Points of View
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Bots Are Starting to Comprehend Spanish
The market adoption of RPA is maturing. Reference points are the successful IPO of Blue Prism, Pega acquiring Openspan and the leading tool vendors progressing toward enterprise grade deployments.
However, despite the maturation, there are no commonly accepted definitions of what RPA actually represents. The core value proposition is twofold: First, it is about recording, scheduling and the playing back of process steps that could not be automated with other technologies or where the cost would not support the business cases. Second, the extraction of data across heterogeneous systems at scale. Yet there are many organizations that use the moniker “RPA” to get a seat at the discussions on the emerging notion of Intelligent Automation without covering those two aspects of the core proposition. The more we were intrigued discussing these issues with Jidoka, a Spanish headquartered organization, who is close to those core aspects.
Jidoka is the RPA solution developed by Novayre Solutions who focus on complex system integration around SOA and BPM projects as well as complex event processing (CEP). Jidoka’s key differentiation is twofold. First and foremost, its entrenchment in the Spanish speaking world with a strong set of marquee clients in key target areas: multinational consultants and system integrators such as Deloitte, leading BPOs and Contact Center providers such as Konecta, or reference clients within the public sector such as the "Virgen del Rocio" hospital, one of the largest in Spain. Second, the Jidoka tool is developed in JAVA while the leading RPA tool provider build on .NET environments. In contrast to the leading RPA tools like Blue Prism, UiPath and AutomationAnywhere, Jidoka does not yet have the capability to record and play back process steps in a plug-and-play style studio. Rather than focusing on automating tasks and then work its way up through an organization, Jidoka is leveraging the domain knowledge of its parent Novayre from a business function point of view. Put in more simple terms for Jidoka it is about top down rather than bottom up. Further differentiating IP exists in OCR tools that can recognize text even in pictures and that can deal with font size changes.
Jidoka is partnering with some of the leading system integrators and has deployed RPA in Spain, Portugal and Mexico. In some cases it has been deployed together with other leading RPA tools underlining the move to broader service orchestration across the industry. Use cases include debt collection for utilities, or human resources management for BPOs. While Jidoka has carved out a leading position in the Spanish-speaking world, in order achieve its goal to expand into the US and UK markets, it has to invest in marketing to get a seat at the table for discussions on Intelligent Automation as well as to localize its offering and go-to-market for those markets.
Jidoka is yet another example that in the still nascent RPA market there is space for a plethora of different offerings and approaches. However, as the market is maturing these offerings have to evolve toward enterprise grade offerings including broad analytical, cognitive and governance capabilities. Part of this maturation is the emergence of the notion of service orchestration where not only Intelligent Automation tools get bundled but broader approaches including integration of ServiceNow or Cloud Brokerage. Therefore, Jidoka has to articulate more succinctly where it aims to play in those emerging environments.
The moniker “RPA” remains a vague term with no commonly accepted definition. The more we need case studies and references that outline the value proposition of the respective providers. While automation remains largely in the eye of the beholder, as an industry we have to progress to a better understanding of the various approaches – and not just those of the poster childs.