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IBM and Automation Anywhere today announced a collaboration to help companies drive new efficiencies by delivering solutions that assist employees with routine, data-intensive tasks. The collaboration is intended to make it easier for companies to improve processes across their enterprises and free employees to focus their time on more creative and customer-facing aspects of their jobs.
As part of the agreement, the two companies plan to integrate Automation Anywhere's Robotic Process Automation (RPA) platform, used to create software bots to handle repetitive, task-based business processes, with IBM's portfolio of digital process automation software. The IBM software, which includes IBM Business Process Manager and Operational Decision Manager, is used by organizations to design, run and manage complex business processes.
The new joint solution, planned for the third quarter, will enable clients to use Automation Anywhere's RPA platform to create software bots that execute tasks within larger business processes managed by IBM's software. By integrating these technologies, the collaboration aims to provide companies with a comprehensive set of tools to create and use software bots to streamline digital tasks across more of their processes, whether running in the cloud or on-premises systems.
The new offering will be particularly relevant to companies where employees routinely have to manually complete tasks within business processes. These are especially prevalent in the banking, financial services, insurance and healthcare industries which have data-intensive, manual processes, such as filing insurance claims, processing bank loans, paying vendors for services and opening customer accounts.
For example, a bank using IBM Business Process Manager could use Automation Anywhere's platform to build software bots to streamline the processing of new loans or accounts. The bank could create a bot that helps complete the application by automatically capturing data from different files or even emails submitted by the applicant. Or insurance companies using Automation Anywhere's RPA solution could use IBM's BPM solution to improve responsiveness and customer satisfaction. The result in both cases could lead to faster turnaround times for approvals and reduced errors associated with managing business processes manually.
The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc., a leading property and casualty insurance provider, uses software from both IBM and Automation Anywhere. The Automation Anywhere RPA platform helps with back-office functions, such as underwriting, billing, and claims. IBM Business Process Manager helps manage larger system-wide processes, such as new business quoting, underwriting, and policy administration.
"IBM and Automation Anywhere's technologies already are helping The Hanover better manage processes and more quickly complete specific tasks," said Ian Maher, vice president of strategic sourcing at The Hanover. "The integration of these technologies is another step toward streamlining more tasks across our organization. We also think combining these technologies could be a starting point for adding more advanced cognitive capabilities into our business processes."
The collaboration brings together two companies ranked as leaders in the field of business process management and improvement. Forrester ranks IBM as a leader in The Forrester Wave: Digital Process Automation Software, Q3 2017 report and Automation Anywhere as a leader in The Forrester Wave: Robotic Process Automation, Q1 2017 report.
"The ability to smartly process and manage data is fast-becoming a competitive advantage," said Denis Kennelly, general manager of IBM Hybrid Cloud solutions. "The combination of the Automation Anywhere and IBM process management platforms provides a powerful new way for companies to streamline business processes so employees can spend less time filling out forms and more time working with customers."
The integration of the IBM and Automation Anywhere technologies creates a powerful new option for companies to improve processes.
"This new capability to help companies better manage almost any part of a business process with speed, efficiency and reliability is extraordinary, enabling companies to become digital enterprises," said Mihir Shukla, CEO and Co-founder of Automation Anywhere. "The collaboration between IBM and Automation Anywhere takes business process management to a new level, liberating employees to focus on the things they do best while bots are focused on what they do best."