New consultancy startup in New Zealand ties RPA with AI

06 February 2019 Consultancy.com.au

Virtual Blue believes in the cross-functionality of robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI). The two, according to co-founder and managing director Sam Osborne, are slices of the same pie.

“Many of the companies we’re speaking to have approached RPA and AI as two separate pieces of the transformation process, but they should be two parts of the same system,” Osborne said in an interview with Reseller News, a New Zealand IT industry publication.

Osborne gave the example of AI chatbots, which can take in information but not process it. Virtual Blue aims to change that, seamlessly combining intake and processing. The company’s mission is to bring in AI and RPA at the beginning of a company’s lifecycle, rather than retrofit them into an existing business’s strategy. For the time being, Virtual Blue will focus on midsize companies. 

RPA can be defined as a “technology and business practice that deals with the development and management of software ‘robots’ that work as application users, automating structured, repeatable tasks in an organisation software system,” according to AutomationEdge, a multinational RPA provider.

New consultancy startup in New Zealand ties RPA with AIOsborne, a native Briton, headed New Zealand’s first RPA program when it was rolled out in 2016. She also has experience working with companies such Vodafone and BNZ. Osborne and co-founder Sharyn Catt, a New Zealander who will serve as Virtual Blue’s director of customer solutions and operations, will partner with RPA providers, offering assistance with services such as automation consultancy, delivery and implementation, production support, and maintenance.

Virtual Blue will differentiate itself within the marketplace by creating long-term partnerships with its clients, Osborne said, acting as both a sounding board and a support system. "We are an extension of their internal teams. Our advice and guidance on current and future automation opportunities ensures every business has great returns on their investment and can leverage the benefits technologies like RPA and AI offers."

Automation and AI are perhaps the two hottest industries currently in the business world, and are quickly garnering mainstream status. Organisations worldwide are scrambling to become undergo “digital transformation” or to become “digitally mature.” There are perhaps dozens of buzz phrases, but they all boil down to the generally accepted idea that technology can and will save a company money, if not its life. A Capgemini study recently showed that AI and automation have the potential to save companies in the retail industry more than $300 billion, while digitization, which encompasses AI and RPA, could add billions to  national economies, according to a McKinsey & Company survey.

In a recent interview, Accenture’s Brad Ryan, the firm’s regional managing director for technology and artificial intelligence, pressed the importance of AI in business.

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Trimantium GrowthOps drops ‘Trimantium’, now simply GrowthOps

28 November 2018 Consultancy.com.au

Australia’s newest consulting firm has simplified its brand and will now be known as GrowthOps. The name reflects the multidimensional service offerings known by the firm as ‘growth consulting’ and the new brand reflects their cross-disciplinary approach.

In a world where brevity rules and attention spans continue contracting, brands must be memorable. People today want their information fast and readers have less patience for long brand names. The consulting industry was once notorious for its long brand names which traditionally stemmed from multiple surnames side-by-side.

Whilst Trimantium GrowthOps has only been in existence for just under two years now, many in the industry have already foregone the ‘trimantium’ part. “Everyone internally and externally was shortening the name anyway, so we decided to embrace that,” explained GrowthOps Chief Executive Officer, Paul Mansfield.

Dropping the Trimantium is intended to help add clarity for the consulting firm’s clients across Australia and Asia. “After all, GrowthOps focuses on what we deliver for our clients – creating growth, scaling operations, and realising opportunities,” he continued.

“Trimantium is an important part of our heritage and listing story but our sole mission now is to help our clients grow,” Mansfield said. “To do that, we’re intentionally creating a new category in professional services and have coined it, ‘growth services.”

Growth services is a blend of multiple different service lines. As technology becomes more prevalent in the consulting industry, many firms are attempting to incorporate management, strategy and digital under the same roof. There has also been a heavy focus on consulting firms buying up marketing and communications agencies in the race to be louder, more creative and more tech orientated than their competitors.

Trimantium GrowthOps drops ‘Trimantium’, now simply GrowthOps

However these lines are often – against the industry’s own guidelines – kept in silos, at times failing to integrate. Whilst many consulting firms argue that one key to growth is to break down silos, their advice isn’t put in practice at home. For GrowthOps however, as a new market entry and amalgamation of multiple tech-focused and innovative consultancies, integration isn’t necessary, this kind of cross-discipline approach is already in the firm’s DNA.

“[Our services] span the traditional technology, marketing communications, and consulting industries, fusing these disciplines to help large organisations acquire and retain new customers, build and launch transformational products, and scale operations,” Mansfield continues. “Five of the original eight businesses that came together to form the company earlier this year have already re-branded to GrowthOps.”

Asia Pacific Digital, which was acquired by GrowthOps in September, is currently transitioning to the new brand and plans are also progressing for the remaining businesses to rebrand. “It has always been our intention to move to a single brand and I’m very happy with how the team is realising this ambition, particularly with the level of coordination across our nine key hubs in six countries,” Mansfield added.

GrowthOps’ new visual identity is inspired by collegiate brands and was conceived in-house. “The best of them, like Stanford or MIT, unite leading talent across diverse fields through a shared commitment to excellence,” said GrowthOps CMO, Andy Fyffe. “That cross-discipline approach and team spirit resonates strongly with us.”

“The new word mark is deliberately more hand-crafted and less techy to reflect the broad scope of our services from brand to marketing, leadership, change, technology, and operations. It’s designed to express our energy and confidence,” he continued. “The style of logo is deliberately somewhat unconventional for a consulting, technology or marketing agency brand because we’re none of those things. As Paul explained, we’re creating a new market category.”

Related: Trimantium GrowthOps snags entire Accenture Salesforce team.