Photo: Process robotization in the telecommunications industry. Credit: Unsplash
Netlife is the leading FTTH Internet provider in Ecuador and one of the most powerful telecommunications companies in the country, as evidenced by the various awards it has won in recent years: best experience (IZO), best speed (SPEEDTEST), best brand and content (EKOS), among others.
As providers of fiber optic high speed internet, their goal is to meet the basic universal right of access to technology, making a basic service such as internet access available to all Ecuadorians.
Most of their customers pay their monthly balances by debiting their bank accounts, so both the banks involved and Netlife itself must cross-check the balance to be paid by customers.
“Due to the multiplicity of banks and customer account types, the tedious work of reconciling balance variances was being carried out manually by a group of Netlife employees,” says Jose Sanchez, Product Operator at Opinno Ecuador. “When the company approached us, we understood that they needed to optimize and standardize their operational processes to achieve greater business efficiency.”
The proposed solution was robotic process automation (RPA) on the Agility platform. The work was conducted during the months of November and December 2021. As a first step we suggested creating a center of excellence that would integrate different company profiles to manage robotization initiatives.
Understanding customer needs is the standard starting point in Opinno's work. With this goal in mind, we launched NetChallenge, an internal challenge in which all Netlife members had the opportunity to identify and present their process improvement initiatives by using robotization.
We initially worked on prioritizing the ideas that demonstrated the highest potential impact on the business and feasibility for implementation, in a process that ended up rewarding the best initiatives. From here we generated a business plan establishing the benefits of robotization for Netlife, based on three key variables: its potential to generate savings, reduce execution time and eliminate errors.
Having identified and prepared the chosen robotization processes, we proceeded to work on configuring the star of this impact story: the bot.
A bot (short for robot) is a computer program that automatically performs repetitive tasks. By operating in an automated way, it can work much faster and more accurately than a person, freeing the team from tedious tasks and favoring their professional growth.
During this phase we customize the bots by programming them to perform the following process: the program enters the banks' portals as if it were a human being, even solving the captcha (bot filter). It then proceeds to analyze the banks' information, compares it with that of Netlife, and reports any discrepancies.
By putting it into production, we have managed to radically reduce execution times, reducing some processes from an initial 10 hours to just 20 minutes. By eliminating 100% of errors and freeing up the operational burden of the human resources initially required, we have enabled personnel to dedicate themselves to activities of greater added value for the organization.
The last phase of this collaboration consisted of accompanying Netlife in the necessary process to adopt this new way of working.
At Opinno Ecuador we are very pleased to share this impact story with you, which involved optimizing and standardizing Netlife's operational processes after we gained an understanding of its genuine needs.