Interview with Rob Valdez of Kaufman Rossin

Rob Valdez of Kaufman Rossin joins us to talk about his experiences with RPA in the financial and banking sector.  Rob got his organization into RPA from a shark-tank-style competition and it has since flourished into an external offering.  We talk platforms and the impact of licensing (specifically community licenses).  We also dive into what the term RPA means to Rob.

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Interview with Rob Valdez of Kaufman Rossin

• 36:30

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

rpa, automation, clients, process, build, automate, absolutely, solution, people, develop, data, challenges, bot, conversation, case, developer, curious, cybersecurity, licensing, project

SPEAKERS

Mark Percival, Rob Valdez, Brent Sanders


Brent Sanders  00:00

Welcome to the it's automic podcast. In this episode, Mark and I are joined by Roberto Valdez, who heads up automation at Kauffman Rossin he's CPA in professional services firm. we dive into what he's seen in the automation space, what works and what doesn't hope you enjoy!


Mark Percival  00:14

Browser. And we're recording. Nice. Sorry about that. Rob.


Brent Sanders  00:20

Let's take it from the top. Rob, why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself, your background and how you got started in RPA?


Rob Valdez  00:27

Absolutely. So I work for a CPA firm, the director of cybersecurity and automation services for that firm, which means that among other thing, I design, develop, implement and operate RPA solutions for our clients. And how that actually originally got started, was our firm held an idea challenge. And it's like a pitch contest almost like Shark Tank style. And to make a long story short, I ended up pitching automation of routine tasks internal to our firm, ended up winning the idea challenge. And when I won, and they were kind of, you know, discussing my, my runway and the project and the trajectory and stuff, they said, Would you consider RPA as your approach versus just scripting, you know, versus Python scripting? And I said, Yes, absolutely. I'd love to, I was already very interested in it. And that was about three years ago. And so then we ran the pilot project, learned a lot of lessons there had some good success, and ultimately ended up developing skills over time to be able to start offering the services externally to our clients as well.


Brent Sanders  01:38

Great, yeah, it's a common way that I hear a lot of organizations first, learn about automation, or even RPA is like, Hey, we're gonna have a hackathon, we're going to have some sort of, yeah, competition and see, you know, how can we actually solve some of the the pain points we have? So three years ago, you dive in? I'm curious, what platform Did you initially start with? Are you still on that platform?


Rob Valdez  02:05

Yeah, great question. Um, so we, what did we do, we did the song and dance, right, we researched the big three, blue prism UiPath, automation anywhere. And then we also researched a number of other contenders as well. So I probably looked at something like nine solutions, and a bunch of different potential partners and that sort of thing. And we actually, we were looking very heavily for a considerable amount of time at Blue prism, we thought that blue prism was going to be our way. And something that ended up being a critical pivot for us is that automation anywhere, was allowing a different price entry point. And automation anywhere, it had a Community Edition, that we could, we could work with the head. First of all, they had a free trial. But then secondly, they had a Community Edition. And then UiPath had a Community Edition as well. And so that kind of ended up wedding our appetite sufficiently so that we got to put hands on tech, and ended up using automation anywhere, as opposed to blue prism, which we were quite excited about it. Regardless, it's just there's a lot to be said for writing a couple lines of code, especially in a low code environment like RPA. And actually running a bot, even if it's a Hello World, as far as gaining some initial momentum, and then and then automating some very simple procedures and gaining some comfort with the system. So that's, that's where we are primarily now with automation anywhere.


Brent Sanders  03:46

Interesting. And so with automation, anywhere that you were one over through, it sounds like the license sold you like the licensing structure, is that right?


Rob Valdez  03:55

Yeah, the licensing and the, and, of course, the Community Edition were Yeah, yeah, I guess the sort of on ramps, right. If you talk about, like barriers to entry, the low lower barrier to entry was effectively with it.


