Embracing the power of AND: why HFS named us a Hot Vendor in Process Intelligence

Eric Gargiulo

The pandemic has sent a clear message to business and IT leaders across globe: there’s a need for real change. Not just faster ways of doing the same age-old processes, and not just incremental improvements to the teams and technology that support them. The post-pandemic world has forced enterprises to design resilient processes built for the new era. Architecting this future state requires (1) new ways of understanding process performance and its impact on the employee and customer experience, and (2) an integrated approach to evolving the way work gets done based on target business outcomes. Given this burning platform, it isn’t surprising that process intelligence has emerged as a key change agent with promising impact in HFS’ virtual OneOfficeTM framework.

In October, HFS launched their Hot Vendors Q3 2020 report featuring six innovative vendors with distinctive value propositions in helping enterprises thrive in what HFS’ Chief Analyst Phil Fersht calls the “Have-to-Have” economy. The report highlighted Soroco for its unique offering in the process intelligence space, a market with growing demand driven by enterprise leaders wanting to bridge the divide between siloed data, BI, analytics, and automation initiatives. Our recognition stems from the differentiated ‘and’ approach that our technology takes to helping enterprises understand how work gets done.

Get a closer look at what the report says about Soroco here.

Making sense of the market buzz

Process intelligence is HFS’ recently coined umbrella term for technologies that help enterprises uncover insights into their processes and drive data-driven transformation programs. One would be forgiven for being confused by product terminologies within the category, each with multiple vendors in the mix. Essentially, process intelligence solutions can be divided into two subcategories based on their technology approach and output:

  • Process mining: These tools collect logs from enterprise applications like ERP and CRM and leverage data mining algorithms to provide a macro view of process flows and performance.
  • Task mining: These tools use computer vision/OCR to capture and analyze how employees interact with their business applications. The output is a task-level view of process activities. This subcategory is also referred to as process discovery or desktop process mining.

The two techniques differ in the scale at which they provide visibility, the breadth of applications they cover, and consequently, what you can do with insights they generate. Given their complementary nature, picking any solution means enterprises must choose between:

  • A macro view of process performance or detailed view of end-user tasks.
  • A scalable approach for a limited number of enterprise apps, or a detailed approach for a limited number of users.
  • Insights into potential process excellence opportunities, or insights into repetitive tasks that are candidates for RPA.

This either/or dilemma has left enterprises wanting more visibility, more actionable insights, and a wider range of potential use cases. Recognizing this need, the market is now seeing a convergence of process and task mining through vendors partnerships, or in some cases, through a single platform that brings the 360 view customers are looking for.

Soroco’s ‘and’ approach – You don’t have to choose!

Soroco’s technology is about embracing the power of ‘AND’. Scout, our discovery platform, combines task level data with process performance data across all teams and applications in the enterprise. This provides organizations with an end-to-end view of how work is performed and a clear understanding of actions to take across people, process, and technology change levers.

“We are creating a new way of understanding ‘the science of how teams work’ by tapping into all the rich and growing digital data sources that exist in every enterprise. Today we can provide meaningful insights across 500+ users and all workplace applications in a matter of days - without needing slow and expensive IT integrations. We are also using machine learning to discover "enterprise processes" that span multiple teams and multiple users. We are excited to be named a Hot Vendor by HFS and think the potential for process intelligence technology as a key driver of business transformation has just begun.”

Arjun Narayan, Co-founder and CRO, Soroco

Combining Process Mining AND Task Mining 

Process mining is limited to enterprise applications that produce structured transaction logs. In our experience, this only represents ~30% of employee activity. With a majority of the ‘last mile’ task activity occurring in communication tools, legacy applications, MS Office etc., logs alone can’t provide the full picture of how work gets done. On the other hand, task mining techniques that rely on screenshots and OCR/computer vision simply can’t scale across large teams, and miss key information captured in transaction logs.

Scout’s unique approach can provide discovery insights at scale – across teams of 100s and any workplace application. With Scout, enterprises gain the desired 360 view into end-user tasks AND enterprise processes across core apps such as SAP and the heterogenous mix of non-core apps that exist in every organization.

Unifying Process Excellence AND Process Automation

A key trade-off between process mining and task mining is their utility in driving process excellence or automation initiatives. Process mining helps identify inefficiencies within core applications, but lacks visibility into variations outside of core apps and the details required for task automation. Task mining helps identify repetitive tasks ripe for RPA, but misses key process details needed to optimize business performance.

At Soroco, we believe that real change comes from unifying these two change programs. Automating existing processes without considering redesign is just doing the same thing a little faster. Such change is likely to be incremental at best. Incorporating process cleanup can deliver 50% of the overall value before writing a line of code, and is key to the success of scalable automation. We have seen the results of a unified transformation approach in our work with Fortune 500 pharmaceutical Bayer, who used Scout and Soroco’s Automation Suite to scale their intelligent automation program.

Realizing People AND Technology Transformation

It is critical for process intelligence to be about realizing value, not just data for the sake of data. Doing so requires a structured approach to making data-driven interventions that impact people, processes, and technology. Scout is not yet another point technology sitting in the enterprise, but a platform that can be used by multiple stakeholders to discover, prioritize, and realize opportunities to improve how work gets done. In our experience with multiple Fortune 500 organizations, integrating people-focused initiatives with technology-focused initiatives is when the greatest impact happens.

Scout helps you create a roadmap of process transformation that connects people initiatives (training, standardization) with technology initiatives (automation, application upgrades). This structured journey is coupled with Scout’s Open Data Architecture which makes the same rich dataset available for business analytics initiatives across the enterprise.

Hot in a market that’s heating up!

As HFS puts it, “the entire point of process intelligence is to leverage available insights derived from myriad sources—logs, applications, keystrokes, and clicks—and use them in concert to better understand as-is processes and recommend appropriate interventions.”

The ‘and’ approach that Scout is built on aligns well to HFS’ concept. Our new way of understanding “the science of how teams work” is hot and holds incredible potential to transform how people and technology work in harmony to deliver business outcomes.

Get in touch with us to explore how our process intelligence technology can accelerate your journey to becoming a digital enterprise.

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