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Expert Interview: Dan McCue, Senior Vice-President Finance & Accounting Solutions, Sutherland Global Services

Dan McCue-100x100Sutherland Global Services is a global provider of business process and technology management services offering an integrated portfolio of analytics-driven back-office and customer facing solutions that support the entire customer lifecycle. Dan is responsible for Sutherland’s Global Delivery for their F&A engagements, including those that have a Robotic Process Automation component to the solution.

Topic: While many service providers have been slow to make the pivot and embrace robotic process automation (RPA), Sutherland Global Services has been proactive in integrating RPA into their service delivery model. Read more about what is behind Sutherland’s successful strategy.

1. While many service providers have been slow to make the pivot and embrace robotic process automation (RPA) Sutherland Global Services has been proactive in integrating RPA into your service delivery model.  Can you explain what is behind this strategy?

At Sutherland, we’ve always embraced innovation in our solutions and delivery environment. Driving outcomes is simply part of how we deliver technology-enabled and integrated BPO.  We’re proactively creating Centers of Excellence for their RPA programs and leveraging the value that RPA can bring. Because, at the end of the day, using manual labor for repetitive, low-value work isn’t sustainable or efficient. RPA isn’t a matter of doing the “same old” but faster, it’s a catalyst for organizational change. Clients want to go beyond keeping things ticking – the “lights on” approach – and hone in on better processes and process transformation, and improved analytics for enhanced insights and growth.

2.  You have real-life design & implementation experience across multiple industries….in your keynote you will talk about some of the lessons learnt.  Please share the top 3 takeaways from your experiences?

It’s important to walk before running. That doesn’t mean you have to shy away from tackling complex processes. Instead, organizations should get a couple of small wins under their belt first. Start out with a smaller pilot project and clearly demonstrate the ongoing business benefit. RPA isn’t process-specific, so the robots can operate multiple processes without being fully integrated. Implement the RPA program and achieve productivity and efficiency targets on time and within budget before planning future step changes. Be sure to have a roadmap for releases from simple to complex cases.

Next, an ongoing dialog is critical to success. Operations and the pilot team must be on the same page and “as one”. Any changes to the process or to the application must be addressed together so that the two sides can share insights and knowledge, in order to make the expected gains. Whether it’s RPA or any other aspect of a BPO relationship – building that trust is critical to success and transformation.

Finally, be sure to celebrate the wins. Each one is a milestone in the process. Every time you achieve a target, congratulate the team and make sure it is documented. These benchmarks clearly show that RPA isn’t just the latest buzzword, but a new way of doing business that lets people do what they do best – the value-added, judgment-based work that adds a true competitive edge.

3. Looking into the future, what impact do you see RPA having on the BPO ecosystem and Sutherland specifically?

The expression “Differentiate or die” is becoming an ominous warning for the BPO industry to act fast on RPA. The BPO companies that wait could be left behind. Buyers want year-over-year cost reductions and that can be pretty hard when the providers’ costs are going up due to wage inflation and increasing turnover. RPA sets the stage for a new conversation to take place; one that isn’t centered around FTEs but rather outcomes.

While Robotic Process Automation technology is readily available, the make-or-break of the program will be the innovators, developers, analysts and programmers who evaluate the processes, ensure the ROI and then document and implement the automation. BPOs, shared services and GBS will have to establish a Center of Excellence, led by a senior leader in innovation, to be able to fully leverage the RPA digital workforce.

Here at Sutherland, we will continue to build our Center of Excellence, which plays a pivotal role in selecting which functions are the best candidates for RPA, and then planning phased roll-outs, supporting clients in achieving their automation goals. Robotic Process Automation is a way to provide that innovation clients are looking for. It’s a way to do something differently, not just less expensively.

About Dan McCue: Senior Vice-President Finance & Accounting Solutions, Sutherland Global Services:

Dan is a CPA with over 15 years of BPO and 25 years F&A experience, Dan has structured and managed Accounting and BPO services for many large and medium size companies in the Retail, Banking, Manufacturing, Travel, Communication and Technology sectors. He has designed and implemented process re-engineering and optimization programs in Accounts Payables, Collections, Reconciliation, Reporting and Cash Applications. In addition to his vast experience in BPO with several leading companies like Accenture and Perot Systems, Dan has an extensive background in financial accounting consulting and managing large accounting operations. He also has several years of experience managing IT Development and ERP implementation.

About Sutherland Global Services

Established in 1986, Sutherland Global Services is a global provider of business process and technology management services offering an integrated portfolio of analytics-driven back-office and customer facing solutions that support the entire customer lifecycle. It is one of the largest, independent BPO companies in the world serving global leaders in major industry verticals. Headquartered in Rochester, N.Y., Sutherland employs over 30,000 professionals and has locations across the United States, Brazil, Slovakia, Morocco, Philippines, Malaysia, China, India, UAE, Egypt, Bulgaria, UK, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, and Jamaica. For more information, visit www.sutherlandglobal.com

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