Interview With Anil Chawla, MD, Verint Systems

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Verint Systems can be described as an intelligent company, moreover, it helps other companies become intelligent by analyzing huge pile of their data. By applying intelligent and actionable data analytics, Verint helps enterprises primarily in 3 areas- security intelligence, customer engagement optimization and fraud, risk and compliance. The company, besides offering solutions on the same, is also big advocate of Robotic Process Automation (RPA). We spoke to the company’s Managing Director Anil Chawla to understand if RPA is a reality or just another buzzword, and what it means for India. Excerpts :

Q. When we think of automation, at the current time, what are the areas in enterprises, do you think, needs urgent attention in terms of automation?

Automation technology is not really restricted by industry or areas within the industry. Any area of operation that has primary work time spent working on computer screen, has straight processes flows that require few decision boxes, are up for automation.

I think the question alludes to areas where the impact of automation is higher or can be higher. Automation “bots’ not only bring in efficiency but also complete work with better quality and process compliance. Therefore they are ideal for F&A processes within enterprise, as bots would allow to do more with less while offering better efficiency and compliance. It does not take much to see that Banking and insurance organizations have much wider scope for automation.

Q. Many a times automation is being confused with digitization. Can you please put them in two different boxes?

The meaning of the word Digitization has picked up many meanings in the last decade. Today it also means the way of engaging with the masses via multitude of communication channels available. It is more closely associated today with putting services online. This is not to be confused with the digitization which referred to the conversion of paper based admin platforms to more digital/online ones.
Either one of the two is not Automation. Automation is about rules based automation of processes, which are moderately complex, fundamentally rules-based and don’t require human decision making and judgment. Such processes can be automated partially or, in many cases completely. Some of the digitization maybe starting point for these automation.

Q. Where do India’s businesses stand in automating their processes?

Huge is the word and the industry has been quick to get on to it. Automation and robotics are the buzzword for the industry. There is both excitement and fear of this technology and we feel that the balance for this wold be achieved with innovative use.

Q. What are the business verticals seeing more traction on automation?

As we shared earlier, Insurance, Banking and F&A shared service centers are quick to adopt.

Q. What is the scope of robotics for enterprises? Any specific industry(s) you feel have more opportunity than others?

Any industry which has large number of employees working on non-customer facing computer centric activities are ideal candidates for robotics process automation. In domestic market BFSI has the biggest scope. Shared Services Centers (KPOs) is the first mover in India. Although SSCs cannot be counted as Indian requirement, the quantum of business expected from them is the largest.
6.    Where do India stand in this space vis-à-vis global players?

Indian enterprises are abuzz with the robotics messaging. Everyone wants piece of this action. At the same time industry is still trying to create a balance between labour threat perception and the hype associated with the robotics.

Verint provides a wide range of solutions that enable organisations to optimise their customer engagement and interaction through the use of Actionable Intelligence. RPA is a component of suite of tools that assist with Workforce Optimisation as part of a broader Customer Engagement Optimisation platform.

Q. How big is the robotic automation market for India, and internationally?

There is no doubt that the potential is big, both domestically and internationally. There are few factors that have to play out yet: The abundance of low cost manpower in India and many Asian countries is one major factor. So Quality and Compliance based processes would have first draw from domestic market. Enterprises globally are trying to do more with less and robotics seems as the natural answer.

Q. How does automation, robotics help organisation in various indices, say, productivity, cost saving and future readiness? Please provide some data points.

RPA is best utilised in situations that require mass repetitive rules-based procedures. It can be integrated into existing manual process to assist with the onboarding and upskilling of employees or deployed as a stand-alone solution where manual intervention is not required. Both scenarios can deliver dramatic improvements in productivity, quality and cost-savings as well as being a significant contributor to a rise in customer satisfaction.

Q. IoT is the next big thing, and almost every organisation is thinking or doing something or the other around it. How do you see this trend?

Internet of Things has been the other buzz that has been the favourite discussion on many forums. This is driven by some of the biggest names in tech industry. The views and solution therefore are prejudiced and disjointed. There is no global vision of final world. But then that’s how the internet evolved. Hopefully IOT would not carry some of the short-sightedness that internet had. For truly useful IoT would require IPV6 to avoid device address choke. Possibilities are immense!

Q. What are Verint’s IoT solutions(if any) for organizations?

Verint would not typically be considered to be an IoT vendor. Instead, we are able to utilise multiple data points generated by a variety of systems to optimise the customer engagement process.

Q. How big government as a vertical in deploying automation, and (or) robotics? Do Verint has any solution for them?

We see good things in near future. Since governments are people centric, efficiency of menial tasks is where we see initial solution growth in this sector. The polity has woken up to accountability and ushering in eGovernance in a more organized manner. The process of digitization of all old records itself is a mammoth task that would require at least rudimentary automation. We, at Verint, are already seeing uptake in this area with regular KYC checks which are required.

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