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As Jim Sinur writes here: "As organizations ramp up larger bot projects, the benefits will multiply. This is a the same phenomena as workflow and BPM had shown early in their roll out to organizations." So do you think bots are the second coming of BPM?
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Bots are the second coming of BPM marketing.

We old, hapless, dudes call them applications, automated processes. Cooler people call them bots.

Basically, it's just replacing people doing dumb stuff with bots doing same dumb stuff much faster and cheaper, minus labor law compliance headaches.

Yes, big market.
CEO, Co-founder, Profluo
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+1, though I do wonder if bots are the same thing as "swarming agents." ;)
Here is what appears to be a well thought out article called "here come the bots"

http://www.wired.co.uk/article/here-come-the-bots
@Patrick (and @Alex below) - swarming implies coordination, if not by an orchestrator at least by a simple, commonly agreed upon set of rules (see murmuring of starlings, locust invasions).
It's only when bots coordinate that you get something beautiful, as in services resembling some form of intelligence higher than pattern recognition.
That's why intelligence = bots (microservices) + coordination.
Viva la coordination!
  1. John Morris
  2. 1 year ago
  3. #4436
Viva murmurings! Viva emergent behaviour!
And just for fun, a short essay I wrote first in 2002, which includes a reference to flocks of birds:
http://personalontologies.com/
My argument is that better software is itself emergent; the challenge is that almost no software is constructed from the edge perspective. Imagine "personal CRM software" which sales reps actually liked -- and the amazing emergent sales success that may be the result of such vision. The move to autonomous agents or bots is a step in the right direction.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
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From Jim's comment: "I use bots to mean robots, agents and cogs interchangeably". Thus I think this is yet another confirmation that architecture of process-based applications must urgently become distributed and microserviced. Bots are typical microservices - they have one particular responsibility: executing a fully automated task or facilitating an existing human task.

Thanks,
AS
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 2
Jim Sinur
Blog Writer
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Right now RPA with the bots RPA creates and manages is creating a buzz right now that BPM can leverage to get the process mojo back. Over time these bots will become smarter, distributed and independent driven the same goals processes have. BPM has the overarching goals and the visibility, so bots will be interacting with process and visa versa.

You can read more in my books or the posts below:

https://www.amazon.com/Business-Process-Management-Next-Wave/dp/0929652223/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&;ie=UTF8&qid=1504022850&sr=1-5&refinements=p_27%3AJim+Sinur

https://www.amazon.com/Digital-Transformation-Jim-Sinur/dp/0929652576/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&;ie=UTF8&qid=1504022850&sr=1-7&refinements=p_27%3AJim+Sinur
References
  1. https://jimsinur.blogspot.com/2017/07/unleash-bots.html
  2. https://jimsinur.blogspot.com/2017/08/are-bots-second-coming-of-bpm.html
  3. https://jimsinur.blogspot.com/2015/01/striking-new-work-balance-between-man.html
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 3
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I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.
http://www.bplogix.com/images/icon-x-medium.png
-Scott
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Stoppppp!
  1. John Morris
  2. 1 year ago
  3. #4438
+1 NRO reference ...
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 4
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Definition plays a key role for responsible assessment and viable indications, I think. That extends to digital transformation, disruption as well as to RPA, and, sub-sequentially, bots.
What exactly differentiates a program or an application from a "bot"? Is it a matter of architecture? Machine learning? AI?
As to an impact of "bots" or applications for BPM, its eventual leveraging power to elevate BPM into the high heavens, I would ponder that it's a matter of context and relevance. If, for instance, there would be a powerful low-code application generating platform whose outputs seamlessly integrate into a BPMS, in a SOA aligned fashion, complex business processes could be generated easier and with a lesser degree of dependence from programmers. If to that automated pattern recognition and statistical (flow) paths predictions would be added that dynamically alter process components such as human resource allocations to a specific task or step, then that in turn could translate into an uptick of BPM implementations. Of course, these benefits wouldn't be limited to BPM alone, but also extend to pretty everything else - ECM, CRM, ERP and so on. I wouldn't describe that as a pinnacle ingredient for the 2nd coming, though.
NSI Soluciones - ABPMP PTY
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@Kay. Wow you just described our architecture on what we have created no code SOA aligned or as we describe as SOA in a box...see full detail here http://www.leadingedgeonly.com/providers/InnovationDetails.aspx?id=1147
See list in additional information. You are right it opens a door to deliver on any business requirement extending BPM knowledge.
  1. more than a month ago
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Are bots boring? At least for business people? Who, when they think of bots, if ever, think of chat bots?

And what is a bot anyway? What's the difference between a bot and a script driven by a chrontab? The references above to microservices (@Bogdan, @Alexander) hint at the meaning of bots beyond mere software: microservice contracts. And add orchestration (BPM) and you have real work automation. We are now in the world of "agency" and "intelligent agents", which means work gets done without direct human control. Sense, decide, act - all packaged together!

