Outsourcing Social

Driving Autonomous Operations with Celonis: The New Now

In 2008, the global financial crisis wrought havoc in nearly every industry. Despite all that strife and uncertainty, many business leaders invested in cloud computing, and the technology became a pervasive theme in the 21st century, forever altering the way our world runs.

In the wake of the global Covid-19 crisis, leading Business Process Outsourcing providers around the world began undergoing disruptive changes. Many companies are doing what they can to survive, but the ones who will thrive during this tumultuous time will re-commit to building new applications and tools, taking the right actions, automating processes to transform quickly. As strange as it may seem, the pandemic has given the BPO industry a chance to drive improved efficiencies and greater value for their customers. For BPO’s, the race to define next-gen operational and commercial models is on and rapidly changing. More than ever, we are seeing offshore wage increases have eroded geographical labor arbitrage, squeezing classic BPO margins. , Hence increasing the already immense pressure to automate processes and use digital self-service. Buyers demand greater value via cloud, robotic process automation (RPA), and machine learning, and predictive analytics have forced BPO firms to retool using insights and Process Mining based data analytics models.

Forrester predicts BPO providers will soon reimagine their operational models that use advanced predictive and prescriptive analytics⁠ to manage customer interactions on behalf of clients. This will include hiring, training, and managing agents; serving customers in existing voice channels; deploying new digital channels and developing processes for serving customers in them; and optimizing service processes. The coronavirus pandemic has tested the readiness of all companies to manage crises, but companies with the most resilient focus on risk management and agility are able to respond with greatest speed and efficacy. . Having a combined culture of agility and risk is the key to success in dealing with any business disruption, no matter how daunting.

An emerging business landscape for BPO

Companies today are reassessing BPO providers, searching for a partner that goes beyond the traditional value trifecta of cost containment, customer experience improvement and process transformation. In the near future, every BPO provider will have to be insights-driven to drive value-based differentiation. As HFS predicts, “COVID-19 will drive clients to adopt innovative digital solutions in the future for effective operations, improved customer satisfaction, faster time to market, and relatively cheaper cost. Cloud adoption will grow in combination with digital solutions.” Given the pandemic’s longer-term impact, we are now witnessing enterprises reorganizing themselves to work in this new environment in the short-term, where CEOs / CXOs are focused focus on investments in strategic areas like:

  • Agility Through Tech: Enterprises should continue to invest in building agility through the use of technologies such as cloud and process automation that enables business continuity, a remote workforce and innovation.

  • Enable Working From Home (WFH) globally: BPOs will quickly be forced to operationalize support for global clients in a much-differentiated capacity i.e. WFH models that ensure same (or higher levels of efficiencies) without missing out on SLA commits.

  • Data-Driven Insights: Digital platforms, network security infrastructure, BCP robustness and process-led automation and data analytics will be key.

  • Remote Digital Security: More accelerated efforts by enterprises and BPO providers to ensure new investments in cyber, IT infrastructure and digital transformation will secure business operations as part of enterprise risk management.

  • Resilience and Flexibility: By taking quick actions now, enterprises can better ensure that longer term impact is mitigated, and they are ready to respond with speed and agility.

How BPOs can use Process Mining

The post-COVID landscape will put even more pressure on BPOs to deliver value in new disruptive ways. Today, customers are not interested in BPOs upselling and cross-selling another layer of support. All they want is business continuity, asking their partners, how will you service me while we are in the midst of a crisis?

Tech CEOs can be very bullish in the face of adversity; they may not enact layoffs and in some cases they will continue to hire more people during the crisis. So, how do you ensure that these new employees have the right set of tools? How do we align them with the orientation of the company while working remotely? Leveraging Process Mining, BPO’s can drive a more holistic view of their Operations to ensure “business as usual” for their end customers.

Now is the time to drive greater value, to preserve cash and optimize supply chains to drive greater digital transformation impact. Innovation will be critical for “keeping the lights on” during these challenging times, and that takes courage.

Celonis predictions for BPO in a Post-Covid world

In the BPO space, we believe frictionless Autonomous Operations will deliver value beyond standard transaction processing or outdated lift-n-shift offshore delivery models, where data-driven insights will become more mainstream for BPO’s to drive outcome -based results and differentiation.

In the era of Digital Transformation for the Enterprise and emerging post COVID impact for BPM industry , this is emerging to be biggest opportunity of our time. If we look at Celonis and what it does, we bring “frictionless simplicity” to the world.

Celonis collaborates with our BPO Partners to drive real-time insights and automation for front-and back-office processes i.e. Superfluid BPO ecosystem. Together with Celonis, BPOs today are improving customer experiences and greater productivity impact. Celonis IBC platform is enabling our BPO Partner ecosystem to:

  • Transform processes with AI and automation : BPO firms enable digital process models with intelligent automation capabilities like structured and unstructured data analytics. Mature providers have shifted from one-off implementations of BPM, ML, and RPA to embedding “Process Automation” throughout customer journeys as a core competency.

  • Use process-based insights to boost efficiency:  BPO firms leverage their proximity to business processes to streamline with traditional optimization techniques using predictive analytics to rethink conventional BPM processes; and ultimately to enhance business outcomes.

  • Craft innovative, value-centric commercial models:  leveraging data-insights and AI-led approaches, BPO firms are able to  create commercial models that go beyond FTE-centric pricing. Further, mutual willingness to experiment with commercial models gives BPO firms incentives to manage margin upside with EBITDA improvements, with more flexibility to pass on benefits back to customers. 

Several of Celonis customers i.e. Siemens, ABB, Medtronic, GE, J&J, Kaiser Permanente , Lufthansa , and many others have saved millions of dollars in less than a month by leveraging Celonis IBC platform focusing on cash liquidity and improving supply chain, during the Covid crisis. As the world continues to battle to take on the emerging post-Covid era, the Celonis BPO Partner ecosystem and our enterprise customers will more aggressively hunker down on making “Digitize their business” a top priority. Faster acceleration to cloud leveraging process mining SaaS tools will ultimately drive all aspects of employee experience, consumer experience and enterprise value. Are you ready for The New Now?

Amit Puri --author image
Amit Puri
VP & Global Head of BPO
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