We have the pleasure to interview Mahesh Vinayagam, Founder & CEO of qBotica, a boutique RPA and AI solutions firm offering full range of advisory and implementation services.
1. How can machine learning and AI improve business processes?
Many Business Processes of today are really based on decades old ideas, technology and customer expectations. Significant uplifts and investments are required to these processes to make this current. ML and AI can bring in additional level of sophistication without too much changes to the business processes and co-exist with the humans enhancing the customer / employee experience. So incremental and outside in transformation minimal touch approach compared to inside-out heavy touch reengineering.
2. In terms of developments for machine learning and AI, how far are we currently?
I must say all stars are really aligning for AI and ML to graduate from research mode into reality. By all stars I mean the beaming economy, unprecedented availability of infrastructure, information, investments, interest and innovation from both public and private sectors from 2-persons startups to Top 4 firms to government sectors.
3. Which sectors are you focussing on when talking about robotics process automation?
The primary sectors we focus are Banking, Supply Chain, Manufacturing and Semi-Conductor industries. Within these sectors, our current work has been on Risk, Regulatory, Compliance, Purchasing, Finance and Logistics. For example, we are currently working with a Fortune 200 Global Bank, our digital workforce functions as Regulatory Auditors verifying customer enrollments. In a Fortune 200 Logistics company, our bots are releasing thousands of Purchase Orders to suppliers and also processing thousands of Invoices from these suppliers creating payment vouchers automatically.
4. What kind of current and upcoming challenges do you foresee in the industry?
The biggest challenges we foresee in the industry is not about availability of technology but the application, acceptance and adoption right from cultural human elements of change management, perception of high cost to change. Furthermore, there will be a consolidation of RPA and Artificial Intelligence, RPA and ML, RPA and blockchain solutions, as companies look to evolve their business models iteratively and in different dimensions.
Case in point for Payments and Cards professionals, Blockchain provides a trustless provenance and basis for smart contract execution, however it is not designed to hold large amounts of non essential data – both through its design, and also as it’s not purgeable – something required by GDPR and other privacy laws.
Robotics is great at capturing data, storing it appropriately and stitching together disparate systems and processes. A single business process may require interoperability of several distinct blockchains, that require integration with off-chain solutions and complex key management. Robotics can play a significant role in assisting with these emerging technical solutions that would be problematic for humans to operate. For example the topic of frictionless trade post Brexit at borders, and the application of different legal frameworks and customs processes would be well suited to blockchain supported supply chains running alongside more traditional digital solutions. Robotics can straddle both to create a viable solution for businesses. When a payment process (either blockchain based, or fiat payment based) is incorporated, a powerful set of technology services can be unleashed.
And finally, another fear or taboo is that Bots are viewed very similar to outsourcing. Interestingly people forget that after 20 years of outsourcing, IT jobs in countries like USA, UK and Germany have only gone up not down.
5. How is qBotica overcoming these challenges?
The industry would need a lot of change agents in the form of advisories and SWAT groups to help dispel that fear of change and accelerate adoption. Customers are getting uncomfortable doing this with the Top 4 and large outsourcing firms who come with strings attached using land and expand yet leaving a long tail of work behind. qBotica is providing an alternative and comfort to our customers with our no-strings and no tails left behind SWAT team approach.
By designing solutions with a ‘both brains’ model of intelligence and execution, our clients will gain incrementally from our services and be at the forefront of emerging technology solutions for global, complex businesses. This allows us to create offerings where domain based solutions can be dropped into the technology to further streamline core business processes and reduce friction for businesses.
6. What are the plans for qBotica for the rest of the year and 2019?
2018 has been phenomenal, we started the year with winning a customer that we met in last year’s Money2020 a lucky ground for qBotica. Rest of the year we would be focusing on augmenting Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain to our RPA solutions. qBotica is developing offerings on Blockchain and RPA, RPA powered AI, ML powered RPA so that combined approaches can be offered to the different types of emerging situations outlined in the challenges question.About the interview
Mahesh Vinayagam is the Founder and CEO of qBotica, and a Payments and Technology Services industry veteran. Mahesh has over 20 years of experience in the Technology services space and has been pioneering the adoption of Digital Workforce using RPA and AI. Mahesh serves on the board of several startups focusing on AI and Blockchain and mentors upcoming entrepreneurs in the Greater Phoenix area. Mahesh also serves on the Forbes Technology Council.About qBotica
qBotica is a boutique RPA and AI solutions firm offering full range of advisory and implementation services from Discovery, Design, Development to Deployment. qBotica helps customers identify use case suitable for Automation, choose the right RPA product and implement solutions. qBotica’s customers include Fortune 200 Global Bank, Fortune-200 supply chain giant, a stock fund based as well as a mortgage services firm. qBotica partners with leading RPA vendors such as BluePrism, UiPath, AutomationAnywhere, Kofax and Abbyy to deliver the solutions.