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VMblog Expert Interview: Kryon Talks Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Full-Cycle Automation-as-a-Service (FCAaaS)

interview-kryon-antebi 

Kryon recently launched the industry’s first cloud-based Full Cycle Automation-as-a-Service (FCAaaS) platform that's powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS).  To dig in deeper and learn more about what the company is doing, VMblog spoke with the company's CTO, Shay Antebi.

VMblog:  Can you give us a high-level overview of what Kryon offers?  And how are you different from others in the enterprise automation space?

Shay Antebi:  Kryon is a trailblazer in the robotic process industry (RPA) industry. Our software-based bots, powered by AI and machine learning, observe humans on the job, learn the processes they perform, and identify which ones are best suited for automation. Later on, business users can rapidly automate these processes for maximum efficiency and productivity. There are two main types of business process automation: bots that operate alongside employees on their workstations and bots that operate in the background. The former, known as attended automation, is similar to virtual assistants and helps employees execute their tasks or guide them through complex processes. Unattended RPA, in contrast, runs automation on a virtual machine, behind the scenes. Our technology enables attended and unattended automation as well as hybrid automation, which is essentially a combination of both, into a single solution. Most RPA providers focus only on one or the other. Regardless of the automation type, as a result of outsourcing mundane processes to bots, employees enjoy increased productivity and process accuracy while focusing on human interaction and other more rewarding business critical activities.

However, the most significant way Kryon stands out among our competitors is our Process Discovery tool. One of the biggest challenges end-users face with RPA is that it takes too long to deploy bots and see value from it. Before Kryon, this was a manual endeavor involving the hiring of professional consultants who would monitor the workforce and identify the processes to automation. This method can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and take months to complete before the automation can even get started. After all, the time and effort it takes to uncover the manual business processes in an enterprise can make RPA an extremely inefficient and costly undertaking. It's no wonder that only 8% of automation projects ever reach a scale of 50+ robots.

Process Discovery is a game-changer for any enterprise considering an investment in RPA because it automates the discovery process - identifying which business processes are prime targets for deploying automation. We were the first to market with Process Discovery more than two years ago, and since then, every vendor has been trying to copy it.

The faster enterprises can get to actual RPA deployment, the more quickly they can see the impact and realize their return on investment (ROI). Once they see that in action, they want to automate more processes and scale up even more bots. So, with Process Discovery, we sought to "automate the automation" in order to help customers get to that implementation phase faster. With our newest version of Full-Cycle Automation where we added real-time capabilities to our Process Discovery solution, this has been reduced to minutes instead of days.

VMblog:  What is Full-Cycle Automation and how is Kryon delivering this as a service?

Antebi:  Kryon's AI-based Full-Cycle Automation Suite is the only solution that delivers Process Discovery, analytics, and direct deployment to RPA in a single platform. The Kryon platform sets a new standard for secure, scalable, cost-efficient automation management and optimization. It's also among the most business-user friendly platforms on the market. Using our patented visual recognition technology, the platform combines advanced IMR and OCR capabilities to record and execute processes on any application (including Citrix, web-based, legacy and desktop) - without the need for integration (no connectors/API required). Our enterprise-grade architecture enables fast and efficient scalability, by providing quick deployment, reliability, and rapid response to change. Our solution also offers the highest level of security through complete separation of resources, so only authorized users can access or edit specific data. Earlier this year, Forrester analysts evaluated the results that our customers achieved using Full-Cycle Automation and determined that it can reach an ROI of 352% in just three years.

With the launch of Full-Cycle Automation as a standalone cloud platform, Kryon takes this concept to an entirely new level, from discovering and mapping processes through RPA deployment and productivity optimization to continual analysis for superior results.

VMblog:  What are the benefits of moving enterprise automation to the cloud?

Antebi:  With Full-Cycle Automation becoming available in the AWS cloud, we can offer the full power of Process Discovery, RPA, and performance analytics in a unified, easy-to-use cloud-based platform. Cloud-based delivery also means that businesses can eliminate the high costs of server infrastructure and associated maintenance. Plus, users can be up and running within 24 hours without extensive technical knowledge or RPA background. Organizations can quickly and easily scale up automation bots on demand whenever capacity is needed, and even have the valuable robots in production within three weeks. Overall, the cloud deployment allows the customer to focus on automating their process instead of on deploying solutions, this will propel any automation plans customers have.

VMblog:  Has Kryon seen an increase in demand for RPA due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

Antebi:  Since February of this year, we have received numerous calls from organizations that needed a way to respond rapidly to the changes caused by the pandemic. The world is a different place today and our customers need help to quickly shift the way work gets done. Those who are not moving quickly enough to the new way of working will suffer. That is where RPA comes in. Even before Coronavirus, RPA delivered efficiency, productivity, but with the onslaught of the pandemic, the automation of business-critical, time-consuming tasks is essential for survival.

