Podcast: Governance ensures quality says Danske Bank's head of robotics


Seth Adler
12/11/2017

Robotics isn't just a toolit's an entire paradigm shift, says Danske Bank's head of robotics Susanne Skaarup

nordic hero
Photo by Tim Wright on Unsplash

Like many enterprise organizations, Danske Bank have been on the robotics and process automation train for long enough to know what works, what doesn'tand how to iterate to ensure ongoing process excellence. 

It was after spending many years in traditional IT projects that Susanne Skaarup, who now heads up robotics for the Nordic bank, says she started to realize the potential of automation as an agile technology so closely related to the business.

"This is a tool where you can improve easily, fast and at a low cost," she tells AI Network Podcast host Seth Adler, in the latest episode of the show. 

A lack of business case for traditional IT naturally led the bank down the automation track in late 2015, says Skaarup, who also heads up Danske Bank's Center of Excellence (CoE) which was established in February 2016. Despite this, she stresses the need to bring everyone on boardincluding the security department. 

"Robotics is a paradigm shift... it's not just a new tool."

Her advice? "Start small and be realistic," she says. "Create awareness about robotics, ensure you have a good management of your robot... build strong governance around it and have your methodology standards in place from a central point-of-view to ensure the quality of the work." 

Read more: Get comfortable with RPA before tackling cognitive solutions

Tune in as Skaarup and Adler discuss the benefits of a centralized versus decentralized model, the need for governance frameworks to ensure quality outcomes, and how long it really takes from prognosis to bot implementation. 

Listen in:

[transcript]

Seth Adler: From Danske Bank, Susanne Skaarup joins us for some supporters to thank, and thank you for listening.

This episode is supported by the AIIA Network. The AI and Intelligent Automation Network is an online community focused on building the intelligent enterprise.

The content covers a broad range of issues, including digital disruption and transformation, task and robotic process automation, augmented intelligence, machine learning, and cognitive computing.

Our goal is to [00:00:30] help businesses apply these technologies and build the intelligent enterprise of the future.

Go to aiia.net to join.

This episode is also supported by RPA and AI Week 2017. The world decision-makers and doers in process excellence and shared services meet in London this November to collaborate on the direction of task automation and augmented intelligence, share best practice and di discover strategies, tactics, and initiatives which industry leaders are already implementing [00:01:00] for business success.

2017 is our second year of bringing this growing and exciting industry together. Go to rpaandaisummit.com for more.

Recorded at the Nordic RPA and AI Summit, Susanne Skaarup joins us and shares that she got the title as Head of Robotics at Danske Bank when the company established a Center of Excellence in February 2016.

The bank realized that they needed to invest in RPA in autumn of 2015. They can see [00:01:30] huge potential in the new technology. They realized they could do process improvements in areas where normally you would say that there was no business case to do traditional IT. Whereas six weeks is the going prognostication for bought implementation, Suzanne and her team see that adoption being more like 10 to 12 weeks.

Welcome to the AI and Intelligent Automation Network on B2BiQ. I'm your host, Seth Adler.

Download episodes on aiia.net or through our app at iTunes, within the iTunes podcast [00:02:00] app, in Google Play, or wherever you currently get your podcasts.

Susanne Skaarup.

Susanne Skaarup:I think I got this job title when we established our Center of Excellence back in February 2016.

Seth Adler: So this is actually a long time.

Susanne Skaarup:Yes.

Seth Adler: As far as your colleagues here, we're at the Nordic RPA and AI Summit in Stockholm, Sweden. And your colleagues from Scandinavia and this Nordic area, as well as elsewhere in [00:02:30] Northern Europe, are starting to just kind of get in. You know, 18 months seems like a long time for this group. You're even ... here you've been longer than that.

When did you guys realize that this was something that you needed to, not only invest in, but really pay attention to?

Susanne Skaarup: I think we realized that in the autumn 2015. Already there, we have started looking into RPA in different places in the bank, [00:03:00] and then in the end of 2015 we decided to centralize all of this in a Center of Excellence, which we established February 2016.

Seth Adler: Excellent. What was it though in the end of 2015 that made you say, "You know what? This is actually something that we're gonna do."

