Digitization and software bots are a topic that concerns us all, as press appearances and social media discussions become more frequent. We spoke with Bogdan Ciubotaru, Aliant Managing Partner, about how a company benefits from RPA technology and which workflows can become automatic and intelligent.
Club IT&C: What are the main business objectives for your company this year? What were your results last year?
Bogdan Ciubotaru: Last year we ended it with a turnover of 9.6 million Euros, an increase of 16% compared to the previous year. For 2022, we want to grow in all our business lines, with an emphasis on developing and expanding the portfolio of digital transformation solutions.
We have strong skills and we work with innovative technologies and I think there is good potential when we talk about technology transformation of companies. It needs something like air.
IT&C Club: How can we take the first steps towards the digitization of businesses in Romania? How do you see the evolution of this sector?
Bogdan Ciubotaru: The first steps are already being taken in the direction of digitization. The most effervescent is of course the private sector, where there is pressure to be competitive, to be faster in processes, to work at lower costs and ultimately to deliver a more valuable product or service to customers. For example, when a market player digitizes certain business components, its competitiveness and efficiency increase. His competitors will notice these changes, and that will raise some alarm bells. Eventually, some of them will do the same, and in time we may see an entire segment of the market taken to the next level. And everyone wins from here, companies, customers, the state.
A strong signal could be given by the public sector, where we have lagged far behind and things have been very difficult to move. There are great opportunities here, especially through the PNRR, and I hope some lessons from the past have been learned because the benefits of digitization done well in the public sector are enormous. We are optimistic because we also see positive examples.
Club IT&C: What are the influences and effects of digitization on your company?
Bogdan Ciubotaru: We cannot offer clients digital transformation solutions without having experienced them in our own business. This helps us empathize with customers' problems and better understand how we can help them. An example is automation with RPA-type robots, which we use in internal processes. It saves time, reduces errors and gives us the opportunity to use resources on higher value activities with core business impact.
Club IT&C: What can a software robot developed by Aliant do?
Bogdan Ciubotaru: A software robot can do everything a human does, if we consider standardized and repetitive processes. From the moment the process is validated, the robot starts, for example, to use credentials to log into applications, to extract data from different sources and then process it as needed. It follows the logic defined in the process, which it can execute itself head to tail, or with validation from the user if appropriate.
Club IT&C: How long does it take to develop a robot and how much does it cost?
Bogdan Ciubotaru: The duration of the development of a robot depends on the complexity of the process we want to automate. We have processes of medium complexity that we develop in 5-6 days. The cost of a bot includes the license and development effort, and these are well suited to the local context. RPA automation is now also accessible to medium or small companies. We use Tailent technology and our customers benefit from a license that includes an unlimited number of bots. We have basically removed the cost barrier when we want to move to robot 2, 3 and so on. Return on investment in the case of a robot is easy to calculate and visible from the first day of use.
IT&C Club: What activities can be automated for a retail company?
Bogdan Ciubotaru: The list of activities or processes that can be automated is long and our customers always come up with new ideas about which robots can be implemented. Most often we start with automation of bank statements, processes related to order management, finance department, logistics or human resources.
Club IT&C: How is the partnership with CareAR, a solution from the Xerox portfolio, developing?
Bogdan Ciubotaru: The partnership with CareAR helped us understand and develop our Augmented Reality skills. In addition to the solution dedicated to field teams, with an immediate impact on the speed and efficiency of operations, we now have augmented reality development capabilities in several technologies, including Google, and we are in discussions with major players in retail.
Aliant is an IT integrator and managed services provider whose mission is to contribute to the competitive, efficient and sustainable development of its customers by using the most advanced technologies. The company's main activity consists of digital business transformation services, using, among others, automation/RPA solutions, virtual assistants, augmented reality, data security, document management and printing.