VMblog:  What are some of the ways that businesses are leveraging RPA that they were not doing before the pandemic?

Antebi:  Before the pandemic, organizations were interested in RPA to maximize efficiency. Today, in many cases, it is about ensuring existence. Entire workflows have been disrupted. More people than ever are working from home. How will businesses get through this?

Data is our best friend as we find our way out of this public health crisis, but the challenge is, how do we apply structure to that data and share it quickly with those who need it? RPA is poised to assist with this in myriad ways. One of the early calls for help we received as the pandemic was just starting was from Maccabi Healthcare Services, the largest nonprofit health maintenance organization (HMO) in Israel, with 2.4 million members. Maccabi needed to automate the process of uploading confidential COVID-19 patient test results to the Israeli Ministry of Health, twice a day At the time, this was a manual process that created weeks-long backlogs and a mass of human errors. Working closely with Maccabi's CIO, our team automated the process within 48 hours. The rapid uploading of critical and sensitive data to the Ministry of Health better informs response decisions. We applied the same principle when we helped the Brazilian Ministry of Health streamline what was a largely manual, error-prone, and complex process of gathering and updating COVID-19 statistics. As you may know, the virus outbreak is particularly widespread there.

We are also helping banking and financial institutions deploy automation. Call centers in banks everywhere around the world have experienced a massive increase in calls from mortgage holders and credit cardholders who want to delay their payments. Bank customers seeking to delay their mortgage payments can submit a request via the bank's website. Kryon's Full-Cycle Automation solution receives the request automatically, validates all the details, and matches the information with multiple credit systems. Once the bot completes these processes, a bank agent receives an initial approval of the customer's request and takes it from there. For credit card payment deferrals, our solution processes requests submitted by customers via self-service channels, pulling relevant customer data from various applications and verifying each customer's eligibility for payment postponement. If the requester is eligible, a bot sends an automated email and an SMS notification to the customer with the new payment date, while also updating it in the bank's CRM. In the case of non-eligibility, a robot creates a case to be reviewed by a dedicated team of banking agents. This scenario alone has shown a 70% reduction in average handling time per call, which provides relief to the call center workers and bank agents as well as the customer who needs the postponement.

VMblog:  What's next for the RPA industry?  What do you think needs to happen to encourage widespread adoption of this technology?

Antebi:  What we have seen so far is only scratching the surface of what RPA can do. How has our culture-at-large changed due to the coronavirus pandemic? Will some of these changes in societies around the world become permanent? We have already seen many large enterprises say they're going to a work-from-home model forever. What kind of technology will be needed to support all of these remote workers? Will we eventually return to life before COVID-19? Or, will we find a new way to move forward? Either way, Kryon is ready to lead and help organizations improve the future of work - whatever it looks like.

One of the barriers to widespread RPA adoption is the worry that bots will replace humans and render their jobs obsolete. Kryon has reset this discussion by providing the tools and encouragement for anyone to learn how to become an RPA developer. The way Kryon has developed its Full-Cycle Automation means that in an attended automation situation, the human workers are always in control and the bot is there to assist, make recommendations, and take on tasks that are delegated by the human. Imagine what that technology could do for your remote workforce. My vision of how RPA is used in the near-term is that humans, bots, and software applications work together harmoniously, with humans sitting in the driver's seat and offloading the tasks that drag them down.

Another major barrier to widespread RPA is that enterprises struggle to find qualified RPA developers that can lead an automation center of excellence. Kryon solves this challenge in two ways. First, our software is low code by design. We believe that anyone in an enterprise should be able to come up with a concept for automation. Humans who are carrying out the time-intensive, mundane tasks at a business know better than anyone what should be automated, so why not enable them to participate in the process? And secondly, training services. Our Kryon Academy is training the next generation of RPA citizen developers. Many of our students have their first automation deployment in the field in six to eight weeks.

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About Shay Antebi

Shay Antebi is Chief Technology Officer at Kryon Systems, a robotic process automation provider headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel. Over the course of his career, Antebi has led multiple large-scale global transformations introducing teams to new, cutting-edge technologies and methodologies. Shay previously served as the vice president of R&D and Innovation at Amdocs (NASDAQ: DOX), where he was responsible for building world-class services, and became the CTO for Amdocs Delivery, where he spearheaded the technology for over 5,000 developers. rturing creativity to achieve the best results.

Published Wednesday, September 23, 2020 7:32 AM by David Marshall
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