Data, Data Everywhere . . . (Oops insert card for license fee before proceeding!)

You know you need to capture workforce and process intelligence for your organization, and you think you’ve found the perfect software solution for the job. Now you need to decide how much data you are able to mine. “More data” is by far a better option than “less data” when venturing into the world of Artificial Intelligence (AI), automation and Machine Learning. With the right volume of data, you are able to get a more accurate picture of what is actually happening in your organization, what variances may exist in your processes and where the real opportunities for improvement lie.

The decision of how much data to collect will not only define the quality of data for your analysis, but it will likely impact your licensing agreement too. With the sheer magnitude of options for technologies, the decision can be overwhelming: SaaS, freemium, on-premise, user pricing vs. server pricing, etc. Interpreting licensing options shouldn’t get in the way of making the right decision for your business, but capturing all the data you really want and need may drive the project cost up and bury the ROI before the new project ever gets started. 

We know your pain and decided new pricing models are needed in this arena.

The traditional approach for data and process mining solutions was to tie pricing to the volume of data, collection points, robots or data storage utilized. Unfortunately, this approach can result in collecting less data. Decision makers may need to reduce costs, or they may want to avoid the inconvenience of dealing with PO’s and updated license agreements whenever more data needs to be captured. Recently, one of our partners, PAFNow, announced a new partnership with Microsoft Power BI in which they provide free access to mining data. It’s very innovative and helpful for companies who are learning how process mining can impact their organization. (You can find a link to their announcement below.)

OpenConnect has also been working with our customers to learn how best to provide value, at a fair price. We’ve done this while providing a more flexible, almost unlimited, path to collecting data for our WorkiQ and DiscoveriQ solutions. Our goal is to let our customers capture as much data as they need. That can be from 1 or 1000s of desktops, data from RPA robots and data from other sources such as Citrix servers or Mainframes. Regardless of how many processes, activities, tasks, cases or collection points are used, you now only license the people that need to analyze and use the data. It’s that simple. You get to focus on ensuring you have the right data for your analysis without limiting it. With basic quick start packages, you can get your workforce intelligence and process intelligence started next week and begin revealing insights for tomorrow’s workforce.

We would enjoy discussing how to make sure your ROI is achievable and is something you can brag about to family, friends and peers at industry events. Connect with us here https://www.openconnect.com/contact/ to schedule an intro to our quick start and scalable pricing models.  

Next up, we’re going to fix airline pricing! I hear robots fly for free except on Tuesdays in months that have r’s in them.

PAFnow press release: https://pafnow.com/en/2019/03/28/paf-globalizes-and-democratizes-process-mining-free-of-charge-for-all-microsoft-power-bi-users/

 

The Democratization of Digital Transformation

Everyone knows the cloud has changed IT and the computing experience immensely from an infrastructure perspective. Additionally, platforms like the Apple AppStore have made marketplaces for B2C a common place to find, try and use applications for little or no cost and hassle. Now we are seeing the proliferation of these marketplaces in B2B.  

For example, Microsoft Azure is growing the number of options and services that can provide flexibility, affordability and frankly, quality choices for enterprise applications and solutions.

OpenConnect recently went through the transformation to move all our DevOps, demo systems and operational IT to Azure. This provides streamlined and consolidated processes that significantly lower costs and most importantly offer affordable choices to spin services up and down in minutes.

This agility in the Azure services has been extended to their Azure Marketplace. We now extend this agility into how we interact with prospects, partners and customers. 

Azure Marketplace provides a platform for independent software vendors (ISV’s) that have been certified and optimized to run on Azure. Now interactions with our solutions, such as WorkiQ and DiscoveriQ, can take place in a “Test Drive” mode providing the necessary server and software components deployed and ready in less than 5 minutes. This saves your IT team time and reduces the need to find server space. Within minutes, our customer gets access to their private environment and an email with further details about getting started. Easy as that!

When the Test Drive is complete, the customer can easily choose to extend the service by purchasing licenses from the ISV by entering their license key into their own enterprise Azure service — BYOL (Bring Your Own License).   

