By Varun Nayyar, Vice President – Global Business Services, Juniper Networks
For the Global Business Services (GBS) team at Juniper Networks, a key priority has always been to increase our efficiency and effectiveness through the automation of repetitive manual tasks. In this instance, what started out as a simple process to automate billing portals and invoicing, has now quickly become a multi-functional digital transformation initiative for the new normal.
We first started our Robotics Process Automation (RPA) journey in 2017 in partnership with Automation Anywhere. The initial deployment of bots required intensive research, infrastructure preparation and onboarding of technical resources. Automation Anywhere assisted us in creating a blueprint that could be officially deployed for making Juniper GBS processes more effective.
Since the beginning of our automation journey, we have witnessed significant upgrades in technology and culture, which have contributed to significant improvements in productivity improvement and in terms of skills and knowledge enhancements.
When the global pandemic hit, our efforts at this early digital transformation came in very handy. In addition to helping us better adapt to COVID-19 remote working scenarios and protocols, it has also allowed Juniper GBS to be much better equipped to shape the future of our workforce in the new ‘normal’. For example, we were one of the early adopters of RPA in our sector, and this has resulted in competitive advantages that could not be envisioned back then.
Business benefits with a digital workforce
Robotics Process Automation being a 24*7 solution reduces waiting time, manual touchpoints and improves output quality.
Expanding the impact of automation
Today, Juniper GBS is using a variety of bots developed for critical activities, a few of which are listed below
+ Event risk management
+ Extraction and circulation of bill of lading
+ Bank reconciliations
+ CRDD (Customer requested delivery date)
+ Download of reconciliations and supporting documents from Blackline
Increased Customer satisfaction is one of the Key benefits of RPA.
Example 1: The event risk management bot tracks business disruption by notifying the risk for the component’s availability during time of inevitable man-made events or environmental calamities. This automation helps in proactively assessing the financial risk to the company and take preventive measures for mitigating the risk.
Example 2: The Logistics bot ensures timely delivery of e-way bill to transporter thereby reducing waiting time and eliminates the manual touchpoints to monitor the goods movement.
Example 3: Our record to report bots are helping us ensure timely closure of books by performing reconciliations 24/7. We are currently developing bots to record journal entries and facilitate financial audits by downloading financial documents from Blackline.
Our long-term plan is to reduce middleware and migrate more processes to automation program.
Towards an automated future
With these automation offerings, Juniper GBS finance, operations and other teams are digitally transforming to add competitive value for the company. We are building next-gen teams that are driven by automation and technology.
An inter-disciplinary workforce of software bots and human workers can focus on analyzing and understanding business patterns better. The presence of bots also enables workers to upskill themselves and brainstorm for new ideas that improve processes and customer satisfaction.
We partnered with Automation Anywhere due to the flexibility and support they can provide as an Automation provider. With an easy to manage control room, segregation of duties and process reengineering support, Automation Anywhere is enabling Juniper GBS to realize the benefits of end-to-end automation and scale its automation journey to meet its competitive objectives.