RPA: An Industry Review & Q&A with Tquila Automation CEO, Tom Abbott

By Garrett Marsilio

Robotic Process Automation: An Industry Review & Q&A with Tquila Automation CEO, Tom Abbott

The term “Cloud Computing” was first introduced by Google’s Eric Schmidt in 2006. The technology has since become a ubiquitous part of the day to day operations of more than 90% of businesses.(1) 

Now, nearly twenty years later, we believe there is a new technology poised to be just as transformative in the workplace.

 Robotic process automation (“RPA”) is a technology that creates software robots that interact with both user interfaces (“UIs”) and application programming interfaces (“APIs”). From identifying and extracting data to triggering actions based on automated data analytics, RPA can automate manual tasks by emulating actions that would otherwise be performed by a human worker.

At the start of this decade, 7% of knowledge-economy jobs were affected by RPA, a number projected to grow at a 70% compound annual growth rate.(2) This rapid adoption is primarily driven by four market forces: (i) slowing growth in labor productivity, (ii) scarcity of technical talent, (iii) digitally savvy employees, and (iv) user-friendly technology.(3) 

 The ripple effects of the swift implementation of RPA will have a significant impact on the economy, filling large gaps in the global workforce. By 2030, it is estimated that more than 85 million jobs will go unfilled, representing $8.5 trillion in unrealized economic output.(4)

Global Labor Deficit (as a percentage of workforce)

Source:  Korn Ferry "The Global Talent Crunch"

It is becoming increasingly clear that RPA is an impactful solution to such economic pressures. Software robots work 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year (without sleep, and without taking holidays) and can power the forward-thinking, agile, and competitive businesses of the future.

The Next Opportunity:  IA Platforms

Although the adoption of RPA is rapid, we believe we are still in the early innings of automation, as adoption thus far has been focused on work that is highly routine in nature. Advanced RPA platforms, known as Intelligent Automation (“IA”) platforms can go far beyond repetitive, routine tasks. IA leverages machine learning technology to engage customers in conversations, understand unstructured data, and make complex and data-driven decisions.

 The rise of intelligent capabilities is causing business leaders to ask, “what would our organization look like if we leveraged automation, not just for a few use cases, but everywhere?” The bottom of the iceberg opportunity is with more complex, revenue-driving activities that can be automated through artificial intelligence.

Case Study:  Implementing IA

One successful case study of enterprise IA implementation is Bristol Water, a UK-based public water service. At first, the Company implemented RPA in its most basic form, cleansing data as part of a routine compliance project. For context, a project of this scale normally requires an outsourced contractor to be hired for six months. In contrast, it took one day to create the robot for the project, and the entire project was completed in a matter of weeks.

 From there, Bristol implemented more complex automations using machine learning to “read” and extract data points from a variety of operating documents. The Company now has five robots running fourteen processes across the business, completing the equivalent work of up to six full-time employees.

Tquila Automation

At Delta-v, we are continuously searching for digital transformation firms with unique technology expertise that help lead businesses into the future.

 In Q2 2022, we invested in Tquila Automation, the Intelligent Automation consultancy behind the Bristol Water project. Tquila leverages technology from UiPath, an enterprise automation platform, and was recognized as last year’s UiPath Industry Solutions Partner of the Year.

 As partners with Tquila, we are proud to support their continued growth as they look to double their headcount again this year. We had the opportunity to sit down with Tquila’s CEO, Tom Abbott, to discuss the Company’s vision, capabilities, and next phase of growth.

Q&A with Tquila CEO, Tom Abbott

Q: What is the company’s mission and values? How do you live by those words?

 Tquila Automation seeks to help businesses dramatically improve the way things are done through intelligent automation. We offer a full end-to-end service from automation strategy to design and build, plus continuous improvement for robotic process automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence projects.

 ‘Relentless’ is one of our core values, as we’re passionate about driving customer success. As much as we live by those values, our clients recognize it in us as well. We have continually scored 4.8 / 5 and above in customer satisfaction surveys.

 Our goal is to be the market leader in our core markets. We will do this by constantly providing value and service excellence. The automation market is set to scale significantly over the next few years and with a whole host of technology becoming available, we want to simplify this for businesses. We want organizations of all sizes to be able to leverage the best team to drive the best results.

 Q: What are the best ways for companies that are new to automation to begin their journey?

 In our experience, businesses automate one or two processes with a high success rate and then struggle to scale beyond that for multiple reasons: lack of alignment at leadership, choosing the ‘wrong’ processes to automate, weak benefit cases, failing to consider the change management on people and processes and then ultimately losing momentum in the program.

 Our advice is to discover a pipeline of digital transformation opportunities that offer the highest rate of return before scaling across an enterprise. In order for companies to succeed, they must align a vision for automation that can be adopted across the wider enterprise and tie that vision to the companies’ goals. Businesses that do this, have a much higher success rate when delivering real results.

 Q: The origin behind Delta-v’s name is the total effort required to change from one trajectory to another. In that light, what do you think your next phase of trajectory growth will be after the partnership?

 With the support of a well-established cloud services partner like Delta-v, we are leveraging their knowledge and experience to help us build a market-leading team of the most talented individuals in the intelligent automation space. With their support, we are accomplishing this through both an organic and inorganic growth model.

The demand for intelligent automation capabilities is increasing across North America and Europe and to meet it, Tquila is scaling operations in each market. With Delta-v’s support, we have just opened a Global Service Delivery Center in Romania and we’re in the process of launching a go-to-market team out of Amsterdam, Netherlands. Other priorities include attracting and nurturing our own talent and looking at other complementary offerings to intelligent automation that would help drive success for our clients.

(1) “2021 Cloud Adoption Survey.” O’Reilly, 8 Nov. 2021, www.oreilly.com/pub/pr/3333.

(2) Maureen Fleming.  “The Economic Impact of UiPath Robotic Process Automation: $55 Billion a Year by 2025.”  IDC, Sept. 2021,   www.uipath.com/hubfs/idceconomicimpact.pdf.

 (3) Purna Doddapaneni, Michael Heric, Brandon Nott, Arpan Sheth, Gustaf Ericscon.  “Overcoming the Automation Paradox.”  Bain & Company, 22 Sept. 2021, www.bain.com/insights/overcoming-the-automation-paradox.

(4) “Future of Work: The Global Talent Crunch.”  Korn Ferry, 2018, www.kornferry.com/content/dam/kornferry/docs/pdfs/Kf-Future-of-Work-Talent-Crunch-Report.pdf.