Automation is changing insurance and here’s why

  • Automation is changing insurance and here’s why

Recently, we had a meeting with one of Canada’s largest insurance companies discussing Robotic Process Automation(RPA). The internal champion had spent months reviewing the top RPA software vendors. His conclusion was that they all do essentially the same thing. He found there were some major differences in how much these systems cost and a big difference between the price of unattended and attended robots.

Cognitive AI based Invoice Processing Bots

Cognitive Bot’s can reveolutionize business by sense of business documents like Purchase Orders, Invoices, Quotes and other business documents in any format.

Innovation

This insurance company is no stranger to innovation as over a decade ago they made the leap to transform their company from 70% paper: 30% electronic to 70% electronic: 30% paper. At this time they were at the forefront of innovation and almost 20 years later the challenges are less about paper and more about how people are working with scanned documents and the manual processes that still hold the company back from optimal efficiency.

The Challenge

The new challenges ahead are equally as daunting as they may have seemed when making the transition to a paperless office. In a large organization there are many stakeholders and all departmental decisions inevitably effect each other. Robotic Process Automation is a department agnostic solution as its only prerequisite to improve a processes speed is if the process is highly manual, repetitive, high volume and rules based.

Homework

Our team was impressed by the work that had already been done internally. This champion had identified over 80 different processes that could benefit from RPA. Each process had been documented in an excel file that included aspects of our RPA opportunity checklist. It was an extremely thorough document and we were happy because it made the next step a lot easier.

Where to start

No matter how big a list of processes you hope to automate, they all start the same way. Selecting one process for a Proof of Concept(PoC). Possibly the most important step in any RPA process is picking the right first project. If it is too simple it may not have the impact and ROI that is expected. This could stunt future investment in rolling out other RPA initiatives. If the selected process is too complex it could delay the completion of a successful first PoC. Just like Goldilocks and The Three Bears, you want to select the one that is just right.

Launching an RPA project

If you are looking to launch an RPA program within your insurance company. It’s realistic to have a fully functional full process within a 4 week period. At Tangentia we break down the Proof of Concept as follows:

Week 1. Prepare and Engage

  • Collaborate with stakeholders to identify and assist in identifying the candidates of RPA PoC.
  • Engage process owners via discovery workshop to confirm scope of PoC (assuming prior engagement to this point)
  • Prepare base infrastructure to host the RPA application.
  • Install the RPA tool in single environment.
  • Set up system access and credentials

Week 2. Select, Build and Analyze

  • Select & confirm 1 process for PoC.
  • Conduct workshop for documenting current state process via existing documentation and job shadowing.
  • Meet with process owners or stakeholders to explain what will be done in the PoC
  • Confirm the objectives of the PoC and “success” criteria
  • Build PoC

Week 3. Build and Test

  • Continue Building PoC
  • Test PoC with test data
  • Record a “before and after” to communicate the concept to a larger audience.

Week 4. Demo, Document, and Plan

  • Demo the PoC to stakeholders
  • Document key learnings, point of view on key questions and next steps
  • Document Requirements to move RPA bots into other environment

4 Weeks?

There is a lot of work to be done in 4 weeks. However, at Tangentia we are no stranger to doing what other companies can’t. For example, before beer and wine were available in grocery stores in Ontario, Kathleen Wynne made an announcement that alcohol would be available in Ontario grocery stores by Christmas. At the time, Christmas was only 6 weeks away. There were a number of companies that bid on this LCBO project but did not want to stick their necks out to deliver the project in that amount of time. They all said it couldn’t be done. We knew that simply wasn’t true.

Success

We won the project and successfully worked with the LCBO, its suppliers and vendors to support them and the millions of dollars of commerce that flowed through our backend system. This project was a big win not only for Tangentia but for the people of Ontario, who now have a more convenient way to pick up a bottle of wine.

Why choose Tangentia?

Now, why would you choose Tangentia to provide you with Professional Services for your RPA project? With over 150 people globally and a recognized partner with the top 3 RPA platforms including UiPath, Automation Anywhere and BluePrism, we understand business and RPA very well. In addition, RPA companies don’t want to be in the business of Professional Services and rely heavily on partners like us to carry the baton over the finish line.

How can I help?

I advise companies in insurance, banking and finance on robotic process automation. I am also a certified RPA developer. When you sell technology I believe it’s important to know your products and to use them yourself. Only then can you truly be an trusted advisor. If you would like to have a conversation about RPA leave a comment below or send me a message and I will be happy to help.

