On this episode of the podcast, we speak with Tolani Jaiye-Tikolo. Tolani has been working on RPA, been creating a lot of great content on the RPA space, trying out a lot of new products.
Interview with Tolani Jaiye-Tikolo
rpa, credentials, people, processes, systems, chat bot, point, rpi, companies, big, automation, developer, solution, customers, prism, tool, vendors, bots, licenses, code
Mark Percival, Tolani Jaiye-Tikolo, Brent Sanders
Mark Percival 00:06
Well today Tolani is joining us. She has been working on RPA. And I've actually found her via LinkedIn, she's been creating a lot of great content on the RPA space, trying out a lot of new products. And so just gonna dive into it first. Thanks for joining us. And it would be great to kind of get your background what got you started in the space?
Tolani Jaiye-Tikolo 00:26
Oh, bringing you Thanks, guys. Thanks for having me. Like, I'm, I feel like a mini celebrity. Because I've seen a lot of my I'd say a lot of my buddies have been in this class. So I feel like a mini celebrity. And I've been here anyway. So. And for the records, it's like half seven, in Dublin. So it's really nice. Well, yeah, just come back to me, I've not been awpa, let's say, five, five years going on six, it's been quite, I would say it's quite an interesting journey. Because I didn't start my career thinking I was going to be an RPA developer, I started with the intention of being a dotnet developer. So I'd gone into university to read computer science, I do have a master's in computer science as well. So I went straight into university with the idea of coming out of being either a web developer or a data scientist, while I didn't get the job. So pretty much applied to a couple of places, I think probably, and this is what's case scenario was like 800. And every time people just go my or CBD mixed or something else. So I actually started consulting, in 2015, with a consulting firm in London FTM group. So they did have a lot of clients, like the banks and insurance, and that it was pretty much knew at that point. RPA was really new. So I remember interviewing with one of their clients for an RPA role. And that was pretty lousy. That was pretty solid, because I was interviewed as a dotnet developer, even though it wasn't sort of a dotnet sort of role. But at that point, it was like everyone was interviewing, you know, Java developers, dotnet, developers, Python developers for this sort of role. There wasn't really like you go on in detail, you go on all those job sites to give you a good spec. So everyone just thought they didn't interview a developer. I gave them and cross trained them on RPA, or blue prism at that point. Yeah. So that's really like, that's really how I got into the mix of blue prism actually started with blue prism. And so that's really his calling as part of the console as a consulting sort of role, then set up my RPA journey.
Mark Percival 02:50
So started at Blue prism, and now give us an idea of where you're at now. What are you, What are your platforms are you using primarily and anything you're working on? That's interesting.
Tolani Jaiye-Tikolo 03:00
Like what I started with blue prism, I sort of dabbled a bit multi, two years ago, I did dabble a bit with order RPA, tools, automation anywhere, UI path, I did two projects in the UI path. They weren't massive, because there's a lot of bloopers and influence in Europe, especially in the UK. In 2017, I moved to Dublin and used to live in the UK by moved to Dublin. And a lot of the Dublin clients were looking for blue prism. So very few opportunities when you're looking at automation on your way or some of the other vendors. I can remember in 2017, I was working on the PLC for RPM, which is the BPM tool, and was like no one wanted it currently in to play. So it could be Ws a very small market, that kind of sense. But I pretty much started my career as a consultant. I did go prime with a with a company in Dublin. And at some point, I was like, No, I really love working as a consultant. So I went to the startup as well, then. And that was like pretty much no Welcome to lots of firms in Dublin. So that kind of gives me a lot of exposure in terms of like delivery, in terms of in a PLC kind of being the handyman to do all the work. You know, sometimes you're working as a control room operator. And sometimes you're working as a developer, and sometimes you sort of doing a bit of business analysts kind of role, which I don't really like very much, you know. So it was quite interesting in that perspective. And I'm now back into blue prism again. So I think it's like blue prism for life for me.
Mark Percival 04:45
So you've been creating a lot of content around on RPA and LinkedIn and some of that actually, I saw one was you had played around with Robo Corp. I'd love to get your thoughts on just kind of the loco, we always kind of ask all our guests this I think which is locode versus sort of the more You know, I don't know what you'd call it just code tools.
Tolani Jaiye-Tikolo 05:03
I think I think it's a different perspective on things. Personally, I've been in blue prism and the UI part, I know that is a sort of pattern with the way those tools look like. They do encourage some special citizen development, which are, obviously that's a big topic as well. So they do encourage sort of citizen development. And you could have people from the business use some of all those tools in comparison to something like Robocop which is an open source towards sort of heavy coding. And Robert Kahn was really the first one I tried, you know, I'm coming from a dotnet. background, I know, it was a bit shocking, I'd say, I think it was a big of a task. To sort of start looking at Python. I decided I'm pretty much I can remember, like, seven years ago, I was doing Python. For my mom, no, seven years ago, I tried trying to dabble into a project for Python. And pretty much that what that was, then coming back and trying to remember what this is. To be honest with you, I got frustrated for the first two weeks, trying to figure out what's going on. But I really loved the interface, you know, the interface of Robocop was brilliant in terms of how the outside communities speak. At this point, they probably have about 1000 or so in the community. But it's one of those communities that is sort of growing, with a lot of developers, a lot of testers, which RPA, as a tool, has not really begun testing. Yeah, there is some opportunity, if you're using open source tools to kind of open up some other roles, like testing, you know, different kind of different perspective. But if you're compare Robocorp and the lighter blue prism, or UI posh, I probably say it's a bit. I would say, it's not that kind of comparison, you know, with blue prism, they sort of have this established orchestration. And they have this established control room, all this kind of perspective, which is something that I know Robocop has will walk in, I think they might have released it, at this point, sort of the controller and kind of look and feel, boss, it's not really as advanced in that perspective. But they do have a lot of things that might be coming down the line for Robocop. And he's also an opportunity, like, if you wanted to dabble into, like, machine learning, you know, ai with Python, it's actually kind of one of the best tools out there. If you ask me.
