Building RPA at Helsinki University Hospital (HUS): Discussion with Minna Pekkala, Head of Robotics

Finland’s largest Hospital District, HUS – The Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa – is a joint authority formed by 24 municipalities. Functioning as part of HUS, Helsinki University Hospital (HUH) is nationally responsible for treating severe and rare illnesses and ones calling for special expertise and technology. HUS hospitals employ over 24,000 professionals in 23 locations and received a total of 2,6 million patient visits in 2017.

 

Summary of our webinar with Minna Pekkala, Head of Robotics at Helsinki University Hospital (HUS)

How are digital workers delivered at HUS?

“HUS’s digital workers are delivered as a service (by Digital Workforce). This means we don’t have to buy our own licenses or servers, manage or update hardware, or worry about scalability. We think that the cost of service is predictable, and believe this can help us be cost-effective. We use service delivered from Azure cloud and Blue Prism (Robotic Process Automation, RPA) technology. We had already tested the technology over 2 years ago when we had our Proof-of-Concept.”

How is Robotic Process Automation managed?

“Because we are a large organisation we wanted to make sure that the project management wouldn’t be split in different units. That is why our (RPA) management is centralised in our IT management. Our duty is to make implementation possible and offer RPA development across the organisation.”

“We hit ‘go’ 7-8 months ago. With RPA, we want to help our employees automate routine processes and allocate more time to actual patient care.”

How do you choose processes for automation? 

“When we choose potential processes to automate we put weight on cost savings: How much is the work going to cost and what is the actual return on investment?”

“We have also required that the workflow can be copied. This means that the same process can be run in several different units. And of course, in our operating environment we always think about patient safety and customer quality.”

What has been done so far?

“At the moment we have two different processes in production and four more will follow soon. All in all, we have identified more than 50 potential processes and already 13 of those are in building.”

“Examples of our pilot processes include:

1) RADU-referrals: These radiology request forms are currently working in two different units, but we have 30 locations where the process can be copied.

2) Virtual referrals: Our hospital gets over 300 000 referrals a year. RPA is in operation at 6 locations doing classification, transfer and handling of referrals. If you think about scalability, we have still 37 more units where we can help with receiving referrals and redirecting them to specialists (by expanding the automation). We can use Machine Learning to help classify referrals.”

What have you learned?

“It’s not possible to communicate too much – to deploy RPA you have to concentrate on change management! Few people really know what Robotic Process Automation is and it raises questions among employees and management. People may be afraid of replacement so you need to commit management. The message of why we use RPA must come from line managers. Change often happens slowly in large organisations. There many parties and actors and everyone has their own opinion. You also can’t forget IT – without IT you can’t bring technology to use.”

“Then processes you are going to automate: Who owns them, who knows them best, who can give permission for (RPA) production? Does the process need changes to be automated with RPA? “

“Finally, you have robots, the users. Robots need identity. They have user access, but the robots are not human individuals and in certain systems it may cause problems. Robots can’t learn new system features without their model of work being updated. RPA updates must be synchronised with system changes.”

“RPA is not the final step. You must be ready to think about other options and possibilities as well. For example, RPA with Machine Learning can be very productive.”

Do you have a steering group for RPA?

“We do have a steering group. We have a head doctor who is responsible for clinical processes, a person from our administrative unit and two managers from IT management. We decide priorities, cost locations and project funding.”

“In my opinion, it is important that we have people involved from different sides of our organisation because we need to consider the benefits of the whole hospital.”

What expertise do u need to operate robotics in large scale?

“We buy software as a service (from Digital Workforce) and we do have a Centre of Excellence, but at the moment its only me. In the future, I would like us to have a project manager and perhaps a technical architect is also needed.”

What is your target for next year? How many processes will you automate?

“At least 50. But we would like closer to 100. Cost efficiency grows with scaling up.”

What do you think are the greatest obstacles when starting with RPA?

“It’s a lot of work to build the service up, I would recommend having a project manager for running tasks. In general, it’s good to have more hands and heads put together.”

