Meet the Bot Team: Tackling Everyday Tasks With Robotic Process Automation

Innovation /

The AT&T Technology and Operations automation team has found a time-saving solution through bots that handle routine, time-consuming duties like creating engineering work orders or updating systems for network-boosting activities.

Tired of spending hours on dull, ongoing work? 

The AT&T Technology and Operations automation team has found a time-saving solution ― introducing Keith Buckingham, Bill Emmons, Jordan Holley and Brian Thomas. 

They develop “bots” through robotic process automation (RPA). The bots handle routine, time-consuming duties like creating engineering work orders or updating systems for network-boosting activities. 

Bots can complete tasks, which once took days or weeks over the course of a year, in a matter of hours.

This gives employees more time to focus on creative or strategic aspects of their job. And it saves the company a significant amount in operating costs.

But before they could call themselves bot experts, the team completed specialized training in RPA, which the Workforce 2020 training program offers. 

They learned how to use a tool called Automation Anywhere and built bots to manage some of their own daily tasks while working on the Technology Operations team. Today, the bot team collaborates with several business units to design custom bots.

Along with their training, they also credit their boss, Priti Amin, with their success. She encouraged all of them to take the course and supported their transition to full-time, automation projects.

For those who want to learn more about RPA, here’s some advice from the bot pioneers: 

Keith Buckingham: “I’d done some automation work in the past and saw its potential as a game-changer. But I still had to put in the time to learn the skills and master them. It’s a lot of trial and error, but worth it if you’re up for the challenge.” 

Bill Emmons: “Go for it. You don’t need a coding background to learn RPA. A lot of the tools are intuitive for people who are not coders. Now, I’m working on ways to help the business transform how it manages operations.” 

Jordan Holley: “I have a computer engineering degree, but coding for RPA is completely different. It’s completely doable if you’re willing to work at it. I’ve learned how to approach problem solving in a whole new way.”    

Brian Thomas: “Learning RPA seemed daunting at first, but don’t be afraid to ask questions and be prepared to fail.  It’s the best way to become comfortable with the concepts and tools. Keep at it and you’ll find a whole other level of opportunities to explore.”