Susanne Skaarup: It was that we could see huge potential. We saw a new technology where we could do our process improvements [00:03:30] in areas of the bank where you normally would say there's not a business case to do traditional IT, but here we could use the robotics technology instead.

Seth Adler: Because it's cheaper because it's faster?

Susanne Skaarup: Exactly. Yes.

Seth Adler: So the timelines that were given in late 2015, we hear six weeks now. Right?

Susanne Skaarup: Yeah.

Seth Adler: Were those the timelines that were given-

Susanne Skaarup: Yeah.

Seth Adler: ... back then?

Susanne Skaarup: It was also six to eight weeks from you have an idea until production and, yes, that's still our ambition. And we are not [00:04:00] there yet, even though we have been here on the journey for so long time. We have done robots in a couple of days, but we have also done very complex robots that would have taken us nine months.

I think maybe average right now would be more like 10 to 12 weeks perhaps.

Seth Adler: Okay. And this is because data is involved. Internal systems are involved. Right?

Susanne Skaarup: Yeah. And it also because I think in the beginning we had, for example, issues about this non- [00:04:30] human use of ... That's a new term?

Seth Adler: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Susanne Skaarup: How to handle that, and what should be the credentials? How to monitor it, how to insure that there will be no fraud or anything that regards to that. So we have had a lot of dialogue with our group security in the bank. And I would say now we have found very very good, smooth, easy-to-use solutions. So we have taken this from maybe one months or two months into a couple of days.

Seth Adler: For security. For risk [00:05:00] management. For compliance. Those conversations, some of which you're speaking about, what were the keys to communicating to those groups, "This is what we're doing and this is why it's okay."

Susanne Skaarup: What I did is, especially our security department, was that I invited them in physically to the Center of Excellence-

Seth Adler: "Come on-

Susanne Skaarup: "Come on-

Seth Adler: ... over."

Susanne Skaarup: Yeah. "Look. See what we have been doing. Look at how is our standards. See how our methodology is. See how we do reviews. [00:05:30] See our checklist. See all that." That made them very comfortable about the robotics in the bank, and I would say we even got in a situation where they very often tell about the robotics and our excellence as a role model for how to structure and how to work in a methodology approach that they very much like.

Seth Adler: Yes. Exactly. We have to be methodical, which is perfect for them. Right?

Susanne Skaarup: Yes. Yeah.

Seth Adler: So, [00:06:00] as you were kind of onboarding, and as you were kind of figuring out what you were going to do, you almost immediately realized that you had to set up a Center of Excellence. Some folks have. Some folks haven't. Why was that the right way to go for you?

Susanne Skaarup: It was the right way because we saw that without a Center of Excellence our robots would be built in different ways. So if I ask you and three other people to build a legal house, and I gave you a lot of legal blocks, you would probably choose four [00:06:30] different ways to build it.

Seth Adler: Sure.

Susanne Skaarup: Different colors, different size. That was one of the reasons. Another reason was we could see that the documentation for the robots was different. So you have a perception of when is documentation good enough could be different than my perception would be.

Then, also, one very important thing is the re-usability. So when we have a robot built in one area of the bank, we would like to use the building blocks in a similar robot in another way of ... place in the bank. Them are [00:07:00] some of the arguments why we established the Center of Excellence.

Seth Adler: All right. So February 2016, we're off and running. What were the initial case studies, the initial places, the initial implementations?

Susanne Skaarup: We started out in our Operations Department of the bank. The units there. We chose a bottom-up approach, you can say?

Seth Adler: Yes.

Susanne Skaarup: So when we established the Center of Excellence, more of less what we did is that we had an article [00:07:30] on our internal portal saying, "[foreign 00:07:32]" a Center of Excellence. And then we were approached from a lot of different places in the bank, and then we actually built it from there, so it was built on demand along the way.

Seth Adler: So this is wonderful. How did the folks that came to you ... This article must have been very well written. How did they understand the perceived value? Because before you've done anything, obviously everything is simply perception, [00:08:00] what was it in that communication document that made folks come to you, do you think?

Susanne Skaarup: I think in the article it's probably more curiosity. "Ah, robotics! What is this all about?" Then they reach out and say, "Could you please come and tell us?" And then what we did there on all those introduction and I think we have been around 80 different places in the bank, maybe. At those introductions, we had showcases. So we have a concrete robot that we have done, and then we could show, "So this [00:08:30] is how a robot looks like. This is the benefits of this example, and see it, a live demo, how does it work." And then, of course, explain about the Center of Excellence and how to get started in this.