Brent Sanders  04:10

Very cool. Um, can you walk us through, you know, the lifecycle of how you approach automation? I mean, how do automations get started in your organization? How do they progress? I'm curious to know, your thoughts on the genesis of automation ideas for, you know, internally and externally?


Rob Valdez  04:28

Yeah, so we've tried going about this internally and externally a couple of different ways. Um, we've tried, you know, sort of ranking and prioritizing process candidates. We've tried soliciting ideas from, you know, from just large groups of people and just making sort of an open solicitation. We've tried looking at traditional use cases, as far as as low hanging fruit, but what more than anything, thing else creates impetus for a project both internally for us and externally for our clients is paying when somebody's got something that is either taking too much time, or is directly related to some undesirable event. And as a result of that we need either closer, monitoring better operationalizing more efficiency, some some job running at night, that pain ends up being enough to say, Okay, let's do a PLC let's, let's get some positive buy and let's let's show it and then ultimately converting into a pilot, the pain is what like, causes some process owner to to really push a project forward. 


Brent Sanders  05:49

Hmm. Interesting. And as you're working with your clients, just so our listeners understand the dynamic. Your clients, they hire you directly generally for some form of financial services, CPA services, compliance, assurance, all like, Is that pretty accurate? If they're coming to you, you're already involved maybe from a financial services perspective, or from a consulting perspective, correct?


Rob Valdez  06:17

Yeah, that's a great context for it. So our firm has been down in South Florida for 55 years, we have very strong relationships in the community. And we have a very strong banking practice, both regionally. But since we're, you know, since we're in South Florida, we do a lot of work for international banks, as well, which have special challenges in terms of anti money laundering, and BSA compliance. And so as a result that we have a lot of existing relationships with financial institutions and non banking, financial institutions, including broker dealers, registered investment advisors, and we're able to go to those existing relationships and say, Hey, we have a, we have a bot, that has done really well over in this type of environment with this type of process. And we just want to show it to you. And let's talk to the person who's doing that process at your organization. And once that person steps in the room and watches the bot run, doing something that cost them 10 minutes to 10 hours a day. Like they're, you know, they're they're asking us, hey, how do we get this rolling? How can we do this? Whose approval Do I need internally to get this, let's let's make it happen.


Brent Sanders  07:33

That's great. That's really wild to hear. I mean, pain is a driver, you always hear this thing in the startup world of painkillers versus vitamins. And it's like, you don't really get very far with vitamins and painkillers or things to go after. And so it sounds like within your vertical in this space, you built maybe some more purpose driven bots, is that a common practice for you as you do it for one or two? clients, you start to see commonalities and say, okay, we can we can help a lot more people with this. And is that what I'm hearing is kind of the pattern that you take on?


Rob Valdez  08:14

Yeah, absolutely. So because we work so much in a few specific domains. I mean, you know, it's an accounting firm. So we do a lot of different things. But because risk advisory services deals so heavily with certain types of compliance requirements and objectives, things like screening names, through sanctions lists, and doing investigations, and yeah, you know, handling that kind of stuff. As a result of that, we've just seen, and that department, that function within these financial institutions is already facing great challenges from cost and regulatory requirements. So we know that there's a need there. And so, I mean, we will certainly be exploring a lot more, and we do explore a lot more, but if there's already existing need, that we know that our clients need help, we're going there first.


Brent Sanders  09:11

Great. I'm curious, um, you know, when you introduce the concept of automation to your clients, does licensing, does that become sort of the challenge is or is it usually by the time they see the value? The license conversation becomes very easy.