About the Author

Mark Latimer is an Account Executive in Tangentia’s Automation & Digital practice. Tangentia is a Global Boutique Technology Solutions company with offices in Canada, US, and India. Mark helps organizations discover, identify and implement robotic process automation projects to improve an organization productivity and competitiveness. Tangentia has over 1000 customers in over a dozen countries and is one of North America’s fastest growing IT companies.

To connect with Mark

LinkedIn : Mark Latimer
email at: mlatimer@tangentia.com
contact: 416-473-1635.

To learn more about Tangentia’s Automation

www.tangentia.com/automation

Get Started today

Interested in Automation but don’t know where to start? Looking for a reliable Automation reseller with the best possible pricing? Looking for somebody to help maintain, support and enhance your existing bots? Or just want to say hello? Contact us now. We promise a human will answer your query, not a bot.
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Bringing Shadow IT Back Into the Light

  • Bringing Shadow IT Back Into the Light

First post in our new Shadow IT Strategy Series sharing ideas, methods, and strategies to help CEOs, CIOs and most importantly users, to find greater success with Shadow IT!

Shadow IT has gotten a bad rap. Over the last several years mainstream IT leaders and minions alike, have decried Shadow IT as a blight upon the IT world to be purged from the body of the corporation like some fatal viral infection. For those unfamiliar with the evil and dark voodoo of Shadow IT, here’s how Wikipedia defines it:
ShadowIT is a term often used to describe information-technology systems and solutions built and used inside organizations without explicit organizational approval. It is also used, along with the term “Stealth IT”, to describe solutions specified and deployed by departments other than the IT department.

.In my early corporate days at HBC we called these projects skunkworks and we truly got some amazing things accomplished with no budget assigned to support and I even have the letter to prove it! But somehow over the years through the growth of an IT culture of control, Shadow IT has now become something to root out and extinguish like a small brush fire under the shadow of the IT castle walls. Well, I say it’s time to bring Shadow IT back into the light and here’s why!

Improve Relationships – When behavior in organizations turns to rebellion, and users resort to buying new systems and services using their corporate cards, there’s usually a reason. Current budgeting, decision, and procurement processes are slow to the point of being broken and cannot keep up with the need for new types of systems in a variety of areas. Reactions simply to fight this phenomenon will only further fray fractured relationships. Better to see this as your chance to more closely bond with your business users harnessing their initiative to drive innovation.

 Innovation Driver – Having worked inside billion dollar corporations and witnessed first hand the inertia of bureaucracy crushing the life out of rapid innovation, perhaps Shadow IT can become an innovation facilitator. An initiative is needed to kick start innovation and if users feel strongly enough about needed IT system to go out and buy it there’s true motivation and initiative. So by developing your own Shadow IT strategy, you can then more effectively work with users to tap into this wellspring of innovation.

Cloud Migration – As the future of IT is in the cloud, the sooner you can overcome doubts, fears and negative perceptions of migrating to the cloud the better. As by their very nature, most if not all Shadow IT implementations are cloud-based, by developing a program strategy for how best to roll out Shadow IT projects you can effectively frame positive perceptions and also successfully facilitate the process of cloud migration.

Safe Shadow IT – Just like there are recommendations for industrial safety to prevent accidents when it comes to Shadow IT there’s definitely a set of prerequisites and steps which can be put in place to help users avoid pitfalls and maintain systems integrity. Safeguarding Your Success with Shadow IT can be done through taking some initial review steps on key factors as well as bringing in verified partners to assist users in configuration, training, and rollout of their Shadow IT projects. Look out for upcoming Shadow IT strategy posts for the CEO, CIO, and of course users, as we try and do what we can to further fuel innovation by bringing Shadow IT out of the shadows and back into the light!

Get Started today

Interested in Automation but don’t know where to start? Looking for a reliable Automation reseller with the best possible pricing? Looking for somebody to help maintain, support and enhance your existing bots? Or just want to say hello? Contact us now. We promise a human will answer your query, not a bot.
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Pros and Cons of Robotic Process Automation Implementation

  • Pros and Cons of RPA Implementation

Pros and Cons of Robotic Process Automation Implementation

Tangentia Automation

The global robotic process automation (RPA) market size is expected to reach USD 3.11 billion by 2025, according to a new study by Grand View Research, Inc. When implementing a new technology, you must consider the benefits and potential drawbacks. Robotic Process Automation has many benefits and potential challenges in the form of product selection, process evaluation, bot architecture, user training and scaling up.

When evaluating RPA solutions, it is important to understand that there are many adoption challenges and opportunities. To take full advantage of an RPA solution, it’s the teamwork that makes the dream work. It all starts with asking the right questions. Like, “What are the challenges with implementation? What value-added services are there to ensure RPA success? What are the tough lessons learned during implementation that have lead to success?”

