T-Mobile is a United States telecommunications company, delivering 4G LTE and 5G networks. In April 2020, it completed its $26 billion merger with Sprint, another major United States telecommunications company. Together, the two became the country’s third-largest wireless communications firm.
Technology integration between merging companies can be daunting, particularly with large, well-established firms. During its merger, T-Mobile needed to integrate its Orbit app with Sprint’s legacy back-end system. It was experiencing challenges that could not be solved with legacy APIs: data latency, time-consuming manual processes, and data entry errors. To connect the two systems and eliminate some of the manual steps, Brian Hodel, Principal Developer, Power Platform at T-Mobile, and his team members first attempted to integrate into the APIs of Sprint’s legacy customer initiative and promotion system, Quickbase. There was no technical API documentation available, and the process became overwhelmingly complex. Hodel and his team started looking at other options.
Hodel’s squad had a long history of using Power Automate cloud flows, including within the existing Orbit app, so they decided to try the RPA capabilities within Power Automate Desktop. The UI-based approach in RPA turns manual tasks into automated workflows by recording and playing back human-driven interaction with software systems that don’t support API-based automation.
“Robotic process automation has solved a ton of problems with our integration with Sprint because we don’t have to develop custom APIs. We can use the RPA process to just go right into the system and quickly ramp up a solution without having to worry about the complexities of APIs and authentication. Within a very short period, we were able to get the RPA solution working without any training. Using the RPA capabilities in Power Automate was a very natural process.”
Brian Hodel, Principal Developer, Power Platform, T-Mobile
Using Power Automate flows and RPA capabilities eliminated the need for a complicated API scenario, and because the team was able to ramp up so quickly, it was able to implement the solution right away.
- 600 FTE hours saved per year
- 11x more requests in real-time
- Reduced average processing time by 12x
- Reduced data entry errors from 7% to 0%