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PegaWorld iNspire 2023: Innovation As Usual: Learn How Aflac Continues To Innovate With Pega on a “Business As Usual” Budget

Aflac relies on Pega for customer service, underwriting, claims, and other functions – using 25+ applications delivered on Pega Cloud®. When strategic priorities changed and budgets had to be repurposed, innovation didn’t stop. Aflac continued to innovate, automate, and deliver new value with “business as usual” staffing/funding. Learn how Aflac delivered innovative and transformational capabilities to employees, independent agents/brokers, and policyholders through disciplined planning and a consistent, incremental delivery methodology.


Transcript:

- Good morning everyone.

- [Audience members] Good morning.

- Or if you're from my home state, good afternoon. Anyway, I'm so glad you came to join us. Hopefully you are in the keynote sessions this morning and got to hear about all the exciting things that Pega has in store for us. But additionally, I hope you got to hear the keynotes and particularly my CIO Sheila who kind of prefaced what we're gonna talk about here today. So our tagline during the presentation was, we're no longer doing business as usual, we're doing innovation as usual. So for those of you who might have missed a little bit, let's talk a little bit about Aflac. So we are a very large company, we've been around for 20 years, we talked about the duck this morning. But we have about 150 billion in assets. Sorry, this is very small and that's loud, but we're the number one supplemental health insurance provider in the US. And so what that means in my world is a lot of transactional volume. And so when we talk about things like efficiency and operational excellence, you have to take into account that we do millions of things each and every day. And so when we brought Pega in seven years ago, we really didn't know what we were getting into, let's be honest, okay? This was groundbreaking for us. And we had the strategic vision, we were part of the strategic funding at that point in time. And we had a vision to build for the future to actually accelerate stability, to get to the cloud, to be very digital, to develop data-driven insights and to act intelligently on what we knew. We wanted to optimize operational cost, creating financial discipline, and then also to make sure that we developed the talent and an organizational model that supported the future state technologies that we were moving into. The cool thing about that is Pega Cloud enabled all of that for us. We started on-prem, we had one on-prem app and then we were early adopters. So everything else that we built, we have built in the Pega Cloud and we're running about 30 apps right now. And even that one sole on-prem app migrated a few years ago. So we are solely managed in the Pega Cloud and it has enabled our strategic direction for the last seven years. But things change, right? Strategic funding changes. What's available, changes. And so we found ourselves in a position where we were doing a lot of BAU work. It's that run work, where you got it into prod and you just keeping the lights on and if you're lucky, you get some enhancements along the way, work with your business partners, and that's kind of where we got. We were still seeking automation and efficiency and process change, but we weren't getting the dollars to do it. And so we decided we had to change something guys because that's not the way you continue to grow and do a better job. It's not what my leadership expected, it's not what the company expected, so we had to change our model. And so we've gone to what we call innovation as usual. Shouldn't have gone to that slide, I'm gonna back up if you'll let me. Of course it won't. Okay, what's innovation as usual? What's that model? How's it different? How many of you don't get strategic funding anymore? There's strategic dollars available, but it's going for big things like cloud migrations or changing out a legacy platform, a mainframe or something like that, right? And so what we found ourselves in the position is still needing to make a difference in our business, but to do it without strategic dollars because the big bucks weren't coming our way. We weren't at the top of the list anymore, and that's okay. We're gonna talk a little bit more in depth about the customer service story. So Sheila mentioned it this morning and we're gonna talk through the numbers 'cause they're absolutely fantastic. But we had an old system that replaced an even older system, if you wanna know the truth. And it did an okay job of aggregating information. So I had some information about the customer, if they were in the individual side of the business, group, not so much. I knew if they paid claims, I might not have necessarily known that they sent a letter. So there were gaps in that, but it was doing the best it could with the data that it had available to it. What we've done is we have incrementally replaced that system and my team that does Customer 360 is out there, y'all can wave. So we brought them to brag about them today because what they've continued to do is to evolve and we're almost completely off that legacy system now. And what does that mean? What that means to us is that our team members, our customer care representatives, they're actually able to stay in a single system, they can see the customer, they can actually do transactions at point of call without swivel chairing back to an old legacy UI that they had to do before. They don't have to type all the comments, Pega is actually keeping up with the interaction and what's going on and the steps they take and it puts it into the contact. And in addition, we've looked at the processes and said, we're not doing this the best way guys, we can do it better, right? And Pega has enabled that. We put the rules in, we put the routes in, we automate where we can and it's made a world of difference. They are guided now, the training in getting up and running in our call center, it used to be a 16 week adventure. James, do we know what it's down to now, I know it's better, but-

- [James] It is better. Our goal is to get down to four weeks.