The expansion and proliferation of these marketplaces are truly and quickly democratizing how you interact with your existing vendors and find new vendors. We are proud to participate in the Azure Marketplace. Stay tuned for more options from OpenConnect marketplace options. The next planned one is with UiPath Go!’s new and quickly growing marketplace.

If you are interested in taking a Test Drive of WorkiQ, see the instructions below, and have fun!

 

Azure Marketplace Instructions

How to get started with the WorkiQ Test Drive running in the Azure Marketplace.

  1. Visit the Test Drive page on Azure Marketplace
  2. Search Marketplace for WorkiQ
  3. Choose WorkiQ Test Drive, sign in and agree to the terms of use.
  4. Once you complete the form, your WorkiQ Test Drive will start deploying, and in a few minutes, you will get an email notification that the environment is ready. Just follow instructions in the email, and you will be able to access a fully provisioned and ready to use environment.
  5. Once provisioned, the WorkiQ Test Drive is available for 30 days. After the WorkiQ Test Drive is over, you will receive an email with the instructions to purchase and continue using the product (BYOL)
  6. Happy Test Driving.

Process Discovery Can Change the Pace of Success for RPA

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has been a major topic of interest over the past few years. It isn’t a new concept, but with the advent of new delivery options, the results that can be achieved are continually improving. In order to improve any process by making it more efficient or lowering its operational costs, though, we must first understand how it currently works. That’s where process discovery and documentation are key to your overall success.

Let’s use common analogy – automotive performance. Does improved performance mean you want to go from 0 to 60 mph quicker, improve handling or achieve better fuel efficiency? You first need to understand what better performance means to you, and then you can take inventory of what you already have. At that point, you can put a plan in place to improve your vehicle’s performance. If you want more horsepower, you wouldn’t replace the tires. Likewise installing a new cold air intake won’t upgrade your car’s handling. If you rush out and buy something you think you need, without understanding what you have, you may end up with an expensive credit card bill and the same old car.

It’s no different when scaling your RPA practice. To implement an effective automation solution, you need a strong understanding of your end goal, as well as a good handle on your current situation. UiPath has a great RPA Adoption Model addressing a strategic Top-Down approach versus a task-level Bottom-Up approach and when each makes sense. Leveraging the right analysis and documentation, in the form of process mining, process intelligence and Artificial Intelligence (AI), can help achieve your desired performance and at a faster rate, resulting in a very powerful automation solution.

At OpenConnect, we think we have the secret sauce to improve any process — large or small, basic or complex. Even if you don’t know where to start in your automation journey, we can help. It starts with accurately capturing the right activities and tasks being performed. You can get log data from larger packaged software like SAP and Salesforce. However, if you aren’t including desktop tasks, you are not seeing the full automation opportunity. Using WorkiQ we capture EVERY task that occurs on the desktop, and we do it natively. It’s not an experiment or done it a lab setting. The tasks are captured where your people are doing actual work without interrupting the user. It doesn’t capture how the work is supposed to be performed, but it captures how it is actually being completed. Once this data set is collected, we port that to process mining solutions like PAFnow to execute a deep analysis on all data sets and process possibilities. We can also send it to our DiscoveriQ tool for quick process documentation outputs of known process activities and variations. By using analytics to help design the outcome you are able to produce a result that improves your speed to ROI, overall cost savings and the final outcome.

As you consider your automation drive, remember to take a look at your current processes and activities to chart your path forward. Once you have that in your sights, 0 – 60 in under 6 seconds is right around the corner.

Automating Requirements Gathering for your Automation Process

With any software development project, the most time-consuming, critical factor is getting the requirements right. Meeting with employees, documenting their work, recording the necessary data, and more. For an automation project, you need to know the exact process flow from start to finish, including screen names, screen captures of each screen, and specific field-by-field steps taken on each screen.  These are the details used to create automation scripts, and it can’t be done without them. This means dedicating hours and resources to subject-matter experts and end users through the discovery process and having someone sit with process workers and gather all of this detailed information.