Seth Adler: So you go around, do those initial demos. Coming out of that, what were initial wins? What departments ... How much can you share with us, "This is what we did in this department. This is what we did [00:09:00] with this implementation, and this was the win."

Susanne Skaarup: Ah! It's a little difficult. There has been a lot of focus on the FTE savings. Especially in departments where you can say that people have more than enough to do, then I would say a very good benefit that we can have a robot doing all the repetitive tasks, manual work, and then free up time for more value-adding, at least from a customer point of view value-adding [00:09:30] task instead.

Seth Adler: Right. All right. So that's at the beginning. And we'll make our way to today and what you're talking about and what you're doing. I wanna make sure ... You had a session here. What was the message for your session for folks that either were in the room or weren't in the room listening?

Susanne Skaarup: I think the message was ... one thing was about, of course, explaining our RPA journey, and what have we been doing along the way? Then it was, and I think what was very interesting for the group [00:10:00] as I heard it afterwards, was the approach that we have taken into this, that when you start on RPA you can choose either a completely decentralized set-up. You can also choose a very centralized set-up. We chose a federated model. So we have chosen a set-up where we have said a lot of the decision power is local within the business unit, within the operations, to ensure the ownership and the progress, and it seems natural to have that decision [00:10:30] power close to where the processes are being executed.

But at the same time, we would like to be in control of quality. That's why we have the methods and standards and the mandatory review in all what we are doing. But that combination of an approach, I think it's a good one, it's the right one, and I think that was one of the, at least, messages in the room that people took.

Seth Adler: Absolutely. We've talked about the quality and the Center of Excellence, you know, as far as, "We must have this." [00:11:00] As far as that ownership at the local level, take us through that. What do you mean? What are they able to decide? What decisions are they making?

Susanne Skaarup: Yeah. If I have a new ... Today we have 10 factory teams in the bank. When I start a new factory team, after I have been introducing what iT this all about, then we will agree on, "Yes, there will be some business analysts that will be local people, close to where the processes are being executed." Then there will be a need for development [00:11:30] capacity. That is a central pool where you lend out capacity, so we will agree on that as well.

And then there will be a local lead. A lead for that factory who will ensure that no idle time for the developer, for example, ensure that the business analyst, they identify enough candidates, they head the documentation ready for the developer.

So, something about what they can decide locally. They decide their own road map. [00:12:00] They decide their own list of priority of which robot to do when. They decide so, "Would I like to do a new robot now or would I like to improve one of the old robots?" So that is the decision power that is local.

Seth Adler: As far as that local manager, that has to be a process person, right? That's not an RBA person by definition. It's someone who's already in the organization.

Susanne Skaarup: Yeah.

Seth Adler: What, for your colleagues that are listening, what is the key to choosing that local leader? [00:12:30] What does that person need to have? What shouldn't that person have? Et cetera.

Susanne Skaarup: Very often, that person, it is not a full-time lead for factory. It is add-on to an existing job. I think only we have one factory where we had it as a full-time role. I think it is important to have the change mindset, the process mindset, but also good leadership [00:13:00] skills, keeping people motivated, engaged. I think robotics is very much about having the passion people around it.

Seth Adler: Yeah. So obviously bringing that passion to the table is key.

Now, you did mention that almost always this is not a full-time thing. So, how do we not overwhelm that local manager. "This is a big thing that we're doing. It takes time." You know, how is it a part-time job?

Susanne Skaarup: Because it's not, in [00:13:30] that context, a manager job. It can also be people that is not managers today. It can be people who just have more like a kind of coordinator role. So even though we call it a lead, you could also call it a coordinator.

Seth Adler: It's project management.

Susanne Skaarup: Project management. A lot more into that, I would say. Yeah.

Seth Adler:  Okay. So it's not a manager making decisions of ... It's not a-

Susanne Skaarup: And not a HR manager.

Seth Adler: It's not a P&L. Why is it not an HR manager?

Susanne Skaarup: It could be.

Seth Adler: Of course.

