Promoting digitalization through robotics since 2016
Sisua Digital has been Elenia’s digitization partner since 2016. The goal of the continuous cooperation has been to develop and digitize Elenia’s services and electricity market processes. During the cooperation, more than 30 sub-processes have been automated and internal RPA resources have been trained for Elenia.
The cooperation between Sisua Digital and Elenia started at the beginning of 2016 with Elenia Palvelut Oy in an automation project, which initially utilized desktop automation in two key systems’ implementation project, where data was transferred from the old SAP-based system to the new systems. During the in-depth feasibility study, the benefits of RPA were quickly identified and the project was extended to cover 3 pilot processes to improve productivity, process quality and lead time. The work was already implemented at this stage with the UiPath tool among the first ones in Finland. With the pilot project, it was discovered that software robotics can be used to get visible results quickly.
As a result of the first pilot project, one of the processes was taken to controlled production. Sisua Digital (then Eera) provided Elenia with an RPA developer resource for further work and production maintenance. This led to the robotization of eight new processes, all of which were successfully put into production. Elenia’s Robot was more familiarly named Patrik, according to Tampere’s pride Patrik Laine.
Scaling the robotization was initiated and together we started to develop Elenia's internal robotics expertise
Elenia wanted to start scaling the RPA production after the successful automation projects. After the first scalings in 2018, Elenia decided to invest in internal RPA operations by training threir own RPA developer with the support of Sisua. The extensively scaled software robotics program had brought up the need to train an internal resource for the RPA production maintenance and new automations. At this stage, 3 more automation cases were identified and wanted to be developed. Sisua Digital and Elenia agreed to train a new team member, and the cooperation with Elenia’s application specialist Suvi Laitinen, began.
As a result of the project, three processes were automated, an internal RPA developer was trained, and an internal database solution for storing robotics log data was also built for Elenia. The current production environment still revolves around this solution. During 2019, Elenia’s internal developer continued to scale their RPA, doubling the number of processes running in production to cover 30 different automations. The robotizations carried out so far have affected several of Elenia’s distinct business functions – including customer service, construction and project services, sales and energy services, invoicing and receivables management, innovation projects, IT and finance departments, have benefited from the process automations.
In addition to maintaining ongoing processes, the development pipeline includes building a test automation using RobotFramework technology. The main tool in their RPA operations is still UiPath.
As the next step in scaling their robotics operations, Elenia wants to train RPA experts in different business units by forming an internal “robotics farm team”
This year, Sisua Digital will help Elenia scale its RPA expertise even further by organizing a Citizen Developer training, where representatives of Elenia’s various business units will receive basic training in software robotics. The purpose of the better known “robotics farm team” in Elenia is to promote the digitalization of services and processes and to develop internal operations.
Last spring, Elenia noted that the scalability of current development would improve if RPA developers from different departments were trained to automate their team’s small processes and increase RPA awareness within the organization. Sisua Digital will organize a training session for Elenia’s staff in the autumn of 2020. The selection of participants took place during the early summer of 2020, when 20 participants from different business areas were selected for the program.
The Elenia Group consists of Elenia Oy, which provides diverse services in the energy sector, and Elenia Verkko Oyj, which provides electricity network services. Elenia is Finland’s second largest electricity network company, serving 430,000 customers. Through its customer companies, Elenia serves more than a million energy customers in Finland. The most important goal of Elenia’s operations is successful customer experience, which the company aims to ensure by investing in quality and efficiency by listening to its customers’ feedback and wishes. Elenia’s mission is to be the most professional and competent service provider in the energy sector. The company is also a pioneer in reforming the electricity market by enabling new technology and service solutions as part of the energy revolution.
Benefits of the automation process:
- Manual, boring routine work has been removed from Elenia’s employees
- Employees have more time for meaningful work
- Routine work is being eliminated several days per month
- Practices and information have been harmonized and unified
Paiju Koivula & Aleksi Hentunen