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UTILITIES

Automation Center of Excellence Trims Costs and Fuels Productivity


The Challenge

An energy company had many robotic process automation (RPA) implementations under way in different business units with multiple vendors deploying a variety of bots in these projects. Executive leaders were concerned these efforts were not delivering expected savings and results. The company wanted to streamline its automation efforts to ensure the outcomes were aligned with its broader business objectives while improving productivity and cost savings. 

Given Cognizant’s impressive track record in intelligent process automation (IPA) and CoE performance, the company chose us to develop an automation center of excellence to supply the strong governance and quality assurance necessary for a successful enterprise-wide automation strategy.


Our Approach

As the first step, we educated business units about RPA and its evolutionary path to IPA. Using a lean-based assessment method, we worked with stakeholders from the supply chain, finance, power generation and customer service units to identify time-consuming, repetitive processes that could be automated. We helped the client deploy a project intake model that identifies grassroot ideas and objectives from different units. Next, we recommended how the company could connect these projects in broader initiatives to achieve greater benefits. We then prioritized these projects based on the client’s business objectives and scoped the effort necessary to create and implement them.

Our solution incorporates a strong governance program to build in security and risk management, eliminate duplicated automation efforts and ensure units follow automation best practices across locations. We introduced the concept of an RPA champion—a business unit expert who helps direct the efforts of the client’s bot development squads—to deliver better ideas. The solution also generates analytics reports and publishes them to a dashboard with customized views for different users. The CoE ensures analytics capture metrics that align with the client’s expected business outcomes.

CoE Expands Company’s Broad Automation Vision

By using Cognizant-developed utility bots and reusable components, the center of excellence automated an additional 75% of the energy company’s processes. In a mere six months, the CoE delivered double the savings the client had achieved in the first two years of the piecemeal automation done earlier. 

We currently support the client’s CoE and provide advisory services to ensure new initiatives reuse existing bots and code for faster deployment. We’re also assisting the client in its evolution to intelligent automated workflows, AI-based chat and process mining to ensure these initiatives align with the company’s overarching automation strategy and business objectives.

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$10 million

in annual savings

50%

decrease in cycle time to develop bots

55%

decrease in cost per bot


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