Mark Percival 07:30
Yeah, that's I mean, that is certainly something that we found is Python, definitely on the machine learning side is, has a lot of opportunity there. And a lot of tools come into it. So I guess moving on to more, just one thing we like on the show is it it's always interesting to get somebody just, you know, experiences in the RPA space, good and bad, like places where you've seen RPA work really well, places where you said, you know, you've gone back and said no, maybe that wasn't that great of a fit for RPA. Yeah, do you have any kind of stories around that?
Tolani Jaiye-Tikolo 08:03
Well, I have a lot of stories about things, like RPA venues for something else. And I think if I start from the inception, I remember years ago, we used to go out of the business, sort of like a roadshow to show what RPA can do. And sometimes we try and brainstorm at a workshop and say, you know, do you want to come up with opportunities? Weld, no, prep, do some prep work here would help. And you'd see someone come up with an opportunity, there was one that kind of struck me, I think, years ago was something about printing. So they taught the, like RPI was a physical robot, where you go to the printer to use, you know, it CAD to actually do printing, so that came up as one of the candidates for automation. You know, if you look at it, it's like, you spent two three hours with people, and it's like, half the work is rubbish, you know, half of the processes, you know, half a whole This is quite, it's quite a lot trying to do such process quite rigorous. And I knew what I said, I do not. Yeah, I did walk with a company, which obviously, I'm not going to talk about the company that much where at some point we had, I would say we've automated will be called. And there was nothing left for iteration, which is something a great era no one talks about. So what's something like, you know, you go through all the good and bad processes. We did a bunch of data migration was quite heavy. We use Blueprism as a tool for data migration, because we wanted the company where it's been standing for years, and they've been acquiring a lot of more confidence. And also, it was more like, you need to use RPI to kind of get data from source to destination be sort of thing. So it's something it's something well, when I say go for RPA it is quick and dirty. Is it the best process? Probably not.
Mark Percival 09:57
Yeah, I mean, this is something we've actually run into a lot with. It's amazing how many times people have mentioned the acquisition as an impetus for implementing RPA, which is just we have all these acquisitions, and we've got to somehow get their data and our system. And, you know, there's probably a better way to do it. But RPA kind of comes to the top, because it's actually the quickest and easiest way to get it done. You know, and without going into like a larger organizational rewrite or something.
Tolani Jaiye-Tikolo 10:25
Yeah. So RPA it's, I'd say, it's a very good tool for quickly getting a job. You'd find RPI, when you use the market, for things like that. And I've seen also processes where I know, definitely looking back on this process should be an API design, but you still see all being used as sort of like, yeah, desire, that kind of process. And people do love it. Like, every time you know your input, we implement one or two solutions for people, it's like, they're, you know, singing the praises of RPA, which we need to over, obviously, we need to embed, evangelize RPA. But sometimes, we have to do some quick and dirty jobs. So people can keep on bringing processes to us as well. So RPA could be this, you know, bring that bad side of processes. And it could also keep, you know, bad processes running as well, like, you know, legacy systems. And because of RPA, some people might decide to leave their systems running, rather than replacing their systems.
Brent Sanders 11:25
This is a big topic that, you know, Mark, and I really got into this space around this, this concept of a legacy software is not going anywhere. In fact, it's getting worse every day, and no one's dealing with it. And it's going to sort of come home to roost. And so we kind of were searching for business opportunities, or just like ways that people will deal with it. And that's how we found RPA and sort of started the podcast and got involved in from the business perspective. But there's, there's a couple of ways that I feel like you can look at one is, you're absolutely I had a client actually tell me this this is. So basically, it's like pouring cement over my legacy software. So you're going to, you know, build bots, to, you know, operate with my old systems. And yeah, basically, now I'm gonna have no further dependencies on It's okay, I definitely can't change it. But the other perspective that I think is more hopeful and more optimistic is that it can allow you to sort of leg out of older systems. And one way we've seen that happen is like, you know, companies that are switching, you always hear about, oh, we're switching the new era p or the new accounting system, and it's going to take two years. And it's like, that process never never really happens smoothly, because it always has to be okay, at midnight, this time, we're going to turn the switch and everything's on the new platform, it's like, we have seen with automation has helped get people out of systems. But it definitely is like this question of who's going to deal with the legacy software problem, it definitely isn't gonna be solved by RPA. It's just kind of made a little bit more interesting by it. And maybe there's one more passageway out. But it's really like this great question of like, how, and who is going to deal with the real like, old legacy software? I mean, we, we talked about it before, but in the states they had a really big problem with unemployment checks, like they couldn't. There were several states that couldn't issue unemployment checks, because the demand was so high because they were all in Fortran systems. Raise a Fortran? Yes. It's like their main fraud.