 

Want to learn more? Listen to the complete webinar recording here

 

Digital Workforce raises €3 Million in Funding for Cognitive Solutions and Overseas Expansion

[Helsinki 14.09.2018] Digital Workforce, the Nordic’s fastest growing intelligent automation company currently employing 175 people, announced it has raised €3 million in funding round from existing investors. The funds will be used to further develop the company’s Digital Worker cloud platform making cognitive technologies easily available and to enable international expansion overseas.

Since its beginning Digital Workforce has been transforming business processes with the help of Digital Workers, powered by Robotic Process Automation. The company has automated over 800 processes and demonstrated that there is massive ROI in automating rule-based knowledge work tasks in large organisations across industries. Through machine learning and other artificial intelligence technologies organisations can automate even more complex tasks, and utilise also unstructured data, such as speech, images, text and sensor data as data source.

”Cognitive technologies will have a gigantic impact on business processes, both in bringing more efficiency and in generating something completely new. Our target is to extend our innovative, flexible and cost-effective cloud to cover also selected cognitive technologies. By making Intelligent and Learning Digital Workers easily available our customers can rapidly benefit from these ground-breaking technologies in addition to RPA”, said Heikki Länsisyrjä, one of the founders of Digital Workforce.

“We have funded Digital Workforce from the beginning and are delighted to continue our investment. The company is growing very fast and it employs the largest number of certified intelligent automation specialists in Northern Europe. They are a skilled team with a practical take on cognitive technologies in a rapidly growing market“, said Timo Ahopelto of Lifeline Ventures.

Digital Workforce operates currently in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Poland. With the investment the company is also investigating growth opportunities in new potential markets.

The investors in the round are Capman Growth Fund along with earlier seed investors Leena Niemistö and Lifeline Ventures.

Media contacts:
Heikki Länsisyrjä, Partner, Digital Workforce, heikki.lansisyrja (at) digitalworkforce.fi +358 50 5587801
Timo Ahopelto, Founding Partner, Lifeline Ventures, timo (at) lifelineventures.com

About Digital Workforce
Digital Workforce is the only company specialising in Intelligent Process Automation services on an industrial scale. Our intelligent digital workers automate knowledge work processes in large organizations freeing up the time of human employees for more valuable work. The deployment of digital workers requires no changes to the existing information systems. Digital Workforce was founded in the summer of 2015 and it currently employs over 175 IPA specialists in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Poland. www.digitalworkforce.eu

About Lifeline Ventures
Lifeline Ventures Oy is a venture capital firm specializing in startups, growth capital, and early stage investments. The firm seeks to invest in healthcare, games, web based and general high technology sectors. Lifeline Ventures Oy was founded in November 2009 and it is based in Helsinki, Finland. www.lifelineventures.com

How is Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) changing business – a reflection by Professor Leslie Willcocks

Digitalization, robotization and artificial intelligence have become business buzzwords, frequently brought up during conferences and board meetings. How does the reality of a modern enterprise look? Are companies ready to embrace the potential presented by new intelligent technologies?

Two years after our first exclusive interview with Professor Willcocks of London School of Economics and Political Science, one of the most respected experts in the field of knowledge work automation, Digital Workforce had the opportunity to reunite with him, this time in London. Reflecting on what has changed over the past two years and looking ahead at the future of RPA (Robotic Process Automation) and other intelligent technologies, the discussion tackled some burning challenges companies face when implementing these solutions, how they currently stand with regards to knowledge work automation and how they should measure success.

How far have we gotten over the past two years in terms of technology and how managers see RPA?

RPA has gotten a much higher profile than it had two years ago, the technology has to some extent improved, in the sense of being more enterprise reliable than before. There are different, more sophisticated and highly customizable tools available now, solutions that are more scalable than others, but the underlying technology has not changed that much.

Business people have looked at RPA and realized they have to invest in it, due to its potential economic value. However, all managers have not come to this realization at once – we have observed three distinctive waves, implementing the technologies due to different motives. The first wave was a rather limited amount of relatively mature businesses who saw the value of RPA right up front. The second wave came in 2016, when a larger number of companies started investing heavily in process automation. Finally, the third wave started in early 2017, induced by heavily intensified marketing activities of RPA solution providers, and this enhanced visibility has been since than pushing companies to board the RPA train as well.