Rob Valdez  09:31

Licensing is a critical part of the conversation. Um, it's a lot of times it's an inflection point, as far as what does the client want to do? Do they want to try and think big and start small? Do they are they just trying to dip their toe in? Do they really believe that they have, you know, the proverbial automation journey, or are they just trying to find some quick wins? So licensing a That part of the conversation because because of the cost, because of the time, because of the investment, and you know, in the infrastructure required, licensing is an important part of that conversation and for for certain size institutions, it actually, you know, it makes a big difference as far as how they're going to ultimately pursue the project, are they going to pursue it? Do they need to pursue it with some other type of solution? Are they going to be able to go enterprise? And I think that that's an area that's ripe for disruption in the RPA. space?


Brent Sanders  10:30

Interesting. Yeah. And it sounds like you may have solutions pre built. And then let's say they do decide to kind of build out their own capabilities, you know, how involved do you stay post launch? Or in? What does that look like? Typically, from client to client, I'm just curious, you know, as they start to build their own capabilities, what your relationships are like with IT teams, or how that sort of handover typically happens. And I'm specifically curious to know what works and what doesn't there?


Rob Valdez  11:04

Yeah, this is this is, this is a great conversation for this type of discipline for this type of tech. And I get the feeling that this conversation is not had quite as much as it should be. And that is, that center of excellence that everybody talks about, there are some organizations that are absolutely going to attempt to build it. And then there are some organizations that that's not on their roadmap. And for the foreseeable future, that's not going to be on their roadmap. So you really need to understand the sort of build least by a scenario that the organization is in for small and mid sized enterprises, for domestic agencies of international banks, for regional banks, for credit unions, and community banks, they probably are not looking to build a center of excellence, which means that from the beginning of the conversation, you have to understand that about your client. And also know that this is not a implementation and walk away. This is something that you're going to help design, develop, implement, and probably operate either in a partnership with them, or through some kind of outsourced services, or through some other kind of model that they're comfortable with. And of course, as consultants in and auditors, we have to inspect whether or not independence is going to be part of the conversation, depending on what other services we're providing for the client. So a lot of our clients, they are, are needing an additional level of hands on an ongoing basis. And we have to be able to meet them where they are.


Mark Percival  12:49

Is that something you look forward to doing as the being ongoing? helping them out with their RPA? Or is it something you actually would rather hand off?


Rob Valdez  12:57

So we initially envisioned that we would design, develop, implement handoff, that's what we thought. And we very quickly figured out that the path to success for a lot of our clients was going to involve operating. So because of that, we started to look at ourselves and say, Okay, what does that mean, for us? What kind of competency and capability Do we need to have on our side? What kind of projects do we need to be ready for? How do we need to be ready to operate them? How does it affect our engagement and you know, agreement, all those kinds of things, once we sort of re postured ourselves to be designed for that on our side, and to meet them where they are. Now, what's great, now it's fantastic. Initially, when I was sort of figuring that process out, um, you know, there's, there's, there's learning, there's learning on our side, there's learning on the client side. And, quite frankly, I think learning across the entire community that not everybody, just because it's low code, not everybody is going to have somebody dedicated to managing that code, right? I mean, a code base is a moving organism that needs to be gardened on a daily basis and cultivated and monitored and all kinds of things. So maybe that's not part of their plan, and not part of their structure. Now, and so now that we're ready to meet, meet them where they are now. It's great.


Mark Percival  14:24

That's a really interesting point. I mean, going into the, you know, there's certainly a lot of push towards the loko tools. But obviously, it's not necessarily just simple for somebody to just drop into that and start, start committing or start building a process. Do you kind of see that as changing with the local tools? Do you think the Local Code tools are going to actually start to encourage more or the citizen developer?


Rob Valdez  14:46

Yeah, I think the citizen developer is a fantastic idea and a beautiful vision, that it's almost like saying, hey, just give anybody access And and you know, they're pretty much the same thing as your CPA. Well, you know, that's it, the tool is not the thing, right? The the competency, the dedication, the mindfulness, the frameworks, the the the strategy, the experience, the learning the skills, all these are the thing, excel in my computer is the same as Excel and anyone else's, an RPA platform in whatever form of installation in our servers is the same as on the client servers. It's all about the people, I mean, digital transformation, as we can see, you know, with the pandemic, it's really it's all about the people, and what are what are going to be the processes around these people that enable them and make them capable for success. And the citizens out developer seems to suggest that if we build the tech the right way, then anybody's process, desire, role. And competency is just going to meet the tech where it is. I don't think that's the case at all.


