Sprint Corporation is a major telecommunications company based in Overland Park, Kansas. The fourth-largest mobile network operator in the United States offers a wide variety of wireless and wireline services to 53.9 million consumers and businesses and has an annual revenue of $33.6 billion.
Sprint’s RPA journey started in early 2017, when its finance team investigated the technology as a potential tool to overcome a lack of resources. By the middle of 2018, the tax department had put a handful of automations into production. Despite the small scale, the team was able to unlock tangible benefits by freeing up capacity to handle value- added actions previously not possible, which, in turn, allowed them to engage in a more proactive dialogue with tax authorities. This early success encouraged Sprint to expand RPA on a larger scale.
Andrew Davies, CFO and Executive
of the Intelligent Automation Program
Sprint chose Automation Anywhere for its user-friendly interface, high functionality with unattended bots, and experience with a wide range of industries across the world. Sprint’s companywide Automation Anywhere RPA program kicked off late in 2018, with the target to automate 50 use cases as quickly as possible—an unprecedented scope and timeline. They were able to achieve this goal in just six months. Despite challenges where the company chose, discarded, developed and redeveloped automations, the intense focus provided Sprint with an invaluable insight into how automation can change the company’s culture and the ways its employees work.
Sprint developed the first bots with Automation Anywhere through a centralized team to enable speed. Simultaneously, the company established the foundation for a federated model, creating a governance structure, internal processes, training framework, and other essential components.
Sprint quickly grew to understand how it can unlock benefits with RPA across its organization, establishing a culture that entices everybody to innovate—especially employees who are faced daily with mundane tasks. The company also learned the importance of integrating a wide range of checks and functions, such as a clear perception of the to-be process, understanding when RPA is the right solution, and implementing a practical bot lifecycle management framework.
Today, more than 50 use cases have been automated, freeing up more than 20,000 hours of capacity. Sprint is seeing a surge of employees in non-technical areas who are actively exploring the possibilities of automation for their day-to-day work.
- Yuriko Ishihara, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Chairperson of the COE
More than 50 additional use cases are in the development pipeline, and as the company’s understanding of how to best succeed improves, ideation is accelerating.
Now, Sprint is steadily expanding its intelligent automation capabilities, continuously looking to improve and fortify its RPA platform with enterprise wide support—the key factor to successfully institute cultural change throughout the company.