a keyboard. There are different types of automation, including attended and unattended, requiring a person to be involved and not involved, respectively. The idea of involving a person usually revolves around helping augment their existing skills with more processing power, serving as a digital helping hand.

Challenges And Opportunities In Telecom

One of the biggest challenges facing the telecommunications industry today is a shortage of skilled labor. This is not only for legacy technology and having experts to maintain those services, but it’s also for the rapidly growing fiber and 5G space where the supply of engineers, and back-end workers, is outstripped by the demand to roll out installations. The clear opportunity available to telecom is to make work more efficient and maximize the available workforce’s productivity and keep telecom running.

Use Cases Of Telecom Automation

Service coordination is a big part of any telecommunications operation. That’s the digital side of things, with data flow in virtual environments, tying to the physical connections over cables and through the air via radio waves. Bringing all these things together at once is a deeply complex process and something automation can seriously help with. Because of the complexity of all the connections running in tandem, automated artificial intelligence (AI) must be deployed to monitor the interactions of services.

Service chaining helps automate traffic flow between different services within a virtual network, optimizing the use of network resources to improve application and hardware performance by selecting the most efficient path for any assistance. This means a person doesn’t have to monitor service efficiency; they can leave it in the hands of a bot and just be alerted to any problems that arise.

Service monitoring is a big part of an effective telecom operation. Making sure that customers have maximum uptime is critical to staying competitive. Automated service monitoring can help to show you the location of faults or faults that could get worse and fix them with little to no impact on the end user

Does your telecom business need help with automation? Reach out to PAteam today.

FedEx Express Delivers Value Through Automation

FedEx Express Delivers Value Through Automation

FedEx Express hardly needs an introduction, they’re a huge international logistics provider operating in pretty much every corner of the world. With an eye on digital transformation, though, they’ve used automation to improve how they help customers. To say it’s been a success would be an understatement.

Andrzej Srebro is the IT Manager for FedEx Express’ Robotic Process Automation Center of Excellence, and we recently sat down with him to talk about our work together. We wanted to shout about how well it’s gone, and so we’ve split this case study into 3 clear sections: the backstory, the approach, and the business outcomes for FedEx Express. Enjoy!

“When I started leading the RPA CoE at FedEx Express, I had to ask a lot of questions, more often than not, PAteam was the best source of information. That shows that they don’t just care about building the technology, they actually want to understand what is going on in the rest of our business. They align perfectly with us.”

Andrzej Srebro, IT Manager, Robotic Process Automation CoE at FedEx Express

The Backstory

Andrzej has worked with FedEx for nearly seven years, and although he’s been involved in different teams, he’s always been an IT manager, so it’s safe to say he knows what he’s doing. Just over two years ago, Andrzej was internally scouted by a previous boss of his to head up a CoE that FedEx wanted to set up, to focus on RPA.

Before this, RPA had been split between several different teams, and his boss felt that a centralized point of responsibility and knowledge would be the best way to help automation rollout in the business. PAteam had been involved with FedEx for some time before Andrzej started leading the CoE, and it was clear that when Martijn, our MD, met with him that there would be a real acceleration in what we were working on together.

Going through modernization in a big company is a challenge, and although FedEx’s response to the pandemic had greatly accelerated the process, there were still key areas that they felt a real impact could be made – offering the most significant benefits. This was particularly within the customer experience space, where a lot of manual work slowed down service representatives and delayed query resolutions for customers.

Our Approach

There were some areas that we were able to work with Andrzej and his team on that would turn out to have a significant impact on the FedEx Express customer experience. RPA is often lauded as a great piece of technology within the accounting space. But, similarly, any area of a business that has basic, repetitive processes can benefit from the technology.

Dramatically modernizing their web interface, FedEx went from a classic style contact page, all the way to a web form that when submitted is processed in full by a bot – rather than a person. The previous setup would be an entirely manual process, with a customer representative processing the contact form, emailing a response, setting up a claim, then emailing the details of that claim at a later date. Now, the robots we helped build process everything in full immediately, delivering a claim reference number to the customer within 30 seconds.