Mark Percival  16:07

Yeah, I think that's right. And I certainly have seen in the past that we haven't really seen a load code and low code and general work across the board. But RPA, I think is more enticing, because it's the idea that it's, you know, I don't know, because it's seen as I guess it's this add on process process, or this process that you can kind of talk somebody into, it feels a bit different than than tossing somebody onto like a development process. It goes back to, I guess, your Excel idea, which is, you know, Excel is very easy for anybody to jump into. But there's a whole layer of complexity on top of that, depending on what you're doing with it. Going on to like, I guess the success piece, you know, you talked about, you're kind of going to clients and saying, here's what we've seen success. And that's, that's a lot of times, I think, helpful, because you've come from the you know, you work in the banking industry. And so you know, what, what they most likely need, but when they come to you with an idea for something that they're having a pain point for them or something they'd like to automate, what are some of the things that you kind of look out for that are that will make a successful automation process versus some red flags? Would you say? Guys, that's just that's not gonna happen?


Rob Valdez  17:15

Yeah. So of course, there's always a technicalities, right? So there's certain interfaces that are more difficult to work with. And there's certain processes where people are actually performing judgments, and they don't necessarily acknowledge it. And how much of those judgments can be abstracted out is, is, it needs to be analyzed. But the real thing that we try to harness is, you know, the the business case, from the from the front end, because we're going to continue to, as someone who's a little bit more embedded a little bit more integrated into into his clients success, we're going to continue to benchmark and monitor the business case, not only at the beginning, when we do the analysis, when we say Hey, is this process going to create value, but we ongoing monitor the project business case, the return on investment, as well as the portfolio of of automated processes? and say, okay, you know, are we really using these capabilities in the way that you're getting the most return for you whether it's measuring opportunity cost, or measuring hard dollar costs, you know, figuring out how to do that. So really looking for enough repetitiveness, enough time is critical. Now, that being said, that can certainly be offset by Enough. Enough will an opportunity cost, right? If there's, if there's some people who could just be doing something that's far higher, even if it's 10 minutes, then sometimes the will is there that that's kind of a cultural thing, you feel one client to the next, but you definitely trying to keep maintain, establish, analyze and communicate the business case throughout the entire thing is, is it never goes away?


Mark Percival  19:05

Yeah. On so you know, you have this background and the kind of this audit and risk evaluation. And I think sometimes, especially with cybersecurity, when people mention RPA, there's sort of a, like a hesitancy around the risk and around the cybersecurity aspect of it, like, Oh, I have to, you know, there's this worry that you're gonna be hard coded credentials into things. But the flip side is love to hear your kind of analysis of the analysis of that versus say, the benefits you gain of not having a person involved in that because especially I think, in the banking industry, having a process that you know, is going to do the exact same thing every single time is actually fairly useful from a risk standpoint.


Rob Valdez  19:46

Yeah, absolutely. So you're right, as someone who you know, is very steeped in it audit as well as cybersecurity. It's never outside of the conversation. What's type of data are we working with? What are the restrictions around this data? What are the security controls that need to be in place in order to make sure that we're complying not only with your internal policies, but also with regulatory requirements, and that we're meeting all your objectives. So that that part of the conversation is critical to to have up front and to make sure that we're very cognizant of, but at the same time, to your point, there's a lot of consistency and quality and a process that you can add by having redundant automated processes and measurement around those processes and monitoring of those processes that you wouldn't necessarily have insight into, which is having a person performing some task on a routine basis. So that that coin kind of it does flip both ways. One of the things that makes RPA so relevant to the cybersecurity conversation, among other things, is the facility, right? The fact that you can you can, you can build a PLC and 24 hours, you can build a PLC of some I built a PLC of processes in a couple hours, you know, and and say, Hey, you know, here we go, this is, this is what we're doing. So the fact that you can do something quickly means that I'm putting that capability in, in the wrong hands, where somebody is not considering data classification, where somebody is not considering credentials protection, where somebody is not considering, you know, encryption and communication at rest, then you can make mistakes faster. And that's certainly a significant thing to be considered of.


