Accenture launches SynOps to meld data, AI and humans as the automation bandwagon swells

Accenture's platform, dubbed SynOps is designed to enable workflow breakthroughs by melding digital workers and humans. The move follows similar developments in robotics process automation.

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An overview of Accenture's SynOps platform. 

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Accenture launched SynOps, a business operating platform, to better orchestrate work, meld data science and operations and combine digital and human workforces.

Also: Microsoft partners with Accenture and Avanade

The firm calls SynOps a "human-machine operating engine," but the key concept is that Accenture aims to create a platform that reflects the integration of data, artificial intelligence and humans.

Whether SynOps is a success remains to be seen, but Accenture has a few things in its corner. For starters, Accenture has pivoted to being a software provider too. Accenture also has the data from more than 1,000 client engagements to inform the SynOps approach to business processes and IT management.

Phil Fersht, CEO of HFS Research, said SynOps can augment human experts as well as help companies integrate automation, analytics and AI strategies. What is AI? Everything you need to know about Artificial Intelligence | Business analytics: The essentials of data-driven decision-makingHow to automate the enterprise: Your guide to getting started 

This theme of automation and melding human and digital workforces has been surfacing early and often in 2019. Recent developments include:

  • Blue Prism unveiled a strategy called connected RPA (robotics process automation). The big idea is that connected RPA can combine automation as well as transform digital workflows. One key pillar for connected RPA is identifying low-hanging fruit so enterprises can deploy RPA and prioritize processes to be automated.
  • Automation Anywhere outlined human-centric bots to augment the human workforce with what it calls Digital Workers from its Bot Store. The general theme is that Automation Anywhere will offer a marketplace for plug and play bots and automation tools.

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What Accenture and RPA players are trying to do is help companies change work structures to account for AI. Forrester Research said in a recent research report:

AI will reshape the future of work. Beyond the ability to take human costs out of repetitive, simple processes through robotic process automation (RPA), AI will allow leaders to envision new ways of organizing and governing work. But AI is complex and opaque to the non-tech-savvy: It requires the close and persistent collaboration of technology and operational experts — not in the give and take of today's IT structure but in a controlled framework where IT is actively helping shape the way work is done.

Accenture is targeting SynOps at key functions such as finance, procurement and marketing. SynOps can also be customized to integrate with existing IT investments.

The promise of SynOps is that it can find opportunities to revamp and optimize business processes and improve returns. SynOps focuses on four areas:

  • Human and machine talent: SynOps integrates knowhow of its data scientists, AI experts and consultants with 3,600 of its automation tools, 65 analytics apps and 40 AI advisors.
  • Work orchestration to assign and offload tasks to bots.
  • Analytics via the Accenture Insights Platform and 100 preconfigured AI and analytics tools.
  • Data collection via a suite of monitoring, storage, analytics and reporting tools.

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