Dhru Shah, head of AT&T’s Robotics Center of Excellence, shared the story about how automation bots spread quickly throughout his company, which is an American multinational telecom holding headquartered in Dallas, Texas. Here is a digest of that.
- Dhru Shah and his colleagues began working with RPA in 2015. AT&T’s team started by creating RPA bots to serve as digital helpers to take over routine tasks. For example, in finance, Dhru Shah’s team automated repetitive processes for purchase orders and contracts. These pilots made it easier for everyone at AT&T to visualize how to put automation technology to work in their operations and daily workflows. And that built early momentum. The bots accurately performed their tasks and achieved all the results the team were hoping for, while consistently delivering a 20X return on investment.
- By 2016 – just a year after the first trials – RPA was scaling across the company, with more than 500 bots already at work.
- The Center of Excellence cuts across organizations and teams to help develop, deploy, manage, measure and enable automation projects at all levels of the enterprise. It also provides the expertise and training to seed subject-matter experts and advocates all over AT&T. So far, the company trained an army of more than 2,000 citizen RPA developers, who together have built more than 90% of the more than 3,000 bots deployed in AT&T. That’s one of the most robust portfolios in the industry.
- Today, RPA technologies deliver hundreds of millions of dollars in annualized value by offloading 16.9 million minutes of manual effort each year, freeing up AT&T’s workforce to do more productive and strategic work.
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