More and more we work with companies that come to us already frustrated with what lies ahead. They have a laundry list of processes they need to automate. But to make this happen they must first complete the discovery and requirement efforts which can be completely overwhelming and complex. It’s hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel when you aren’t sure where it begins.

With years of experience implementing complex RPA projects, we understand that sometimes the hardest part is getting started. Having a workforce monitoring solution in our portfolio, we’ve worked with clients to change the way automation projects get done. Our solutions help save time—and unnecessary stress—by automating the requirements needed to kick off any automation project.

Leveraging real-time data by monitoring employees as they work, OpenConnect captures a complete and accurate understanding of the details needed to visually map the process.  We developed DiscoveriQ to compile the required screen shots, illustrate the step-by-step field level details of the process, and automatically generate a requirements document.

Using DiscoveriQ reduces the requirements and discovery process by as much as 70% while also ensuring the accuracy of those requirements. This means less iterations of your automation code.

If your company is struggling with pending automation projects, regardless of which RPA solution you are using, schedule a demonstration of DiscoveriQ. Click here to learn more.

Top Three Reasons to Consider Workforce Intelligence for Distributed Workers

The evolving nature of work continues to change at an amazing pace. While artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotic process automation (RPA) continue to push the bounds of a back-office workforce. The fact remains, a large number of workers will be engaged in back-office operations for a long period of time. Recruitment, retention, and training remain a strategic aspect of building strong brands. With the unemployment rate at an historic rate of 3.9%, this becomes even more difficult.

To remain competitive, companies are getting creative with flexible benefit programs. One such program that is becoming more popular is work@home or flex-scheduling. The blend of on-premises, work@home, outsourced (BPO), and, frankly, just a geographically distributed workforce provides a competitive advantage. The question then becomes: how do you measure and size your workforce in a distributed environment? The answer: workforce intelligence.

Here are the three biggest benefits of using workforce intelligence with your distributed workers:

  1. It can help you spot process inefficiencies — in real time — and lead to more productivity and lower labor costs.
  2. It can help you better understand what motivates your team, so you can implement programs that increase employee engagement.
  3. It can help you take the guesswork out of staffing, making long-term forecasting easier and more accurate.

With any team, success depends on your ability to measure, adjust, and improve. It’s no different with your work@home or distributed work teams relative to your on-premises processing teams. Consistent measurement and analytics, regardless of work location or work hours, are important. OpenConnect’s WorkiQ can give you the real-time insights you need to make meaningful management decisions and maximize your company’s productivity.

WorkiQ is Citrix Ready — and What That Means

WorkiQ is Citrix Ready — and we’re very proud of that. However, it does bring up two obvious questions. First, what does it mean? Second, what difference does it make? I’m going to try to answer those for you in reverse order. (After all, if it makes no difference, it doesn’t matter what it means.)

As you may already know, WorkiQ is OpenConnect’s real-time desktop analytics solution. It provides visibility into employee productivity. To be a little more specific, WorkiQ captures employee activity through a small software agent that usually is installed on each user’s workplace computer. However, there also are work environments in which a typical user doesn’t have a dedicated workplace computer. That’s why it’s important that WorkiQ has been certified as Citrix Ready.

Citrix and WorkiQ

One of the popular on-demand computing platforms is Xen Desktop by Citrix. We’ve worked hard to make sure that WorkiQ works great for a company that uses this platform. You might say that WorkiQ “sees” a Citrix session as just another standard activity session. Perhaps the user is on a dedicated desktop computer. Perhaps she’s using a Citrix computing resource. She may even be moving between the two. It doesn’t matter. In any of these cases, WorkiQ generates an accurate timeline of activity.

Many companies use Citrix to allow employees to work from home or from mobile devices. Citrix provides a standardized configuration and increases security. It also reduces wide area network (WAN) traffic by locating the computing resource closest to the data the user is accessing. That data exists on the server.