Mark Percival 13:28
Oh, no, it's cobalt, you know, New Jersey, you know, it's cool.
Tolani Jaiye-Tikolo 13:31
It's probably it's probably it's probably COBOL. IBM.
Brent Sanders 13:35
Yeah, right. Yeah. Right. And so you just have this world where, you know, we're seeing many of the cracks forming, and yeah, RPA. In some ways, it could help get out of it. It's like, this could be a new tool to assist, but it's not the silver bullet. Right. And it's like, you're really addressing like more? I don't know, I always think that there's usually like a big cultural problem when you have really, like, everyone's scared to touch the software. It's like we made a wrong turn somewhere, that you know, the bots aren't gonna be able to honestly fix that, but they might help mitigate some of the pain.
Mark Percival 14:08
Yeah, I mean, that's the definition right? For legacy code bases. Any code base you're afraid to touch?
Tolani Jaiye-Tikolo 14:13
Yeah. It's cool accent very, that's very, that's very interesting. Like I remember years ago, a lot of companies would do like, you know, pen to pen test Yeah, environment, and especially get less pen testers to come in. And they test let's say, the web apps to see if anyone can break in. And usually, the mainframes are usually the last ones who can break in, because they were more secured on the web apps. And the reason why they were more secured is because they had no integration by a standalone applications more secure. So usually, it would be social engineering, pretending to be someone else getting someone's credential to be able to log into those systems, but later To me, it just ties in with SSL, like the credentials, you don't use that log on for any other thing. You can log into a web app with that same log on. So it was kind of that kind of system. It was always the, you know, green and black systems, and no one really wants to talk to you. It's been dead for 300 years, you know, you break the code, you're like, Oh, Jesus, did developers laugh, is the average developer, the average developer for COBOL? I think it's reading years ago, the average developer, I think, the average age for COBOL developers, like 50 years, you know. So you're like, how would you get some contractors in, you know, to do this, and pretty much people retire with the system? They don't leave or retire with the system, they retire and leave the system? Yeah, no. So it was, it was a kind of very funny thing, because every time because I worked a lot with the financial services, I still work with financial services. It's always like, no one wants to touch the systems. But if you can get RPI to kind of do screen scraping, you know, go in, do some action. So pull data out is like, Whoa, geez, this is the panacea. Yeah, this is like, like toast, right? No, it starts at birth, you know, it's its legacy. But again, definition of legacies. nssm has been like exist and could be 10 years, it could be 300, it could be 150. But it's just system where there's no maintenance, it's really long Stein, no one's maintaining that, or there's no new code or nothing. So it's, and to be honest with you, it's like, these costs half a million a year in pounds, like to mention some of the systems, which is very funny. And if you are going to use RPA, I kind of look at RPI as part of the toolbox for your digital transformation. Probably not the old toolbox you need RPA could be something used no shot, you know, medium term, and kind of replace some of the systems. But Funny enough, the funny stories, like companies acquired new companies, those new companies are also legacy companies. So they have their own mainframe, but what they're doing what a lot of companies are doing, and I'm seeing them doing very, quite often, it's like, I have legacy systems, let's say 150 years old, I'm buying a new company, and they have a legacy system that is 25 years old, I just replaced it and move data into the 25 year old system. And pretty much I keep that 25 year old for 50 years again, you know, so it's the same thing. It's like, we can't take away legacy. So one has to do with his in terms of investment, you know, sometimes he has to be the CIO problem, you know, so one needs to deal with it and invest money into it. You know, it's not just about going to the cloud, it's more like, we need investment here. We need to deal with this, at this particular time, begins with it, everything will always evolve, you know, the same, the same software, we think it's the new systems now will be old systems later, you know, someone needs to, you know, put some money into, it's not just, it's not just putting money into run cost well into innovation as well. So I think it's RPA will probably work in that kind of scenario. But long term, probably not short to medium term. Yeah, great.
Brent Sanders 18:06
I think one of the things that we're seeing, and that gives me a little bit of confidence that the picture may improve are some of the platforms that are locode. I hate to say that because it's like, I don't think you when I say low code, what I really mean is like modules of code that have been abstracted out to being like reusable pieces that then you don't necessarily need to have a developer. I shouldn't say developer, but obviously, I feel very sensitive about this topic. But you know, if there are pieces that, like if you have these reusable pieces, and it's less custom, I always just say like, every line of code is a piece of liability. So it's like, the more you can do and so we've messed around with like the Microsoft power automate suite, Power Apps, or even you know, within UiPath and some of these lower code environments. And not to say UI path is entirely low code, but having pieces of code where it's like, Hey, we only have, you know, a certain amount of modules, and we keep those up to date. And our actual footprint of custom code is very small. It seems like it may help mitigate some of those problems, where it's like versus a, you know, we got 100,000 lines of code. Nobody in the organization ever wrote them. Nobody really knows the story behind them. It's been 1015 years. And every single person we hire wants to come in and rewrite everything. And it's like, yes, you're just kind of getting back on that hamster wheel. I do think that if anything that that low code ecosystem does sort of promote the practices of Hey, we have some code, and we have processes and we're going to be reusing them and repurposing them without copying and pasting them and creating more, more problems. I'm hopeful and optimistic that that improves this sort of landscape, but we'll find out I suppose.
