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Creating an Intelligent Automation Center of Excellence in Shared Services/GBS


Efforts to implement Intelligent Automation solutions can be hindered or enhanced by decisions you make regarding the people resources you deploy, the technology solutions you use, and the way you design your processes.  For Intelligent Automation, the most advanced and successful large companies with over $5B in annual revenue have 10 or 20 or more full-time resources implementing solutions across the entire company, and not only for projects internal to Shared Services/GBS.

Company Experience

A Peercast discussion in Peeriosity-100’s Intelligent Automation research area featured a global company with over $10B in annual revenue discussing their approach to using a Center of Excellence (COE) design to implement Intelligent Automation solutions for the company, with a scope that covers the entire business and not only Shared Services/GBS.  The journey started with automating repetitive tasks using Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and moved into Intelligent Automation solutions that leverage AI based automated problem solving using manual learning.  In addition to these solutions the company is now implementing Intelligent Automation solutions at scale using self-learning AI based automated problem-solving tools.

Results to date have been impressive, with 83 projects completed across supply chain, Finance, R&E, and HR, 35 projects in process, 21 projects with that are approved, and 204 projects in the request pipeline.  Projects led by the Intelligent Automation COE require a team with expert level skills, focusing on high value projects, using tools including Microsoft Suite, RPA Automation, and a full DevOps toolkit.  The projects require a hard ROI and the achievement of organizational objectives.

In addition to projects led by the COE there are also function led projects and employee led projects, with a process in place for the COE to provide guidance and support to a wide range of Intelligent Automation improvement initiatives that are focused on increasing productivity and reducing costs.

Important design considerations as they build include:

  • Data – who will have access, what controls are required, how efficiently is access enabled.
  • Training – what is the continuous training model, what is self-training versus in-classroom and live.
  • Support – how to embed a self-supported model into an employee-led culture.

Because of the success of the Intelligent Automation COE, the company is well positioned to proceed with confidence as they evaluate and implement the latest GEN IA technologies.  The foundation in place for GEN AI includes:

  • Enabled Generative AI Platforms
    • Ping Chat Enterprise, OpenAI on Azure, piloting platform capabilities with Microsoft
  • Established Guardrails and Controls
    • Company-wide communication
    • Update acceptable use policies
    • Create guardrails
  • Training, Governance, and Use Cases
    • Build a data foundation
    • Create an AI Steering Committee
    • Identify use cases
    • Enable AI capabilities for specific users

Their approach to implementing GEN AI will use a similar design to the approach used to implement other Intelligent Automation technologies, with a combination of COE-led, function-led, and employee-led projects.

A recording of the Peercast and the complete presentation are available to Peeriosity-100 members in the members area.

Polling Results Review

A poll was created to find out which RPA solutions were being used by Peeriosity members, and the ROI achieved from using RPA tools.  30% of Peeriosity members indicate they are not using any RPA tools, with 28% indicating they are using UiPath, 28% using Automation Anywhere, and the balance of 14% using Blue Prism.

Regarding achieving an ROI, for the 70% of companies who have implemented, 10% reported an ROI of less than 1 year, 30% reported 1 to 2 years, 20% reported more than 2 years, 10% reported a negative ROI, and the balance of 30% indicated it was either too early to tell, or they didn’t know.  Here are the details:


 Closing Summary

Intelligent Automation tools including RPA and RPA with AI, have had a significant impact on many Shared Services/GBS organizations by reducing costs and improving the quality of operations. Some companies have been successful implementing a COE model for Intelligent Automation that supports advanced processes for project delivery, with the ability to leverage capabilities to meet business needs across the enterprise, and well beyond the scope of Shared Services/GBS.  Having experience Intelligent Automation can be an important foundation for implementing GEN AI.

How is your company organized to leverage Intelligent Automation tools?  What approach are you taking to leverage the latest GEN AI technologies?

Who are your peers and how are you collaborating with them?


“Peercasts” are private, professionally facilitated webcasts that feature leading member company experiences on specific topics as a catalyst for broader discussion.  Access is available exclusively to Peeriosity-100 member company employees, with consultants or vendors prohibited from attending or accessing discussion content.  Members can see who is registered to attend in advance, with discussion recordings, supporting polls, and presentation materials online and available whenever convenient for the member.  Using Peeriosity-100’s integrated email system, Peer Mail, attendees can easily communicate at any time with other attending peers by selecting them from the list of registered attendees.

“Polling” is available exclusively to Peeriosity-100 member company employees, with consultants or vendors prohibited from participating or accessing content. Members have full visibility to all respondents and their comments. Using Peeriosity-100’s integrated email system, Peer Mail, members can easily communicate at any time with others who participated in Polling.

Peeriosity members are invited to log into to join the discussion and connect with Peers.   Membership is for practitioners only, with no consultants or vendors permitted.  To learn more about Peeriosity, click here.

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