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AI-enabled automation - An innovative force to the ERP managed services

 

The cost of maintaining on-premises enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems continues to rise. A major portion of the IT budget is spent on 'keeping the lights on,' which means that minimal funds are set aside for new and innovative projects. Chief information officers (CIOs) have tough decisions to make -- figure out ways to get better throughput, lower the cost of maintaining existing ERP systems, and innovate through next-generation systems to respond to the rapid change in business dynamics. The purpose of this article is to share thoughts on how AI-enabled robotic automation, based on machine learning, can create more value and lower the cost of ERP managed services.

Infosys Automation Platform, an artificial intelligence enabled robotic platform, brings machine learning together with the deep knowledge of an organization to drive automation. The platform comes with three key components:
(a) The Infosys Information Platform: An open source-based data analytics
(b) The Infosys Automation Platform: A solution that continuously learns routing logic, resolution processes, and diagnosis logic to build a knowledge-base that drives operational efficiencies and automates routine processes
(c) The Infosys Knowledge Platform: An offering that captures, formalizes, and processes knowledge, and allows for the reuse of knowledge as underlying systems change

While industrial robots drive higher production rates for manufacturing processes, next-generation AI-based software robotic platforms transform the way we think about and administer business processes, IT support processes, workflow processes, remote infrastructure, and back-office work. Fundamentally, such a capability when implemented, enables the freeing up of bandwidth for the people engaged in repetitive tasks, thus improving accuracy, cycle time, throughput; while reducing the total cost of ownership (TCO).

 

Infosys Automation Platform can be configured to monitor and execute business processes, manipulate data, trigger responses, and communicate with other digital systems. In the context of application support and maintenance of ERP systems, the following are a few features of robotic capabilities:

  • Monitoring: Real-time status of business-critical processes using key health indicators of the applications

  • Predictive analysis: Helps to identify at a potential anomaly and take steps to avoid the occurrence of such incidents

  • Selfheal: Detects incidents and enables automatic resolution based on a defined set of rules

  • Assisted automation: Enables a user to automate all or partial steps of the business process

  • Self-service: Allows users to perform tasks independently with the active involvement of the IT department

 

Here are some examples of the usage of the aforementioned capabilities across different companies:

 

  1. A North American, multinational, Fortune 500 company manufactures products and provides engineering services for a wide range of industrial, commercial, and consumer markets. The company employs approximately 115,000 people and has 220 manufacturing locations worldwide. Initially, the suppliers sent shipment information through emails quoting the promised date of the shipment for the corresponding purchase order (PO). The procurement department updated the promised date for each PO in the system. This manual process has now been replaced by an automated process such that the supplier emails are forwarded to a robotics process automation (RPA) agent. The agent reads the email / document attached, identifies the PO number, PO line number, and shipment date provided. The system automatically initiates a login process to the Oracle application, opens the PO screen, and updates the promised date on the PO. This frees up 50 percent bandwidth of the procurement staff.
     

  2. A North American Fortune 500 electronics company specializes in distribution and value-added services of electronic components and computer products. They have implemented an automated health check system by leveraging the capabilities of Infosys Automation Platform.System health check is a daily activity performed by the IT support team to ensure that the system is working seamlessly. Initially, the process took close to 5-6 hours, a large part of which needed human intervention. Typical tasks involved ensuring that the user interface, all concurrent programs, and relevant interface engines were in order before business users started the day to avoid disruptions. This process is now fully automated by using Infosys Automation Platform, where the robotic agents perform the health check, create alerts, and initiate corrective steps as and when required.
     

3. A North American Fortune 500 company designs, manufactures, and distributes engines, filtration, and power generation products. The company is now using Infosys Automation Platform RPA to fully automate the resolution of abrupt tickets generated by system failures. The robot analyzes the pattern of these tickets, identifies the root cause, and applies a set of predefined rules to fix the issues without any human intervention. This helps in resolving more than 200 tickets, thus reducing the cost of IT operation, improving user experience, and service-level agreements (SLAs).

AI-enabled automation largely applies to routine and standardized processes. By liberating employees from these mundane and repetitive activities, the company can create new opportunities for employees to apply themselves in more purposeful and value-added tasks. By doing so, the company today can lower the cost of IT / business operations, improve throughput, perform advanced analytics, and deliver quality output. As companies begin to embrace a new generation of robotics process-based automation, their cognitive capabilities will evolve and enable crucial decision-making based on real-time predictive analytics.

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