Mark Percival  21:43

Yeah, that kind of goes back to this in the citizen developer piece, right? Having somebody who's a developer specializing in RPA, who kind of knows these pitfalls, versus having somebody who says, you know, well, hey, I'm gonna put my windows, you know, domain password in there.


Rob Valdez  21:55

Absolutely. Yeah, the citizen developer is, um, is challenged by not ever having made these considerations before, and not having kind of gone through a secure systems development lifecycle, and struggle with all those, you know, closed gates along the way, and, and not learn those lessons. So, I don't know, there's just there's too much context that needs to be put in place to enable and protect the citizen developer for, for me to say that, that's, um, that's just a fantastic idea.


Mark Percival  22:36

Yeah, at the same time, do you ever? Do you kind of have any tips where if somebody comes to you and says, Well, how do I, what are my you know, what are the things I should be looking out for, if I'm gonna start doing some of this myself? So if your client comes to you and says, Hey, we want to kind of put, you know, maybe a team around this, what are some things we should look out for? On the risk side? On the security side? Are there any kind of, you know, quick, you know, set of rules you have or things to watch out for?


Rob Valdez  22:57

Yeah, so you know, we have a list of, like, pros and cons for automation, and none of them are absolute, right. So there's things that make a use case better things that make the use case worse, things like it, like the sensitive sensitivity of data is actually on that list. Right. So it for for more sensitive data that actually detracts slightly from the use case than for less sensitive data. Again, it's not a silver bullet, every every use case can be considered with the, with the proper return on investment, but other things like some things that people actually, you know, people, things that people realize are routine processes performed by some digital trigger, that like, either the same time of day or some email coming in, or some application or some state changing, you know, those things are fairly obvious. I think people are aware of that. And I think you show them once or twice, and it occurs to them very well, what doesn't necessarily occur to them is, again, sort of a governance piece, which is like, Hey, you probably should not try to automate processes across departments, until you have a pretty good handle of this, right? Because there's a lot of shared stakeholder risk that you just you never see coming. And so if you can play in one sandbox, you're far more likely to move quickly and effectively than you are if you have to play across multiple sandboxes. So up on our list are included things like that, as well as, um, you know, as well as the other more traditional things like volume and, and, and, and cost and opportunity costs and those kinds of things.


Mark Percival  24:33

Yeah, yeah. So no, let's just step back, I think, looking at from just the RPA standpoint for your clients, what's the, what's the most positive or I guess, what's the highest ROI you've seen where you you've done something and you're like, wow, that, you know, took me two hours, but it saved just an insane amount of, you know, cost savings. 


Rob Valdez  24:51

Yeah, we actually pretty frequently we see in excess of 100% within a period of months, and then we've seen with an excess of 200%, within a period of 90 days as well, so it's definitely there. A lot of it is identifying those right candidates. And a lot of it is, is also knowing a little bit knowing what your client is going to be willing to be willing to go for knowing kind of what their operations are like, which is, I think why so much of this is happening, internal to firms, right, where they're trying to build out teams, because they understand their ops in a way that a lot of times an outsider just isn't, they just don't have enough of grokking of the situation to to appreciate. 


Mark Percival  25:38

I mean, yeah, I think that's one of the hardest parts about RPA is that it's so tied to your process that that is where I think the allure of having somebody internal do it is because they know the process, whereas if anytime you involve an outside developer, there's this kind of, oh, I've got to get them up to speed on the process. Yeah, it sounds like for you guys, you the advantage is you have the knowledge inside your own organization, because you're working in this sector. 


