Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is making its mark on the financial services industry. Juniper Research has found that RPA revenues in banking will reach $1.2 billion by 2023: a 400% growth since 2018.  

The benefits of RPA are plain to see: increased efficiency and accuracy, which contribute to improved experiences for both employees and customers. However, RPA is just one component of the Intelligent Process Automation framework that can help organizations to achieve enterprise-wide automation. 

Bancolombia is an award-winning, full-service financial institution that provides banking services to customers in 12 different countries and is among the largest financial groups in Latin America. As part of their efforts to maintain their position as leader in their field that sets trends in customer and employee experience, they deployed a combination of Bizagi’s process automation, Automation Anywhere’s RPA and AI robotics. Here are three key strategies Bancolombia has deployed to help roll out intelligent process automation across the organization.  

Orchestrating intelligent process automation  

If achieving the enterprise-wide automation that comes with Intelligent Process Automation is the goal, then deploying the right combination of technologies should be a key part of your organization’s digital transformation strategy. This means exploring new technologies and ensuring they are deployed in line with best practice. 

RPA is becoming an industry-favourite technology, automating data intensive, repetitive tasks. But often, data that needs to be handled by RPA, such as customer information, enters the organization in a semi-structured or unstructured format. This cannot be read by RPA. It’s like providing an English speaker with a Chinese manuscript to read. Additionally, RPA can be fragile and break if the UI deviates from the organizational standard.  

This is where Bizagi comes in and acts as the orchestrator. When Bizagi feeds the RPA with the right information at the right time, the robots become much more robust. In turn, this can help to accelerate the deployment of further robots throughout the business. 

When Bancolombia introduced RPA to the business, they had the advantage of already having Bizagi’s intelligent automation platform in place, laying the foundations for enterprise-wide automation. This has helped RPA to become prevalent at Bancolombia with over 400 robots already deployed throughout the business, alongside over 1,700 processes automated with Bizagi. And they are already reaping the benefits.  

“There are huge opportunities in digital transformation. Not only have we seen benefits in efficiency, but we have reduced operational risk in a very important way, by increasing and improving the service in terms of compliance in our branches and other channels. We have also uncovered new incomes: we increased our written off portfolio by 47% using RPA and Bizagi,” said Jorge Otalvaro, VP of Service Delivery and Operations.  

Creating people-orientated culture in the age of automation  

One of the major advantages of using RPA is that it automates tasks that would normally be completed by humans. But Bancolombia recognized that RPA is not just about replacing employees, but rather freeing up employees’ time so that they can achieve more and do more in their roles.  

“In our organization we have a lot of manual and repetitive tasks. If we use [RPA and Bizagi], we will have much more capacity for performance, as well as operational risk reduction and other benefits. We can take our talent and put them to work on more important tasks,” says Otalvaro 

By enabling employees with automation and letting them take advantage of digital transformation, you can create a culture that promotes high performance teams, which is one of Bancolombia’s key pillars in their strategy to maintain their position as a leading bank. An improved employee experience will in turn then help to improve customer experience.   

“85% of transactions are made via our electronic and digital channels. But Bancolombia’s branches are still crowded every single day. Our sales team found most of their time was dedicated to manual and repetitive tasks, so we have been automating those activities using robotics,” said Otalvaro.  

Bancolombia has deployed Robotic Desktop Automation (also known as attended RPA) and Bizagi in over 600 branches to support its in-branch employees. This means that the robots can take care of the administrative tasks while the sales team focus on the customer and providing the best possible service. This has seen a 59% increase in efficiency of service time, with over 515,000 hours freed per year in branch.  

Maintaining Center of Excellence  

To maintain this ecosystem of intelligent automation, Bancolombia uses a Center of Excellence.  This lays out a frame work to only ensure that processes are properly deployed, but that they continue to perform and deliver results fore the business.  

“We need to monitor our capabilities: to support them and maintain them. So, it’s very important to have a team dedicated to the evolution, implementation, and continuity of our processes,” said Otalvaro.  

Bancolombia Center of Excellence

As you can see from the implementation phase of the Center, this is where the elements of intelligent automation come together. But first, Bancolombia carries out process intervention to streamline processes. “We take the process and eliminate any inefficiencies before automating it. Then we use process assistants (robots), IQ Bots [Artificial Intelligence] and Bizagi we can automate different activities,” said Otalvaro.  

Thanks to this strategic approach to intelligent automation, Bancolombia has reduced operational risk by 28%, increased efficiency by eliminating manual tasks and increased customer satisfaction by delivering 59% increase in efficiency when serving customers.  

Don’t stop here… 

This blog is a summary of Otalvaro’s presentation given at Bizagi Catalyst – our annual global community conference. If you would like to hear more details about how he used Bizagi to enable enterprise-wide automation at Bancolombia, you can watch the full presentation below: 


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