Tolani Jaiye-Tikolo 19:58
No. As a topic about the low code, like, I love low code, I think it's, it's great, you know, but will I move heavy coding into local environment into headsail? You know, to zation, you know, I don't see any company taking, let's say, their mainframe or some of their legacy system into local environment, to be honest with you, those systems are maintained by core developers, you know, you're not going to be able to democratize something like that. It's a different thing, if you're trying to build something that's quite new, you know, and why find local actually works is local works within a department or business unit, doesn't seem to work cross departments, you know, across processes, where you start having more complicated stuff, it becomes a problem, because you need to customize things. And the process of customizing things he didn't he didn't have, you know, expect and stuff like that. So no code is sometimes very hard to sell, especially where heavy coding is required.
Mark Percival 21:07
Well, so Brent was bringing this up, what are your thoughts on her reuse this idea, because there is this idea of, you know, we're gonna build this process. And then once we build this, you know, RPA tool set out, we can reuse it in other places, but in reality does that actually, you see that happening? Or is that, as such, so customized at this point that it's hard to actually make that reuse happen?
Tolani Jaiye-Tikolo 21:28
Well, reuse is good. That was one of the promise of RPI, every tool was selling that in 2015, or you're going to reuse some 2% reduced dev effort and stuff, it does happen. But what I find out as well is reusability is a subject of, I'm gonna say it for it's a very, I don't know, it could be, it could be one of those ones, where if we do have like some templates that say things like things to deal with very complex things, like API's, or API's, integration, or lead to zip, folders, things like that, those are very usable component, because those are kind of everyday kind of routine. But there are some solutions where you need to be really customized for that particular company, you know, it's not something that you, you sort of, you said, we sort of just get it out, it's like off the shelf. And it's like, it's all working for us. And I think that was one of the problems we had with Blueprism, they came up with no blueprints and came up with their own template, everything was working fine. You know, some of those things I take those templates were kind of their fundamental building blocks, but they will not take us through Nirvana, we need to customize. We need to build our own, what works for us, you know, what works for us, sometimes it's just very complex, because we need to have automation to be able to do it. 1215 applications? And again, I know, that's a question of should you be using RPA for processes that have, you know, 15 applications, you know, so we needed some sort of, you know, customization that perspective. So, like, there was some of the, remember, a few months ago, there are some of the processes I was working on, and they were kind of COVID related. And because they were COVID related, we had to use in a very sophisticated system, like DocuSign, you know, some of all the systems, we don't have templates for that, it's something that we need to sort of Butte ourselves and customize, you know, and that those are kind of templates, blue prism won't give you because not everyone's going to be doing DocuSign, you know, as a, as a solution. So, I don't know, reusability is there, but I feel that in terms of reusability, a lot of companies still have to invest in building a lot of very custom code to get to where they want, you know, to get to a point where reusability can be useful. You know, it's not just, we used to take wherever your path has given us, and we go from there, you know, it's more like we take whatever your path has given us, we need to build more on that. And we can enable, like, even if when I enable citizen developers, it comes from that kind of structure, but it's not going to be I don't think any of the vendors, which we've seen, has given us 70% usability, they've pretty much given us 30% you know, and we've spent our whole lives trying to build the 70% you know, which I don't know, that's another question. You know, that's another, that's another topic. And I'm digressing a bit.
Mark Percival 24:32
Well, actually, I'd be interested to get your So you mentioned COVID so one thing we've seen, at least in the in the press release space is all the RPA platforms are pitching the solution to COVID as you know, their RPA platform you know if it's whether it's like testing or vaccine, there's all seemed they've all been pitching, you know, their their RPA platform a solution, but how has it changed? I mean, because there has been obviously, ideally outside RPA digital transformation has taken this amazing leap forward with the just the COVID environment. Right? How is it? How have you seen those changes? On the RPA? side? Have you seen those changes?
Tolani Jaiye-Tikolo 25:11
I have actually seen some changes. I know there was more demand for PA, but not really at the beginning. You know, even though a lot of people like to say that, but at the beginning was more like a lot of companies were shutting down to, you know, kind of retain some of their costs, you know, and a lot of people lost their jobs, I can remember even myself I was laid off, you know, and so it wasn't the kind of environment where a lot at the beginning, I think the first the first two, two months was more like survival mode. Yeah. And everyone was like, you know, what, let's open up a page, you know, yeah, let's support customers and stuff like that. So people that are investing in, I would say, this way, invest in RPI, and also local tools, like, you know, things of beauty sort of mini applications. And I know, in the US, it was crazy, because like I remember the blue prism automation anyway, we were going for the SBA loan, PPP kind of thing loan. So it was a big, you know, kind of a big market for RPA. And one funny thing I saw about our Chabad COVID situation as well, we started seeing some processes that wouldn't normally be available. Without COVID. So we had to be very, we had to be more creative about the kind of how we get things to customers. So it wasn't the initial phase, we're trying to see how we can reduce like, touchpoints, you know, where we're doing a lot of postage or wanting to reduce the postage and wanted to do something like you know, DocuSign to do a lot of he kind of, I would say tele health or any anything that had to do with you know, just in a line. So it was more like COVID, kind of extra data that, so we're looking for more creative ways to serve customers, as part of the old COVID scenario. But I think now, before we, again, the word alternatives, boy was more like he was a business agility measured, we had to do that to be a float in that window to do a particular thing. So it was like some processes that we would normally not have, like, you know, things like loans, forgiveness loans, those kind of processes have a sterling COVID. And I think the market as well, for the RPA market, actually, you know, it was a big thing. Everyone was kind of now it's like, it was a PPP loan. Now, I think everyone's tired of us. Everyone is going for the vaccine. Yeah, we have a solution for now, get back to work scheme. They have every, they have every solution. So like they are producing vaccines that nobody's put no vendors producing vaccines.