An automation strategies costs and benefits are complex as they can affect both front and back office processes. This is why we’ll highlight both the pros and cons of implementing RPA within your organization. Some of the leading software providers like UiPath, Automation Anywhere, BluePrism, Work Fusion and Pega RPA, all have there strengths and customer success stories.

However, finding the right product for your RPA initiative is an important step that starts with discovery and education. Let’s take a look at what RPA can do for your business process.

The Pros of RPA

Picture a Credit Union (CU’s) thinking about introducing automation in an effort to streamline administrative tasks. To make the CU’s business process much more efficient, this CU is looking for an automation solution to rapidly transform there back office processes. They are interested in leveraging the increased accuracy and speed of its business services. By implementing robotic process automation, this Credit Union can foresee immediate benefits including reduce time for consumer loan processing, enhanced accuracy of manual data input, and the elimination of repetitive copy and pasting between applications.

The benefits of RPA are quite similar across industries. RPA’s capabilities are of course quite incredible, and this is really a case where seeing is believing. The following are some less obvious benefits that Credit Unions find important.

Improved Compliance

Data gaps between separate sources of information are removed and all actions executed by the RPA robots are logged during automation. This allows for simple compliance management for running regular internal reviews. RPA systems work across many industries and have been built with a compliance first architecture. If compliance is important to you, RPA makes it easy to stay in line with even the strictest regulations.

Non-Invasive Compatibility

RPA is compatible with virtually any system that a human uses on a computer. Robots recreate the same activities people do everyday like copy & paste, navigating the internet, using banking applications and of course Microsoft Excel. With incredible speed, a bot can move between applications to get more work done, faster. The RPA technology works with the user interface elements on the presentation layer of your screen. This means you do not need to update your legacy systems when you bring RPA into your company. RPA is a unique type of automation because it is Non-Intrusive. It can also reduce the time pressure on IT as users do not need coding ability to work with the RPA.

Increased Management

RPA provides a platform to centralize an organizations management of bots, auditing and analytics to remotely model, monitor, control, schedule, and execute the deployment of RPA software robots. Enhanced governance can be achieved by creating automation rules to manage business operations. High levels of security can be managed and maintained through secure remote server control.

Enhanced Customer Experience

Relieving employees from the burden of repetitive work is what most companies view as one of RPA’s big benefits. Even though back office automation doesn’t seem to impact front office work. RPA can drive customer improvements. Through automation an organization can deliver quality services faster and decrease the chance of errors.

The Cons of RPA

It’s easy to see how RPA can benefit a CU by improving business operations and customer service. Rolling out a new enterprise solution without challenges isn’t realistic based on most organizations historic experience.

Here are some of the challenges that you should look out for if your are considering the successful implementation of RPA for your Credit Union:

Employee Resistance

People are habitual and organizational change can cause stress among employees. Employees who are part of a new technology implementation might be put-off by taking on new responsibilities. It means learning something new and not everyone shares the same level of enthusiasm. Setting the right expectations and communicating them through corporate leadership and executive sponsors will ensure employees stay informed during the RPA implementation process. For successful RPA adoption its best to create a culture of innovation to accelerate adoption.

Process Selection

It is best to select tasks that are repetitive, rules-based, high volume, and do not require too much human judgement. Those tasks are real winners as they will help you see the fastest ROI and greatest company-wide impact. Think “Where do we use copy-paste a lot? Where does data migration take a while?” The more non-standard the process the more difficult it is to automate and the more human interaction required to complete the task. More complex tasks include interacting with customers and developing human relationships. Of course, the upfront time it takes to identify the right process is necessary to successful process selection. You may not need to automate everything right away. Think “What one process could we change that would make the biggest difference?

Managing Expectations

So as to not disappoint, be mindful when it comes to setting internal expectations for a new technology like RPA. The excitement for what’s possible should not be overshadowed by the practicality of the processes that need to be improved first. RPA will not fix all operational problems or broken processes. Companies need to decide on the right technology for their unique RPA needs. By communicating expectation regarding results, point to other companies successes stories so people can see a road-map where they are going.

Navigating Obstacles

Proper prior planning will help you conceptually manage all the moving pieces. Working with a partner that has experience in the trenches of RPA projects can prove to be invaluable. To get the full benefit of an RPA solution, partners like Tangentia can provide best in class lean operation principles to your organizations workflow. When weighing the Pros and Cons of and RPA implementation, the right partner can really tilt the scale in your favor as you navigate the uncharted waters of RPA for your company.

PwC says in their white paper Organizing Your Future with Robotic Process Automation that “a couple of RPA’s greatest benefits are often overlooked…[such as] its ease of deployment.