“RPA used to be sold as a “quick win”, easily adoptable and relatively cheap tool that would give you cost savings and a quick ROI – but people have now started to realize that it is rather a strategic weapon.” – Professor Leslie Willcocks of the LSE

Moreover, some risks have emerged that were not obvious two years ago. With regards to the main challenges RPA brings to businesses, only about 25% are directly related to technologies. The remaining 75% is about not managing it as a strategic project. Companies tend to neglect aspects such as good governance, quickly available resources, getting the C-suite on board, treating it as both a change management as well as a technical issue. There is a large number of steps the management should take and action principles that should be followed in order to reduce these risks.

What do you see as the major challenge for companies implementing knowledge work automation?

For sure, the biggest challenge is that companies are still not treating this strategically enough. They underestimate what they can achieve with it – something called a triple win, consisting of enhanced shareholder value, customer value and employee value. Their ambitions oftentimes do not aim high enough.

In the case of RPA – they are partially stuck with looking at it as a tactical tool rather than a strategic weapon, as a discrete tool rather than a potential uniting platform, as a software implementation and not as a change in the work processes. Ultimately, companies often miss on the real business value with RPA projects by this mistake. Looking for a quick ROI and hard business numbers to prove the added value while not factoring in that the main benefits might be unanticipated, such as improved customer experience and working morale of the employees, is the biggest mistake many modern enterprises make.

On top of that, cognitive automation has not yet taken off and is still at a promising, relatively immature stage. Some firms are implementing discrete uses of cognitive automation, which bring them real business value and progress. It seems so that the true synergies will arise from linking RPA with cognitive automation, eventually creating a platform that integrates seamlessly with other digital technologies in place.

Is this strategic approach towards RPA a necessary step on the way towards the implementation of cognitive automation and platform building?

Indeed, where RPA rests within the organization signals whether the company sees it as strategic or not. If you create a centralized center of excellence and you have senior executives involved in it, it is pretty clearly of a strategic interest. On the other hand, if you treat it as a lower level tool that you would apply increasingly across the organization, it seems to be more of a tactical approach without a sense of direction. The potential of RPA in relationship to cognitive automation is immense and the different automation technologies should be recognized as complementary pieces of a whole.

What is the most exciting development that you have seen in this field recently?

Lots of the cognitive automation technologies are truly exciting, carrying a massive promise. Once companies start combining them, they can get to an impressive level of automation, almost end-to-end in some cases, pushing the potential uses of the increasingly available technologies further.

Do you think that the organizational maturity is not necessarily there yet?

Mostly, the maturity of organizations with regards to their ability to absorb this level of change is not high enough yet. Companies are absorbed with way too many other IT problems and issues related to managing operations. This leaves them in a place where they are not ready to absorb even more technological change. As a result, learning to integrate the new advanced solutions is being postponed because people are still learning how to fit the previous ones into their businesses and to drive business value out of them.

How do you think the success of RPA and these first AI activities should be measured?

In some ways, measuring this presents the same problems as evaluating a success of an IT investment. There are some obvious costs and service improvement measures – you can reduce costs while offering a much superior service, the degree to which the automation does that is one of them. There is also a range of softer yet crucial benefits – such as customer experience that could be expressed by a plenty of measures. Especially in regulated industries, these solutions could help the companies to quickly and accurately comply with the imposed regulations, providing relatively cheap trial opportunities, compared to how would the companies do it without automation. Another set of metrics could revolve around employees – level of satisfaction, of morale, of productivity with machines as opposed to productivity without them and what the human beings bring to that combination. Last but not least, metrics around the level of innovation are also interesting – is the company innovating more in products and services?

What do you expect to happen in the upcoming two years?

I would expect to see a lot more RPA use-cases showing how they fit with cognitive automation, bringing lots of business value. Additionally, cognitive tools would improve on certain fronts – not the machine learning or the algorithms behind them, these are already advanced. Rather, image and data processing together with natural language processing is going to improve greatly, integrating the enhanced productivity and performance.

 

Leslie Willcocks, a professor of London School of Economics and Political Science, is considered one of the world’s most respected researchers, speakers and business publications writers in the field of knowledge work automation.

