Fresh from Florida: Top SSO Week Trends & Takeaways to Steal From

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Barbara Hodge

Top SSO Trends

Automation instead of relocation?

Whether you were at Shared Services and Outsourcing Week in Orlando or not, you will NOT want to miss this truly excellent summary of highlights compiled by our inimitable chair, Brad DeMent. These summaries have come to be something of a tradition, and a popular one at that! All the key speaker quotes, percentages, statistics and trends are pulled together right here, for you to 'borrow from' for your next presentation. Download it now.

As bots are still all the rage we may as well share this week’s bot-updates with you first. I love the idea put forward in an article on the Birth of "Bot-Shoring." In lots of ways, the article reminds us, the bot-shoring (I’m having a t-shirt made) model is similar to the offshoring one, except that processes are assessed and considered for automation rather than relocation. So, the more things change the more they remain … the same? Read more here.

And for those of you committed to RPA (you’ll already have downloaded our handy guide: How to Implement RPA in 7 Steps) one of the big decisions will be selecting the right RPA platform. We've got a handy guide here, and are also hosting a free webinar on How to Decode the Buzz Around RPA, which will feature Denis Songeon from Pepper Financial Services.

The next question is: How do you weave in augmented or “artificial” intelligence. If you want to learn more about AI’s potential application to process automation (and who doesn’t?) make sure you get your hands on RPA + AI = Your Competitive Edge and join this discussion on the benefits of integrating Machine Learning in O2C (but be quick: it’s happening soon!)

Do you have the data?

As the conversation around automation becomes, shall we say, more colloquial (“So, how many bots have you got?”) what’s fast emerging is that certain factors limit RPA. And those factors translate to data. (You remember the phrase, All roads lead to Rome? Well, all automation challenges, sooner or later, lead to data.)

Data, in fact, is fast becoming the great divider – or differentiator – of RPA success. How clean is your data? How accessible? How well is it managed? For now, let’s focus on ‘structure.’ Solving the problem of unstructured data is causing a lot of headaches, but we have a webinar to help you understand your options. Register here.

Where to start?

We heard tons of references to process discovery and process mining at last week's conference. I predict it's going to be HUGE for those of you keen to ensure you are not led astray by choosing the wrong process for RPA. As part of SSON’s new monthly "how-to" guides, we've got one on process discovery for you, here.

And instead of a joke, this week, a late shout out to international women's day that garnered so many headlines. I nominate one "international woman" for her extraordinary spirit. She’s not, in truth, a “woman” (yet). Read more here.

Keep your feedback coming – and good luck with Shared Services!

Barbara Hodge from the SSON