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Interviews / SaaS

“Learning should focus more on creating disciplines of thinking rather than mastering content”— R Ravi, CEO & Founder, Epiance Software

R Ravi, CEO & Founder, Epiance Software

Today, most organizations do not possess the tools, talent or skill sets necessary for measuring their performance. Business performance measurement is a science that draws knowledge from multiple disciplines- modeling, statistics and simulations. This week, we interviewed Mr. R Ravi – CEO and Founder of Epiance Software Pvt. Ltd.

Epiance is the leading provider of enterprise software that helps companies manage their IT driven business process transformations successfully. Their products deliver a combination of process automation, knowledge transfer, performance support and process improvement capabilities that reduce costs, increase productivity and improve business performance.

Ravi has been a pioneer of knowledge management and business process modelling. The innovative process capture technology that he conceptualized and developed was instrumental in creating the rapidly growing performance support industry which is the foundation of today’s business process mapping, knowledge management, real-time e-learning and performance improvement enterprises.

His success as an entrepreneur and a business leader lies in his ability to transform innovations into pioneering and successful products that are globally sought after and are used by the world’s best performing companies. He holds an MS in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology. Read on.

1. Epiance is providing industry-leading solutions to empower the process-driven enterprise. Please brief our readers about the vision and mission of Epiance.

  • Vision of Epiance: Empowering people and business process performance through innovations and breakthrough technologies.
  • Mission of Epiance: Our mission is to be a leading technology and solution provider in the area of business process management. We deliver high value and unique solutions that give a competitive edge to our customers across the world.

Our values:

  • We deliver value to the customers, understand their needs and ensure that they get the best value for their investment. Customer satisfaction is our top priority.
  • We value and expect integrity and transparency in all our actions.
  • We are determined to build a culture that is based on performance, equality, openness, enthusiasm and creativity.
  • We value our employees, customers and vendors equally. We treat everyone with humaneness, professionalism and fairness.
  • Innovation is the cornerstone of our company. We are proud to be the pioneers and forerunners. We bring new ideas in every area and endeavor.

2. What inspired you to choose the IT industry after graduation in Civil Engineering from IIT, Madras?

I always wanted to be an entrepreneur. I had created a unique software for optimizing pipe networks while at IIT Chennai. So, I started the worlds’ first SaaS model way back in 1986-1987 to offer these solutions to organizations. One thing led to another and I realized that I have a talent to predict breakthrough and disruptive technologies well before time. The inevitable result- I became an entrepreneur.

3. Other than being the CEO of Epiance, you are also a member of the executive committee of Science Olympiad Foundation, and the chief advisor & mentor at Aashwasan. What encourages you to seek a multi-dimensional approach? How do you manage everything?

Making money was never my core objective. I always wanted to go deeper within myself, pursue dreams, create inspiration for others and always do what is right. Education has been close to my heart, I have written well over 11 books in Physics, so, I was invited to be one of the original members of SOF.

Aashwasan is a unique science which addresses problems at the root cause level. This unique spiritual science is the answer to many problems bedeviling society. I am also a practitioner of Aashwasan. When you are driven by your purpose, everything is easy. I find it very effortless. Aashwasan has taught me that when you are close to yourself, you can perform multifold of your current levels.

4. You are driven to redefine education, having penned down 11 volumes on interactive physics. Please share your views on modern education.

Learning should be fun. It should be inquiry-based. Learning should focus more on creating disciplines of thinking rather than mastering content. Mathematics requires a way of thinking. Poetry needs a very different sensitivity. All these are essential to a human being.

At the end of the day, education should be about fostering creativity, creating a scientific temper, bringing out the multidimensional potential of an individual, increasing awareness about oneself and helping an individual become more humane and compassionate.

If we compare today’s education with respect to these objectives, it becomes very apparent that education takes away the creativity from children, it has no inclination to bring about scientific temper or evolve the multidimensional potential of an individual. And neither does it have any concern for increasing humaneness or compassion. Obviously, the whole system has gone berserk. One needs to recalibrate and realign education and match it to the fundamental objectives and redesign accordingly.

Suggested reading: “We use AI, ML and AR to advance the frontier of learning by simulating real-world environments”— Mahesh Bhangriya, VP- Corporate Strategy, Career Point Group

5. What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?

Like I said before, ever since I remember I wanted to be an entrepreneur, be my own boss, create solutions without boundaries, have the freedom to do what is right and create innovation and breakthroughs. I always have been a person with grandiose ideas. Small ideas, mediocrity bore me, I want to create something meaningful, sustainable and leave a mark in the world. Becoming an entrepreneur was a natural consequence of having such strong beliefs.

6. Please tell us about the solutions and products provided by Epiance. How do they help enterprises?

Epiance is a leading provider of enterprise software that helps companies manage their IT-driven business process transformations successfully. Our products deliver a combination of learning, performance support and process improvement capabilities that de-risk business change and increase productivity and performance.

