News Article ————

Automation Anywhere—Two Awards, One Purpose

Author image Published by Sue Johns-Chapman
Published Date 03.05.2022

Awed and deeply moved

Those words best describe how our Social Impact team feels as finalists in two Global Business Tech Awards categories: Best Use of Innovation and Tech for Good. We believe our ultimate purpose—the reason why our company was founded—is interwoven in both these areas and that our work in each one supports and strengthens our success in the other.

Automation Anywhere is a global leader in Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Our platform combines RPA, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and analytics to build intelligent software bots, or digital co-workers, that automate repetitive, manual tasks. We built this future-of-work technology to make end-to-end business processes exponentially more efficient and productive—and human workers happier. 

Our company’s purpose is human enablement. Not only is our technology purpose-driven but our three social impact areas of focus also reflect this intention:

  • Technology Access for healthcare and non-profits; 
  • Human Uplift, such as tech upskilling and reskilling for people with little opportunity to find gainful employment; 
  • AI for Good, such as solving large-scale global and societal problems, such as COVID-19, in partnership with other organizations

What we have learned over the past two years is how much our healthcare and social impact partners’ innovations accelerate in times of crisis (think pandemic). We also saw how our technology can help them transform not only how they respond to a crisis but also transform the communities they serve and society everywhere. 

Here are some recent stories we’re proud to share…

Innovation in Times of Crisis

One of the world’s largest public health organizations, the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), skillfully utilized our automation platform to face down COVID on a large scale, and in ways never done before. Our one-of-a-kind relationship with the NHS is a global impact partnership; a team, ranging from sales engineers to a company co-founder and many global executives, works with the NHS as needed for pandemic response.

The NHS was short-staffed even pre-pandemic. As COVID-19 patient numbers spiked, managing oxygen supply for ventilators became critical throughout the system, including Northampton General Hospital (NGH).  Working through one night, NGH’s IT department and Automation Anywhere built an “oxygen bot” with 100% accuracy and 24/7 reliability that now ensures demand is met. The bot gave back more than 1,500 hours to overburdened NGH staff—and dozens of other NHS trusts now rely on this innovation.

“Launch of the Oxygen Bot gave us confidence in automation and proved that innovation doesn’t need to stop in a crisis,” says NHS’ Head of Emerging Technology. “Delivering precious time back to our colleagues at the height of the pandemic gave us the courage to explore automation further and with other NHS organizations.”  

Identifying hundreds of opportunities through the new NGH Automation Accelerator programme (a hub for information and knowledge) and the NHS RPA Centre of Excellence (CoE) that supports automation adoption, the NHS predicts that 80% of its organizations will have some form of RPA live by 2023 and could repurpose 1 million hours of time for better patient care each year. Automation has better equipped the NHS to face the next healthcare crisis.

There is wider societal potential too. NHS and Automation Anywhere believe that RPA can change the way large healthcare organizations worldwide serve patients and staff post-pandemic and are collaborating on an automation blueprint healthcare organizations can adapt to solve big challenges. 

Transforming Society through Tech for Good

Our upskilling/reskilling work is transforming society in a different way.

Almost one-third of current jobs will be automatable in 15 years, and while catalyst technologies like ours create new jobs, they can render some roles obsolete. Specific socio-economic groups are often excluded from opportunities to learn technology skills essential for future income security. Minorities, women, working mothers, people with low income and people with disabilities are among those typically left behind. 

As responsible global citizens, we offer free, carefully crafted training for marginalized groups to ensure future-of-work technical skills are readily available to them. We’re focusing on groups who normally have no access to training like ours, in the US, the Indian subcontinent and Africa. 

Consider the Mississippi Delta, the poorest region in the U.S. We launched an RPA Center of Excellence (CoE) to reskill the economically challenged at a PeopleShores service center in Clarksdale, Mississippi, a town of 18,000, where there is no major employer for 300 miles, and more than one-third of the citizens live in poverty. PeopleShores, a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC), brings jobs to impoverished U.S. communities, offering hundreds of hours of paid foundation, technical and process training to each associate they employ.  

58% of India’s population are poorly educated subsistence farmers, who work increasingly non-arable land. Youth (half of India is under 25) in these rural locations, face a choice of unemployment or costly migration to cities, often for low-end jobs in poor, unsanitary, even unsafe neighborhoods, far from family.  We offer free product, training, and capital to PBC Rural Shores, which employs and trains 2,300 people from farming communities across 14 Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) centers, helping 25 large global clients.  

Almost 8 million (35%) of South Africans are unemployed and women bear the brunt.  Excluded from most local politics and decision-making processes, women are responsible for most unpaid work—and are even more vulnerable since COVID shutdowns. We partner with RPA Nuggets, a team of experts in corporate automation training, that brings African women future-of-work RPA skills, greater employability, and financial empowerment.

So far, we have trained 1,700+ (more than 1,400 have been hired) with these three partners and impacted as many as 7,000 of their family members. We’re so pleased that our efforts have also boosted their community economies; when the freshly employed spend their wages locally, that adds even more jobs.  We take pride in having raised the local standard of living, with new hires able to buy modern tools like mobile phones and contribute to family savings. And, remaining in one’s hometown to work preserves the community culture, mitigates the social/economic risk and stress of migration on rural youth—and keeps families together. 

We also believe that our work makes AI more ethical. The current lack of diversity among AI developers means their creations reflect the inherent biases of a narrow group and may be flawed, unfair or even dangerous for other groups. We warmly welcome a broad spectrum of people who mirror the world’s diversity to design our AI and build our bots. 

What totally amazes us is to see that some of the workers we upskilled are already giving back—helping battle worldwide challenges like COVID. An Automation Anywhere-certified bot-builder from PeopleShores recently helped the state of Mississippi process over 20,000 unemployment claims daily—accelerating relief payouts to those who lost their jobs in the pandemic. 

Becoming a Global Business Tech Awards finalist motivates us to keep innovating on multiple fronts. We commit to keep nurturing people’s health, intellect and wellbeing through our products and training.  We hope our work transforms how society thinks and what tomorrow will bring us. We invite all our readers to journey along with us as we charge ahead into an exciting future. 

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