The Hackett Group Names Bayer & IBM 2019 Digital Award Winners; Companies on the Cutting Edge of Smart Automation, Robotic Process Automation, Cognitive Computing and Analytics

June 7, 2019
7 Min Read

Four Finalists Also Named: HCL/Manchester United, HP, IBM, and Indecomm


MIAMI & LONDON, June 7, 2019 – The Hackett Group (NASDAQ: HCKT) today announced that Bayer and IBM are the winners of its 2019 Digital Awards, which spotlight companies that are on the cutting edge of digital transformation, including smart automation, robotic process automation (RPA), cognitive computing and advanced analytics.

Bayer won the award in the advanced analytics category for its Statistical Demand Forecasting System, while IBM won in the smart automation category for its Cognitive Support Platform. Four other companies were also recognized as finalists: HCL/Manchester United Football Club, HP, IBM and Indecomm.

The Hackett Group’s Digital Awards spotlight and celebrate companies on the cutting edge of using smart automation and advanced analytics to solve business problems.

“Disruptive digital technologies continue to take great strides in terms of impact, affordability, and usability,” said Paul Morrison, Managing Director, The Hackett Group. “We see companies from all sectors making major changes to their back, middle and front offices with tools such as RPA, cognitive automation and advanced analytics. For many enterprises these changes are initial pilots. But for others, such as our winners and finalists today, these are mature and massive changes that can enable breakthroughs like providing proactive and super-fast and personalized services to tens of millions of customers, or freeing up talent from hundreds of thousands of hours of wasted admin work. Efficiency in the form of cost reduction and transactional automation are still the primary focus for many organizations in their improvement plans. However these awards show that more and more companies are using these rapidly implemented, cost-effective and disruptive approaches to drive wider business outcomes in the areas of effectiveness and experience – not least increased revenue, reduced risk, customer satisfaction and service innovation.”

“This year’s Digital Awards winners and finalists are showing that the scale and impact of both smart automation and advanced analytics continues to grow,” said Morrison. “They also point to a growing overlap, and the accelerating impact of artificial intelligence on both areas. Increasingly at The Hackett Group we see the overlapping and reinforcing impact of these 3 trends or ‘3As’ – automation, analytics and AI. While they come from different directions – automation is underpinned by process improvement, analytics has grown out of data science and AI is a computer science driven discipline – we increasingly see these three digital levers being pulled by company initiatives at the same time, not in isolation. We think this will be a key coming together for digital business in the years ahead.”

The winners and finalists for 2019, and some information on their projects, are as follows:

Bayer – Analytics Finalist – Statistical Demand Forecasting System – Faster and simpler ways of working are key elements of the digitalization journey at Bayer.  An automated prediction platform was developed to leverage statistics and provide independent cross functional usage with a low-total-cost of ownership.  The platform further broadens Bayer’s business analytics capabilities from descriptive to predictive/augmented analytics.  The solution has been industrialized into the enterprise business data warehouse infrastructure and has significantly improved speed and accuracy of forecasting and scenario-based planning. The new platform has enabled Bayer to fully achieve state-of-the-art, automated predictive analytics, all inhouse!  For example, the operational sales forecasts in Supply Chain & Logistics can now be generated automatically with adaptions and enrichments made to specific business processes as needed. Overall, divisional supply chain planners in the countries and regions can run the forecasting process in a more efficient and focused way. Combined with external cost reductions the solution enables significant efficiencies and improvements in forecast accuracy which in turn will help improve inventory positions and product availability.

IBM – Smart Automation Winner – Cognitive Support Platform – IBM’s Cognitive Support Platform powered by IBM Watson technology is transforming its ability to support clients. IBM currently supports over 7,000 products across 170 countries investing millions of person hours each year. The system is designed to help IBM understand problems, generate insights, and take action to resolve client issues. A key part of the platform is a “Continuous Learning Loop” where cognitive components listen to client interactions, collect feedback and learn how to better provide advice and act to resolve issues. The platform uses weighting factors to facilitate case management prioritization, enabling support engineers to quickly see and understand their workload and know how the client cases should be prioritized as they begin their workday. Cognitive routing and assignment capabilities predict the expertise required to resolve a case, then matches that with the skills, capacity, and availability of a support engineer. In addition a chatbot has enabled clients in some areas to address many of their issues via self-service