Rob Valdez  26:02

That's correct. And because we have such a deep domain expertise in certain, certain functions, we also know like, even if we've never walked into this bank, or this mortgage company or this broker dealer before, we know that they're doing x process, and we know that they're probably using y tools, and we know that, you know, they have certain people in place doing it so so a lot of that if you're not going to know the individual organization, then deeply, deeply knowing the domain will will help to offset that, which is, you know, I do love the idea of the bot store, and have bought sharing and bought licensing and all that kind of thing. But unless you pick a really abstract sort of isolated process, a lot of these things are going to need significant tailoring on the back end, so much so that you almost might as well build it from scratch anyways, to make it truly operational. So, you know, I think we're still a little bit of ways from that. I think where that might be closer is some of the RPA that's built specifically within ERP systems that is starting to take off.


Mark Percival  27:14

Yeah, I mean, I think that standard development, right, it's if you develop a software tool internally, it's usually very specific for the process of that company. And then when you say, hey, I want to pull this out, and I want to build it. So you know, five different companies can use it, you kind of come to the conclusion that well, they kind of have to change their process, yes, to match the tool. And so that's the hard part, I think of the boss store.


Rob Valdez  27:31

Yeah, that's where you really need the, you know, the so-called killer app, right, the process has to be so incredibly effective, that people are willing to change their process in order to meet and accommodate the interface.


Brent Sanders  27:45

One of the things I was curious about, I've been asking everybody that we talked to, are you seeing anything in the space that you're particularly excited about any new development as an automation anywhere user? Are you seeing? I know, they're releasing new features all the time? I'm curious if you see anything coming down the line that you're jazzed about?


Rob Valdez  28:05

Yeah, I do see several things that are happening that are exciting. Some of them relate specifically to the platform itself, automation anywhere had a huge overhaul in their last release, I guess effectively is what it is where they delivered a 2019 as opposed to cutting off at version 11. Now they do run into challenges, as far as this is a breaking change, that they're that they've, they've taken a pretty hard pivot their entire tech stack is different. And so you know, I guess that's exciting in that it's different in that they're rededicating resources to it, and that they're trying to develop a more modern, modern stack, modern solution, modern interface, modern app, modern look, and feel all that kind of stuff. So that's exciting. But to me, even more exciting, is that there's so much um, entrance in the space from some of the Giants, that you know, there's going to be some pretty significant disruption. And with disruption comes challenges, right? So I'm excited about it. And at the same time, I know it's going to present all kinds of challenges, but seeing Microsoft come into the space, claiming that there, the solution that they're offering is RPA is important for a number of reasons whether or not it is RPA. It can absolutely be debated. Because I mean, really, they just took Flo. They added some additional functionality to it. And they're calling it power automate, and they're saying it's RPA. And that's, you know, I don't know that. That's how I would have branded.


Brent Sanders  29:41

I'm curious. How do you delineate you know, are you initially you were saying, you know, you're coming from Python scripting to RPA. I mean, how do you differentiate the two typically, how do you think?


