Roots Automation: Automating Business Operations with Cognitive Bots

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John Cottongim, Co-founder and CTO
Automation is rapidly emerging as the harbinger of a paradigm shift in the way businesses conduct their operations. For the insurance industry, automation can serve as a game-changer to boost profit margins and transform the customer experience. With novel technologies like robotic process automation (RPA) coming into the picture, insurance firms can today automate almost all of their routine, repetitive administrative tasks. However, RPA is limited to dealing with structured data that comprise everyday business operations. When it comes to advanced operations involving unstructured data that require human intelligence for analysis, RPA doesn’t quite come in handy for insurance firms since most robotics market solutions only partially automate advanced tasks. This still leaves their employees stuck in organizing and analyzing unstructured data that hampers their productivity. Predictably, this hinders insurance companies from implementing complete automation, as they don't see the point in deploying technologies that rarely unburden their “roots” – the employees.

This is where Roots Automation is making a world of difference by providing the much-needed last-mile automation to insurers with cognitive process automation (CPA). Going beyond RPA, CPA can not only solve the regular administrative tasks but also mimic human intelligence to analyze and make decisions on unstructured data. The cognitive automation company is easing the operations of insurance agencies, carriers, and third-party administrators (TPAs) with Digital Coworkers –AI-enabled cognitive automation bots that can not only automate routine tasks but also improve advanced operations like underwriting, claims and policy handling, and decision-making for insurance agents. “We provide a full end-to-end “bots-as-a-service” model with Digital Coworkers that can perform all business tasks,” says John Cottongim, co-founder and CTO of Roots Automation.

A Novel Digital Teammate

Acting as a remote digital worker, the self-learning cognitive bots come with hassle-free implementation, requiring only VPN access to manage the claims intake and handling processes. With enhanced computer vision, these intelligent bots can read and analyze documents, forms, and emails and accurately enter the details in the insurers’ systems. It doesn’t end here, as the bots can also simply stop their work if they encounter any challenging edge cases and seek out help from the insurance firms’ employees viathe Roots Cockpit platform – a dashboard through which customers can manage the Digital Coworkers. Based on the learning interactions with the employees, the Digital Coworkers resume work and finish the tasks. “All of this feeds back into the cognitive models to improve future transactions and throughput, and make the automations more pleasant to work with,” states Cottongim. “It also instills a sense of ownership and accomplishment among employees, who know that they were a critical component in improving their Digital Coworker,” he adds.

Aiding the Digital Coworkers in automating business tasks is Roots Automation’s new document processing platform Iris. The platform can handle large volumes of documents and forms at The platform comes equipped with customizable machine learning and OCR models and multiple cognitive layers that help it to not only read the characters on both standardized forms and otherwise, but also analyze the items in each field on the forms from a business perspective.



We provide a full end-toend “bots-as-a-service” model with Digital Coworkers, cognitive automation bots that can perform all business tasks


“This layering on a level of business sense is something that isn’t available from out-of-the-box OCR solutions from other vendors,” remarks Cottongim.

Bringing Automation to Insurers with Expertise and Agility

Along with these innovative solutions, what makes Roots Automation stand apart in the marketplace is its team consisting of experts in insurance, finance, and cloud technology. With a combination of in-depth industry expertise and tech knowhow, Roots Automation fast-tracks customers’ operations within 6-8 weeks of implementing Digital Coworkers. “Our customers love our agile way of working as we come out with great solutions for automating their business operations in a rapid manner,” extols Cottongim. Despite operating in a fairly standardized industry, Roots Automation is flexible enough to offer customized solutions in consultation with clients owing to a unique blend of large corporate understanding and a nimble startup culture. In a nutshell, Roots Automation embodies the founders’ commitment to accelerate technology adoption for insurers, which originally drove Cottongim to establish Roots Automation with former AIG colleague Chaz Perera, who currently serves as its CEO.

Cottongim recalls helping an insurance processor firm handle the huge volumes of workers’ compensation insurance cases. The firm had outsourced the majority of its workload to off-shore third parties, yet a massive influx of insurance claims during COVID-19 saw them struggle to adequately staff their offices both locally and globally. Responding to their need to lessen the workload on their overburdened staff, Roots Automation deployed a Digital Coworker to handle incoming claims through an in-premise workflow system via the Roots Cockpit. This helped the firm reduce dependency on third-party outsourcing and simultaneously increase its claims handling volume. “They’re now looking to double their volume this year,” informs Cottongim. “The real win is that they can focus on growing their business without worrying about staffing issues.”

Aiming to script more such winning stories, Roots Automation is focused on expanding its Iris platform, along with Digital Coworker in tow. “We'll expand our SaaS, Iris, to work on other insurance standard forms like ACORD forms, as well as look into medical and health insurance card transcription and validation,” states Cottongim. En route to automating business operations for insurers, Roots Automation will remain steadfast on its mission to liberate workforces from low-value tasks and focus more on serving customers and delivering organizational growth.

Roots Automation News

Roots Automation Announces Iris, New SaaS for Medical Claim Form Data Extraction

Roots Automation announced the upcoming 2022 launch of a new product, Iris, on Monday morning. Iris will be the first niche SaaS platform to accurately extract data from CMS-1500 medical claim forms for insurers and insurer-affiliated organizations.

Iris will automate the data extraction of medical claim forms with an industry-leading straight-through processing rate, meaning information is pulled from CMS-1500 claim forms without any human intervention. The SaaS product utilizes proprietary Machine Learning and custom Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to read CMS-1500 forms at 95%+ accuracy while maintaining security and HIPAA compliance. Iris will be the fastest, most precise data extraction SaaS for medical claim forms on the current market.

Historically, data extraction software has been unhelpful in extracting information from medical claim forms, citing issues with poor quality scans and improperly completed or incomplete fields. This problem affects both the healthcare and insurance industries, and it’s nearly impossible to estimate the full financial impact – though, the American Medical Association once estimated economical losses ranging between $21 billion and $210 billion annually as a direct result of medical claims processing inefficiencies. Roots Automation presents an affordable solution for a costly problem in the form of Iris.

Iris is not the company’s first product for the insurance industry. In 2018, Roots Automation launched its Digital Coworker product, a form of Cognitive Process Automation (CPA). CPA is an advanced form of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) that combines traditional scripted automation with artificial intelligence and cognitive computing, allowing for the automation of unstructured data and processes. These bots, affectionately referred to as Digital Coworkers, are customizable solutions for workflows across a variety of industries, departments, and functions.

An economical solution for insurance carriers, third-party claims administrators, and business process outsourcers, Iris is a more niche, accessible platform for medical claims processing.

"Roots Automation was founded on two main principles: that humans are happier when they’re free to focus on meaningful, impactful work; and that automation should be available to organizations of all sizes,” says CEO and co-founder Chaz Perera. “We’re proud to release a tool we’ve used internally with great success to further support the insurance industry in the form of Iris."

Chaz Perera, CEO & Co-founder of Roots Automation


Small and middle market organizations have difficulty sourcing the budget for process automation, a necessary tool for employee engagement and smooth workflows. Roots Automation democratizes automation via the availability of Automation-as-a-Service, or their Digital Coworker product. The launch of Iris, the new SaaS platform, is a natural progression of their offerings to the insurance and healthcare industries.

Company
Roots Automation

Headquarters
New York, NY

Management
John Cottongim, Co-founder and CTO

Description
Roots Automation offers cognitive automation bots to automate business operations for insurance agencies, carriers, and TPAs.

Roots Automation