7. Please tell our readers about the Robotic Process Automation (RPA). How is it different from traditional automation?

Traditional automation is the automation of any type of repetitive task. It is usually found in a product workflow but can be as simple as a process for screen scraping. It entails application integration at a database or infrastructure level and can take months to implement. RPA is another form of automation, and has several distinguishing features:

  • It is non-intrusive. Most often, the RPA bots stay in the front-end of the system and move forward with the task, without having to intrude on the back-end.
  • It is system agnostic, working across application types.
  • It is able to take action quickly due to its ability to mimic the role of an agent.
  • It is easily scalable and system integration is easy.
  • It is easy for non-technical people to use — there is no code to learn; it is almost all graphics.

Most significant of all, RPA is very quickly implemented, compared with traditional automation, which can take several months. Also, unlike traditional automation, RPA doesn’t require application integration. RPA uses the graphical user interface, or GUI, to perform its tasks across multiple systems.

8. Which things should enterprises consider before implementing RPA?

  • Identifying the right RPA use cases

RPA is useful for high-repetition, highly manual use cases with minimal process changes. RPA is most successful when it’s used with processes that are well-defined with a minimal rate of change and complexity. Be wary of processes that are set for large-scale IT integrations in the near future. Embrace processes that use non-custom applications, include BPM considerations and exception handling.

  • Getting early management buy-in

Enterprises who have insight for improvement via automation, are those who’ve undergone process transformations & reengineering or a large-scale audit in preparation for a merger or IPO. In such scenarios, use cases may have been vetted by business leadership and some initial groundwork may be laid to quickly establish the scope of work required.

If you’re starting to look afresh within a specific business area, identify champions and target use cases first. Later, once momentum is achieved and broad internal support, you can work on building scope for RPA.

  • Setting Expectations

RPA doesn’t fix all your efficiency and cost issues, instead, RPA initiatives should be positioned as a tactical effort to automate legacy systems and digitize manual tasks. Many business teams can benefit tremendously from RPA, and it has proven to be especially beneficial for operations, finance, HR, and IT. RPA is designed to perform manual tasks or user interactions and ultimately improve the quality and speed of these processes.

  • Understanding potential changes going forward

It’s important to identify any technology – application changes that could invalidate an automation initiative. RPA doesn’t replace underlying business systems and should be implemented with a road map to support future technology – application changes.

9. What are the benefits of EpiGenie RPA Solution? How is Epiance’s RPA solution better than those offered by others?

Organizations such as shared services and BPOs are under tremendous pressure to improve efficiency and transaction throughput of their agents. These agents perform processes of varying complexity, some can be completely automated, and some require human inputs at various points.

In most of the situations, agents are working with applications which are complex and error-prone (minimal validations). Higher complexity results in increased time to competency, higher error rates and longer time to perform a transaction.

Epiance Robotic Process Automation (ERPA) platform addresses these issues by a combination of Performance Enhancement forms, rapid creation of automation scripts and assembly of gadgets to form intelligent robots that can automate a process either fully or partially. These performance accelerators reduce the complexity of the application, thereby reducing errors and time to complete a transaction.

  • Simplifies UI, flexible and rapid to implement with extensive automation coverage.
  • Robust architecture that covers all use case scenarios.
  • Automates repetitive process/task, reducing or eliminating human intervention.
  • Improves efficiency, accuracy and average handling time.
  • Reduces error, training, training costs, onboarding time, manpower requirements & initial infrastructure cost.
  • 40% greater efficiency in ‘Run the Business’(RTB) cost.
  • Audit trail with centralized control for process execution.
  • Reliability, consistency and accuracy.
  • 30-40% reduction of FTE’s.

Epiance solution also gives a 360-degree solution, including Automated Process Discovery, Automated BRD creation and automatic creation of content to roll out the bot.

10. Epiance has a number of Partner Programs in place. What values do these programs bring to partners?

  • Type of Partners:

Epiance Referral Partner – Allows a professional individual or a business entity to refer potential customers for Epiance.

Epiance Implementation Partner – Allows a business entity to consult, implement and resell Epiance products suite for a designated market territory.

Epiance Channel Partner – Allows a business entity to resell / distribute Epiance products suite for a designated market territory.

  • Partnering with Epiance provides a business entity with unparallel Growth, immediate profitability from proven technologies, market leadership and unique competitive advantages.

11. Answer in less than 50 words:

  • If not in the current profession, what would you be?

A teacher.

  • The place you have never been to and always wanted to go.

South Africa National Park.

  • If your life was to be turned into a movie, who would you like to play your part?

I will not want myself to be made into a movie. I do not like glorification. Rather I would like to leave a legacy in the world.

  • Luck or Hard Work, what do you think weighs more in defining a successful person?

When we do what is right, what is meaningful and what is purposeful and go with the flow, the universe supports us- hard work, luck all meld into one.

  • If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it?

“A Bible for the irreverent” In fact, I have already written a book (though not published).

  • A line said by your close one that you’ll never forget.

In fact, I would like to dedicate this answer to my teacher Ms. Shanta Kumari.  I don’t remember much about what she taught, but I remember these words, “Mark my words, you will shake this world”. Her unconditional confidence in me brought out the best and whatever little I have achieved today is because of her.

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