Mark Percival 27:53
There's no Blueprism vaccine yet.
Tolani Jaiye-Tikolo 27:55
Not Not yet. Not yet. But if you have solutions on how to know how to either help you do data collection for, for the vaccine management, or how to, you know, things, things of that sort, pulling data from different places, you know, sending sending, helping everyone to keep track of you know, was taking the vaccines and now or whatnot. So we've actually seen the loss of all this kind of solutions coming up in the market, from the vendors, especially the big players. And you know, pegah has his own event, it's a struggle between the awpa. I'll call them colleagues at this point, rpm VPN? Yeah, everyone seems to have a solution. Yeah. All right. Even europei has a solution for it. Everyone has a solution at this point for COVID. And if we, if COVID keeps going rate it's going, we're gonna have like 1000s of solutions for COVID. That's right, with none of them actually solving anything.
Mark Percival 28:53
I mean, I think the interesting thing about the the COVID situation with with regards to RPA, it was just in the digital transformation in general, because a lot of these companies, at least the ones that, you know, colleagues of mine have worked for, the company has basically said, Oh, we can't do this, because of X, Y, or Z, and then COVID hit and all of a sudden, you know, things like work from home and all these things they couldn't do before, because of like five different reasons for security. And they don't have the way of doing it, all of a sudden, they could do it. And it forced a lot of companies to make these changes. And I think that's where there's this interesting tie in of, Okay, you've made all these process changes, and now it kind of opens you up to it. Well, if you take that process that used to be in person and you put it online, well, now it does actually open itself up to new RPA options, right? You can actually have some automation there on the, you know, response to an email that comes in, if that's how you're actually interacting with customers now versus actually interacting with them in person.
Tolani Jaiye-Tikolo 29:48
Yeah, just a lot more use cases, I think, earlier on a lot of companies because I walked with very not quite sensitive customers as well where security is a big thing. You know, we don't want our data live in the company, we don't want data in a city light of day, you know, outside the company, you know. And it was more like, everyone said, I invest in zoom, I wanted to buy shares in zoom at that point. So it was like, it was a big business, it was like everyone was invested in zoom, everyone's invested in security. And I started seeing, you know, some new solutions, where we're using RPA, for this, it sort of management, as well. You know, you could use RPA to kind of manage your kind of traffic, even though there are other solutions for that. But I did see some confidence sort of using RPA, that no kind of monitoring it monitoring and management, which are not, it's an interesting place to put RPA. But RPA is just more for those kind of things like a bandage, you put it anywhere, where you think you can work, even if you can't work, you just kind of force it.
Mark Percival 30:52
Yeah, it's also very generic, right. So the solutions, typically in IT, were always very, very specific, and you had to buy some vendor and package and it did this monitoring for you. But then RPA, maybe you can kind of get away with the same thing, maybe it's not as good, maybe it's only 25% as good. But in some cases, it's just so generic that you can't apply that band aid to a lot of these things.
Tolani Jaiye-Tikolo 31:11
Yeah, yeah, I think that's, I think that's where, that's why the market for RPA is actually growing, because it's so generic, and it can be used anywhere else. Like, it's not very specific to any industry, you know, you could use it anywhere where you feel like, there's a bit of data collection, screen scraping, you know, data dumping, you know, pulling application screwing applications together. RPA would be the sort of the kind of the go to tool, especially if you've invested, you've invested like 50, less than 50k, or something like that, which obviously, I know, it's more than that, if you're looking at you know, trying to get a couple of licenses, you know, and we all sell have licenses at the moment is like, all the vendors sell as much licenses as they can, irregardless of if the customers are using it or not, you know, and every, every customer is like, Oh, I need I need it. There's an urgency for that, you know, you can pile up a couple of processes on one license for the salad Mom, it's almost like, no one bought a license kind of sell. Yeah, so a lot of it is a lot of you know, all this jargons going on, which is, which is something I'm quite interested in, like, you know, to Boston, all these jargons now, giving people something to think about, you know, when they think about RPA, because RPA is not just licenses, you know, pay stockpiling licenses, you're gonna, you're gonna you're gonna it's gonna it's gonna it's gonna crash, you know, what am I going to do? If I can achieve so much with one license? What am I going to do with 100?
Mark Percival 32:41
Yeah, that's a no, that's a good point. There's a lot of cost to it, right? I mean, you know, those people kind of take to account the licenses, but then they don't take into account the cost of maintaining those RPA solutions long term, which can be, you know, fairly high.