By the same token, we don’t put WorkiQ on individual devices in a Citrix environment. Instead, we capture the users’ activity by installing our Citrix-specialized WorkiQ agent on the Citrix server. The beauty of this approach is that WorkiQ can directly “see” traffic between users and all the other corporate applications on the server. That lets WorkiQ accurately capture activity data, and do so with the highest quality.

What Citrix Ready Means

Citrix put our Citrix-specific WorkiQ agent through a uniform set of compatibility tests. In Citrix’s analysis, the agent installed seamlessly and implemented proper modifications to the server’s registry. WorkiQ also passed other Citrix compatibility checks, including memory handling within the Citrix server. As a result, Citrix certified WorkiQ as Citrix Ready.

A number of large sites — including one with over 100 Citrix servers — have successfully taken advantage of WorkiQ. Through the Citrix Ready program, OpenConnect also receives partner-level access to Citrix technical resources. This enables us to resolve any Citrix-related technical challenges our WorkiQ customers may have. In short, you can be confident in not only OpenConnect’s technology but also our ability to handle any challenges that may occur.

Note: Citrix is a registered trademark of Citrix Systems, Inc.

OpenConnect at AHIP Institute 2015

OpenConnect is excited to sponsor and exhibit at  AHIP Institute 2015! There is an impressive line up of excellent speakers and topics. We look forward to spending time with our customers and potential customers in these sessions and throughout the exhibit hall.

We will be at booth #1149 on Wednesday 6/3 Noon to 7pm and all day on Thursday 6/4. Stop by for a demonstration of desktop analytics and ask about automation solutions. We can share how our Health Insurance customers are seeing significant payback and benefits using these tools.

Join us for southern hospitality and country music with the great Martina Mcbride on Wednesday evening! See you in Nashville!

 

Analytics for Insurance Conference – Canada

OpenConnect’s Michael Cupps to Discuss the Future of Technology and Data Capture at the Analytics for Insurance Conference

Mr. Cupps will be a featured speaker at the Analytics for Insurance Conference session titled “Improve claims processing by identifying & understanding ‘dark events’”

Dallas, TX, May 4, 2015 – OC WorkiQ, a leader in workforce intelligence and business process analytics software and services, today announced that Senior Vice President Michael Cupps will be a featured speaker and panelist at the Analytics for Insurance Conference, May 11 – 12 in Toronto, Canada. Mr. Cupps will focus on how analytics can make the claims process more efficient and transparent.

The claims handling process involves large amounts of data, but unfortunately much of this data has historically not been tracked and measured in a meaningful way. Emerging technologies and the use of analytics that are capable of tracking this data are crucial to the future of the claims handling process.

Prior to the panel discussion, Mr. Cupps will deliver a presentation on understanding Dark Events, which are discrete actions that occur in the processing of a claim. The panel discussion will cover a number of key areas related to the role of analytics in the claims process. The additional capabilities that analytics enables – from developing new predictive models, to providing more insight into previously opaque aspects of the claims process – will be crucial to the evolution of the industry. Mr. Cupps will focus specifically on how to track and utilize previously unusable data in ways the industry has not seen before.

“As with any production process, the efficiency of the claims process solely depends on the knowledge of the best path to completion. In reality, that knowledge or visibility is not always clear,” said Michael Cupps, Senior Vice President, OC WorkiQ. “The only way to improve that process is to remove ‘Dark Events’. These are discrete actions that affect the state of claims, and normally go unrecorded by most claims processing and analysis systems.  Being armed with the ability to capture this data creates valuable and actionable analysis that can lead to greater efficiencies.”

The Analytics for Insurance Conference takes place May 11 – 12 at the Westin Prince Toronto. Mr. Cupps will give his presentation on May 11 from 2:50 p.m. – 3:10 p.m., and the subsequent panel discussion will take place from 3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Analytics for Insurance Summit

OpenConnect CEO Dr. Edward Peters to Discuss the Potential of Technology and Data Capture at the Analytics for Insurance Conference

Dr. Peters will be featured in a session at the Analytics for Insurance Conference titled “Understand how analytics is changing claims handling and underwriting”

Dallas, TX, March 20, 2015 – OpenConnect, a leader in operational intelligence and workforce analytics software, today announced that CEO Dr. Edward M.L. Peters will be a featured speaker and panelist at the Analytics for Insurance Conference on March 25-26 in Chicago. Dr. Peters will focus on how technology and analytics can make claims handling more efficient and transparent.