Susanne Skaarup: Yes. But -

Seth Adler: It doesn't have to be.

Susanne Skaarup: ... it doesn't have to.

Seth Adler: Right.

Susanne Skaarup: Exactly.

Seth Adler: Okay. An HR manager certainly could [00:14:00] do this, whatever. But it does not have to be that. As far as HR, have you made a foray into that area at Danske? Or, you know, I don't know, as far as the implementations, where have they gone within the organization?

Susanne Skaarup: Oh, where we have done it today?

Seth Adler: Indeed.

Susanne Skaarup: Okay. Yeah. Very much in our operations area. I would say all our units within our operations are doing robotics today.

Seth Adler: Could you give us a couple of case studies?

Susanne Skaarup: Yeah. [00:14:30] That could be within our personal banking relations with the private customers. There's a lot of processes where we are copying and pasting data from one system to another, because we are an old bank. we have old legacy systems. And then, all from the integrations would be more expensive than building a robot in those cases. So that could be one of them.

Then we are doing a robotics in some of our business units. That could also be supporting on onboarding, [00:15:00] for example. And then we are doing robotics in group finance functions as well.

Seth Adler: So, really, many different places.

Susanne Skaarup: Many different places.

Seth Adler: In many different ways. Talk about the cleanliness of data and the ownership of that data. How important is this? How much time is it taking? You know, what must be the case, and what should never be the case?

Susanne Skaarup: I [00:15:30] don't see it much different than if it is a human being executing the process. We have very strict control on our robots, so we know exactly who has checked out this robot, and who will check it in again when you are finished. And the non-human use or the robot can only do what is needed to be done in that specific process, where we have configured the robot. So if we need to do a robot on another process, it cannot be the same. Then we will have to create a new [00:16:00] non-human user.

So it's very very limited what the non-human user can do on that specific process, and we have a solution where we can always see who have checked out the robot so we know who is the responsible behind it. And whenever a robot goes into production, passwords, everything, will be changed so the developer will not have access to any of it.

Seth Adler: Checking in, checking out, developer having access, not access. What are those folks sharing with you? You know, the local [00:16:30] lead, the developers? Now you've been doing it for quite some time, since February of 2016, so it's over a year. What are they sharing with you about improvements made and simply working in this area?

Susanne Skaarup: A lot of good ideas, I would say, and especially in the factories that we will get all those ideas because they are working with it every day. So right now we are in a situation where we, I think, we implemented our first version of standards in May 2016, so three months after establishing [00:17:00] the Center of Excellence. And in March this year we implemented Version 3.

So we keep on taking on improvements. And then we have decided, actually here in June, we will carry out a workshop and, more or less, you can say do a lean transformation on ourselves-

Seth Adler: Aha!

Susanne Skaarup: So our robotics lifecycle, what are the bottlenecks? Where do we have some pain points? Where do we have some waste? And then have a structured approach to see all our improvements.

Seth Adler: So, automating the [00:17:30] process of the process automation.

Susanne Skaarup: Or at least improve it.

Seth Adler: Fair enough. I'm talking to a process person, so I have to choose my words carefully.

To that end, you're a process person, right?

Susanne Skaarup: Yes.

Seth Adler: Well, what's your background? Let's make sure that we understand. Where are you from?

Susanne Skaarup: I am, actually, a banking background.

Seth Adler: Aha!

Susanne Skaarup: So I have been there 26 years in Danske Bank.

Seth Adler: Okay.

Susanne Skaarup: Yeah.

Seth Adler: This is amazing. So you started when you were about three years old.

Susanne Skaarup: Exactly.

Seth Adler: Yes.

Susanne Skaarup: Thank you.

Seth Adler: Yes. But in what area did you-

Susanne Skaarup: Yeah. I have, the first 10 [00:18:00] years, I have been advising customers. So I have actually seen real processes.

Seth Adler: Yes. And actual people, right?

Susanne Skaarup: And actual people! Yes. Exactly.

And then the last 15 years, I have been in Headquarter, very often in areas just between IT and business, and also in business. I've been in Process Automation where our robotics is today. I've been here for four years. In Process Automation, we have the responsibility for, [00:18:30] you can say, automation levers. So this is also where we have our BPM projects going forward, desktop automation. And Process Automation, just to put it into context, is a part of our unit called Group Process Development, which is an in-house consulting unit in the bank between IT and business and operations.