Tolani Jaiye-Tikolo 32:57
Yeah. And I think the expectation, as well as some of these expectations not being managed by the vendors, as well. So the expectation of what a customer has RPA is like, I buy occupy at the moment, tomorrow, or I have bots run in production, it's not going to run in production, God is not gonna make it run in production. It's like, you have all these expectations of what RPA should be doing. But you know, pretty much you get into it six months into a sense, like, it's not doing what's meant to be doing, you know, because you'll find your true governance, trying to go through it, for instance, and it is like, no, we're not gonna have bossanova systems. Now, we're not going to give credit, we're not going to allocate credentials for any bots, you know, we don't know what the bots are doing. So a lot of companies find out, you know, six months into ish, you're still trying to come up with a proof of concept. You're still trying to get into production.
Mark Percival 33:51
On because you're in this space in the financial space, which I think is definitely one of the most security conscious and obviously, this is something that is very serious for them. How does that I mean, how do you kind of alleviate those concerns? Or how do you go in there and I don't know if they alleviate but how do you go in there and basically say okay, here are your concerns and here are the ways that you can protect yourself against you know, issues like credential use and actually pretty creating credentials for the RPA RPA bots. Are there any ways you kind of know, basically because this is something we see from a lot of different customers which is which is it and really figuring a way to make it work well with the RPA crowd.
Tolani Jaiye-Tikolo 34:28
So every time like every time we went in with RPA again where we sell okay AI is different from the way other people sell RPA if we try to get as much people on board. Like what I mean much people not everyone, but it's in some business people in the people that are also going to pay for the RPA. So from the onset it a Kunal quite aware. They have the right education as well. They know what RPA can do and what he can And because we've kind of laid out all the options, they actually come up with a roadmap to say, for instance, we're not going to allow and reuse because we need to be able to audit what his boss is doing. So they come up, we work with it sometimes to come up with this auditable kind of logs, in a sense that if right, like, I know, it's, I see a lot of organizations doing this where they have one credential and multiple bots are using it, they are reusing credentials. But because it's in financial industry, because it's quite regulated as well, everyone needs to be able to audit, yeah, everything needs to be auditable. So we've, we've come up with a structure where, you know, a boss would only be given, you know, the access in it for the particular job, right? So boss would never let say, if I'm trying to replicate a system for KYC, know your customer, right? And we have, there's an SME that has x amount of credentials, the person could be the process owner, as well. So process owners are probably not the best people to replicate their credentials, because they have a lot of access across different systems. So we try and look for someone that does the job on a day to day someone like oh, Nicole, that does it in one corner, sitting doing, you know, she only has access to do what she needs to do for a job. So we kind of dig out some of all this kind of, you know, the IT is very good for that. So because they are on board, they can kind of identify, you know, some of all these credentials, or, you know, what credentials be given to the Bosch. And we can also lock some of the credentials where some processes just require, let's say, just reading from a screen, they're able to lock it to only reading I know, writing, you know, so things of that sort, when you have it involved, they can kind of define some of all these rules. They also define things like this. Again, this is something people don't talk about sport or things like retirement plan. So we retire some of all these credentials. These credentials expire, for instance, we validate this credential. So one needs to own these credentials. So it makes sure there's no loopholes. So this system, this credential can tell who looks after his credentials, more manages these credentials. When did these credentials expire? So there are different plants when we walk with it. So you can see sometimes it will tell you all this, this boss, this board hasn't logged in the last six months, we're going to disable this credential, because of security reasons. So things so when you have it involved, it can be very beneficial in expediting things. But if you get it involved in the last minutes, you're not going to go for it, yeah, because you're just going to go back to the start of what is RPA in the first place. So you're going to get to that point where it becomes very frustrating to even deliver just one bot.
Mark Percival 37:45
yeah, I recently had an article on this, but the credential is the key value store thing, I mean, that's the idea of having a credential where you can see when it's been used. And perhaps more importantly, if it has not been used, it really gives you that visibility to say, Hey, this is no longer in use. So clearly, you know, we should go ahead and get rid of it. So it's not just hanging out there waiting for somebody to exploit that credential. And that's something that I think a lot of people when they start in the RPA space, there is a lot of I mean, obviously in finance, that's already comes to the forefront of you know, security being a priority. But a lot of businesses there is a lot of credential reuse, that can be quite dangerous.
Tolani Jaiye-Tikolo 38:20
Yes. But again, credential reuse might not be a bad thing, especially if the user you're trying to mimic those, let's say the same two different sort of processes, or you are kind of mimicking what a department does, but not cross the department. If you go I mean, so it's more like a user might be doing a user, she's in accounting, or she's in finance, for instance, she might be creating the report today, or creating no touch, no touching all the systems as well. But she uses, let's say, as same credentials or, you know, bought processes. So probably you were using in that scenario, you're kind of following what it used to do. Yeah, so you're kind of mimicking the old credential and access as a user would have. But what I would what I see a lot of people use it in the industry is like, Nicole walks in x and x, y, and z. why someone else wants in a, b, and c, but it's just easier because we want to have 15, but want to have one license and want to have like processes or stop out on that. So we use the same credential. So if we sum up all this credential, that person's an admin, that bot is an admin. Yeah. You know, so it's sort of these things. We don't think about it deeply. But it's like, anything goes wrong. You've let that person lose like it's been it's just the bottom, just do wherever, you know, what's like, Oh, I need to take some break. I need to log in as this person. Again. I know it sounds scary, but it doesn't happen. Again. That's a very big security concern.
Mark Percival 39:51
Yeah, no, that makes sense. That's a really good point. I think the idea of overlap between these credentials and giving about multiple credentials and you could basically saying you know Are you pretty clear? You have essentially, yeah, created an admin user. That's an interesting point, I think. Brent, do you have any other? Any other questions?