Beyond the pure RPA working behind the scenes of the customer contact web form, we also helped build a piece of attended automation in the form of a digital assistant. This helps agents execute certain tasks. For example, if a customer calls the center for a query on a package that has data in a number of FedEx’s systems, the digital assistant helps collate and display all that information for the customer agent.

Much of the initial trials of these technologies were started in the UK, and this was in part due to having to tackle the country-specific issues following Brexit that saw a huge surge in customer contact. Once it was clear it worked in the UK, it was rolled out throughout Europe.

It’s fair to say we have a very close working relationship with FedEx, and Andrzej was so confident in the work we do and our expertise that he began to treat us like a true extension of his own team. It’s a part of this project we’re particularly proud of. We’re conscious of taking the time to really understand not just the tech but the business itself, and that shines through in the way we’re treated by Andrzej and his team.

Their Business Outcomes

Some of the automation we helped to put in place very directly impacted the staff at FedEx because they were using the digital assistant. This is currently being trialed in a couple of customer centers, slowly growing its scope. But for the unattended automation, this indirectly impacted the work of thousands of agents at FedEx by taking away repetitive tasks that stop them from adding value.

We’ve even been able to define the impact into three separate categories:

  1. Rather than having to let any staff go as a result of bots taking on their tasks, they were instead relocated to different tasks and teams so they could really utilize their skills and experience for their own satisfaction and the satisfaction of FedEx’s customers.
  2. By executing tasks quicker and more effectively FedEx is able to avoid customers opening certain claims to recoup costs. Also, because customers can book almost everything via the web service, it’s improved the inflow of cash into the business. RPA helped save money and increase revenue.
  3. Something difficult to quantify but extremely important to FedEx is the way that customers view their interactions with them. After the RPA efforts, they measured this through surveys and got a lot of good feedback from customers. It’s a big improvement in the brand and the level of service that FedEx Express offers.

We know, just like FedEx, that customers want to get things moving, they don’t want to have to wait for anything. They expect this level of service because it’s present in other parts of their lives and through other companies they work with. It’s a pleasure to help FedEx Express push the boundaries of what they’re doing, and really give their customers what they want and need.

Our work so far has been a real success, and because of that there’s an increased interest in RPA from other departments outside of customer experience. That’s the next step for Andrzej and the team – take their success with automation, and build on it. Whether that’s by rebuilding what’s already been made or making something new, we’ll be on hand to help.

“As a company, we’re focused on digital transformation and bringing further efficiencies to the business. Automation ticks both of these boxes. There is a whole world of opportunity for automation and optimization, and it’s something we’re excited to continue pursuing with PAteam.”

Andrzej Srebro, IT Manager, Robotic Process Automation CoE at FedEx Express

Want to be among great businesses like FedEx Express? Reach out to PAteam today

Why Automation Is Needed In Fintech

Why Automation Is Needed In Fintech

In the past decade, financial services have become more accessible to consumers and businesses alike, and we all have fintech to thank for that unlocking of value. But now that fintech is maturing, it needs to take the next step in ensuring it continues to deliver on its goal of financial accessibility. To do that, you guessed it; it needs to embrace automation.

Automation offers many benefits, particularly for digital-first businesses built on their visions of accessibility, efficiency, and connectivity. Fintech is a great example of an industry literally enabled by cutting-edge technology to make better products and services. Here is how fintech can take that next step and continue to conquer.

What Is Fintech Automation?

Automation in fintech is any technology that takes away the need for a human operator to carry out a task – most commonly a digital interaction like clicking a mouse or pressing a key on a keyboard. Different types of automation can be combined with other technology to create even more powerful solutions, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) based algorithms that develop over time to process an action more effectively.

Challenges and Opportunities In Fintech

The biggest challenge that fintech faces in 2022 is the pressing requirements of data security and privacy regulations. Like any financial institution, fintech companies are heavily regulated, much to the benefit of consumers. But maintaining that level of compliance can be challenging, especially where large amounts of data are processed manually – the case in many businesses. Automation’s role in removing manual work from people is usually angled around time savings, but in the case of fintech, the benefit of no mistakes from robotic data entry is even more appealing. Automation can help fintech firms stay compliant with far less effort.