Rob Valdez  29:51

Yeah, it's fantastic. So right now, and this is fluid, right? Because language is fluid. Right now. When the marketplace says RPA, I believe they're referring to the comprehensive solutions that we know that are led by the big three. And that basically incorporate like an ID and integrated development environment, a testing environment, they develop an infrastructure approach and architecture solution. And they kind of package everything, they try and stack a ton of stuff on top of it, they have something equivalent to an orchestrator. So this sort of like comprehensive solution is, I think, how that term is most commonly used. Right now. It's almost like the term artificial intelligence, right? I mean, right? It doesn't have a scientific definition. Therefore, it has a marketplace definition, which is problematic in all kinds of ways. But for now, I think RPA refers to some comprehensive solution that has a design, development, implementation, operation, and analytics, all built into it. And a lot of them have some kind of element of machine learning and or what they are claiming is deep learning, stacked on top of it. So the fact that Microsoft has come out with this solution that's so thin and native to its own environment, makes me hesitate to call it like a full blown RPA solution. Because I think that my clients have a higher level of expectation of comprehension and integration and solution management, when they hear me use a term like RPA. Now that could very well change in the next year, especially with a player like Microsoft coming out, right. But for now, I believe that's how most people are using the term of course, I'm a Python fanatic. And I love Python. And I do develop apps in Python as well. And so I have a strong affinity for general automation and application development, also, but I think this term for the meantime, the marketplace has certain expectations and those expectations.


Brent Sanders  32:04

I mean, is there anything that you wanted to touch on anything that you know, coming into this conversation? You want to talk about it? I mean,


Rob Valdez  32:11

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So I guess two things. One, you heard me kind of, to say be negative on the citizen developer. Okay, so so that's not, that's not generally speaking, that's not my attitude, I just, I like for there to be a lot of, you know, as an auditor, like for there to be a lot of internal control and governance and cybersecurity around a process. So that's why I, that's why I have such a strong caution. Now, that being said, I do think that absolutely anyone with a technical competency, and a strong interest in learning to develop automated solutions should absolutely download one of these sort of, you know, community editions or equivalent or even, why not pick up Python scripting, and that sort of thing, and start this journey. Because I think that these skills, even if you're not fully dedicated to, only doing this, the skills which help create the type of environment of competency and capability around this type of process, are nonetheless critical, are always beneficial. And there are a lot of fun, right? I mean, it's really awesome to take something that you used to do manually and use to maybe even make a lot of decisions about and then sort of start to create states and, and automate and create almost like a decision system and that sort of thing. And, and RPA and absolutely, Python can totally do all of that. Um, so don't let my caution around the citizen developer discourage you from trying to get started. Absolutely get started. Because I mean, that's, that's how it starts. Right. Just be aware that there's going to be a lot of requirements and, and, and additional things to consider around the areas of governance and risk, right.


Mark Percival  34:05

That's a really good point. I mean, I think, you know, there's a, there's a, there's a huge amount of benefit. Somebody takes the, you know, time to learn this, just from the standpoint of being able to identify stuff that can be automated, and how can we automate it?


Rob Valdez  34:17

Absolutely. Yeah. And then the other point that I was going to make is that, um, is that it from my perspective now? I believe that every automation project is also an analytics project. And every analytics project is also an automation project. Because really, what we're talking about is shining a light on a lot of dark or semi dark, or just ignored data, right? And if we can structure the data, and if we can properly label the data, and we can properly create value from all this data, then really, a lot of times what you have is A lot of sudden analytics capability on top of an automation process. And then anytime that the inverse, you're trying to develop an analytics program or analytics portfolio around the process, 75, 85%, I think Gartner said 85% of these big data projects fail because of the data pipeline, right? The data engineering, how do we get the data? How do we extract transform, load the data into a place where we can actually start doing our high level analysis. And after we, you know, after we hand code, a prototype, how do we operationalize something? Well, that's the playground of RPA. That's where RPA really, really shines is all of those just very, very, very dense conditional statements and routines and schedules and doing all that sort of heavy grunt work, right. The blue collar AI I heard somebody call him. That's great. And and, and that I think is a good reason to recognize that no, in an analytics project is going to be buried in an RPA project and vice versa.


Brent Sanders  36:13

Yeah, I like that. I'm gonna use that blue calorie AI.


Rob Valdez  36:17

It's a good one.


Brent Sanders  36:19

That's good. Rob. We really appreciate you having taken the time and having you on to the podcast. So yeah, thanks again.


Rob Valdez  36:27

Great. Glad I can glad I can.


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