Brent Sanders 40:07
No, no, this has been really, really insightful and kind of fun conversation to have. I'm just, you know, looking back at the conversation, Tony, is there anything that you're looking forward to and sort of the next five years of RPA automation? Like, obviously, with the jargon busting happening? Where do you see the industry going? I'm curious, like, what your perspective is on what's to come in this space?
Tolani Jaiye-Tikolo 40:35
Okay, that's as interest in First off, I heard the gag on posters to read 510 years, just like you mentioned, because if I'm see gay, I'm just going to be bossing Odin Smith. Yeah, I know, I knew like, I think it was two days ago or yesterday, I can't quite remember now I'm losing track of days staying at home. So I mentioned something on my LinkedIn today, you know, the Orca jagung. Post. And I said, there are three things I'm seeing that's going to happen to RPI. And we're either going to go the route of democratization, or we're going to the route of commoditization, we're going to the other route of argumentation true, I've automation or Intelligent Automation. And that's because we've seen your dynamics, we're seeing things changing, you know, different vendors coming in, and you know, Microsoft with the all power space. And on the windows side, we can kind of see that democratic causation is an order. You know, we're also saying that commoditization is also an order weapons in factorial. Now, there's a plethora of vendors at this point, and which is quite interesting, myself, and another LinkedIn connection actually compiled a lesson in kind of the open source technologies and mechanics seen so many open source vendors that are kind of, they're falling through the cracks of the old, you know, the old RPA and being swallowed by this big giant, you know, so there's quite a lot, where, in the next few years, gonna see a lot of vendors where it's almost like free, we can get anything for free. You know, as you're looking, we were not getting for free might be, you know, support, for instance. But it's coming to a point where RPA would also be a commodity, everyone would have access to Okay, what's going to be different is probably, so it's always going to be like a new deal. You know, like, McDonald's, you know, bye. Bye cheeseburgers and, and coke hasn't a meal deal. So we're gonna see that kind of thing. Yeah, I know, it sounds funny, but you're gonna see that kind of thing happening, where? What differentiates RPI would just be maybe some nice pics, you know, but it's not gonna happen now. Because if you look at the likes of UI posh, they don't even have the same offer. Now as you know, Blueprism, for instance, they need to have the same offer. Now as a power alternate boy, it's going to get to a point where, you know, everyone's just going to copy each other. And we get to a point where we can get this is a baseline. And we go, this is what we need for any RPA, we need SAP integration, we need API integration, we need this, we need all these things. And all these tools can provide such a solution. So that's quite interesting. And the last one, which I was talking about, which was the argumentation we do Intelligent Automation, I don't really like to say the word automation, because it's like, I just miss too much, you know? And so like, you can never get too much of something at this point. Well, you can. But you can't get too much of, you know, sort of automation at this point. So these Intelligent Automation again, it's not really, I would say, it's, it can go both ways, it's not really dependent on democratisation, did it dependent on being, you know, occupying a commodity, so it's just we're seeing we're seeing a lot of opportunities is where RPA can be coming, and can be used to using as an integral or use as part of an integration into other systems. And there was one, there's another part that quite interested in, I don't know how that's gonna go. It's just like, I'm rolling the dice. Just like Elon Musk was 1000, you know, Bitcoin and the rest, you know, I'm rolling the dice. And I'm kind of going, you know, it would be interesting if RPA was merged with chatbots. I can see so many use cases. With chat bots, it's quite interesting. And it will be interesting. If RPA is being used with intelligent document processing, we already seen the last few people, few people actually using, you know, in that space, so there's quite a lot that RPA can move to, but I'm not quite sure if I'm not quite sure, you know, sometimes you follow the markets, and you kind of go, you know, it's today, bang, God is conversation. Tomorrow you go bang, gone notes. I forgot to mention. So it's kind of dynamic at this point. But I'm seeing those kind of routes that can happen. You know, it's either Are any of the three, and they are not in, they're not in any particular order. So it's gonna be very interesting how this sort of plays out, I really want to see how this plays out with, especially power automate. You know, they've kind of, they're becoming very aggressive. You know, every time I see anything about power automate or UI part, I always have my popcorn. Guys, let's do this, guys, you know, waiting? Yeah, because I'm waiting. Sometimes, like, we think we know what your party is going to bring out tomorrow. And tomorrow, they could come up with anything. You know, they seem to be doing a lot of Intelligent Automation, everyone seems to call in their platform, Intelligent Automation, because everyone was thinking, that's where we are, edit, you know, boys up, you know, Microsoft PowerShell is kind of bringing us back to the basics. Like, guys, I know how these are installed. I'm gonna take you back to I was done with Excel, I'm good. I'm gonna push, I'm gonna push you know, RPA. And I think I opened it was a OneDrive. And I saw Okay, actually, I saw, I was like, what's going on seems to be embedded in everything I look at this point sites, it's quite interesting. So I would say, Well, you know, are going in that direction, in terms of, you know, those three directions. So be very interested in how he kind of plays out in next 12 months. Let's power ultimate takes us to that point where everyone is really interested in RPA. Bigger than what it is, you know, the community is small, like, it's not as big as you know, when you talk about, you know, Python, you look at it, and I go on, I go on Twitter. And sometimes I look at some of the Python developers like they worship the language. Right? We need people that can worship your thing. Now, have you seen up? Through I think, yeah, we need to, we need to hype the technology, it's great for what he does, but is it going to be doing the same thing as what he's doing now? In the next 10 years? Probably not. It's either gonna, you know, take a different kind of shape, you know, we're probably gonna have more, you know, an RPA. As I always say, RPA is like, the other time I was like, asking people, you know, what's the origin of RPA? No one can really tell you what the original veces You know, when when it started, it's sort of this kind of technology that just evolved. Okay, so it could probably evolve to something else, like in the next 10 years, you've asked me?