The claims handling process involves massive amounts of data, but unfortunately much of this data has historically not been able to be tracked and measured in a meaningful way. Emerging technologies and the use of analytics that are capable of tracking this data can enable a new age of innovation and improvement in the claims handling process.

This session will look at a number of key areas in which automated processes and analysis can improve the claims process – in detecting fraud, reducing costs and creating real-time and actionable data. Dr. Peters will focus on how to identify and utilize previously un-captured data in ways the industry has not seen before. The ability to capture this data creates valuable and actionable analysis that can lead to greater efficiencies.

“In the claims process, only a small portion of the data are readily available for analysis, with a large portion going un-captured and therefore unavailable to analytical efforts,” said Dr. Edward Peters, Chief Executive Officer, OpenConnect. “‘Dark Events’ are discrete actions that affect the state of claims and normally go un-captured and un-recorded by most claims processing and analysis systems.  It is through the discovery, capture and analysis of ‘Dark Events’ that major improvements can be uncovered and realized.”

The Analytics for Insurance Conference takes place March 25-26 at the Hilton Chicago/Magnificent Mile Suites in Chicago, IL. Dr. Peters will speak on March 25th from 4:30pm – 6:00pm.

 

Media Contact

Tracy Donalson
Weber Shandwick, for OpenConnect
469-375-0236
tdonalson@webershandwick.com

HR Analytics Summit

OpenConnect CEO Dr. Edward Peters to Speak about the Strategic Contributions HR Pros Can Make with Analytics

Dr. Peters will be featured at the Workforce and HR Analytics Summit West 2015

Dallas, TX, February 24, 2015 – OpenConnect, a leader in workforce intelligence and business process analytics software and services, today announced that CEO Dr. Edward M.L. Peters will be a featured speaker at the Workforce and HR Analytics Summit West 2015, March 9-10 in San Diego. Dr. Peters will focus on how Human Resources professionals can use analytics to increase their strategic value to their business partners.

HR managers can increase their strategic business relevance by providing analytics that are meaningful, comparable and actionable in a timely manner. This requires a deep understanding of the decisions that need to be made, the data science required to provide the insight and how the outcome of the analytics process enables actions to be taken that increase business value. When applied successfully, this approach can deliver tremendous value to the organization and strategically link HR managers to their business partners.

For example, operational executives and human resource professionals have been challenged by the shift that has occurred in the U.S. away from mostly in-house workers to a more remote workforce. In this environment, understanding the actual performance of tasks, the true nature of employee engagement and the potential increases in productivity levels have become far more opaque. Unlike the work environment of the past where workers were managed by line of sight and performance was measured by observable physical output, managing today’s digitally-enabled remote workforce leaves the organization struggling to understand employee productivity and make appropriate staffing decisions.

“Businesses are undergoing tremendous change in terms of workforce composition, for example the mix of in-house vs. remote workers, and the associated issues such as remote workforce management, talent acquisition, compensation, productivity, and engagement are as crucial as ever. In this dynamic environment, human resource professionals are poised to assume an even greater role in the strategic direction of their organization,” said Dr. Edward Peters, Chief Executive Officer, OpenConnect. “Being a strategic partner in this environment requires an understanding of the action that needs to be taken, the decision making process that will enable it as well as the data and analytic tools required for its support. Providing this business-critical information as part of the business decision making process gives HR an important voice and a permanent seat at the table.”

The Workforce and HR Analytics Summit West 2015 takes place March 9-10 at the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa in San Diego, California. Dr. Peters will speak on March 10 from 11:30am – 1:00pm.