- We're headed to four weeks. So when you look at the training investment, Pega's allowed us to simplify, to guide and direct, and therefore it's not gonna take as long to train the, but they could still do a better job than they were doing coming out of a 16 week training. We've automated things, they click a button, it goes and does it, and it comes back and says done. That's the way it should be, right? And so our story there is great, we talked about shorter cues, we talked about wait time, after call work, but when you start looking at the numbers, believe it or not, as much as we make things available online, people are still gonna pick up the phone and say, I need a claim form. It doesn't matter that you've got it in 20 other places, they can get to it, they're gonna call. And believe it or not, that was a cumbersome process 'cause we had to go find the right one for the right state, for the right product for the right person where they really claim it, just all that stuff. We took that process and eliminated 33% of that process. And that's a high volume transaction for us. When we talked about the authentication process, so maybe y'all are a little bit different than us, but when we are interacting with someone on the phone, we have to make sure they are who they should be. Because I can't disclose beneficiary information or benefit information, or was the claim paid if you're not the policy holder. And so we have a pretty robust authentication process that has to be part of that call, and all the customer hears is, you're not taking care of me yet. We were able to eliminate 65% of that overhead and that lets us get to their problem. The reason they called much more quickly. Sheila mentioned a hundred percent compliance, so we are in a heavily regulated industry. And there are things that we have to prove to the regulators every day, let's just be honest. And before, if I was on a phone call and I was taking certain types of requests, I had to press a button to say, okay, I need to record this 'cause I'm about to get authorization for something. Now Pega says, oh you're gonna do that, here, let's start the recording for you. So there are no human errors. We don't have to worry about whether the recording's gonna be available 'cause Pega's already done before us behind the scenes and Sheila bragged about the $4 million in savings. Our chatbots, they've been fun, we know that, they've had their opportunities, but 77% of our interactions through chat are handled by the virtual assistants with a $4 million savings in a year. That's what it's about. So wanted to kind of just step back on that one, 'cause when you're on the big stage, sometimes the details get lost, that's one of our primary success stories. But I wanted to tell you some others. So innovation as usual, I don't have dollars, but I lost a big third party partner. There was some risk involved and I had to take care of that immediately. Had this massive project, had this one little component, and it was an RFP requirement for a customer who had to have their own online submissions portal. They couldn't come through the Aflac doorway, had to be their special one. And it was highly customized. I mean it could not be done anyway except the way they said. And we had to do this in 60 days. We didn't have long to do it because remember I said there was some risk involved. Like our third party might not have been there in 60 days maybe. So we had to do it. We went to our legacy team and said, okay, we need you to tape everything that we do, unbranded and make it specific to that person. They said, sure, we'll be glad to, 6 months and $3.2 million. We'll make it happen for you. Go back to I don't have strategic funding, right? It's like no, that's not gonna work. So I might have went to a certain developer who's sitting about the six row back ducking right now and said, Hey, remember that thing we used to do a little while back, can we bring it back in? It was decom but it wasn't deleted. I said, can we bring that back in? Can we polish it? Can we make it work? 60 days later at zero cost we went live with the replacement. That's the difference Pega's making. Didn't have to buy anything, I used everything that was at my fingertips already, polished it. It is exactly, we have not gotten a single complaint, And that, now I have to tell you, if you're in the insurance world, you know what a broker is, you know they might require just a little bit of TLC, right? We have not gotten the first complaint since going live. That in and of itself says a world and we did it in two months. So Pega was the right solution. Who knows what workforce intelligence is? Any of y'all use it? Okay, so it's a Pega product and it's marketed for you to install it on your operator's desktops and it's gonna look for processes inefficiencies for you. So it's gonna help you streamline and it's also gonna look for ways for you to automate what your team members are actually doing. So we had explored it back in March, I think of 2019. So early in 2019 we said we want some of that. And so we worked with Robert who is my client success manager here in the room, yeah. We worked with Robert and we started bringing it in and it was a total unknown, we had never done anything like this before. And so I would say later in the year 2019, we had it in, and we were getting lots of information that we didn't know what in the world to do with. It was information overload. We were getting so much, and again, first attempt we didn't even really understand what we were looking at. We were trying to dig through that. And then anybody remembers a certain day, like in March of 2020 when we all went home? Yeah, that happened. So obviously WFI was kind of put on the back burner. We were worried about paying claims and taking care of business and answering phone calls, right? But we had a business unit that had been involved and the pilot that said, Hey, we need help. And so they reached out to our Pega team and said, We want to use workforce intelligence and we want to use just a slice of the data that you can provide because I've got folks who are now trying to work from home who are failing. We can't meet our customer's expectations. We're not meeting regulatory, let's call 'em regulatory requirements for paying within a certain point of time and interest in all the things we have to do. And so this business partner came to us and said, could we use WFI to find ways to coach and help our team members? Kind of a different spin, right? So what we did is we went to HR, you gotta go to HR if you're gonna coach employees, particularly using data. We didn't want them to think that we were spying on them, that's not what it was about. What we wanted to do is go to them and coach them on how they were using their day at home. So we could tell things like, were they doing a lot of chatting via I am or were they surfing the web a bit, or were they even away from the computer? Let's be honest, 'cause they had kids and dogs and everything else running around. And what we did is we talked to HR and said, this is the kind of information that we're gonna have available to us. Can we use this as coaching opportunities so that these employees can be successful in this work from home environment? HR said, you know, that makes sense, let's do it. And so individual claims is our largest business unit. We process about 125,000 claims a week, so about a million claims a month. Wait, half a million claims a month. And so it was important that they were successful