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Bots and Beyond

Technology Podcasts

The automation technology market is developing at pace. New tools, capabilities and practices are emerging on an almost daily basis, but it can be hard to separate the hype from the reality. Join host Wayne Butterfield as he navigates the automation landscape with guests from the enterprise, consulting and technology worlds to shed light on the role of robotic process and cognitive automation technologies in the quest for business value.


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The automation technology market is developing at pace. New tools, capabilities and practices are emerging on an almost daily basis, but it can be hard to separate the hype from the reality. Join host Wayne Butterfield as he navigates the automation landscape with guests from the enterprise, consulting and technology worlds to shed light on the role of robotic process and cognitive automation technologies in the quest for business value.






46: The Path to Effective Automation Governance

As automation and AI technologies become more sophisticated, how can enterprises ensure that their automations are set up and managed in a way that is not just efficient, but also safe, reliable and aligned with the organization’s strategic goals? The answer is governance. In this episode of Bots & Beyond we delve into the essential aspects of setting up and managing robust governance for your AI and automation projects. Host Wayne Butterfield is joined by Zachary Toner, Global Head of Automation at Munich Re. Together they discuss the practicalities of governing automation in a global organization. Their conversation explores key themes such as prioritizing automation projects, ensuring regulatory compliance, maintaining control over automations whilst fostering innovation, and de-risking generative AI use cases. Zachary’s in-depth knowledge from his extensive experience in automation and from setting up various COEs (Centers of Excellence) provides valuable insights and tips for listeners. Listen in on your favorite podcast platform. The views in this podcast are the participant’s own and are not the views of their respective companies. In addition, the participant is not providing professional advice of any kind.


45: Mastering Efficiency: Achieving Process Excellence with RPA

Mastering efficiency is critical for businesses today. Most of us feel like we need to beg, borrow and steal any spare minutes we can to combat never-ending to-do lists and transformational goals. Refining our processes is one of the best ways to make ourselves and our organizations more efficient and our operations more cost-effective. But traditional approaches to process improvement are often time-consuming and costly. In this episode of Bots & Beyond, we explore how robotic process automation (RPA) can be used to unlock new levels of business efficiency and productivity, especially when integrated with an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Host Wayne Butterfield catches up with Bianca Agoston, Process Automation Program Manager for Hilti. Through Bianca’s current and past experiences, they discuss how creating a culture of process excellence is crucial not only for operational success, but also for delivering exceptional customer and employee experiences. Listen in to their conversation to hear how RPA can play a pivotal role in achieving these goals.


44: What Education Does the Modern Worker Need?

The way we work is changing, thanks to rapidly advancing technologies and shifting societal needs. In the future, emerging technologies such as robotics, IoT, blockchain, virtual and augmented reality, and AI, are expected to create further disruption to the workplace, bringing about a huge shift in the skills and competencies in-demand. In this context, how are universities and other educational institutions preparing the next generation of workers with the skills, knowledge and mindset necessary to thrive amidst the massive disruption we are already witnessing? How will corporations ensure they continue to have access to the talent they need in order to drive growth? In this episode of Bots & Beyond, host Wayne Butterfield speaks to Nancy Gleason, an Associate Professor at New York University Abu Dhabi. Through their conversation, they explore how the education industry is embracing this transformation and helping to shape the workforce of tomorrow. What role will a formal education play in the future? Will workers still need to go to university to get a job? And should employers be investing more into ongoing, formal education to ensure they have access to cutting-edge talent in the future? These are just some of the questions answered in this episode.


43: Powering the Future of Customer Service with Large Language Models.

79% of those surveyed by ISG research rated customer experience as "very important" or "extremely important," with a further 17% referring to it as "important." It's also the most protected engagement from cost takeout, according to those surveyed. This is no surprise, but companies believe their actual performance on customer experience compared to its importance is among the top 3 biggest gaps. How can companies narrow this gap? Lately, the emergence of sophisticated large language modules (LLMs) has been changing the face of customer support and revolutionizing the way businesses interact with their customers. In this episode of ISG’s Bots & Beyond podcast, we explore what LLMs are and how they can transform conversational AI, customer interactions and even jobs in the future. With ChatGPT currently taking the world by storm, what does this mean for conversational AI as we know it? Is it just more hype? How can businesses really derive value from these technologies? Joining host Wayne Butterfield to delve into these questions is Philipp Heltewig, CEO and co-founder of Cognigy. Listen in to their discussion to hear real examples and use cases.


42: RPA: The Past, The Present, The End?

In this episode Bots & Beyond host Wayne Butterfield speaks to Nikki North, an Intelligent Automation Product Manager at New Day. Nikki has worked in robotic process automation (RPA) and intelligent automation since 2006 and has witnessed many of the major advances in the industry. Together, they discuss how the RPA industry has evolved since its beginnings. Will RPA technology still be transforming the way we work in the future? Is RPA just a quick fix or can it be part of a more long-term solution? And with IT making significant advancements in recent years, is there still demand for RPA solutions? Tune in to hear Nikki’s first-hand experience as she answers these questions and more.