When you overcome the challenges of the automation selection process and minimize employee resistance, you will experience RPA implementation success. Few things are more gratifying than identifying a process that needs improvement and working together as a team to drive innovation. During the process, new ideas will emerge for other areas of the business to be automated. Widespread adoption can help the company realize the full cascading benefits of a true world class RPA solution.

Whether you are interested in UiPath, Automation Anywhere, BluePrism, Work Fusion or Pega RPA. Here at Tangentia we understand process automation very well and can help you throughout your implementation from initial discovery conversations to enterprise multi-bot rollout.

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RPA has been embraced by many sectors, such as medicine, hospitality, retail, & manufacturing. Now, the financial sector is gearing up for a shift in financial management that will see companies digitize and streamline financial processes. Read our latest blog on how financial companies and internal finance teams are looking to RPA to become more efficient in day to day operations.
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Six reasons to use Tangentia EDI for Microsoft Dynamics NAV integration

  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV integrationTangentia EDI

Six reasons to use Tangentia EDI for Microsoft Dynamics NAV integration

Founded in 2003 in Toronto, Tangentia has grown rapidly to become the leader in Global Boutique technology solutions. Through a ‘Think Global, Act Local” strategy that is implemented via offices in Toronto, Calgary, New York, Goa and Bengaluru, Tangentia has built an impressive roster of 1000+ customers. Rounding up our growth story, Tangentia Inc. has made it to the Profit 500 List of Fastest Growing Companies in Canada for the last 6 years in a row and Tangentia America LLC is now an INC 5000 company.

Tangentia EDI is the oldest of the six divisions of Tangentia; the others being Tangentia Digital, Tangentia Automation, Tangentia Cloud, Tangentia Security, and Tangentia Consulting.

Why should businesses integrate their EDI data with their ERP?

Large enterprises and SMBs that supply to major retailers such as Walmart, Costco, Amazon, Loblaws and Hudson’s Bay are mandated to utilize EDI as a means to exchange business transactions. This enables efficient and secure electronic exchange of business data between them.

To respond to this mandate, each supplier maintains an EDI system that they use to electronically communicate with their enterprise-level customers. Additionally, each organization also maintains their own ERP/Accounting System to manage their business processes and information.

With the huge amount of data that is going back and forth from different sources, it has become a necessity for every business to consider integration between their business applications.

1)        Integration automates manual tasks: Enables focus on higher-value tasks rather than data entry.

2)        Integration increases shipping & invoice accuracy: Real-time sync from ERP to EDI and vice versa enables accurate order fulfillment.

3)        Integration allows quicker turnaround: Speeds up order processing, providing a competitive edge in today’s fast-moving world.

EDI integration has been a complex, time-consuming and resource-intensive process for customers, large and small. Tangentia EDI, through its cloud-based, SaaS offerings such as Tangentia Gateway, Tangentia Grid, and EZ Border Solutions, makes the entire EDI integration process seamless.

Tangentia EDI’s Navision Engine integrates directly with Microsoft Dynamics NAV, and connects businesses with trading hubs in the Retail, Automotive, Logistics, and Industrial sectors.

Six reasons to use Tangentia EDI for Microsoft Dynamics NAV integration:

1)       Stability: Backed by the global Tangentia Consulting & Technology Organization

2)       Credibility: 75+ Microsoft Dynamics NAV implementations worldwide

3)       Flexibility: Integrations to 50+ ERP/WMS/eCommerce systems

4)       Reliability: 1000+ EDI customers globally

5)       Scalability: Connect to more than 2000+ trading hubs globally

6)       No EDI chargebacks: Guaranteed EDI compliance to trading partner specifications

1-877-TANG-BIZ
sales@tangentia.com

How to Pick an EDI Service Provider … Do they have a Karen?

  • How to Pick an EDI Service Provider
    Do they have a Karen?

