The Eclair Group - Automation Simplified: Eve, a Beacon in the Journey of Automation
Alex Moynihan, CEO
As automation serves as a key catalyst for business operations transformation, identifying the automation opportunities for improvement within an organization in order to enhance scalability, sustainability, and efficiency remains the need of the hour. It is crucial for organizations to understand that deploying automation is more than merely overhauling a set of business processes. However, due to early maturity of understanding of automation techniques within businesses, such initiatives are often stalled and impeded by the lack of cohesion amongst various organizational goals, objectives, and automation methodologies. Studying these formidable hurdles in the path of automation, Alex Moynihan—the CEO of The Eclair Group—identifies three critical prerequisites for business optimization through automation. Firstly, identify the right opportunities, supported by fit for purpose solutions that will deliver measurable and material benefits; secondly, understand and ensure the required availability of time, effort, and data for the implementation process; and finally, embed the right structures and skills to execute automation initiatives. As a countermeasure to tackling the challenges that these prerequisites present, The Eclair Group has designed and established an automation framework and solution that amalgamates process automation, data science, and cutting-edge technologies forged by the company’s leadership.
The name Eclair is derived from the French word Éclairer, ’to enlighten,’ and The Eclair Group’s primary value proposition revolves around enlightening their clients as they navigate through the automation journey from strategy and business case to realizing benefit in operations. “Our primary objective is to deliver end-to-end automation capabilities to clients along with automation governance and ‘benefits realization’ pertaining to various business processes,” says Moynihan. Recollecting his experience of working as a consultant for an automation practitioner, Moynihan underscores the need to understand the benefit drivers for automation, that businesses can often struggle with when building the case for automation. These challenges empowered Moynihan to co-found Eclair, as an effort to define and implement automation initiatives that guide businesses toward operational excellence. The company provides the capability to devise automation strategies aligned with its clients’ organizational objectives by employing three vital components of its portfolio— The Eclair automation framework, the conversational AI governance & insights product Eve, and a service offering that includes an Automation Governance as a Service (AGaaS) model. Born out of the challenges faced by organizations, the portfolio is designed to empower clients in building the foundation for the enterprise of tomorrow through leveraging automation.
"By synchronizing the four phases of Discover, Design, Automate and Adapt, Eve serves as the ‘source of truth for the automation journey,’ allowing end-to-end management of the business lifecycle"
Productizing the Automation Framework
With the vision for the Eve governance and insights capability in mind, Eclair’s automation framework was initially developed to deliver professional services in support of clients’ automation initiatives. Consequently, through rigorous stages of development, the framework matured as the foundation to support multiple automation solutions offered by the company. It functions as a definitive tool for various applications and defines the ideal automation strategy of an organization.
We take an insights-driven approach to Eve. Much of the benefit is derived from the data generated by automation, and Eve is the window into those insights
It assesses the business process opportunities and initiatives to leverage automation, prioritizes solutions using a combination of technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), and provisions operational enhancements for the improvization of automation strategies and newer product releases. The framework also helps organizations measure the realization of benefits and operational performance of the virtual workforce. Eclair terms this methodology as ‘productizing the automation framework,’ where it infuses ML into business operations of the client and delivers an integrated solution that provides insights into an organization’s virtual workforce, automation governance, and objective-driven predictive analysis.
The company’s automation framework serves as the pedestal for Eve, a packaged solution that utilizes an AI-powered chat function providing insights on the performance of automation capabilities within an organization, owing to its applicability across numerous business operations. The conversational AI component stands out as the quintessential element of the company’s portfolio, as it assists Eclair to Discover, Design, Automate, and Adapt the automation opportunities of its clients. The four phases represent the key automation lifecycle milestones. In the Discovery phase, Eclair and their clients identify the strategic objectives of automation, supported by a heatmap of opportunities and business case across the organization. In the Design phase, clients analyze the complexity of business process opportunities versus the benefits of automation, among other improvement mechanisms, while also measuring the expenditure associated with implementation. The penultimate step—Automation—enables the client to effectively govern the implementation of automation initiatives while taking into account the available resources required to deliver the prioritized roadmap. Governing the virtual workforce while measuring the benefits actually realized is the key to the Adapt phase; this serves as an opportunity to continuously improve both operational and business performance through leveraging maturing automation technologies. By effectively synchronizing these four phases of Discover, Design, Automate and Adapt, Eve serves as the ‘central source of truth for all the information related to the automation journey,’ allowing end-to-end management of the business lifecycle.
