It’s “the best of times” for RPA. Here’s why.

Written by Jordan McMahon in Stories from the front lines on August 18, 2016

You may be reading quite a bit about robotic process automation lately. And we can guess the topics you’ve likely been encountering:


Is RPA all hype?

How can human and digital workforces work together?

What happens as RPA becomes increasingly cognitive?


And naturally,

What is RPA in the first place?


Once one moves beyond the first blush with disruptive technology like robotic automation and AI, practicality sets in: how can it actually be used? And can it yield the expected results?


HfS recently authored a PoV piece about the fact that companies—particularly SSOs and service delivery orgs— have moved beyond the hype of robotic process automation and now are “settling in” to using it, and more importantly, realizing the impact on business. Now it’s time to understand more about deployment within an enterprise.


HfS’s “A Tale of Two Models for RPA Deployment” follows ANZ Bank and AT&T—organizations with disparate requirements, but ultimately similar goals: improving efficiency, improving productivity, and improving effectiveness and scalability. Here are some elements HfS explores:


Approaches to deployment

The different nature of these two companies means they have two very different models for deployment. Among the factors compared in the HfS report are the companies’ contrasting definition of success, geographic scope, benefit approach, and development models. Ultimately, the takeaway is that there is no cut and dried method for deploying RPA; it depends entirely on each individual organization’s rationale for embarking on an RPA journey in the first place.


Bot visibility

What does an organization that includes bots look like? In the contrasting methods of bot visibility. AT&T take the more straightforward, expected approach, with behind-the-scenes bots integrated into operations and running in the background. ANZ, on the other hand, makes their bots extremely visible, giving them names and even their own seats in the office.


Current scope

While the RPA journey is at different points for ANZ and AT&T, they are both projecting a significant increase in bot activity by the end of 2016.





Deployment year



Delivery locations worldwide



Current number of bots



Projected number of bots by end of 2016



Processes being automated

Loan and mortgage origination, account reconciliation, monthly close, audit compliance reviews, customer record maintenance and payments

Automation of sales order entry, reconciliation of revenue against assets and inventory



To HfS, this is the best of times for RPA based on the fact that the conversation isn’t about “if” RPA can initiate transformation within an enterprise, but rather how it’s doing it today.


For more in-depth details about how RPA is being deployed at an enterprise scale at ANZ and AT&T, get your copy of A Tale of Two Models for RPA Deployment here