Automation Anywhere’s Cumulus Uses Social Collaboration for Process Automation

Automation Anywhere, a provider of automation software, recently announced the availability of Automation Anywhere Cumulus, possibly the first social enterprise process automation solution on the market. The tool helps businesses identify and prioritize task automation by tapping into the collective wisdom of their user community. Designed to use social collaboration to quickly determine return on investment (ROI)-producing automation tasks, Cumulus is the first launching through the Yammer App Directory, and will be a featured application for the leading enterprise social network with 8 million business users.

Automation Anywhere Cumulus aims to help businesses rapidly determine the value of automating a process to improve overall operational efficiency. Using Cumulus, anyone in an organization can suggest a task to be automated, vote on tasks that seem most valuable, contribute suggestions to existing initiatives, and track active automation projects (see figure 1). The social app allows teams to self-organize, collaborate, and execute without the limitations of traditional organizational boundaries.

 Figure 1. Dashboard

Manual, repetitive tasks cost companies time, money, and productivity. Automation is great, but there's often a disconnect between what employees think should be automated and what the information technology (IT), quality assurance (QA), or engineering departments decide will be automated. Automation Anywhere Cumulus gives a sounding board (and ROI calculator, among other specific tools) to an entire organization, so, for example, a person in Accounts Payable can show how automating the extraction of essential data from electronic invoices could help him/her process them faster.

Impressive are built-in tools that point specifically to value achieved through task automation—calculating hours and dollars that could be saved by automating each suggested manual process. Users can use project-level dashboards and self-defined rationale to give clear visibility into their company’s potential ROI and actual ROI achieved at any given time (see figure 2). Built-in calculators show potential days and dollars saved by automating a task, allowing companies to focus on high-priority projects.

 Figure 2. Special Project Example

The Automation Champion Leaderboard feature helps identify and reward key contributors, and build organizational automation expertise through gamification. In a sense, Automation Anywhere Cumulus is bringing IT automation into a social context so that more people in a company can understand and contribute to actionable and money-saving process automation scenarios.
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