Professor Willcocks held the closing keynote at this year’s Blue Prism World event in London. You can check out the highlights of his speech titled “Robotic process automation 2018: Now, Soon, Later” here.

Mads Laastad of Digital Workforce Norway presents his scientific paper on Robotic Rehabilitation at the IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems

We are delighted to share with you that our Solutions Consultant, Mads Laastad from Digital Workforce Norway has been invited to present his paper on robotics and automation at the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2018) in Madrid, Spain. The event takes place October 1-5, 2018 and we will be sharing highlights from the event and the latest research on AI, robotics and automation on social media and the Digital Workforce blog.

Looking forward to an exciting week in Madrid, we are proud to share with you the selected paper “Feasibility of the UR5 Industrial Robot for Robotic Rehabilitation of the Upper Limbs After Stroke” by Mads Laastad and associate professor Øyvind Stavdahl from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), and associate professor Erik Kyrkjebø from the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences.

Get the paper in PDF here.

Our journey and motivations to increase the intelligence of virtual workers – A reflection by Digital Workforce Head of AI, Gaurav Khullar

Recently, I’ve been devouring myself into critically thinking about innovation. Can there be a scientific framework for creating innovation and using it for the prosperity of businesses and humanity? Or does innovation happen due to random sparks of brilliance and ingenuity of the human brain. Whatever the reason, one thing is clear: Only innovation that results from solving someone’s need or want and is packaged at the right price will prosper.

There has been a lot of hullabaloo around Artificial Intelligence in the recent past and the fire has been further fuelled by media reports about spectacular AI achievements e.g. Deepmind’s AlphaGo, Microsoft’s machine translation reaching levels of human performance and many others. Sceptics or rationalists (as they may like to call themselves) would rather question the impact that such AI will have on humanity. Believers, on the other hand, would like to believe that AI will one day become a superpower.

For an organization like Digital Workforce, the goal is to create AI that will always empower humans rather than overpower them. Humans will be empowered if AI can help them in: a) making decisions that are unbiased and objective and require a lot of computation and data mining that is unwieldy for a human b) getting more satisfaction from their jobs by automating their routine tasks so that they can focus on more creative tasks.

Automation of routine tasks has been possible for many years by using automation scripts. However, more elaborate and industrialized commercial software have started to appear since the last couple of years. These software applications have gained the name of Robotic Process Automation (RPA). The RPA applications have not been as glorified as ML, but they have been providing a lot of value and the RPA industry is expected to be in multi-billion USD range by 2021.

What is especially interesting for me as an AI practitioner is the convergence of ML/AI and RPA. RPA robots have the limitations that the business rules have to be manually pre-programmed and they can only process structured digital data. They can therefore only automate a fraction of business processes where the format of digital data is structured and pre-defined. Also, these robots are not good learners – they don’t have the “digital brain” to learn patterns and rules from data. That said, their strength is that they can work with any existing IT application which means that cost of automation using RPA is minimal. RPA software also has the capability to integrate with AI components using REST API calls – this capability is a huge enabler to use AI as the brain and RPA agents as the hands to execute business processes.

The limitations of RPA no longer hold it back as integrated AI models can understand and process unstructured and unformatted data for it (including in non-digital format e.g. text in paper documents). Such a capability is termed as Intelligent Process Automation (IPA). The IPA market is an order of magnitude larger than the RPA market.

We at Digital Workforce are on a journey to create an IPA platform – a digital brain force for our RPA agents so that they can automate tasks requiring higher order of “brain” function. Hopefully, this will unlock a tremendous amount of business value which can be reinvested to develop more meaningful and innovative experiences. Our hope is that our innovation will fuel and empower corporations to further their own innovativeness.

Would you like to join us on the journey? We are growing our AI team! Find out more here.

 

Gaurav is responsible for defining, developing and delivering Digital Workforce’s AI strategy. He joined Digital Workforce from a Senior Manager & AI Lead for Data Science role at Accenture. He has strong experience in AI, e.g. context aware computing, personalised customer experience, churn prediction, econometric forecasting and predictive maintenance, gained from his previous positions at Nokia, Microsoft, Tecnotree, Accenture and a few co-founded start-ups. He has worked with technologies like Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Recommendation Systems and Deep Learning.

