I’m Carly Graveling, Head of the Automation Delivery Centre (ADC), and I wanted to share this milestone with you, as well as pausing for a second to reflect upon, and celebrate the success of the team.
What is robot automation?
People often ask me, what is a robot? Perhaps there is a perception that they roam around the corridors on an evening (like in the movies), but alas this is not true – our robots are programmed pieces of software that transact work items in the same way as humans would. They are working on boring and repetitive jobs, freeing up our people to undertake more interesting work – the kind of work that requires decision making and human intelligence!
One ‘transaction’ is equivalent to one process being automated, for example, one iForm being handled end to end. To deliver 10 million transactions was our internal target by the end of this financial year, so to hit it a couple of weeks early is an even better result for the team.
Our robots are currently completing a wide variety of everyday tasks, including administrative tasks, data gathering, sending letters to customers and supporting legislative compliance. We have over 50 different automations working across our IT estate, each with varying numbers of robots working on them, currently totalling over 12,000.
A good example is our Pause and Resume automation which shows how creative you can be with robotics. Rather than simply automating an existing manual process, the Pause and Resume robot ensures payments are taken from customers whilst voice recording is turned off.
So the Robot reads pop up messages presented to the users and ensures the necessary action is taken to comply with the Data Protection laws. This robot is currently used by up to 4,570 HMRC staff, making it one of our most widely used solutions.
Automation 'Centre of Excellence'
Our work with robotics has been recognised within the industry (including winning IT Project Team of the year at the UK IT Industry awards) and, with lots of experience and having overcome many (but not all) of the challenges around deploying automation, we now support other government departments on their Robotic Processing Automation journeys. I’ve also worked closely with the Cabinet Office who have set up a ‘Centre of Excellence’ team, with the aim of speeding up the rollout of automation across Government using HMRC ways of working and experiences to help.
And it doesn’t stop there. One of our latest projects involves our first robot integrating with Artificial Intelligence, a step beyond what we currently offer. Watch this space to see how that goes, and what we’re doing next to deliver even more end-to-end automation.
Check out our current vacancies. They're updated regularly so worth keeping an eye on.
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