Robotic process automation (RPA) vendor Blue Prism is formalising its presence in South Africa with the opening of a local office in Cape Town.
Blue Prism’s former sales director for Africa, Greg Newton, is relocating from Blue Prism’s UK office to Cape Town to serve as the new South Africa country manager.
Newton says the establishment of a local office comes on the back of a highly successful Blue Prism roadshow in Johannesburg and Cape Town last year, and a surge in demand from local enterprises for Blue Prism’s enterprise-grade RPA solutions.
“Blue Prism has been working in the South African market since 2016, and we now have in excess of 20 major clients,” says Newton. “These include major financial services organisations such as Old Mutual, Nedbank and First Rand, plus an array of large enterprise clients across multiple industry sectors. We saw a need to formalise a South African office to work more closely with our rapidly growing customer base, as well as to support South Africa’s digital transformation process.”
The new office will help raise awareness of RPA in the local market and aims to collaborate with partners and academia to help build RPA and Artificial Intelligence skills pools in-country.
Newton notes that while several players operate in the process automation space, many are focused on desktop digital assistants. Blue Prism is an enterprise solution targeted at bigger companies – intelligently automating high volume transactions at industrial scale to drive efficiency, accuracy and improved customer experience.
“South African market response has been very good since we entered the country. We see a lot of older, established enterprises working to digitally transform themselves and move away from manual processes,” Newton says. “Customers today have high expectations of how they should be served, and big firms are stepping up to transform as quickly as possible.”
Blue Prism’s new South African office, located in Cape Town, will also encourage knowledge-sharing and RPA innovation via its South African Digital Exchange (DX) community, which was launched last year. This community allows companies to explore the scope of what is possible through RPA in their sectors.
Newton believes South African enterprises are keen to adopt an advanced digital workforce equipped with visual perception, planning and sequencing capabilities, collaboration and learning abilities, knowledge and insight and problem-solving skills.
“They will take over the mundane, rules and process-based work from humans, and will work alongside humans for better outcomes,” he says. “We are moving towards dual roles for both digital and human employees, and this new environment will create all sorts of new jobs and opportunities.”