HCL Technologies – Analytics Finalist–Reimagines Business through Digital – Manchester United, a 140-year old football club with a global fan base of 659 million, embarked on a digital transformation journey with HCL that recorded exponential fan engagement within 6 months – the Manchester United Official app reached number one in the App Store’s sports category download charts in 68 markets around the world.  The app was also in the top ten within sports category in 123 markets. The Digital Experience Platform developed by HCL, web site and app offer a rich, engaging, real-time multi-channel experience as close as possible to what fans receive at the stadium. A key element of the platform’s value lies in millions of data points created by the club’s global fanbase as they engage with the platform. Advanced analytics enabled the platform to recognize patterns and trends along with predictions in fan behavior by geography/demography, enabling both club and sponsors to fine tune their campaigns and value offerings. HCL’s digital platform integrates multiple industry standard products, services and applications into a cloud native, auto-scalable architecture that has been configured to support the club’s global fan base, Technology and partner: HCL.

HP – Finalist – Deal Pricing – This project addresses the need to provide timely quotes to our channel network with specific pricing needs and requirements on a daily basis.  The project leverages intelligent robotic process automation and machine learning/natural language processing to automate special pricing. It improves the time to quote, accuracy of the quote and significantly improves the likelihood of the quote being converted to an order.  To date, the solution has been successfully deployed across three countries and is seeing strong success rates for the end-to-end robotics solution and the natural language processing output, covering a large volume of deals processed through the robots.  The other key benefit this automation provides relates to the impact on revenue and as the solution is leveraged across other countries, HP is anticipating improved accuracy and faster turn-around times in the deal pricing quotation process.

IBM – Finalist – Enterprise Operations & Service Automation Center of Excellence – The automation effort enables 8,000 order-to-cash practitioners within IBM to improve speed, quality, and client experience as they develop pricing and financing scenarios, propose contracts, create contracts and orders, register and manage contracts, create billing and collect cash.  With more than 300 largely disparate legacy systems, databases and applications, processes remained fragmented resulting in a lot of manual, repetitive tasks which limit the practitioner’s opportunity to spend their time on higher value activities and tasks. To address this issue, an Automation Center of Excellence was created to enable the creation of a digital workforce to perform manual, repetitive tasks so that we can increase speed and quality and focus on being truly client-centric. BotCamps sessions were used to train staff, aligning capability with demand, to use BluePrism robotic process automation tools, and a total of 469 people were trained in 18 locations across the globe over 2017 and 2018. The effort has already delivered 360,000 hours in productivity improvements in order-to-cash across three geographies – Americas, Asia, and EMEA. Seller satisfaction has increased, turnaround time has been cut in half, process quality has improved, and additional data is providing better insight for intelligent workflows that leverage multiple automation technologies to achieve business outcomes. Technology and partners used include:  BluePrism RPA and Cloud infrastructure.

Indecomm – Smart Automation Finalist – Redefining Mortgage Processing with AntWorks – As a leading SaaS-based technology and services provider to the mortgage industry, Indecomm Global Services sought an Integrated Automation Platform (IAP) to enable easy flow through, organizing, extracting, validating, standardizing data and documents. In collaboration with AntWorks, Indecomm developed an industry point-solution by deploying a full-stack IAP with Cognitive Machine Reading (CMR), Intelligent Automation and AI/ ML tools to classify and read contracts, extract unstructured data fields automatically, and send the output file to the client. Turnaround time has cut to less than half, and quality levels and customer satisfaction improved significantly. Cost savings were 25% in 1st year, progressively nearing 50% as the solution goes up the maturity curve. Indecomm is repurposing its existing staffing model of 1000 to support twice the current levels of business in the next 2-3 years. Technology and partners used include: AntWorks.

The Hackett Group’s Digital Awards were established by Aecus in 2014 as the Aecus Automation Awards. Aecus was acquired by The Hackett Group in May 2017.


About The Hackett Group, Inc.

The Hackett Group (NASDAQ: HCKT) is an intellectual property-based strategic consultancy and leading enterprise benchmarking and best practices digital transformation firm to global companies, offering digital transformation including robotic process automation and enterprise cloud application implementation. Services include business transformation, enterprise analytics and global business services. The Hackett Group also provides dedicated expertise in business strategy, operations, finance, human capital management, strategic sourcing, procurement and information technology, including its award-winning Oracle and SAP practices.

The Hackett Group has completed more than 17,850 benchmarking and performance studies with major corporations and government agencies, including 93% of the Dow Jones Industrials, 90% of the Fortune 100, 80% of the DAX 30 and 57% of the FTSE 100. These studies drive Hackett’s Digital Transformation Platform which includes the firm’s benchmarking metrics, best practices repository and best practice configuration guides and process flows, which enable The Hackett Group’s clients and partners to achieve world-class performance.


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