Process Automation as a Service: The Right Model for SMEs?

Process Automation as a Service: The Right Model for SMEs?

Projects involving repetitive process automation, commonly known as RPA, are no longer exclusive to large companies. With the emergence of various providers offering more agile or even free licensing models, such as Microsoft Power Automate, UiPath Community Edition, or Robocorp, among others, all companies can reconsider the allocation of their employees and strive to create RPA robots to free them for more value-added tasks in the business.

Although RPA is a technology with low entry barriers, mastering the technology, concepts, solutions, and applicability requires experience gained from multiple projects. Often, the effort needed to create and maintain a virtual workforce is underestimated. This is precisely where RPA consulting companies like Engibots come into play, supporting clients by bringing the necessary expertise and experience to maximize results and return on investment in automation initiatives.

SMEs face challenging times, especially in the face of global inflation and widespread uncertainty. Technology investments must be carefully considered, based on business cases that support these programs. Thus, there are two ways to approach automation projects:

  • The traditional closed-scope model, where effort and investment are measured for each project, which may include one or multiple robots. The project is delivered to the client as a turnkey solution with a warranty period. Any maintenance work is covered by a separate maintenance contract.
  • Automation as a service, which involves outsourcing the process to a partner through a monthly fee. This typically results in a direct cost saving of 50% compared to the cost of the process performed by humans. There is no initial development cost associated with it, and ongoing maintenance is covered within the monthly fee. More significant developments are negotiated separately. The client starts paying the fee as soon as they begin using the robot.

Both models have distinct advantages. For an SME, the investment capacity may be influenced by the intended digital strategy, products, clients, and especially the IT capability to govern and maintain these initiatives. Automation as a service can be an excellent option for those seeking greater predictability and an investment based on results, without the ownership of the automations. For companies aiming to build capacity, knowledge, and structure while retaining ownership, closed-scope projects may be the way to go in the automation strategy.

In conclusion, automation, regardless of the chosen project model, is advantageous for any company, regardless of industry or size. The selection of the project type depends on the company’s ambitions, current capabilities, and what it aims to build. Engibots, as an exclusive RPA consulting company, possesses the knowledge and expertise to support and advise clients, regardless of their strategies and ambitions for business growth.