Use Cases of Fintech Automation

As we just mentioned, one great use case of automation in fintech is anywhere data entry is happening regularly. One of the key places this can be implemented is for customer onboarding. When a customer opens an account with a fintech firm, they will agree to process their data, and ensuring that all that data is correct from the outset is key. That data will impact things like credit score, mortgage terms, or the cost of underwriting, so it must be accurate at the point of entry – which a bot guarantees.

Another great example of fintech automation is in establishing system interoperability. App-to-app or app-to-service integration is a huge part of how many platforms offer a wide variety of features. RPA provides a valuable way for connecting systems via things like APIs rather than manually building integrations that are likely to break whenever either side of a system is adjusted.

Work in Fintech and need to harness the power of automation? PAteam is here to help.

Why Automation Is Needed In The Insurance Industry?

Why Automation Is Needed In The Insurance Industry?

Like many other sectors, insurance is an industry plagued by historical manual processes that govern almost every part of its administrative operation. That’s why technologies like automation are crucial for the insurance industry to thrive in the modern world and overcome the challenges every sector now faces.

Regularly eating up valuable employee time and becoming a priority over higher-value work, like engaging with customers, are manual operations related to claims processing, underwriting, new customer applications, and customer support. Let’s show you what can be done with some automation.

What Is Insurance Automation?

Automation in insurance is any technology that removes the need for a human to carry out a task. There are many different forms of automation, and they can be combined with other technologies, including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), to deliver enormous benefits to any business with manual, data-based processes.

Challenges and Opportunities In the Insurance Industry

The biggest challenge that the insurance industry faces is just the same as every other industry right now – rising costs. With inflating prices, insurance companies are struggling to cope with the ever-mounting pressure of growing costs in every aspect of their businesses.

Because managing costs is more critical than ever for the success of insurance companies, the biggest opportunity they have is to use technology to drive efficiency and cut costs. Automation cuts down on manual work by removing the need for people to carry out basic tasks. It also removes the standard error level created when people carry out administrative tasks and saves time fixing errors.

With the huge amount of data processing that insurers carry out, automation should be the go-to for each one of them if they want to get on top of their costs.

Use Cases of Insurance Automation

There are a variety of excellent uses of automation within insurance that companies can capitalize on very quickly, and then refine the technology they have in place to generate further ROI over time.

Claims processing

Fast and effective claims processing is an insurance company’s top priority. On average, claim processing takes up to five days, and insurers have to check doctor reports meticulously, third-party witness statements, previous accident data – the list goes on. With a bot in place, this data can be ‘read’ using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and then transferred directly into their claims database, drastically cutting down on the time it takes for a human to review a case.

Governance

Insurance companies are a heavily regulated group, and for a good reason. Their products and services are financial services in one way or another, and so consumer protection is of paramount importance and at the front of every insurer’s mind. To stay compliant, insurers have to keep all of their terms of service and contractual agreements up to date with the most recent legislation. This is a process with a lot of room for error, as well as being very time intensive. Introducing a bot fixes both of those problems and keeps insurers safe from regulatory fines and a loss of customer confidence.

Underwriting

Automation in insurance isn’t limited to just basic data processing. It can also include complex data analysis to help underwriters establish insurance values that protect them against the inherent risk of insurance claims. Automation, using AI in particular, can bring together many data sets to help more accurately analyze risk and set insurance premiums accordingly.

Hopefully, this quick rundown of some of the potential for automation in insurance firms has shown you a glimpse of how powerful the technology can be. If your goal is to become more efficient and cut costs – there’s no better place to start than automation.

Need to get a handle on costs in your insurance business? Speak to PAteam today.

Automation = Customer Satisfaction

Automation = Customer Satisfaction

Automation is becoming more than just a way of processing data without the need for people. It’s now being applied across a range of businesses to actually support staff and customers alike. But what are the highlights of this developing, people-focused tech?

Many businesses use customer service automation to increase the effectiveness of their support staff, which in turn provides their customers with a more complete level of service. So what exactly is customer service automation, and how can it help your staff, your customers, and your business?

