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Using Robotic Process Automation, AI & Workflow to Add Customer Value

Executive Blog Series

John Nelson, Tangoe COOAs Tangoe’s Chief Operations Officer, John Nelson is responsible for all aspects of Global Operations, which includes global service delivery, managed pay, implementation and on-boarding, customer help desk and Tangoe Advisory Services. Before joining Tangoe, John was the Vice President of Infor Consulting Services, leading services for major investors and all global rollout programs, including North American manufacturing and distribution. John previously served as Chief Operating Officer for TDCI, the leading provider of product configuration management software for discrete manufacturers. 

Automation is not new. In fact, Delmer S. Harder, Executive Vice President at the Ford Motor Company, is credited for coining the term automation in 1948 when it was used to describe the increase of automatic devices and controls used in motor vehicle production lines.

Automation has since expanded beyond manufacturing to include applications in IT, healthcare, agriculture, security, construction and more. In the most simplified terms—although it can vary from industry to industry—automation is the use of technology to create a repeated process that replaces manual work. And Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is technology which allows us to record and repeat repetitive online tasks.

Today, RPA is helping businesses like Tangoe better serve their customers by helping create customized services, advanced operations and improved efficiency. From my perspective, RPA helps speed up processes beyond what is manually possible (minutes to seconds), and it also reduces our workload of repetitive, everyday tasks, allowing our team to focus on the more important work that requires deeper focus and creativity. And of course, by leveraging automation, Tangoe can improve our services and help achieve speeds that are just not possible when performed manually.

Another related term and technology that’s also become very critical in helping improve Tangoe’s operations and services is Artificial intelligence (AI). Essentially, AI is the ability for machines to learn, react and make decisions based on data—which is a similar method of how the human brain works. AI is based on algorithms, which are often quite complex, and it uses its computing power to solve problems faster and more accurately than humans. And then there’s Machine Learning, which is a branch of Artificial Intelligence, that’s helping our team analyze bigger, more complex data to uncover hidden patterns, reveal market trends and identify customer preferences.

RPA, AI and workflow is about complementing and strengthening human abilities for improved operations. These technologies will continue to have a strong impact on the performance of Tangoe and allow our team to focus their attention on more valuable and creative tasks, which will in turn, help us deliver more streamlined Technology Expense Management services.

And nirvana is when RPA downloads invoices from vendor websites, AI processes the invoices, and a workflow sends the invoices to a specialist to submit rate credits with carriers. The process is so seamless.

Combining these automation components for customers provides a great user experience, which is always our end goal. Additionally, we are actively designing the use of a natural-language phone system for device users, coupled with AI, to predict the reason for the customer call, as well as an associated  workflow that will send the call to the specialist who can best assist.

How Automation Improves Service Quality at Tangoe

  • RPA can achieve speeds not humanly possible (e.g., less than one second to place a mobile order with AT&T vs eight minutes manually).
  • Workflow allows us to send special requests from customers directly to specialists who are highly efficient at responding to that type of request. Service Now, like Tangoe uses, are great applications for this
  • And AI could be great for noticing that a 600-page carrier invoice format changed from last month and adjusting on the fly. We have initiated a substantial proof of concept to do just that.

Presentation to Be Delivered at Tangoe LIVE 2019

Tangoe LIVE is the largest and most prestigious technology expense management event in the world and provides an incredible opportunity for our clients and partners to engage directly with the industry on key issues they are experiencing across their technology environment This year’s Tangoe LIVE will bring together over 500 professionals from Global 2000 companies across all industries at Nashville’s Gaylord Opryland Resort.

Currently, I am putting together information around the very topic of this blog that I plan to present at Tangoe LIVE. At the moment, the working title is: Top 5 Most Important Metrics Our Customers Care About. I look forward to sharing my thoughts in person.

Register Today for Tangoe LIVE 2019.

Lastly, please leave any comments for me below. I would love to hear from you and welcome any feedback.