Case Study

How Western Union’s Citizen Developers Innovate and Increase Efficiency with Intelligent Automation

3 million

Tasks processed by digital workers

56 staff

Wide adoption of citizen developers

Scalability

100 processes live across the business

We’ve chosen this direction to take people who are technically savvy and convert them into intelligent automation developers. We are proving that it’s possible to take internal people, re-skill them and put them into automation projects. They are capable of doing the work.”
Gintautas Jonutis Director, Global Head of Robotics and Intelligent Automation

Western Union provides a critical lifeline for many citizens around the world who need to send and receive money quickly. Its vast network comprises 550,000 locations in 200 countries and territories, serving 150 million customers. To serve these customers efficiently, Western Union continuously looks for ways to improve its business processes. The company has been using intelligent automation to increase productivity since 2016, but recently took a look at how to further scale that program by empowering its employees to learn new skills and become “citizen developers.”

Challenge

Western Union’s automation team is charged with directly contributing to efficiency goals across the organization. The company aimed to scale its Blue Prism digital workforce to simplify and standardize its end-to-end processes. They wanted to automate as much as possible. To do this, they needed to reimagine and re-engineer processes originally intended for people, and optimize those processes for digital workers. But how were they to do this without hiring a large number of new employees?

Solution

Western Union took stock of its organization and realized it had a crew of motivated employees who were interested in creating automations to make their day-to-day work more productive while learning new skills. These employees are now Western Unions citizen developers. So, what is a citizen developer? Simply put, a citizen developer is an intelligent automation builder, usually a company employee that is a process subject matter expert, who creates new business solutions using low-code digital worker development.

Western Union dedicated itself to re-skilling the interested employees. In fact, approximately 70% of the company’s CoE development workforce is comprised of internal, re-skilled people rather than experienced developers hired from other companies. They are a group of people who are technically savvy with a logical mindset, have some experience with desktop automations, and are willing to learn new technologies. After a three-month onboarding process, these employees also earned a Blue Prism certification.

What has Western Union been able to accomplish with this robust team of developers and Blue Prism intelligent digital workers? Each year, digital workers process nearly three million tasks, across 100 processes in finance, accounting, compliance, operations, contact center, and legal. Next up is to widely scale intelligent automation across the business and extend the digital workforce with connected technologies like optical character recognition.

The Latest From Blue Prism