So there are lots of use cases: think #predictiveAnalytics paired with some action for example. Natural language comes up a lot with bots - so let's slot that under "sensing", i.e. sense-making from human instruction via speech, again paired with action.

What about the business case for bots? The benefits of bots are an extension of the benefits of any software -- with the added value that there is less supervisory cost -- after all bots implies autonomy

But if bot benefits are real, bot costs are also very real.

We hear of ever larger numbers of bots - the enticing idea of a bot swarm is mentioned - along with the ideas of bot orchestration and coordination. Oh, the work that can be done! At the same time, we can also imagine that types and instances of bots will proliferate, and that individual bot models, including self-calibrating bots, will go through life-cycles. Given the complexities of reality with which bots are intended to assist us, non-trivial semantic complexity of bots is inevitable -- and proportional to the work value of the bot. Unsurprising result: Bot construction and management costs are real. And because bots are by definition autonomous, there is an extra layer of costs associated with the technology of autonomy.

We already have trouble managing data definitions (the MDM problem) -- and yet MDM is inside the firewall in controlled, governed and highly structured environments. What are the chances that dispersed and heterogenous bot armies will be well-managed? Will the so-called "three laws of bots" apply? Unless bots are built on managed ontologies (i.e. science), they will be built by hand (i.e. craft). The ensuing complexity (regardless of construction method probably) will have a high cost. Prediction: Bot population entropy (design, state) and the cost of autonomy will drive escalating bot programme management costs and these costs will be a scaleability challenge for bot technology, with an impact on the bot business case, independent of any use cases.

Bot hype indicates that bots should be on the techno-business agenda now. We're in an early adopter phase. There is a lot of engineering and business analysis to be done before bots become mainstream. If Metcalf's law can be shown to apply, then scaleability costs could be balanced by scaleability benefits. For a bot programme win, figure out which side grows faster . . .
Comment
RE " microservice contracts" - nothing special, just use the digital contracts (and do not confuse them with "smart contract") - http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/2016/07/digital-contract-as-process-enables.html
  1. John Morris
  2. 1 year ago
  3. #4440
+1 @Alexander re: distinction between software technical contracts and real world business contracts - a distinction I suppose which is obvious but nevertheless important. My original point of departure concerning bots was to ask why bots deserve to be called out as anything special, i.e. as beyond just another instance of software, especially something as simple of script plus chrontab (i.e. OS-timed scripts). And the beginning of that distinction is the boundary of the instance code, mediated by technical contract, enabling ultimately a degree of autonomy in the performance of some work.
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 6
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As I have articulated in past BPM should have no restriction in thinking in understanding how information is created and used. As such "bots" are just part of the evolution of technology in the workplace which need to be recognised and fully understood in context of the end to end process involving bot input and output of data. I would go further that the BPM discipline should be applied to build of bots and thus this could indeed enhance the BPM profile.

Kay touches on how the supporting software needs to deliver and is right the no code software with right architecture does allow build of complex processes to include not just automation but intelligence in the process. That journey has started and much more will emerge as this transition takes place.
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 7
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Bot adoption is definitely growing exponentially (if not on implementation in many places, in discussions for real). Sometimes it is a bit chaotic too - as everyone leverages the buzz words like bots, chatbots, ML, NLP, AI, RPA and many more to reach the nirvana state instantly in their enterprise. It’s a good thought - appreciate it, but not all enterprises need a bot for their specific business scenario and it is a journey. It is important to do a reality check if Bots is what you need or just automation.
Bots do complement the processes and provide some breathing space in scenarios like:
• Developing "Self-Healing processes", where the system understands and learns to resolve an exception or issue (based on predictive Analytics and historical data)
Chatbots - for enhancing customer experience and round the clock support
• Overcoming the mundane tasks of a customer on boarding process (monotonous & manual intensive)
Contact Center applications - avoiding hand-offs, tabbing multiple applications and tedious data entry
• ..many more

Bot adoption in an enterprise is not a mandate, instead, it’s a trade-off between Customer Experience (if the business really needs it) vs Maintainability (with investment + supporting yet another set of robotic process). It should be adopted judiciously.

"Bots can be considered as a Segway for Business Processes. If the nuts & bolts of the Segway are set-perfectly-right complementing the Business Process riding it, it can help you cover a great distance swiftly - enriching the customer experience; else you never know where you will finally end up, it could even be the bumpy roads of the enterprise or customer sentiment dismantling it"
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  1. John Morris
  2. 1 year ago
  3. #4442
+1 @Pritiman re: a chaotic adoption of bot technology -- and in chaos, which is uneven, there is opportunity. Also bots as Segway for Business Processes"!!!
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