Contact: Gaurav Khullar Head of AI, Digital Workforce, +358 50 482 1216 gaurav.khullar@digitalworkforce.fi

Want to learn more about the latest developments in AI and how intelligent solutions can benefit your business? Gaurav hosts a monthly expert interview webinar series. Access all interviews free on ai.digitalworkforce.eu 

Automation super week: Sign up for our September events across the Nordics!

The fall kicks off in the Nordics with a busy week of events. Digital Workforce organizes a total of 4 breakfast seminars in Norway, Denmark and Sweden. If you want to stay updated on the latest news and developments in process automation, software robotics and new intelligent technologies these seminars are for you! Check out our upcoming events below and register for your local event today.

Events in Denmark:

12.9. Copenhagen

Organized in collaboration with UiPath, the event’s list of speakers includes UiPath’s Technical Customer Success Director Rasvan Constantinescu along side Digital Workforce’s own representatives Jari Annala and Tony Minana. Customer presentation is held by Topdanmark Forsikring’s Senior Project Manager of RPA and Machine Learning Stig Geer Pedersen.

The presentations answer questions such as:

– How can you get the best results from RPA?
– How RPA can be used in different industries and business functions?
– How should you prepare for new intelligent technologies?

You will also have the opportunity to ask your own questions and network during the breakfast.

The event takes place at Scandic Copenhagen on Wednesday September 12th, 8.30-11.00 (CEST). Register free!

13.9. Aarhus

Denmark’s second breakfast seminar is also organized together with UiPath and both parties deliver their expers from Copenhagen to Aarhus. Jari Annala and Tony Minanan of Digital Workforce discuss the latest developments in the field of RPA and AI with UiPath’s Technical Customer Success Director Rasvan Constantinescu. The event will be held in an intimate setting to encourage more personal encounters and open discussion.

The presentations answer questions such as:

– What should you know about RPA best practices and success measures?
– How can organizations tap into the benefits of RPA in all fields and fuctions?
– What should you do now to be ready for the future involving intelligent technologies?

The event offers a great opportunity to address your burning questions and get personal advice from the industry’s leading experts .

The event takes place at Scandic Aarhus on Thursday September 13th, 8.30-11.00 (CEST). Register free!

Events in Norway:

13.9. Kristiansand

Digital Workforce holds an intimate breakfast seminar in Kristiansand, Norway to address questions often brought up by organizations starting their robotic journey. Presentations are held by Digital Workforce’s Norwegian team – the leading Intelligent Process Automation service providers in the country.

The speakers answer questions like:

– How can you identify the potential for RPA and other intelligent solutions in your organization?
– How can virtual workers accelerate digital transformation?
– What are the steps from introduction to long term success in implementing virtual workforce?

The event offers a great opportunity to address your burning questions and get personal advice from the industry’s leading experts .

The event takes place at Scandic Kristiansand on Thursday September 13th, 9.00-11.00 (CEST). Register free!

Events in Sweden:

13.9. Stockholm

Our largest event is held in Stockholm, Sweden. The opening speaker Kenneth Tellebo, Digital Workforce Sweden’s Country Manager is followed by a customer case presentation by PwC. Marcus Henriksson, PwC’s Head of AI and Automation tells about the company’s journey from a pre-study to implementing digital employees and how this transformed their business.

The presentations discuss topics such as:

– What’s the state of RPA in Sweden today are where is it headed?
– How RPA and other intelligent technologies can be used to boost business performance?
– What are the keys to long term success?

You will also have the opportunity to ask your own questions and network during the breakfast.

The event takes place at Scandic Continental Stockholm on Thursday September 13th, 8.30-10.00 (CEST). Register free!

Digital Workforce is the first robotics company certified with ISO 20000-1 Service Management Certification

Digital Workforce, a growth-stage company delivering Intelligent Process Automation, is the first robotic company awarded service management ISO 20000-1 certification by Inspecta Certification Ltd. The certificate covers Digital Workforce’s Robot as a Service cloud service and Run Management support and maintenance service in Finland.

