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Walgreens uses intelligent automation in HR

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IBM, Blue Prism deploy robotic processing automation solution

ARMONK, N.Y. — Walgreens worked with IBM and automation specialist Blue Prism to implement digital workforce capabilities for its human resources function.

IBM said Walgreens is now using robotic processing automation (RPA) software from Austin, Texas-based Blue Prism to support its HR function. Meeting Walgreens’ security and governance standards, the solution enables employees to devote more attention to customers and patients.

“Robotics is an integral part of Walgreens’ HR shared services strategy, to allow our team members and leaders the additional time to focus on and better serve our customers and patients, thereby providing value to our shareholders,” according a case study presentation by Curt Burghardt, senior director of HR shared services operations for Walgreens. He shared some insights on the RPA project earlier this month at the Intelligent Automation conference in New Orleans.

HR processes that Walgreens identified for RPA, the case study said, include paid time off accrual calculations and input; leave of absence notifications to managers; leave of absence payroll location changes and benefit eligibility hours updates; bridge-in-service calculations and input; case management creation; severance calculations; reopening of performance evaluations; earnings and W-2 history requests; candidate interview scheduling; and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodation process.

“A virtual team member can access the same systems, perform the same functions as a current HR shared services team member, freeing his/her time to perform functions of greater value,” the case study from Burghardt noted.

IBM said its enterprise automation offering with Blue Prism can help organizations better scale and manage workloads so employees can spend more time on strategic tasks, in turn improving customer engagement, innovation and driving transformation within the business.

“Clients often begin by seeking cost reductions through automation but quickly see the opportunity to be more agile and focus on growing the top line,” Gene Chao, vice president of IBM automation at IBM Global Business Services, said in a statement. “Blue Prism’s RPA software combined with IBM services delivers on the promise of a truly intelligent and digitally orchestrated model that increases productivity and enables automation at scale.”

Blue Prism’s Operating System for the Digital Workforce incorporates investments in over a decade of software development and includes insights from more than 450 global enterprise customers in such industries as finance, insurance, utilities, telecom, health care, retail and manufacturing. The company is a pioneer in the RPA field, having invented the term in 2012.

“Blue Prism is now able to leverage IBM’s broad services and cognitive capabilities with our Digital Workforce,” commented Alastair Bathgate, chief executive officer of Blue Prism. “Collaborating together, we’ve seen great customer adoption from enterprises looking to leverage the latest automation and cognitive capabilities.”


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