Seth Adler: How is RPA and, hopefully, AI different than everything [00:19:00] else that you've done before? You've many years of experience doing exactly this over and over and over again.

Susanne Skaarup: I think, especially where it's different is that it is this ... tool where you can improve easily and fast, and at a low cost. And, of course, a huge difference is that you don't go in and change anything in the applications. You are just using their play applications just as a human being. But I think after I [00:19:30] have been working many years in more the traditional IT projects, IT task, it's very very interesting to work in an area where it's so agile and so fast, and so close to business.

Seth Adler: Is it more agile and faster than anything else that you've seen before?

Susanne Skaarup: Yeah.

Seth Adler: By leaps and bounds? Or is there a close second? Or is this just something that is really completely different?

Susanne Skaarup: I think it is really [00:20:00] completely different.

Seth Adler: The other side then. How is it completely similar to everything that you've done before? Right?

Susanne Skaarup: Hm. That's a difficult one. I don't know.

Seth Adler: Okay. That's fair. That's fair. I say RPA and, hopefully, AI. Where are you on that path as far as, you know, you've got your Center of Excellence. You've got your, you know, here are the ... what was the Bill of Rights, the quality assurance. What did you call them?

Susanne Skaarup: I [00:20:30] think we have the reviews, we have standards, we have the-

Seth Adler: The standards!

Susanne Skaarup: ...  technology-

Seth Adler: The standards!

Susanne Skaarup: ... all that in place. Yes.

Seth Adler: So you've got the standards-

Susanne Skaarup: Yeah.

Seth Adler: ... and you'll be doing the workshop, and now we're gonna kind of go into the next 3.0, as you say. Right?

Susanne Skaarup: Yeah.

Seth Adler: Right? So you're well on your way as far as RPA is concerned.

Susanne Skaarup: Yes.

Seth Adler: Where does AI come into this? Has it come in yet?

Susanne Skaarup: Not yet. But it is, of course, very interesting to look into. In the bank, in total, that is an area [00:21:00] that we are looking into and, of course, from my point of view, I'm especially interested in how to combine all those new technologies. How to have it together with BPM and the robotics, and AI. All with the focus on how to improve our customer experience, and I see a huge potential in combining all the technologies.

Seth Adler: And that's the bigger picture. Understanding that you're an early adopter, where specifically do you know, or do you think you know, that AI is going to [00:21:30] go first, so to speak?

Susanne Skaarup: I think where we today see some challenges with RPA is, for example, in areas with only semi-structured data. There will be limitations there. There we will need some machine learning to help us to automate for it. So that could be one example.

Then, of course, a huge area within the ... that could be within the Chatbot. [00:22:00] Chatbot in combination with the RPA, so you have the dialogue with the customers and then you can actually start a robot, so you can execute the process as well.

Seth Adler: How close is this for you?

Susanne Skaarup: Difficult to say. I would hope very close. But they ... Oh, it's difficult.

Seth Adler: All right. The folks that are doing it. What do they tell you?

Susanne Skaarup: I think, as I said, we have had some issues, for example, with all this about the non-human users. So that has [00:22:30] at least been more complicated than, that I saw in the beginning. So, like that we have solved it now, but-

Seth Adler: So we have to pay attention to that. So what advice would you give to your colleagues that are, you know-

Susanne Skaarup: Yeah. Definitely a starting point is a ... "Reach out to your security department." We also did that, but still it took some time to solve it, and actually to get them onboard, and to get them understand what is this all about? Robotics is a paradigm shift, I would say. It's not [00:23:00] just a new tool. In that context, we also have some, and now we have non-human users being asked to do Code of Conduct because, in HR organization, it might be seen as a user, but it is not a user. So a lot of interesting experience we have done.

Seth Adler: So this is a paradigm shift.

Susanne Skaarup: Yes. I definitely see it like that.

Seth Adler: Give me one level deeper on that.

Susanne Skaarup: Yeah. It's also I see [00:23:30] the paradigm shift in that way, that you should see robots ... That's also why I think it's important that it's close to the business because this is actually an alternative. So I could either hire in temporary workers if there's a lot of extra job to do, or today, I can just copy my robot and then I have virtual workers to support me.