Brent Sanders 47:26
Yeah, I'm excited to hear and am excited to see how it goes. I mean, I agree, specifically on the commoditization, I think everyone's kind of headed down. And I feel like power automate, we did a separate episode. We haven't released it yet. But, you know, we've been diving into that platform. And I think it's gonna be very good and healthy. For the industry at large, as you said, it's going to democratize and I think more people will understand the value proposition and I'd say, that's our biggest problem, not really a problem, but the biggest gap is getting people to understand what it can and cannot do. And sometimes that it isn't about that, you know, putting a tire on a car, it's, it's a software bot. And I think it's all trending in the right direction, it's all positive, I'm glad to see Microsoft take more of a role.
Mark Percival 48:14
Your point about the chatbot is really interesting, because they brendham, I have had the same kind of realization, as we've looked at a couple different vendors that are doing these chatbots. And you're seeing some of the integrations that are taking place in its internal integrations, where before, I think the idea was like, you were gonna go on some site with a chatbot. And it was gonna sell you a pair of sneakers. And, you know, that was very customer facing or support facing. And now there's a lot of chat bots that are taking place inside these companies, especially these companies have kind of transformed into using Microsoft Teams, and slack. And even Microsoft now with their power automation platform has a chatbot kind of component built in. And so I think, you know, that interface of giving somebody a chatbot interface to an RPA process behind the scenes is really kind of an exciting option.
Tolani Jaiye-Tikolo 49:03
That's very exciting. I'm not I'm not I think I'm not really interested in chat bots on the web, like on a web page, like you mentioned.
Mark Percival 49:11
Tolani Jaiye-Tikolo 49:15
That's, that's frustrating. Like, I look at the voice, I'm just like, I don't use it, you know. And when I think I've said it saved me, I think there was one thing that was last year, that gave me that kind of realization. And I said this could be a thing. So I use this more than my time from Virgin Media. So they have their own chat bots on WhatsApp. Okay. Yeah, well, I can't remember it. I can't remember the name they have for the chat. But it was a funny name, and they had for the chat bots. But you could potentially just go there, you know, speak to the chat bot and ask the chatbot for instance, to change your modem password. You know, the chapter is able to do data kind of try to try to ask you all these kind of questions like you know, are you Bring the person you know, it's almost like, captures and stuff like that. So it's more like a self service. You know, on those kind of platforms where people use as an everyday platform, I think chatbot has a way of driving in those environment like slack in our teams, I would use a chatbot like a chat bot. If it's on WhatsApp, I'm, I prefer to chat sometimes. But having a chatbot where it opens up some of the services I will normally have. And some of these services could be embedded, let's say the mainframe and stuff like that. And having the chat will open up that channel. For me, it's a good business. You know, it's a good business, I don't need people to really go into those green and black screens and try to grab information and do whatever. Yeah, but having a chat bot, let's say integrated with RPA did a lot of the screen scraping on gathering all this information? Yeah. I think I'll be happy with that. If I can even have a chapter that entertains me while it's gotten all the information that'd be great. Singing me Christmas carols or something. While I'm waiting for my data. That'd be great. You know.
Mark Percival 51:06
I think that's that's the future, hopefully,
Tolani Jaiye-Tikolo 51:09
Brent Sanders 51:13
Excellent. On that note, I feel like that's a great note to pause on Tolano, thank you so much for coming on the podcast talking automation with us. And you know, sharing your insights has been wonderful.
Mark Percival 51:26
Is there anything to final? Is there anything you kind of want to pitch? I know you've been working on RPA jargon, the hashtag on LinkedIn.
Tolani Jaiye-Tikolo 51:32
While I'd say follow the, the RPA jargon buster, while it's going to be a big thing is going to be likely to happen after toe spread. Growing, it's a growing community. And hopefully I can bring big eyes to educate a lot of people in RPI, and kind of gear them towards intelligence nation by actually seeing other opportunities, you know, to bring other people together, you know, bring other people along, that wouldn't even be in the RPA space. So at the moment, it's not while I'm not going to be spamming anyone with any messages for it's going to be a big thing where it's going to be for educational purposes. So it'd be quite interesting to see how that sort of plays out next 12 months I'm going to be rolling dice pours. That's a good thing. Good thing. Yeah, join. And yeah, reach out to me like I'm, well, I'm not a scary person. Like you can always reach out to me like having people have questions. We will do what some people feel scared to actually ask me questions. I'm not gonna bite anyone. I don't bite kids. But it's been wonderful. Like, it's been wonderful with you guys. I'm using a cloud. Well, that's my second job. I'm usually clown. But yeah, it's been wonderful chatting with you guys.
Brent Sanders 52:48
Thanks very much.
Mark Percival 52:49
Yeah. Thanks Tolani.