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Karl Reed, ElingoKarl Reed, Elingo

Full interaction process automation (IPA) has long been a dream of enterprises everywhere, but until now, the ‘rip and replace’ factor has stood in the way of achieving it.

In South Africa, most organisations see the immense potential benefi ts of IPA, but achieving this vision of fully integrated and streamlined processes is not a simple matter. Enterprises usually have legacy systems that have evolved over time, at huge expense, and with a great deal of effort. You may have some data residing in a highly effective, but legacy, financial system; other data in your CRM system; and yet more residing in your contact centre. Some of these systems may be so old that the developers who built them are no longer available.

Fortunately, a new era of computing has dawned, and it is now possible to automate and streamline the flow of information and processes between people, departments and divisions – without having to ‘rip and replace’ existing systems. Organisations are now able to build on their existing investment by adding a software layer that retrieves only the relevant data from the various systems – both internal and external, automatically and without human intervention, to present a single view of the customer.

With IPA in place, an enterprise can set up a rule that when the CFO approves a work item, it launches five other actions of work. It can SMS an update to the customer, launch a campaign, notify an agent to call the customer, or inform the marketing department. With IPA, there is no risk of people forgetting to pick up the phone or sign a piece of paper, and enterprises can enter the truly automated, paperless environment at last.

IPA is also able to facilitate external processes. External processes can also be integrated into the overall system, allowing an enterprise the ability to provide accurate customer feedback, as well as provide visibility into the process, which allows management to step in to speed up processes if necessary.

About the author: is chief marketing and solutions officer at Elingo.