Contributed Article By NICE – How automation is shaping the workplace of the future?

Darren Rushworth, President of NICE Asia Pacific

By Darren Rushworth, President APAC, NICE Ltd

It is inevitable that robots will become our co-workers. Any repetitive task that requires accuracy and speed, but little judgment, would be better performed by a robot. When humans are made to perform manual, mundane processes repeatedly, it can cause frustration over time and be error prone. Given the tight labour market for good talent[1], it simply is not a good use of precious resources either.

The solution is called Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and it’s here in Asia today. Through RPA, Asian businesses can automate many repetitive processes, in both front and back offices, and improve efficiencies and effectiveness to become more competitive in today’s digital landscape.

While IDC expects 40 percent of digital transformation initiatives in Asia Pacific to be supported by Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities by 2020, only 12 percent of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) in the region believe that AI will have a positive impact on their businesses in the next five years.[2]

It is not uncommon for CIOs who are saddled with shrinking budgets and increasing demands from business users to be sceptical about yet another new technology. What they want to know is how the technology will work, if it will really deliver on the hype, and what’s the Return on Investment (ROI)? Here are the answers to these questions:

Happier customers, better business

Customer satisfaction is all about giving the customer what they want, when they want it. All industries today are under immense pressure of providing the ultimate customer experience in a consumer-centric world, while keeping costs as low as possible.

By replacing lengthy manual tasks with faster, automated processes, Asian organisations, across industries, can now look forward to higher customer satisfaction and cost savings.

In fact, we saw a financial services organisation reduce its average call-handling time by 82 percent through automating the entire customer alert process. With RPA taking over this routine, yet critical job, the human call centre agents are now able to focus on more value-added tasks such as fraud investigation and customer service. The organisation is now handling more than 8,000 alerts each month, with 99 percent accuracy, and ensuring satisfaction throughout the entire customer journey[3].

Applicable across industries, we also saw a retail company eliminate 100 percent of order entry errors by adopting RPA to facilitate delivery requests and customer follow-ups. This resulted in improved accuracy for the business, a growing base of loyal, happy customers, and increased revenue growth over the years3.

RPA, the most reliable co-worker

“Robots are taking away our jobs.” This is a real fear of many employees today[4], but the truth is that RPA works best by working hand-in-hand with humans, not by replacing us. While RPA can act as a standalone tool for automated processes, it can also assist human employees in performing tasks quickly and more accurately. By relieving employees of repetitive, menial tasks, they can then be assigned to more strategic work and given opportunities to take up new skills to stay relevant and competitive.

According to industry analysts, RPA is enabling enterprises to execute business processes five to ten times faster, with an average of 37 percent fewer resources. These productivity gains are not resulting in job losses, but are enabling companies to re-deploy employees to handle higher-value tasks and a greater volume of work[5].

For example, when a transportation company implemented RPA for its package re-delivery scheduling, the contact centre agents were freed from routine processes and high-stress tasks, enabling them to be more proactive and productive in their relationships with customers3.

Killing two birds with one stone, RPA enables companies to improve customer service, while increasing employee satisfactions levels. Automation has been around for many years and RPA simply takes it one step further, by bringing it from the factory floor into offices, contact centres, risk management functions, and more. When the upside is happier customers, happier employees, improved productivity, and revenue growth, there’s no reason not to get started today.

About NICE

NICE is the worldwide leading provider of both cloud and on-premises enterprise software solutions that empower organizations to make smarter decisions based on advanced analytics of structured and unstructured data. NICE helps organizations of all sizes deliver better customer service, ensure compliance, combat fraud and safeguard citizens. Over 25,000 organizations in more than 150 countries, including over 85 of the Fortune 100 companies, are using NICE solutions


[1] THE CREATIVE CIO, Harvey Nash and KPMG, 2016

[2] IDC FutureScape: Worldwide IT Industry 2017 Predictions, IDC, November 2016


[4] More Robots, Fewer Jobs, Bloomberg, 8 May 2017

[5] ISG: RPA Increasing Productivity, Not Job Losses, Information Services Group (ISG), 3 May 2017

Movie Review: Cloud Atlas

A quick overview of the 6 stories. In the 19th century, an American lawyer in the Pacific islands befriends a runaway slave, unaware that his doctor is trying to poison him. In the 1930s, a bisexual musician seeks to restore his reputation by getting a job as amanuensis to an ageing composer. In the 70s, a female reporter unfold a conspiracy involving a nuclear power station. In the present day, a fugitive publisher finds himself in a nightmarish nursing home. In the 22nd century, in the urban conurbation of Neo Seoul, ‘Sonmi-451’is a clone (or Fabricant) genetically designed to do lifetime Mcdonald job. Finally, far in the future – “after the Fall” – humanity has regressed, both in language and civilisation, but the visit of a beautiful Prescient offers hope.


What I like the most is that the actors play multiple characters in the stories and I am really impressed by the make up and prosthetic designers who are no other than Jeremy Woodhead ( Lord of the Rings, V for Vendetta & The Mummy) and Daniel Parker (The Hurt Locker, Apocalypto & The Last Samurai).Stay till to the closing credit of the movie and you will be surprised by the number of roles each actor played in the show. Actors including Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant and famous Chinese actress Zhou Xun making a cameo.

I can summarize the entire movie into one word – “Connection”.  The show illustrates how 6 seemingly unrelated stories linking to one another. It is entirely different cinematic experience. It is like you are time-traveling from one time space to another. Some people might find it confusing. However, I think the directors The Wachowskis and  Tom Tykwer have executed well in helping the audience to follow the story through different costumes, actions and backdrops.


Overall, I give the movie 3 stars out of 4. Thanks Golden Village for inviting me to the screening!