above a lot of our other areas. We did this, we approached it slowly coaching, and people were surprised I guess, at what we knew, but they were also receptive to the information because they were going, I can't make quota anymore, what happened, I used to make it. And so we were able to guide them on how they could do better. We went remote in March of 2020 and 95% of those people are still working remote today, meeting their SLAs, meeting productivity, being successful, growing in their jobs. We changed lives, we saved jobs using WFI and that's not what they advertise. When Jill and Robert brought it to us, it wasn't about saving jobs, it was about automating and efficiencies and streamlining. All those things are great, but we turned our workforce around when we had to go home. It was pretty cool. So those who know me from work know that I actually grew up in new business with my business partners here, and spent about 15 years actually in the business operations side of the house. So they're kind of maybe a little near and dear to my heart, right? And they had had an ask. So in the years that we had worked on things that we call smart op, next generation and JED issue and all these things, new business was doing really, really well. But I have this friend in underwriting, she's sitting beside my new business rep here. And she's like, what about me? So we do a lot of our underwriting at point of sale. The applications ask questions and knock people out, you don't move on. And so when they would ask for attention, we're like, I don't have the volume, we've got bigger, better things to do, not that they don't matter, they really, really do matter, underwriting is critical. But we were like, you can do this, you've been doing it manually, you can keep doing it manually. Well for three years they tried to get some of those strategic dollars guys. They went, they did the books of paper that are required to get strategic funding, 'cause you gotta prove it. So they did the business case and they put the ROI information on the table and the reality was it wasn't big enough. There were other things that had bigger ROIs. And so when year three happened and they got declined the third time we felt sorry for 'em, let's be honest. So what we did is we actually met with their leadership team and said, hey, we got this cool new concept that we're trying out called innovation as usual. And what it's gonna mean is the team that focuses on your business units, we wanna specialize them, we wanna focus them on underwriting, we're gonna keep the lights on, on everything else, we're gonna give you some extra value, we'll continue enhancing but we wanna focus on underwriting. Do you agree to that? And we got leadership buy-in to say we want underwriting to get the attention. And so what we did using our existing team, we said give us your plan, what you wanna make happen and let's do it. It's been slow. If it had been funded as a project, it might have happened in a year or two. And we are 18 months in now, pushing two years. So it's been slow, but we've been able to do things that they only dreamed of. Is that fair Courtney? So literally guys, the amount of swivel chair that they did was stupid, literally, they were going all over the place. In Pega now, particularly as of the last elevation, what, two weeks ago, they don't have to do stupid anymore. We are actually letting them push a button, enter a code, and Pega is going to the mainframe, and Pega is taking care of all those LIFE/70, anybody know what LIFE/70 is? Oh man, so it's going out to LIFE/70 and doing the transaction for them. It's going to our return system and doing the coding for them. It's generating a letter for them. They're not having to leave and go do things. Now we're not done yet, there's more, Courtney's not gonna let me off a hook, I promise. But the difference that we're making is tremendous for them. The other thing, guys, if they needed to order what we call requirements, anybody know what requirements are? So motor vehicle records, labs, APSs, all those kind of things, they left their system and they went to a different website for each of those vendors by the way. And they would order it, and then it would come in, and would go to like an inbox to a third party who then had to upload it manually to even get in the case and then let them know that it was there so they could go look at it. Kind of stupid, right? So we've been working with them vendor by vendor to go in there and say, one, we're gonna order it for you from Pega, so we basically order. We receive back and we're not just gonna get the picture guys. So there's usually an image, a document that comes back in those interactions. And what we did is we said give us the document, 'cause we need to be able to look and feel and touch it sometimes, but gimme the data because I wanna put the data into Pega because once I get the data into Pega, I can put rules on top of data, I can do a lot of things. So where we're going to be when all is said and done, give me a little bit longer. But what we're going to do is we're literally going to build them an expert underwriting system via Pega. It's gonna take all the data we know about the applicant, about the case, about what they've applied for, all the results that we've gotten in from our vendor partners, and it's gonna say, done, approved, JED issue. So we're gonna, maybe it's not JED issue. We're gonna state through process some underwriting, doing expert underwriting. Will it take care of a hundred percent? No. But it'll be smart enough to then hand it off if an underwriter is needed. And it'll even hand it to the right underwriter based on what reviews needed. Have we been successful? She's nodding, so I think the answer's yes, slower than they want, but she's nodding. But they have seen a 2.3% increase in applications processed. Now you may be going 2.3%, did you count that? Yeah. So remember we're high transactional volume, so 2.3% matters in our world. On top of that, that wasn't 2.3% of COVID volume when nobody was selling anything, we're talking November and December of this last year where their volumes were up 15 and 18% year over year. We still were able to do a better job for them and get them processing through more quickly. A couple of other cool stories. Maybe y'all aren't like us, we're different, we know we are. But the year didn't always end on December 31st, do y'all have that problem? So sometimes we might be into January and we're still working on some business that came in in December. Maybe we're unique there. New business because we were able to automate a lot of their stuff, they were pretty much done. Remember our friends in underwriting who were still doing everything manually? Usually mid-February, they're able to say we're done, six weeks into a new year guy. It took them that long to get through the volume. This year they finished six weeks early. That's the difference automation made for them. And we work with the sales team. They might put contests out there, special incentives. They kind of threw one in the last minute last year. And obviously the bigger policies probably benefited the associate better in the contest. Not only did they finish six weeks early, they were able to get everything that had been submitted, approved and out the door so that it counted for that contest for our sales force. So we're making a difference not just to the applicant, not just to our business partner, but even to our sales team. And we did that at how much cost guys?

