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Extreme Automation Is The New Normal – Says MD and Country Head for Pegasystems Suman Reddy

Extreme Automation Is The New Normal – Says MD and Country Head for Pegasystems Suman Reddy

DeepTalk is an interactive series where leaders, experts, trendsetters at the forefront of technological changes discuss and share their unique perspectives and knowledge with community professionals on disruptive technologies like AI, ML, Blockchain, Fintech and IoT.

The sixth episode of DeepTalk ‘Extreme Automation, The New Normal’ is about extreme, intelligent automation which is now transforming the playbook for customer engagement and customer service within Fortune 500 companies. Business today is largely driven by disruptive technologies causing unprecedented changes across sectors.  Extreme Automation, comprising new technologies like cloud application, blockchain, natural language processing and many others, has re-defined processes by increasing pace and effectiveness.

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Right from its inception Pega has evolved through different phases of Business Process Management, Customer Relationship Management to `Digital Cross Automation’ only to return to Intelligent Automation. `We are in a very interesting and unique position’, says Mr. Reddy. `We are the only company to have invested in a platform that can do both back office and automation operations and at the same time hold the customer engagement.’ Pega’s financial services catered to the largest companies in the world and, from Fortune 200 to Fortune 500, the perspective has now shifted to global 2000 to global 3000 companies. A highly engineering driven company, Pega has created industry specific solutions across six major segments, constantly rolling out newer versions of software resulting in enhanced services and offerings.

Automation technology is all about getting as much work done in enterprise settings involving minimal human intervention and increasingly relying upon intelligent agents like bots and demons. So is automation the new normal?  Is every industry pushing harder to automate business processes?  While simpler tasks are successful when automated, larger processes call for intelligent systems which have capabilities of business process management, case management, analytics, AI –  all woven together. Humans are needed to sell or service and therefore it is not humans versus machines but humans and machines. Has the arrival of robotic process automation actually displaced BPO jobs?  Simple tasks have been replaced by machines right now. However, customer empathy requires interactions which involve human participation where employees refrain from routine work of updating a spreadsheet but endeavor to provide higher customer experience.

The future of intelligence is not bots replacing humans but humans getting smarter using bots as allies.  Mr. Reddy feels that the world is going to change significantly in the next decade where humans will get to do different things while traditional work is being taken over by robots. When decisions are optimized by applying deep learning technologies the whole partnership of intelligent systems powered by robotics and AI with human empathy, is what companies look for. And this has given way to the term `cobotics’ where humans and robots collaborate for business success.

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Currently the digital transformation space poses plenty of opportunities with several companies in competition. One has to think about a comprehensive customer experience because customers’ expectations have completely changed. Mr. Reddy feels the next 12 to 18 months will be an interesting phase; while conversion will happen there will be acquisitions resulting in fewer, larger companies at the end of this shakeout rather than a lot of small companies occupying small parts. The intelligent automation space is indeed in a state of flux but moving rapidly towards resolution and stability.

Pega has been one of the major companies at the forefront of AI application deployment and AI pervades every aspect of the organization.  Acquiring a company called OpenSpan, Pega rewrote that entire capabilities within the platform to provide seamless capabilities either on the desktop automation or the workflow intelligence. Cloud has been Pega’s fastest moving business with over 62% growth last year. While most companies lock the customer down to a specific cloud provider, Pega offers a choice of cloud and that flexibility to the end customer is what differentiates the company from the competition.

To sustain the leadership position in the market, Pega’s talent development strategy includes training its people to understand the business in depth. Presently 75000 strong, Pega’s efficient method to source talent is a university program conducted in partnership with Talentsprint which has been instrumental in fetching premium jobs for the students. This model is soon to be replicated by Pega across the globe.

Suman Reddy responded to various questions posed on businesses of Pega Systems like cloud and IoT, factors that help the company retain its position of strength, and skills needed to be acquired in this age of technology. He ended the sessions with a one-line recommendation for a learner – become an AI native.

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