RPA helping Governments and enterprises alike in managing COVID-19
By using Robotic Process Automation (RPA), companies and the Governments are solving COVID-19 related challenges by bringing agility to the operations and give some relief to their overburdened teams
Express Computer is doing comprehensive coverage of how state Governments and smart cities are tackling the COVID-19 pandemic by using digital tools and other technologies. In today’s edition, we cover how UiPath, a provider of RPA solutions has partnered with states in overcoming COVID-19 using Robotic Process Automation. Manish Bharti, President, UiPath India and SAARC speaks with EC’s Abhishek Raval
What challenges are faced by the Government, companies and healthcare providers in the COVID-19 scenario?
With the COVID – 19 crisis, healthcare providers, Governments, and companies have been facing serious challenges with managing the multitude of data, right from every citizen’s and every employee’s health, and patient health, to new cases and business continuity. Given the steep incline of cases and the lockdown, managing the sheer load of work and processing the same, are areas that organizations need help with. And, they are relying on technology providers to identify solutions.
By using Robotic Process Automation (RPA), companies and the Government are solving these challenges by bringing agility to their operations and give some relief to their overburdened teams.
Is there an increased interest from the Government in automation? Please elaborate.
Given the current situation, we have seen a large uptake from Governments. In fact, we have already worked with 3 state governments and are working with 3-4 more states to help collate the statewide data of people quarantined. The State Health Department has to maintain information regarding the inbound travelers in the last two-three months or the first level contacts of the COVID positive people. This needs to be updated regularly on a dedicated portal. The comprehensive data updation is time consuming and demands lots of manual effort, considering the number of people being quarantined in each state. The states have deployed RPA bots to pick up data from the statewide response sheets and update the comprehensive records of quarantined people.
This helps the state to relieve the teams engaged to carry out this activity and healthcare bodies to get visibility of quarantined people data in the fastest time possible; thereby, enabling them to plan their actions in a more agile way.
In addition to this, the state control center also sends important regular updates and communication to state leadership on a user-friendly channel such as WhatsApp or email using bots.
How is UiPath working with partners to help organizations manage the challenges from COVID – 19?
With our integrated partner ecosystem, we have successfully supported various organizations in these times to wrestle through the challenges posed by COVID – 19. Recently, Sankara Eye Foundation leveraged RPA solutions to process the salaries of their employees in due time at the peak of the nationwide lockdown. Another example is, Gemini Edible Oils, a manufacturing company for edible oil and fats, implemented RPA for their contract and sales order management to ensure business continuity. We are witnessing an increase in the adoption of automation in real time along with new use-cases developed daily, as more organizations and sectors turn towards automation.
Additionally, we are working with several State Governments to maintain statewide data of quarantine people in the region. Our partners – Rise Tech Software and Integra Micro Software Services have been instrumental in the work done here.
Furthermore, due to the lockdown, there is a huge surge in requests for curfew pass generation and issuance. Bots can help speed up this process significantly – offloading manual processes from Government teams and allowing essential service organizations to quickly receive the curfew passes. In fact, recently EY India with UiPath developed a RPA solution for the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai to generate bulk e-passes for service aggregators supplying essential supplies and services to residents of Mumbai, relieving their manual team from investing tremendous efforts in redundant tasks.
How is UiPath handling the COVID – 19 crisis?
We are fighting the challenges of COVID-19 and navigating through these rapidly changing times with the safety and health of our employees being our top priority. At UiPath, we have mandated work from home for all our employees till mid-June. All our events, across the globe, stand cancelled, and we have strongly urged our employees to practice social distancing. In addition to this, we have set up a task force to constantly monitor the situation and take all the required steps to protect the health and well-being of our employees across all regions. As a part of this program, we have an internal slack channel reporting on Covid-19 announcements, which also includes the latest updates around business, health & travel advisories.
In the wake of this crisis, we have also been exploring how we can support the world. We launched an internal donation campaign in order to contribute 1 million meals to people affected by COVID – 19 in India. And I am humbled to say that UiPathers not just from India, but all over the world generously contributed towards the cause with us matching their donations.
Additionally, we have also developed bots to help organizations monitor employee health, Governments track potential COVID – 19 cases, and healthcare providers reduce the wait times for testing and results of COVID – 19. We ourselves have started using these bots to keep a close track of our employees’ health.
How are you helping your partners and customers during COVID – 19? How are you preparing them for a post COVID-19 world?
Today, businesses are looking to optimize their IT strategies to ensure seamless workflows and are resorting to automation to alleviate hurdles from their business continuity plans. Remote working policies are becoming a dominant trend and has led to a further push to adopt RPA. Recently, a joint study with Zinnov on the adoption of hyper intelligent automation (HIA) by Indian enterprises indicated that automation will help enterprises in their fight against COVID – 19 to maintain business continuity and organizations, specifically healthcare, BFSI, and the public sector will continue to leverage it. So, we are working to equip our partners and customers with the necessary tools and capabilities to seamlessly drive their automation strategies and be future ready.
Take the example of Wunderman Thompson MSC, a digital marketing company – while working remotely, they realised the need for increased communication and real time reporting across all business processes and stakeholders. They successfully managed this extra workload by deploying automated bots to send targeted and real-time action steps over emails, helping their workforce stay productive and efficient. Additionally, it helped them monitor the teams remotely by providing real-time insights on productivity trends and capacity.
Another customer, Sunshine Holdings has acknowledged the importance of automation in their digital strategy and will continue to include RPA as a vital component in their business continuity strategies in the post COVID – 19 era.
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