41: Connect Your Automation Tech with Process Orchestration

Say you’ve automated most of an end-to-end business process using RPA, some AI and just a touch of machine learning. There’s just one sub-process where a human needs to be involved… oh, and the initial input comes from data entered by a natural language processing automation, and you want human quality control there too. How do you weave the human and digital elements of your processes together to get the most value and efficiency from your automation programs? The answer is process orchestration. Granting you visibility and autonomy over the entirety of your business workflows, process orchestration elevates productivity. In a recent article, Bots & Beyond host Wayne Butterfield predicts that process orchestration will move beyond the fringe and enter mainstream ways of working in 2023. Why? Well, it’s just like the scenario we described above: as companies invest in multiple automation technologies, the need to enable humans and digital workers to operate together efficiently is vital to unlocking true value. In this episode of Bots & Beyond, we deep dive into the topic of process orchestration with Enate CEO James Hall. Listen in to the discussion to find out what it is and the business case for why it’s something you should consider as part of your broader automation journey.


40: Conversational AI: Past, Present & Future

This podcast episode description was written partially by artificial intelligence (AI). Some people might find that cool – others might be immediately put off by the concept of using AI as a writing aid. Similarly, you might have some bad memories of an old chat bot experience – either as an annoying pop up or as a barrier to talking to a real human. But chat bots and the conversational AI powering chat bots have come a long way in recent years. It might be time to rethink your ideas on this technology and what it can do for your business. Conversational AI is a rapidly evolving artificial intelligence technology that is transforming not only the way we interact with computers and machines but also our ability to be productive. The tech allows computers to interact with humans in a natural and intuitive way using language. Whether it's providing fast and efficient customer service or personalizing the customer experience, chatbots are revolutionizing the way we communicate and get things done. In this episode of Bots & Beyond, host Wayne Butterfield speaks to conversational AI industry veteran and Vice President of Artificial Intelligence at Uniphore, Patrick Ehlen. Together they acknowledge how far this tech has come from its earliest iterations, investigate the current capabilities of the tech and forecast the future of conversational AI. Listen in to challenge your thoughts on this topic.


39: Why You Need to Address Culture to Unlock Automation Success

Why should a developer on your automation team try something new? Wouldn’t it be easier to keep her or his head down and just do the job? The answer to this depends on what your company rewards and recognizes – in short, on your company’s culture. In this week’s episode of Bots & Beyond, host Wayne Butterfield speaks to Joe Bechtel, Principal of Enterprise Technology Strategy Advancement at Humana. Together, they discuss how successfully managing cultural change can drive innovation and technological enhancement. Listen in to hear how Humana has increased the deployment of automation projects. Here’s a hint: their teams are embracing a collaborative culture that empowers team members, no matter their background or skillset, to innovate and use technology. It was this strong, technology-based culture that paved the way for the implementation of Humana’s successful citizen-developer program.


38: 3 Golden Rules for Scaling Your Automation Program

Daniel Bannoura is a Director in the ISG Automation advisory team. He has previously held leadership roles with key automation technology players, including Automation Anywhere and UiPath. He joins Bots & Beyond host Wayne Butterfield to share his first-hand experiences of driving automation programs from pilot to scale. Listen in to hear the most common mistake that he has seen numerous firms make when deciding which processes to scale. Plus, don’t miss hearing his “Golden Rules” for ensuring success when scaling your automations. Want more insights on how to scale automation programs? It’s one of our favorite topics because it can be so hard to get right. Check out these episodes of Bots & Beyond where we also discussed scaling: Episode 5: Scale or Fail Episode 12: Succeeding in an AI Scale Up Episode 34: What Are the Biggest Obstacles to Scaling Intelligent Automation?


37: Fake Humans & Alternate Realities, A Metaverse Future

“It's going to be a world where we're no longer on the internet. We're in the internet. And everything is going to change.” This is according to guest Rachel Goalby, Founder and Director of creative strategy agency, SØWN. In this ISG Bots & Beyond episode, she dives into a her predictions for the Metaverse as she speaks to host Wayne Butterfield. What will this mean for how brands communicate and engage with their customers? How can brands leverage the Metaverse to drive value now and in the future? Listen in to the discussion to find out.


36: How AI and Data are Transforming Manufacturing

The manufacturing industry is a hot spot for innovation and transformation. One of the key technologies revolutionizing the industry is artificial intelligence (AI). How are manufacturers implementing and driving value from AI? And how are they able to prove that value? To answer these questions and more, Bots and Beyond host Wayne Butterfield speaks to Kate Arndt, Senior Sales Executive, Vanti Analytics. As an advocate for women in STEM, Kate also shares her experiences in the tech industry. Tune in to hear about her career journey, from starting out in oil and gas engineering to becoming a sales executive for an AI innovator.