The awarded IT-system, certified based on international ISO / IEC 20000-1 standards, testifies to Digital Workforce’s commitment to designing, deploying, delivering and improving services in a way that meets the requirements set for software robots and provides added value to both the customer and the service provider.

Digital Workforce’s IT service management certification covers Robot as a Service, delivered from private cloud, as well as Run Management support and maintenance service. Digital Workforce’s Robot as a Service and Run Management services provide customers with a fast, scalable and secure way to utilize software bots.

– We have provided services in accordance with the ITIL- framework since the establishment of the company in 2015. We focus on quality and safety in our services. Our customer base consists of large private and public organizations that value and require high-quality and certified services from their partners, says Jukka Virkkunen, one of Digital Workforce’s founders.

“We believe that cloud services will rapidly become more common and we see that the certification of our cloud service will bring us new opportunities,” continues Virkkunen.

The company’s Robot as a Service is already the first cloud-based RPA service in the EU that can deliver CE-marked automation solutions. The CE marking signifies that the service can be utilized also to automate clinical processes that are regulated by the European Medical Devices Directive (93/42/EEC and 629/2010) and the legislation on the medical devices and supplies.

Contact Jukka Virkkunen, Partner, Digital Workforce +358 50 670 47, jukka.virkkunen@digitalworkforce.fi

Digital Workforce

Digital Workforce is the only company specialising in Intelligent Process Automation services on an industrial scale. Our intelligent digital workers automate knowledge work processes in large organisations freeing up the time of human employees for more valuable work. The deployment of digital workers requires no changes to the existing information systems. Digital Workforce was founded in the summer of 2015 and it currently employs over 150 IPA specialists in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Poland.
www.digitalworkforce.eu

A guide into the world of intelligent process automation

The field of robotics is full of excitement and buzz-words, but it is often difficult to determine the concrete under the hype. The term Intelligent Process Automation, more commonly known as IPA, has recently joined the conversation. What is it all about? And why is it worth paying attention to?

What does IPA stand for?

IPA refers to a process automation solution, where the technology being used is smart – at least to some degree. There isn’t just one kind of IPA, rather the solution is tailored to fit the process requirements. The technologies utilised in the solution might include for example software robotics, chat bots, image recognition or machine learning. Put short, IPA is an umbrella term for a variety of different technologies that can be utilised (together) to automate processes.

IPA as a continuum of virtual work

It is reasonable to consider a company’s shift to using digital workforce as a continuation, where the journey starts at simple, repetitive and easily defined tasks. These routines of knowledge work are automated cost-efficiently with RPA (Robotic Process Automation), where every action of the robot is predefined in a manner following “if this then that”-logic. RPA best suits a situation, where different steps are repeated predictably and volumes are high – this way savings in expenses and the quality of operation rise enormously! RPA that is based on predetermined rules however doesn’t fit a situation, where steps can’t be well defined because there exists a large variety of possible actions following a situation.

In the next step of the continuum, focus shifts towards smart technologies, that take up tasks that require interpretation. To understand this step, it is useful to consider an RPA exception situation, where a software robot operating based on predetermined rules sends back a group of exceptions for the human worker to deal with. In practice, a situation like this might occur for example when a specific piece of information is logged in the used IT system’s open field in different formats. When the software robot processes the information, it only recognises the predetermined formats and reads the differing formats as errors. In a situation like this, a virtual worker utilising machine learning might provide a solution, by learning to identify that the different formats have the same meaning. If the smart virtual worker is delivered as a cloud-service, the solution also enables a flexible level of service, where more capacity and tools may be put to use when necessary.

Artificial intelligence in turn refers to completely autonomic systems, that can interact with their surroundings at any situation and reach their goals independently. These kinds of technologies are represented by for example IBM’s Watson and Google’s Alice. As computers’ abilities grow it becomes easier to recognise what technologies can’t be considered in terms of artificial intelligence, though defining true artificial intelligence remains difficult. For example, photo recognition – today considered to be routine technology – was previously considered a form of artificial intelligence.

Why is understanding the big picture so important?

