The RPA market is usually divided into three types of suppliers. There are of course the software vendors (without which RPA would not be possible), but there are also the consulting firms that help to implement RPA software. Within the consulting group, there are two very different types of organisations – the global, diverse consulting firms (including BPOs) and the ” RPA pure-plays” (which, like Roboyo, offer automation and consulting services). The distinction between these two advisory groups is actually greater than most people think, both have their different strengths and weaknesses. All this makes this month’s news that Genfour, one of the early pioneers of RPA services and a classic “RPA Pure-play”, has been purchased by Accenture (one of the global consulting firms) for an unknown sum, very interesting.
In many ways, this should not be a surprising step for Accenture – there is a huge demand for RPA consulting and implementation services, and the acquisition helps get an immediate boost to their capabilities. Anyone who has tried to recruit RPA developers or consultants themselves knows that there is a huge demand for RPA talent on the market. There are many reports of RPA developers working internally for companies and once they have accreditation and enough experience, they leave the company. So it makes sense for Accenture to buy Genfour “in one piece” and to massively increase its power.
Where is the RPA services market heading, especially now that there is one “pure-play” less? Accenture was one of the first global consulting firms to offer RPA. They now have a distinct advantage over the other Big 4, who are constantly trying to catch up.
But not everyone wants to deal with a broad, global and diverse range of advice and all the implications that this entails. The commitment of a “pure-play” rather than a global consultancy can be a very different, in-depth and more tangible experience.
RPA consulting should be a true partner that looks beyond the “simplicity” of technology. The view of the effects and transformation on the processes and the organization as a whole are also of great importance. It is important for you as a client that the advice you receive is independent: you want to make sure that any recommendations made are in your best interest. Often this is unfortunately only in the interest of the commissioned consultation.
Another commercial consideration to keep in mind is the practice of selling more services on the back of RPA. All you want is a results-oriented consulting without Non-Sense. That’s why it’s good to be careful with consulting services that offer “free” pilot projects – this is usually just a tactic to get a foot in the door to sell more products and services that you probably don’t really need.
Another reason why pure RPA consultancies are a better long-term choice for RPA projects is that they value every project they carry out. Their reputation can improve with any project they carry out or cause high damage. Failure isn’t really an option. For this reason, they will be going the extra mile, providing the right people, accounting for proper times, and not considering each project as an advance sale for the coming.
The right cultural adaptation between the customer and the supplier is one of the most important and often overlooked aspects of project engagement. RPA as such a hot topic lets many management consultancies claim to have the right skills and experience, but few of them will be able to provide the right advice and service for you. Of course, some multinational clients will insist on working only with multinational consultancies. But especially for a topic like RPA, it pays to see what sheer automation “pure-plays” can offer. The cultural fit will be much better for you as a customer.