What Is Customer Service Automation?

Consumer service automation is a particular use of automation technology that aims to support customers by providing them with ways of communicating with a business – without the need to speak with a person. The general goal is to make information more accessible, but also to reduce the amount of impact on your teams from customer inquiries.

Some examples of the technology include chatbots, which you’re likely to have seen pop up, usually in the bottom right-hand corner of a web page on some sites or even in apps. These bots have a connection with a knowledge base and provide answers to questions from customers based on their messages.

There is also the slightly older, but rapidly developing, technology of IVR (Interactive Voice Response). When you call a company, you’re often sent through an automated lobby where you have to say words that relate to the nature of your call so that you can be funneled to the most appropriate operator or at least brief whichever person you are passed to about what your call is about.

3 Big Benefits of Customer Service Automation

Give Your Team Time

You hire people to make your business better – not  to get them to push buttons and carry out tasks that a bot can do. Unfortunately, that’s what many customer service people end up doing. Customer service automation is a great way to free up much of their time to focus on delivering true value to your business. With more time, they can focus on delivering the highest quality in every customer interaction, as well as solving more complex customer queries that bots aren’t capable of dealing with.

Prevent Errors

Automating customer service workflows and processes reduces the possibility of human error and speeds up the process of connecting consumers with the appropriate help. This is because customers can be guided via a workflow that includes FAQs, a self-service center, an interactive speech system, and finally onto a human support team member if necessary rather than being passed from one customer service team member to another. This reduces the likelihood of human errors when passing customers from one operator to another.

Boost Time To Value

By giving customers ways to get information on your products and services 24/7, you’re helping to unlock the potential of those offerings. It doesn’t matter whether a query is technical or billing-related, giving customers that information in the quickest way possible, reduces the time it takes them to get the full value of your products and services.

This has a positive impact on customer satisfaction, which cascades into brand loyalty, and in turn CLV (customer lifetime value). That means putting support bots in place to deal with basic queries in a timely manner can generate more revenue for your business in the long run.

Keen to discover how bots can boost customer satisfaction. Contact PAteam today!

How Attended Automation Can Transform Your Contact Center

How Attended Automation Can Transform Your Contact Center

We’ve covered RPA in contact centers before, but today we’re looking into all things Attended Automation. That means, in the next few hundred words, you’ll find out what attendant automation is and how it can help your contact center.

Contact centers are often hectic places. With phones constantly ringing, and customers at the end of every line wanting help and answers – there’s a lot of pressure to deliver. People do a great job of connecting with people, but the systems that have historically been built to support them can’t keep pace with customer expectations in 2022. That’s where Attended Automation comes in.

What is Attended Automation?

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) automates human actions, such as dragging and dropping files, clicking the mouse, or hitting keys on a keyboard in a quick, precise, and repeatable way. In contrast, Attended Automation provides employees with a “robot companion” (in the form of a piece of software) to support their work. The key difference between attended, and unattended automation is that the attended bot only works under the supervision of a human.

You can program certain activities that an attended bot will automatically perform when necessary using trigger events. A human employee picking up the phone or pressing a button on their screen could be this trigger, which then leads to an automated action from the bot.

What Can Attended Automation Do For Contact Centers?

An automated attendant’s duties could include gathering customer data from one platform and updating it automatically on another, or providing insight from previous calls with a customer to speed up a conversation. By combining Attended Automation with other technologies, such as Machine Learning and Speech Pattern Recognition, it’s possible for a bot to gauge someone’s mood from short responses before passing the call to a human operator.

These types of Attended Automations give a human employee more time and information to be able to concentrate on providing a personal service to customers in an environment where speed of interaction and resolution is often key. You can’t replace human connection, but you can augment it. By giving human operators more time and information, they can make better decisions at a higher pace.

These sorts of options can drastically cut down on ramp time, average handling time, boost data entry accuracy, and raise CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) ratings. In the contact center, Attended Automation has the potential to result in happier employees, happier clients, and ultimately, a healthier bottom line – really, should be the automatic choice.

Want to make your contact center the best it can be? You need Attended Automation, so speak to PAteam today.