Fueling Business Operations for Effective Automation
“Though Eve stands out as the governing insights capability for automation initiatives, its foundation is the Eclair automation framework that is crafted for identifying, measuring and solving for automation opportunities,” explains Moynihan. Eclair utilizes its “Automation Governance as a Service” (AGaaS) framework by establishing a governance model for a Business as Usual (BAU) automation delivery function to further bolster Eve’s capabilities. Through its chat capability, Eve provides real-time insights to support the on-going improvement of operating models, the automation delivery framework, and the performance of the virtual workforce. In addition, Eclair helps its clients by providing services such as Automation 101 and Technology Training. While Automation 101 touches upon the definition of automation, challenges, operating models, and relevant solutions, Technology Training guide Eclair’s clientele through the delivery of automation solutions largely pertaining to robotics, machine learning, chatbots and emerging technologies.
In accordance with the company’s approach to automation, Eclair analyzes clients’ requirements before arriving at the suitable strategies.
Moynihan adds, “Where possible, we will apply machine learning, other advanced automation capabilities and traditional process improvement methods, above and beyond RPA, to transform processes otherwise deemed too nuanced or complex.” An illustration of this can be demonstrated by studying one of the company’s recent engagements with a large telco provider in Australia. In this engagement, Eclair was able to combine ML with Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to interpret and take appropriate action on unstructured customer complaint inputs. This combination highlights how Eclair classified customer complaints and redirected them to the appropriate resolver groups using RPA. The client was receiving a significant number of complaints that required immediate action. Using some of the RPA techniques, Eclair successfully streamlined and classified the queries for quick resolutions. The use of ML algorithms further enabled them to implement a training model, with test data as an example, in turn, allowing the ML model to learn and understand the classification of complaints. This particular project substantiates Eclair’s approach of devising the right solution for the right opportunity to adequately fulfill the needs of its clients.
“We do not go to our clients stating that we can bring in ML or AI capabilities. We talk to them about their challenges, business processes, operational strategies and methodologies, and the opportunities for growth, cost reduction, compliance, customer experience or other improvement drivers,” adds Moynihan. Similar to the partnership with the telco provider, the asset management department of a client required the management of faults against rail fleet assets. Financial penalties were incurred when customer claims were not resolved within the service-level agreement (SLA) or, if and when they were identified as recurring faults. By adopting a combination of insights obtained from Eve and techniques of RPA, Eclair was able to identify recurring faults that occurred in real time and prioritized the resolution of the fault to the appropriate maintenance worker. As the implementation involved the utilization of ML algorithms, the company could also demonstrate trend analysis associated with faults, enabling preventive maintenance to avoid them.
Reinforcing Scalability, Customer Experiences, and Business Objectives
Eclair’s portfolio of product and service offerings not only enables the automation of business processes but also supports better client experiences, identifies potential revenue streams, and enhances the scope for scalability. “Our offerings enable organizations to scale their automation initiatives and help expand into new areas of opportunity while improving employee engagement and customer advocacy. This to us is a key differentiator that can support the transformation of an organization’s effectiveness,” explains Moynihan.
To further improve upon the value generated through its product portfolio, Eclair offers practical experience-based advisory services to enable and support clients in understanding the challenges, establishing operational structures, and ensuring the effective governance of automation strategies and virtual workforces. These offerings focus on taking a holistic approach to understanding the organization opportunities as a whole, as opposed to automating discrete opportunities within operational areas. By taking a more holistic view of the opportunities across an organization, Eclair’s portfolio identifies the areas and opportunities for improvement supported by automation, while highlighting the scope for higher efficiency. Collectively, the company’s portfolio of solutions and services cuts short the automation journey from a thousand miles to a few steps, assisting its clientele through their business endeavors.