By Robert Hoida, Senior Systems Engineer at Pyramid Solutions
Choosing the right partner for any project, especially for an intelligent automation project, is a very critical decision — because the stakes are so high. Choosing the wrong partner can cause your whole project to fail and in worst-case scenarios, cost you your job too! But how do you actually find the right partner for you? We tell our clients to always look for the following 5 qualities.
5 Qualities to Look for in an Intelligent Automation Partner
1. Thinks about the bigger picture.
When choosing an intelligent automation partner, the first thing you should consider, besides making sure they can do what you’re looking for, is what other services/offerings they provide. Understanding a partner’s whole suite of offerings allows your team to map out and plan next step phases for your applications without having to go through the process of looking for a new partner for each new capability you would like to add to your bag of tricks.
We recommend you always ask yourself the following questions:
- What are their core competences?
- Do they offer SaaS or managed service offerings?
- Do understand workflow management? Have they been successful integrating it with other systems or technologies like OCR?
- Can they provide predictive analytics?
- Do they have experience with RPA solutions or more?
- Do they offer Machine Learning and AI capabilities ?
- Do they offer NLP and OCR?
Additionally, when discussing your project, an intelligent automation partner should also be able to provide insight that you may not even thought of and explore ideas outside of your project.
2. Knows your industry.
The partner you choose should have a wealth of experience working with firms in your industry. They not only need to know the software and how it functions, but they also need to understand your specific challenges, business processes, regulations and anything else unique to your industry and the way you operate.
Look for a partner with years of experience to show that they’ve been in the industry for some time. Ask about case studies and use cases to see how they’ve performed for companies similar to your industry. This will give insight into how they will work for you.
3. Works the way you work.
A good intelligent automation partner should be able to work within your culture and have the same approach to business as you. To confirm this, be sure to ask the following questions:
- What are their core values?
- How do they approach challenges within their teams?
- How do they set up their teams?
- What is their approach to projects? Are they waterfall? Agile?
- What is the level of support they offer and how long does it take for a response?
- How do they set project KPIs?
If they are a good fit, they will become more than just an implementation partner, they will become a trusted advisor and will minimize stress and potential complications as you work together as a team.
4. Has excellent communication.
One of the most important aspects of finding a good partner is the way they communicate.
Are they able to communicate with you in a way that is easy to understand, asks the right questions to your team and ensures everyone is on the same page? Determine what their communication style is by asking complex questions to see if they can articulate them so everyone on your team can understand.
Ask them questions you know they don’t know, doing this will put any partner in to a corner and the good ones will always let you know, they don’t know. But remember, that is okay, they have a whole team of people to solve the problem and get the answers you need.
You should insist on well-defined open and effective communication channels. If you find during your first couple of conversations, a lack of clarity between you and the partner, it may be time to re–evaluate. Effective communication channels are required to ensure timely and appropriate planning, management, control, monitoring, and the distribution of project information.
5. Provides software extensions.
Most automation tools will meet 70 to 80 percent of your requirements. The other 20 to 30 percent remaining is where your intelligent automation partner’s work starts. An experienced partner will have a repository of extensions, such as third-party integrations and user interface extensions, to help fill this gap. If they don’t have an already built extension, then they should have the expertise to provide one.
For example, your business probably has home grown systems with custom database schemas. Some of the data in these existing databases may be required to be displayed on the user interface or used within an automated process. These systems are probably firewalled and not available to a cloud system. The data must be expose to the cloud in a secure manner, usually via a REST API that sits in a DMZ. Your IT staff may develop the REST API. Assuming the out-of-the-box software does not already provide one, the partner will have to build the consumer of that API and integrate it into the business intelligence system.
Why We Fit as Your Intelligent Automation Partner
Choosing an intelligent automation partner can be challenging as there is no shortage of options on the market, but keep in mind — not all automation partners are created equal.
At Pyramid Solutions, we partner with you to ensure a successful automation project from start to finish.Our entirely US-based team will build a solution that provides a high ROI and meets your needs. After all, customer focus is a core value of ours, so we treat your project as if it were our own. We’ll make sure to fully understand your objectives and work alongside your IT and business users to ensure the best possible solution. We have several services available including:
- Assess your current environments and processes
- Define a technology strategy
- Redesign your business process(es)
- Strategize migration or export
- Project roadmap creation
- Define costs, benefits, and risks
Migrations and Deployments
- Workflow automation
- Electronic forms
- Monitoring and dashboards
- Content capture ingestion methods (OCR, NLP)
- Automated notifications
- Document viewing and management
- Third-party line of business systems
- Disparate repositories or systems
Our passionate and certified teams have the tools, best practices, and experience to enable faster project success. When you partner with Pyramid Solutions you can expect to:
- Increase visibility into processes across the enterprise
- Remove department silos
- Increase availability of data and information
- Empower your team to make better business decisions
- Automate mundane tasks
- Turn data into insights
- Streamline document management
- Receive greater ROI
- Drive operational efficiency
- Reduce dependency on paper-based and manual processing