Seth Adler: As a solution to outsourcing, do you see folks are starting to talk about RPA as a solution to outsourcing? How do you see that piece?

Susanne Skaarup: [00:24:00] Yes, I definitely see it as an alternative to be considered. Yes.

Seth Adler: Yeah.

Susanne Skaarup: Not to replace it. I really see that a lot of the initiatives that we are doing. Both their offshoring, it could be lean, it could be IT, all of it. I think it's we have to look at at it. What would be the best solution for each of the improvement you wanna do.

Seth Adler: Okay.

We're gonna make our way to the three final questions, which I'll ask you in a minute. But I would love a piece of advice for your colleagues. This is something, [00:24:30] certainly, to do without question. And a piece of advice, something certainly not to do.

Susanne Skaarup: Yes. I think if I should give some advice, it would be like, "Start small. Be realistic. Start with the small processes. Get some learning." I would give an advice about engaging the organization. "Create awareness about robotics. Ensure [00:25:00] that you have a good management of your robot, so the more robots in production, the more important it will get to monitor the robot. Build a strong governance around it. And have your methodology standards, all that, in place from a central point of view to ensure the quality of the work."

Seth Adler: The monitoring piece.

Susanne Skaarup: Yeah.

Seth Adler: How key is this? Because it's, "Oh. We implemented. Thank goodness it's going. Everything's fine. I can sit back and put my feet up."

Susanne Skaarup: Yeah.

Seth Adler: No!

[00:25:30] Monitoring. What is that piece? How closely ... How tight does your fist need to be?

Susanne Skaarup: Very tight. Because this is real business processes being executed, so it has to be monitored very closely.

We have established a team in our IT Department who's responsible for monitoring the robots.

Seth Adler: Only that?

Susanne Skaarup: Yeah. And that was the first way to do it. What we have done today is that now we have [00:26:00] actually moved it up in the organization. So now it's monitored in our Command Center with 24 hours in monitoring.

Seth Adler: Right. And this way we can't go wrong, right?

Susanne Skaarup: We can go wrong. So where we could go wrong is that if we're not in control of the IT changes that have been done, that will affect our robots.

Seth Adler: There we go. We gotta keep in communication with IT, right?

Susanne Skaarup: Yeah.

Seth Adler: What is one piece of advice, certainly not to do. "Don't do this. If you're gonna not do one thing, please don't do this."

Susanne Skaarup: " [00:26:30] Don't keep out security."

Seth Adler: Yeah. That's the-

Susanne Skaarup: I would say.

Seth Adler: "Bring them in. Keep talking to them."

Susanne Skaarup: Yeah. "Bring them in." Yeah. "Bring in the security, legal, HR." Very very important.

Seth Adler: "And continue that conversation-

Susanne Skaarup: Yeah. Yes.

Seth Adler: ... as things change."

Susanne Skaarup: Exactly. Yeah.

And then I would also say, depending on where you build your robotics, the entire IT should be involved. I don't think we were that ... we were not good enough for that in the beginning, and then you can actually see some resistance for robotics so, "What is this now all about? Is this now [00:27:00] just a Band-Aid poor solution? Or what is it?"

So I think where we are now is that now we have tried to engage them a lot and also have road shows in IT, telling about what is this robotics all about. To get more ambassadors for robotics and to ask IT also to consider that this might be a good short-term solution. Perhaps there will be a cooler IT solution in two years, but on the short term, I definitely see a business case for robotics. And [00:27:30] then, take that benefit on the short term and you can always replace it with IT.

Seth Adler: As far as six years from now, who knows? But as far as today, we can do this. We can do it quickly. We can do it cheaply. Why not? Here's the case studies of it happening and it working. You know, why not jump in, right?

Susanne Skaarup: Yeah.

Seth Adler: Type of thing.

Susanne Skaarup: Yeah.

Seth Adler: From the IT perspective, right?

Susanne Skaarup: Yeah.

Seth Adler: Okay. Three final questions. I'll tell you what they are. I'll ask you them in order.

What has most surprised you at work? Along the way, your entire career.

[00:28:00] What has most surprised you in life?

And, on the soundtrack of your life, Susanne, one track, one song that's gotta be on there.

