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Robotic Process Automation (RPA)



As Singapore’s leading telecommunications provider, Singtel has many ongoing operations to ensure high quality services for its customers.

With a large portfolio of services and products, Singtel is constantly looking for solutions to improve productivity gains, by reducing the volume of repetitive and time-consuming processes.

Its vision was to save 30 minutes in an employee’s week – massive when scaled up across Singtel’s 23,000 employees.

To that end, Singtel partnered with UiPath to implement a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) programme, to empower all employees to build their virtual assistants by learning new RPA skills.

By automating certain tasks, employees can focus on higher-value work while increasing their job satisfaction.

Developing future-ready employees

Singtel’s RPA journey began in 2016. Backed by the company’s management, it started off with pockets of proof-of-concept initiatives, which slowly grew into process automation initiatives for employees to identify automation opportunities within their respective business functions.

Employees would experience the fun of building simple robots, while contemplating the potential applications of RPA, building the foundation for Singtel’s next step in the journey – citizen developers.

In 2019, Singtel started the “A Robot For Every Employee” movement to democratise RPA. It then held a citizen RPA development hackathon in 2019, where participants created their own robots after two to three days of hands-on RPA training, conducted by UiPath.

At the hackathon, 65-year-old employee Valerie Tan designed “Valbot”, which can churn out impeccable monthly reports in 12 minutes, as compared to 4.5 hours manually.

“UiPath sets the RPA domain standard by providing simple and powerful solutions to automate tedious and complex tasks. Its solutions help companies to significantly improve customer service and efficiency.”

— Riccardo Boido, Asia Chief Information Officer, JCDecaux

“The ‘robot for every person’ is not an investment in bots, but an investment in people,” said Chiron Lum, associate director, Singtel’s Group Digital Office.

Mr Lum noted that it is critical to bring employees on board, and to dispel the notion that machines will take over their jobs. RPA workshops allow employees to experience the technologies first-hand and see how digital tools can make their lives easier.

With RPA in place, Singtel is preparing its employees for the future of work.

“We know the scope of our employees’ work will continue to change as we automate, so we have a responsibility to help them upgrade their skills when necessary and ensure no one is left behind,” he said.