The conversation around robotisation and future of work is often regrettably vague and leaves it unclear, what are the practical applications of the new technologies. Pumped up by the hype, it is easy to start doing things that sound great but do not meet needs in practice – at least not cost-efficiently or in a way that delivers on expectations. On the other hand, because the change in all fields only keeps accelerating, and because the competitive advantages reached by utilising virtual workers have been unprecedentedly large, this boat should not be missed!

The utilisation of virtual workforce should however always begin by considering the need, in a way that the choice of technology happens on the terms of the target. The best results are reached by climbing up from root to the top: transforming business processes into a digital form that can be utilised by robots and moving from rule-based automation towards smart solutions where the needs are clearly recognisable. The implementation of smart automation typically starts by recognising and prioritising the objectives. The concept of ‘IPA-continuum’ represents this way of thinking.

How to solve GDPR practical issues with RPA?

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is often the most effective way to implement the GDPR, the EU’s new data protection regulation. For example, in the future, the customer has the right to check what information has been stored about him and to which system, the right to transfer the data or to “be forgotten”, and the right to be informed within 72 hours of a data breach.

GDPR touches virtually every organization that processes personal information such as names, phone numbers, bank account numbers, personal identity numbers or postal addresses. Many organizations may even be facing problems that sounds almost invincible, because personal data has been stored in dozens or hundreds of systems without thoroughly considering the consequences. What if a customer or employee should request a report, should want to move her data or become “forgotten”? How would such a report be created or how would such a measure be implemented in a reasonable time and work load frame? Well, manually certainly it just is not feasible at all. IT development could be an option, but it comes at a high cost. Fortunately, the software robot has been invented. It is a digital worker who loves such routines and thrives in the midst of many IT systems. For the robot it is not a problem to create the same report about the same thing again and again, thousands of times each day. And it does not forget to check the fiftieth target system even if the phone rings at the critical time.

One possible disaster scenario is where a hacker manages to access data containing thousands of customers’ private information. How would everyone be personally informed about the data breach within 72 hours? Impossible manually.. But the software robot can easily be taught to do this. If the damage occurs one day (which of course we do not wish to happen), it is easy to put one or ten software robots to perform the job to ensure that the procedure is handled within the given 72h time window.

If your company does not yet fulfill all the GDPR requirements we are happy to help you. We still have some time before the enforcement of the regulation. However, the time for waiting is over. When we wrote this, on November 20, 2017, the time until enforcement was 185 days and counting. When you read this, it is probably already a few days less.

If you got interested, please contact us!

Tiina Leivo, Head of Healthcare
tiina.leivo@digitalworkforce.fi

Jari Annala, Digital (R)evolutionist
jari.annala@digitalworkforce.fi

Introducing Digital Workforce Repository – Applying RPA is faster and easier than ever before!

Digital Workforce Repository, the client organization’s own object library allows our customers to apply RPA faster and easier than ever before. But how does it exactly work? And who can most benefit from it?

Who is it for?

We developed the Repository tool to respond to the needs of large knowledge-intensive organisations. These organisations, such as banks and insurance companies, perform many backbreaking and time-consuming routines that perfectly fit digital workers. In fact, the use of digital workers is becoming more and more popular in these organisations for exactly this reason.

As digital workers become more commonplace, and robots are being utilized in new departments, demand for developers increases. Large organizations often have one or more robotics teams that search for new automatable processes and refine solutions to optimize operations. How do we ensure that the development work is efficient and the performed tasks aren’t overlapping? What about development quality, is it consistent? This is where the Repository-tool becomes of high value.

How does it work?

When the robotics team deploys a new digital worker, reusable parts or automation objects are created in the process. Repository is the client organization’s own object library, where these reusable parts are effortlessly collected, and made accessible to the whole robotics team. When somebody has developed something good, it can be used in other projects. It is advisable that an organization starts to collect these objects in their Repository from the start.

What are the benefits?

When a developer downloads a new object to the library, its quality is checked and the information noted. Users can comment, report problems and grade the object. When developers create a reusable object, and their evaluation and commenting during the object’s lifecycle are transparent, the quality of the entire robotics project improves.

Repository greatly enhances the quality and consistency of RPA projects across the organisation. It allows developers to share knowledge and speeds up automation projects to a fraction of the time compared to separately performed automation projects.