But first things first. What has most surprised you at work along the way?

Susanne Skaarup: That is that I'm still in Danske Bank after 26 years.

Seth Adler: It's amazing!

Susanne Skaarup: So you know, when I started in Danske Bank, I was actually going to be either a journalist or have my own hotel.

Seth Adler: Yes.

Susanne Skaarup: And then I think, "Ah! I will have two years in a bank. That's good on my CV." But look at me. I am still here. That's surprising.

Seth Adler: [00:28:30] But also rewarding, I would imagine? You're doing new and different things that you-

Susanne Skaarup: Yeah.

Seth Adler: ... could-

Susanne Skaarup: I think it's-

Seth Adler: ... never possibly have imagined!

Susanne Skaarup: No. No. And that has been fantastic. And that is why I am still here today. I think I have had like, 15 different positions in the bank in the last 26 years, so there's about having been with the customers, been in business unit. I've been in our Communication Press Department. Today, in automation. I think if someone asked me or told me three years ago that I was going to be Head of Robotics [00:29:00] I would be like, "What?". And now I'm here today.

So, yes, very very exciting.

Seth Adler: There we go. To that end, what has most surprised you in life?

Susanne Skaarup: In life? In life, that's a huge question.

Seth Adler: I'd like to think of it as the biggest question.

Susanne Skaarup: You are right. Definitely.

Oh, what would that be? It's very very difficult to ... You should have prepared me for this now!

Seth Adler: Yes, of course.

Susanne Skaarup: Yeah. But then it would not be that fun.

Seth Adler: [00:29:30] Exactly.

Susanne Skaarup: Maybe, actually ... I talked with a colleague yesterday and we talked about this, maybe not a surprise it probably be a little scaring that when you are so passionate about what you're doing in your work, it's like, "Wow! What to do in 15 years, because maybe I'm on pension." But it's quite interesting that your work fill out a lot because it's just so interesting. Yeah. To be honest, [00:30:00] that's what I could come up with.

Seth Adler: To be able to dive in and actually be, not only this passionate, but be this rewarded from your work.

Susanne Skaarup: Yeah.

Seth Adler: Right?

Susanne Skaarup: Yeah. Yeah.

Seth Adler: It is surprising.

On the soundtrack of your life, Susanne, one track, one song that's gotta be on there.

Susanne Skaarup: I don't know.

Seth Adler: Let me try to make it a little easier.

Susanne Skaarup: Yes.

Seth Adler: In university, what were you listening to?

Susanne Skaarup: Oh. But you know I've never been in [00:30:30] university.

Seth Adler: You never went to university? Really?

Susanne Skaarup: No.

Seth Adler: You went to work at the bank straight out?

Susanne Skaarup: Yeah. I was 19 years old. I finished my high school and I went to, what you call it, college maybe?

Seth Adler: Yeah. Sure.

Susanne Skaarup: But not more than that. No bachelor. No master with me.

Seth Adler: Hunh!

Susanne Skaarup: Uh! That's interesting!

Seth Adler: Very interesting. Exactly!

Do you remember 99 Luftballons?

Susanne Skaarup: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. That was Nena from-

Seth Adler: There you go.

Susanne Skaarup: ... Germany.

Seth Adler: Close, right? A neighbor?

Susanne Skaarup: Yeah. You are right.

Seth Adler: Right? You share a border, right?

Susanne Skaarup: Yeah.

Seth Adler: [00:31:00] Is this good enough? Or is there a better song maybe?

Susanne Skaarup: Ah! I'm sure there's a better song, but I can't really get it. I'm not that creative right now to come up with a better solution.

Seth Adler: Fair enough.

Susanne Skaarup: Yeah.

Seth Adler: We'll stick with Nena.

Susanne Skaarup: Yeah, and they're still there.

Seth Adler: Susanne. A pleasure! And we look forward to speaking with you down the line. How about that?

Susanne Skaarup: Yeah. Let's do that.

Seth Adler: All right.

And there you have Susanne Skaarup.

For the 80 departments we've been to, we had showcases so we could show the benefits of the robot through a live demo and explain the Center [00:31:30] of Excellence and how to get started. 80 departments.

I very much appreciated my time with Susanne Skaarup.

Thank you for your time.

Stay tuned.

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