I have worked next to one of the hardest working, most knowledgeable and talented EDI sales and support people in the business for over two years. Her name is Karen and she has been working with Tangentia for close to 5 years. She arrives early and stays late. She has the best attitude and is always willing to put in a little extra effort. In every case, it’s not just a little extra effort but a lot of extra effort. That’s what you want when choosing an EDI provider.
Sitting next to Karen, I am always amazed at how she manages to get so much done. She is always working. She works so hard she literally has to be reminded to go have lunch. There is no one person that I have ever worked with that has impressed me more. Any company would be lucky to have a Karen.
When selecting an EDI provider, most things are the same. The prices are similar. The services are similar. Every vendor wants your business, and you as a client are looking for a secure, scalable solution that just works. If you are thinking about switching EDI service providers, you have your pick. But the question you have to ask yourself is, do they have a Karen?
Without a doubt, Karen leads our customer service team on all accounts. Listening to her laugh, I would say she is probably the happiest person in the world. Customers love her, her colleagues love her, and I’m confident you will, too.
I was asked to write an article to help us sell our EDI services. When I thought long and hard about why I would choose Tangentia for EDI, sure the technology is world-class and setup is easy. You’ll definitely save money and the system is also super user-friendly. But besides that, the real reason I would choose Tangentia is because I know that if I did need support, I could call Karen and she would not only solve my problem, but also put a smile on my face and make my day. This I can guarantee.
So if you are new to EDI and considering your options, or if you are looking for alternatives to your current EDI provider, the question you should ask any vendor is “Do you have a Karen?” Chances are they don’t, because there is nobody like Karen. We are lucky to have her on our team, and you will be, too, when you decide to choose Tangentia as your EDI service provider.
To work with Karen directly and have her setup your company on EDI, just send her an email with your contact details to:
kbriones@tangentia.com
She will promptly call you back and will be so happy it will make you smile.
Thank you, Karen, for all that you do.
We love you.

PS: A note from Karen…
Thank you so much for your kind words. Never did I imagine that I can be blogged about in this lifetime. Your blog submission truly made my day – should I mention it made me tear up a bit? Hehe.
As for the blog requirement, since this could be published on our official blog site, my edit suggestion would be to emphasize the characteristics that all of us at Tangentia share as a team, rather than as individuals. It would be a great opportunity to highlight the things that set our team apart from our competitors which are: our team’s consistent hard work, positive attitude, and going the extra mile to help our customers overcome their challenges.

PPS: As you can see, even when Karen is recognized for her efforts, she goes out of her way to share the credit with the entire team. That’s a real team player.

1-877-TANG-BIZ

sales@tangentia.com

Stories from the last 15 years – Do you want to keep driving trucks or change the world?

  • Stories from the last 15 years – Do you want to keep driving trucks or change the world?

Ask most people in Toronto about what they remember about 2003, and many might remember the crippling power outage that shut down most of the North East in August of that year. For me personally, it was the start of Tangentia towards the end of 2003.

I always wanted to start something of my own but the catalyst was when the French company I worked for at that time sold their operations in Canada sans me ( yes I was literally the only employee left in Canada). I decided that if I was going to have to build a business for scratch, might as well do it as an entrepreneur rather than an employee. Throwing caution to the wind, I looked around and found Mohan who was somebody I hired as a java programmer at a previous job in Montreal and who had also moved to Toronto.

Mohan, believe it or not, had got himself a truck driving licence and was driving refrigerated containers to Chicago from Toronto! Having been to business school and having read Steve Jobs do the “do you want to sell sugared water all your life” to John Sculley, I asked Mohan “Do you want to drive trucks all your life or change the world” and he agreed to help me during the week and drive his trucks over the weekend. So now I had a programmer and I took on all the remaining positions in the company.

We got our first project which was for a customer in Montreal that wanted us to install an AS2 software on an AS400 and integrate with their JD Edwards ERP system and they wanted it done ASAP. With no projects in hand, we had to think fast. We asked them if they had their maintenance agreement with IBM upto speed and they said yes. Far from installing software on it, neither Mohan or I had ever seen an AS400 server but I felt that if somebody could do it then we should be able to do it as well.

It was already past noon in Toronto and the customer wanted the install done the next day in Montreal and we did not budget any travel costs. So this is what we did: Mohan got a rental car and he drove to Montreal – I got hold of IBM support and conferenced Mohan as he drove to Montreal, and we figured out that the AS400 libraries were different from a windows directory etc etc. However with Mohan’s strong UNIX background, we were able, over the next 5 hours that it took him to drive to Montreal, to  understand what had to be done.

Mohan stayed with his uncle as we obviously had not budgeted a hotel and walked into the customer office the next morning. We had a few minor hiccups but before the end of the day the software was installed and the customer who was a large apparel manufacturer was transacting EDI purchase orders and invoices seamlessly with Walmart via AS2. I spoke to the customer a couple of years later and everything was still working as we had installed!!

We got lucky, as in 2003 Walmart was mandating all their vendors to move their EDI from the VAN ( Value Added Network) to AS2 and we got very busy doing these small migration projects all over North America. This is the origins of the Tangentia EDI & Ecommerce group that 15 years later has 1000+ customers globally including many Fortune 500 companies that outsource their entire B2B Infrastructure and Order Management to us.

Somebody wise once said – the harder you work the luckier you get.

1-877-TANG-BIZ
sales@tangentia.com

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