Life at Reveal Group – Alan Man
Manager | Toronto, Ontario, CA
Tell me about your background. How has it set you up for success at Reveal Group?
My background is in finance and accounting. I went to Western University of Western Ontario to get a CPA CMA license and began my career at a bank working in financial reporting. They hired me to do a system implementation dealing with external consultants. I then decided to go back to school for a master’s program. I eventually joined KPMG to do systems implementation and process improvement consulting for the finance function, and this is where I was introduced to RPA and began Blue Prism training as it was part of our typical recommendations to clients.
I eventually joined Reveal Group in 2019. There’s only so much you can learn self-taught, but when I came to Reveal Group, that’s where I learned to build to best practices. My experience working at the bank, being a client, and dealing with external consultants, helped me understand first-hand why transparency with clients is crucial. I experienced dishonesty about project risks or issues, which left a sour taste in my mouth. This experience helped me align with the “trusted advisor” mentality at Reveal Group.
Keeping up with certifications is a huge part of being an automation consultant. What is the most recent skill you have acquired?
I have certifications across Blue Prism, UiPath, Automation Anywhere, and more recently with ABBYY Flexicapture. Being experienced in most RPA platforms helps when I’m doing a software assessment for our clients to help them understand the differences and advise them on the best option for their organization. It also gives me the skills I need to help our developers if they have troubleshooting issues with a specific tool. I also lead UiPath training for new employees at Reveal Group.
Is there a challenging aspect to managing projects you are proud to have conquered?
The biggest challenge can be the ever-changing client requirements. It can be difficult to balance delivering something they want and need versus running out of time. We always budget with time flexibility, but sometimes it’s out of our control.
Much of my role is acting as a design authority for clients, overseeing other vendors’ automation deliveries. One of the challenges is advising a vendor team to improve a small piece of their process because it doesn’t satisfy business requirements from an overall program and quality perspective. This can inhibit their ability to scale so I ensure that everything is built to best practices with quality code.
At Reveal Group, one of our core values is “Learn from the past, look to the future.” How does this principle shape your career development, and how do you believe it applies to the clients you advise?
From a career development perspective, I am very proactive in building my knowledge through courses and certifications. I also believe my work as a consultant through the years and interacting with different vendors and clients has exposed me to various challenges that I’m now equipped to navigate. Understanding previous clients’ technology landscape or challenges helps us evolve and apply our learnings to future clients. Even with the most mature clients, our goal is to maximize the output and use of their technology stack, so they can resume concentrating on core business objectives.
Are there any uncharted territories within intelligent automation that you are eager to explore?
I’m looking forward to seeing what comes of ChatGPT and Generative AI. It’s interesting to see its potential in the automation space and watch it evolve as it influences people’s ideas and inspires creativity. I’m fascinated by the various ways you can use the tool. For example, if you’re experiencing a language barrier with someone who doesn’t speak your primary language, you can leverage the tool to refine your communication and bridge the gap. You give it a prompt, and it will continue to refine suggestions, pulling from its knowledge base. This opens a wealth of opportunities in the intelligent automation industry.
Additionally, and this might be a pie-in-the-sky idea, but I would like to see a self-fixing automation so that if someone changes an application just slightly, the automation can self-fix without developer assistance and complex problem-solving. I’m also interested to see business users increase their interactions with machine learning models and bots like Microsoft Copilot (an OpenAI integration for Microsoft).
We often hear the term “automation for good” in our industry. Can you provide examples of how your automation projects have positively impacted people and businesses?
Building internal capabilities at a client and mentoring them directly impacts their colleagues and their automation program in the long run. For one of our clients, we deployed an attended automation use case in their call center. This project allowed them to reduce wait time and increase the accuracy of customer call times, decreasing call center waiting and resulting in a highly positive impact on the call center at our client.
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