35: Accelerating Business Outcomes with Automation

How can your company make its business processes better, faster, and smarter with the help of automation and AI? We dig into how to accelerate business outcomes via automation with the help of guest Andreas Welsch, VP & Head of Intelligent Processes at SAP, who is joining host Wayne Butterfield in this episode of Bots & Beyond. Listen in to hear how automation and AI can be leveraged to streamline end-to-end business processes, from Finance to HR. Andreas will be sharing use cases and real-life experience from his work at SAP – don’t miss it!


34: What Are the Biggest Obstacles to Scaling Intelligent Automation?

There is no disputing that intelligent automation is a key component of digital transformation. But realizing the true potential of your automation programs requires the ability to operate at scale. Of course, this is easier said than done. After an – often successful – initial foray into automation, many organizations struggle to extend their automation initiatives across a department or enterprise. What are the obstacles that prevent successful scaling? How can you overcome these barriers? To discuss these questions, Bots & Beyond host Wayne Butterfield is joined by Maxim Ioffe, Global Intelligent Automation Leader at WESCO Distribution. Listen in to hear Maxim share his experience and lessons learned from leading an automation center of excellence (CoE) that scaled effectively. Plus, find out how a CoE can be pivotal to your long-term automation strategy, why pipeline management is key, and whether citizen developers are a help or hinderance to scaling.


33: Overcoming Barriers to Decision Automation

Achieving end-to-end automation in complex processes is a challenge many enterprises are facing as they embark on their digital transformation journeys. Could a solution lie in decision automation? In this episode of Bots & Beyond, host Wayne Butterfield discusses when, why and how to use decision automation with his guest Alex Bentley, Chief Revenue Officer at XpertRule. To better understand the value of this type of automation, Alex shares concrete use cases for automated decision-making. Through their conversation, they also explore fundamental questions, including: What is decision automation? Why is it important to the enterprise? And what type of decisions can be automated?


32: Tackling the Automation Talent Gap

One of the main hurdles enterprises are currently facing as they continue their pursuit of digital transformation is the global shortage of tech talent. In this episode of the ISG Bots and Beyond podcast, host Wayne Butterfield and his guest Rajesh Nair, Co-Founder & CEO of discuss the automation talent gap and why was founded in this context.


31: Golden Rules for Successful Automation Implementation

In this episode of the ISG Bots and Beyond podcast, host Wayne Butterfield speaks to Laura Robertson, Vice President of Automation, Zukunft Consulting. Laura shares her extensive insights and lessons learned from her varied roles in the automation sector. Listen in to hear her top tips for success when embarking on an automation implementation. What are the pitfalls to avoid? How do you build the right team and manage them to success?


30: Behind the Scenes with a Chief Digital Officer

A conversation with William Harris, Group Chief Digital Officer at IQ-EQ Over the past decade, as the need to accelerate digital transformation has intensified, global demand for Chief Digital Officers (CDOs) has spiked. At the intersection between business operations and technology, the CDO plays a crucial part in transforming business processes, driving innovation and optimizing both customer and employee experience. What does the role of CDO involve? How does it differ from that of the more traditional CIO role? And where does Automation fit in? These are just some of the questions that Bots & Beyond host Wayne Butterfield discusses with his guest William Harris, Group Chief Digital Officer at IQ-EQ.


29: Reinventing Document Processing with AI

In this episode of Bots & Beyond, host Wayne Butterfield talks to Rob Delaney who is both CEO at Infinia ML and Director at Carrick Capital Partners. Every organization has vast amounts of data locked in documents of all kinds, from emails, to PDFs, to presentations and invoices. Some estimates suggest that up to 80% of the data produced by organizations is unstructured, which makes it extremely complex to analyze and derive benefit from. In recent years, machine learning and AI technologies have made huge advances in turning unstructured data into actionable insights that business leaders can harness to make better decisions. Infinia ML is at the forefront of developing machine learning and AI-powered solutions that transform the way enterprises process their data. Listen in to find out more about intelligent document processing and why it matters in today’s data-driven world.


28: What Is Ethical AI?

Artificial intelligence has evolved at a breakneck pace in recent years and has made many positive impacts in both our personal and professional lives. As AI solutions become increasingly powerful, concerns have been raised around the ethical challenges associated with this technology. How can companies avoid stumbling into some of those ethical pitfalls? What do we need to know about unconscious bias and the role it plays in the development of AI solutions? These questions and more are discussed in this episode of Bots & Beyond as host Wayne Butterfield talks to ISG colleague, thought leader and culture and change leadership expert Missy Lawrence-Johnston. Many of the topics Wayne and Missy discuss are also covered in Missy’s recent article in Information Week: I’m Not a Cat: The Human Side of Artificial Intelligence.


27: Citizen Developer: From Hype to Reality

We have all heard the hype surrounding the citizen developer concept. But is it really just hype? Or can citizen developers make a difference to business transformation? In this episode of the ISG Bots and Beyond podcast, host Wayne Butterfield explores the reality and challenges of integrating this approach into efforts organizations are making to scale their automation programs. He is joined by Jackie Grunwald, VP and CIO at AdvanSix, who shares experiences from her own automation journey. Their discussion explores how companies can build a successful culture of citizen developers to drive enterprise growth and innovation.