2degrees has advertised for a robotic process automation engineer to lead digitisation of its service operation and automate activities and processes.
In the job ad posted on 7 February the company says the successful candidate will "help identify, scope and develop automation improvement opportunities across existing and proposed business processes, ultimately to create efficiencies, reduce costs, simplify processes, and create a differentiated customer experience."
2degrees says it is "re-engineering how it creates value for customers in the digital age," a move that "requires digitisation of our service operation to automate activities and processes - ultimately delivering a customer-first experience."
Spark well into RPA
Meanwhile, 2degrees' rival, Spark, has been talking up the automation of its processes for some time.
In the company's half year results presentation in February 2018 CEO Simon Moutter said the company had 35 ‘bots’ performing automated and sometimes very complex tasks, from managing security functions to proactively resolving broadband faults.
Spark gave the first insights into its use of bots in an investor presentation in June 2017 when Dr Claire Barber, CDO Spark Platforms, revealed that Spark had been using ‘Tinkerbot’, “a first edition artificial intelligence robot trained by our customer-facing engineers" She said Tinkerbot had reduced call handling time and work effort by 40-60 percent.
RPA meets AI and ML
2degrees' move into RPA coincides with predictions from Garry Green, founder and managing director of RPA provider Quanton, of strong growth for RPA in 2019 as RPA is combined with artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies.
"2019 will see a big growth in intelligent automation, melding RPA with ML and other smart technology capabilities," he said.
"It’s a scenario which will enable businesses to handle end to end processes through a blend of technologies that enhance the customer journey or the way a business operates."
Green said combining RPA with ML would enable RPA to work with unstructured data and RPA would help integrate ‘islands’ of AI capability.
This, he said, would enable businesses to extend the reach of automation.
"In many cases AI deployments are isolated actions within a business which are not fully integrated into a business operation because of the cost of integrating it into existing systems," he added.
"The beauty of RPA is that it makes for a very cost-effective way of integrating these AI ‘islands’, such as chatbots into existing systems like customer order processing."