Machina Automation: Leading the Digital Workforce Transformation of the Energy Industry



Doug’s favorite quote, which he uses often, is “Do the right thing when nobody’s looking.” “We strive to build a company that adheres to that principal in all we do and in all of our interactions with our customers, our partners, our employees, and each other,” says Doug WendlerFounder, and CEO of Machina Automation.

Headquartered in Houston, Tx; Machina Automation has offices in Dallas, Tx and Hyderabad, India. Machina Automation was founded in 2017 as a full service, robotic process automation (RPA) consulting firm that provides a full lifecycle of advisory, implementation, training and support services to help their clients take advantage of the latest advances in process automation technologies. The company assists its customers in their transformation to a digital workforce across the following phases:

  • Advise: The tools & expertise necessary to efficiently frame, estimate, value, and initiate RPA projects.

  • Implement: Superior execution skills to ensure projects are on-time, on-budget and deliver the desired results.

  • Operate: Unique offerings to ensure sustainability and foster lasting RPA benefits.

  • Train: Providing the skills and capabilities needed to design, build, deploy and support RPA solutions.

  • Optimize: Best practices for continuous improvement and to facilitate long-term program success.

Additionally, Machina Automation is partners with many key players in the digital automation ecosystem including UiPath, ABBYY, and Enate.  As a UiPath implementation and training partner, the company works closely with UiPath on all of their engagements and are certified to deliver UiPath Academy training. Machina Automation’s training offerings help to accelerate a client’s RPA journey, allowing them to expedite achievement of the benefits of automation.

“The quality of RPA implementations is heavily dependent on the quality and thoroughness of their design and of the testing scenarios that are developed for them.”

Machina’s team is built with passionate individuals possessing strong systems implementation backgrounds, allowing them to not only bring automation expertise to the table but to also bring the structure, rigor, and leadership needed to successfully manage and deliver automation projects. They pair this systems implementation expertise with an extensive knowledge of intelligent automation technologies and of the energy industry.  Their practitioners average over 10 years of energy experience. This deep domain knowledge accelerates implementations and improves process selection decisions, thereby reducing the risk and cost of transformation and dramatically increasing the benefits that can be achieved. “We started Machina and built our team with the goal of solving important problems for our customers, but also with the goal of building a company we were all proud to call home,” says Doug. “Machina is a company built on trust, accountability, and integrity. It is a company where we know and care for one another as individuals. It is my philosophy to hire talented folks with a diverse set of skills, to support them, and to get out of their way and let them do what they do best.”

As a result, the company keeps pushing the boundaries of innovation to provide exceptional value to its customers. An example of this is the origin of their managed service support offering. “Early in our lifecycle as a company, we created a managed service to support the robots we build. This offering was off the ground as our first bots were live. This service was launched to support a need in the market for which a solution simply did not exist. Many of our customers were not prepared to support their own bots and others in the market were not yet thinking along those lines. This offering filled a crucial gap for our customers, while simultaneously providing value to our clients and to Machina,” says Doug.

Doug Wendler, Founder & CEO, Machina Automation

Doug additionally points out some of the key challenges when implementing technologies such as RPA, that Machina is uniquely positioned to meet. These include choosing the right processes to automate, completing a thorough and high-quality design for the automation and thoroughly testing the completed automation. “The quality of RPA implementations is heavily dependent on the quality and thoroughness of their design and of the testing scenarios that are developed for them. As with any other technical implementation, business scenarios for each automation must be thoroughly documented and fully tested to ensure that errors are found and resolved prior to the implementation of the automation. Therefore, simply hiring a talented RPA programmer to build your automations is not enough. Without a strong business analysis and a thorough front to back approach, RPA projects will struggle to succeed.” 

He also asserts that the intelligent automation capabilities are still evolving. “Even today, RPA tools such as UiPath are just one of the building blocks necessary for a holistic digital automation strategy. Other tools important to a well-defined strategy include process mining, workforce orchestration such as Enate, cognitive tools like ABBYY’s suite of OCR based products and NLP/NLG, as well as integration with AI decision-making tools like IBM Watson and Google TensorFlow,” says Doug.  “This landscape is just beginning to fully emerge in our market.”  RPA will continue to evolve to more intelligent automation through the addition of advances in ML capabilities. In the long term, Doug suggests intelligent automation capabilities will be a business norm and will be leveraged to broaden into AI and expert systems within the industry.

When asked what factors he believes could impede the continued growth of RPA in the market, Doug stated the following, “At a Macroeconomic level, economic slowdowns and advances in competing technologies could certainly have a negative impact on the growth of RPA. However, within individual organizations, there are also factors that can impede the success and growth of RPA. The most significant of these factors is fear. That may be the fear of the impact of workforce automation or even simply the fear of the brave new world of intelligent automation. Additionally, companies often have the perception that they are too busy to invest the time required to implement technologies such as RPA, even when doing so will ultimately save them the time they so desperately need.”

In conclusion, Doug shared a bit about Machina Automation’s growth plans for the future. In the short term, he expects to continue to grow within Machina’s current market space, that being primarily RPA for the energy industry with incremental work in adjacent industries and with complementary technologies. The long-term plan includes growth through expansion more fully into other verticals and by continuing to grow within the market as other machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies mature. 

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