Create an automation-as-a-service model to drive ongoing improvement
Capita does not force automation where it is not wanted nor deploy automation and run. It wants acceptance and engagement. The aim is to create automation-as-a-service—an end-to-end solution, from idea to development, implementation to support.
“This allows the customer, and ourselves, to constantly explore new ways to manage and optimize the service. It is not static,” says Price. “We want to bring automation to life.”
“This is absolutely the right time for automation,” Price continues. “Business wants to find the next level of efficiency. There is a consensus that repetitive tasks can be done best by robots, and there is widespread acceptance of virtual assistants. Industry is ready for this.”
Capita’s commitment to automation is public. The challenge for Price’s team is to design, build, and launch this service quickly, and under the full glare of senior management and customers. “We’re empowered to make decisions, and we recognize the importance of established standards and collaborative partnerships with suppliers. Strong relationships can accelerate the project and our expertise.”
Digital service desk as the first line of support
Capita’s Automation Platform is designed for the development and operation of hyper-automation at scale. Support for the platform is built on ServiceNow.
Capita has built an entirely digital service desk as the first-line support, built on ServiceNow® Customer Service Management, ServiceNow IT Service Management, and Strategic Portfolio Management. All queries are handled by bots, with human engineers alerted when required. This matches the strategic goal: automation for repetitive tasks, humans for value-add.
Importantly for the automation-as-a-service model, the solution includes Process Heartbeat. This solution feature enables real-time metrics, allowing
Capita and its customers to monitor how the process is running. Changes to the platform can then be assessed and optimized.
“The Now Platform is ideal to drive this project forward,” says Price. “We believe the next three or four iterations will be really important. With ServiceNow, we have a platform that has integrity, with a clear schedule of upgrades and more features to unlock. It means we can be consistent.”
Four weeks to automate a new process
Last year, the practice focused on deploying automation solutions in Capita’s own organisation, with automated processes being introduced in industries, from travel to events to insurance. In one week, the Now Platform supported 61,000 transactions. The Digital Service Desk has been accepted by users as first-line support.
Automation is a strategic imperative. The expectation from board level is that automation will be taken up by every one of Capita businesses by the end of the year. Business analysts and project managers are currently identifying processes ripe for automation. Once identified, and depending on the complexity, the processes could be automated and operational within weeks.
The automation-as-a-service model will enable Capita to derive ongoing revenues and make its relationship with customers stickier. It can manage on-premises automation and migrate to Azure to provide scale when needed.
“Cloud-based means we can scale quickly,” says Price. “It’s almost on-demand.”
Capita expects the current COVID-19 crisis to accelerate customers’ automation plans. “Now is not the time to pause projects,” says Matthews. “Automation of high-volume tasks can help teams avoid being overwhelmed.”