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AiThority Interview with Ruairi Adam, Director of Global Transformation at Majorel

Ruairi Adam, Director of Global Transformation at Majorel

Welcome to our Interview Series. To start, do you mind telling me a little bit about your background and what brought you to Majorel?

I’m from London but now live in Dublin, and I began my career at British Telecom in 1994 as a technical support engineer. After working abroad, I settled in Ireland where I worked at PayPal. I then studied the Integration of Technology in Business at NCI Dublin, and that opened myeyes to the potential that AI and machine learning would soon have to transform businesses. When I joined Majorel in 2008, I was tasked with developing and delivering IT strategies to support the internal business. As the promise of robotic process automation (RPA) in business settings started becoming apparent, I got the opportunity to move into a role focused on perfecting and expanding that technology. I’ve been working in the field of emerging tech and digital transformation ever since!

You specialize in RPA applications. For readers who may not be familiar with the concept, can you explain what RPA is?

Sure. It’s a form of business process automation that uses digital workers to execute tasks. Like other automation technology, it helps reduce workloads by performing certain actions without intervention from the user. RPA allows individuals with no background in engineering to design their own automations without coding, defining complex logic parameters, or doing any extra work. These programs just “watch” you execute a task in the graphical user interface (GUI) to learn the steps. Once the RPA tool learns the process, it can repeat the task for you.

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How does it differ from more traditional options?

It’s about ease of use. I mean, automating tasks is not a new idea—not at all. We all benefit from automation every day, usually without really thinking about it. When your browser auto-fills address fields or your word-processing software formats a list with bullets, that’s all automation. The difference is that those automations are programmed into the specific software you’re using.

RPA differs in two important ways. First, it allows users to teach by doing, as noted above. Additionally, and this is an often-overlooked benefit, it works across a computer or network’s entire ecosystem, rather than within a specific program or platform. That functionality allows users to design the diverse and complex automations needed in today’s highly digital business environments.

Tell us more about that. What kinds of tasks are workers automating these days?

Theoretically, the sky is the limit here. If it’s a repeatable process that a user can demonstrate in their GUI, a bot can learn it and execute it. Billing reconciliation, data entry, payment processing, email monitoring and response, phone line monitoring, customer information searches, live chat functions—bots can be trained to do all of it. Of course, more customer-facing or sensitive tasks may require more human monitoring or intervention, but as the technology progresses, its capabilities will only become more nuanced and agile.

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Give us the overview: How does offering RPA tools to customer service representatives help improve performance? What do Majorel’s partners, for example, get when they use this technology?

There are tons of business benefits to investing in RPA tools, particularly for those looking to streamline their customer experience (CX) programs. Empowering customer service associates to develop and define their own workflows by delegating repetitive tasks as they see fit will help optimize service centers, and that optimization process will only take as long as it takes to train the bots.

The three most obvious improvements that clients using RPA in their service centers see are improved call resolution times, processes, and customer satisfaction. All three really boil down to the idea that employees with fewer distractions have more time and energy to devote to performing their core functions. That’s true at service centers, retail locations, industrial settings, and anywhere else there are jobs to be done. The fact is that repetitive tasks like data entry do not serve a customer service representative’s end goal: to help customers.

Sorting emails, processing billing, and searching for customer histories take time and add stress. Having employees do these tasks when bots can take over doesn’t help anyone. In fact, it often hurts operations as teams using well-trained bots routinely find that the machines do these kinds of tasks more accurately and consistently than human workers. That means better records, more accurate analytics, fewer service interruptions, stronger security, and better overall experiences for workers and customers alike.

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What excites you most about working with RPA?

To me, RPA represents a gateway to AI and machine learning through its accessibility. Some exciting and advanced AI applications have reached the public sphere in the past few months, and regular people—you know, the ones who aren’t working with AI and robotics every day—are beginning to understand that the supercomputers they’ve seen in sciences fiction movies aren’t all that fictional anymore. However, there is an accessibility gap there, right? Most people can use AI as designed, but they can’t design a bot that does something specific.

RPA can change that. It puts automation and machine learning processes—not products—into the hands of everyday people, so they can create the tools they need to thrive. And I see two benefits to that. The first is that it will blow current perceptions of productivity wide open. People will identify the tasks in their days that a bot can handle, which will result in them having more time and energy to devote to the tasks that require a “human touch.” The second is that people from all walks of life, in different fields, and with different lived experiences will be empowered to explore the potentials of automation. Having more diverse minds working with AI will only make the technology richer, more inclusive, and more beneficial to us all.

Thank you, Ruairi! That was fun and we hope to see you back on soon.

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Ruairi currently acts as director of Global Transformation for Majorel, which is a leading customer experience management company that designs and delivers customer experience for some of the world’s leading brands. In his role, he is responsible for Operational Solutions and Business Architecture, plus the digital transformation of operations for Majorel’s global client portfolio.

Ruairi has over 20 years of experience in fast growth technology, e-Commerce, Customer Relationship Management and business process outsourcing. Throughout his career, he has worked with customer and user experience teams and led digital Centers of Excellence, with a focus on robotic process automation, intelligent automation, artificial intelligence, and product innovation.

He is the father of twin girls and, when he has spare time, he is a keen rugby supporter, brewer, and cook.

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We design, build and deliver end-to-end CX for many of the world’s most respected digital-native and vertical leading brands.

Our comprehensive east-to-west global footprint in 44 countries across five continents, with 82,000+ team members and 60+ languages, means we can deliver flexible solutions that leverage our unique expertise in cultural nuance – essential for true excellence in CX.

We have deep domain expertise in tech-augmented front-to-back-office CX. Plus Digital Consumer Engagement, CX Consulting, and an innovative suite of Proprietary Digital Solutions for industry verticals. We are a Global Leader in Content Services, Trust & Safety.

The real ‘Majorel difference’ lies in our culture of entrepreneurship. We are relentless, resourceful, resilient and agile – all pulling together as One Team. It’s the only way to deliver the total reliability and digital transformation necessary in our constantly changing world.

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