- Zero.

- Zero. No funding, this is all innovation as usual. So we're excited. We feel like we have a great story to tell. You know these are just some of the slices of it. But one of the newest things, what we've done in the last two months, we actually had a Pegathon. Now Sheila mentioned it in the keynote, but I wanna brag about it a little bit because it's a total spin for anything we've been doing. We went to our business partners and said, give us problems that need to be solved that aren't sitting in a backlog somewhere. What are the things, what are your pain points today that you're not waiting on a solution already but you need a solution for? And they came through with seven very specific use cases. A couple of them were new workflows, a couple of them might be in the shadow IT space. Y'all have folks that build access databases and put macros on top of them and do really stupid things, right? We have one of those come in as is, let's be honest. Okay, I'm sorry, if you're business, I'm sorry I just stepped on your feet. But we had some of those come in. We had folks that said, persistency is important, and so they brought in a couple of use cases on how we can better prompt for, hey, you haven't filed for your wellness benefit. You know you can do that? Because we know if we pay a claim, they're more likely to stay with us. And so we're prompting in the chat, we're prompting at point of call. Those are the kinds of things we're adding just along the way. Two day event, first day was training, second day at about nine o'clock, we put 'em in a room and said, go for it. We put 'em in the App studio, keep me honest, App Studio, right Robert? And guess who had hands on keyboard, it wasn't a developer. We put our business partner in the chair. Now we had people on the team supporting them, but by 12 o'clock they demoed for each of those seven use cases a minimum lovable product. So they had built a workflow for one portion beginning to end. They had solved for a CRM 2011, decommissioning scenario. So in three hours they actually built and our business partners did this. So we are excited because we have a lot of that shadow IT stuff where we've gotta find solutions and we don't have the bandwidth to solve for at all. But working with our business partners in a solid model. Now, I'm gonna be honest, we're doing it carefully. We're putting an app factory model in, we're coaching with the COE, we're coaching with Pega Systems coaches and Code Forge resources. I mean we're doing all this, we're being careful. But right now it looks like we're gonna have all seven in before end of year. So they will be in production, in use, providing value. And that's kind of cool for us. The other thing I will say, and I just mentioned them in passing, but I've got to stop and call them out. The reason that worked is I had two incredible partners fully invested in, in the room with us. So I think Imron's out there, I have such major lights in my eyes right now. Imron from Coforge was a godsend. He and his team stood up all the environments got us ready to go. They embedded with each of those seven teams. They were the one at the elbow of my business partner guiding them on how to make it happen. The other partner, Pegasystems, they were there with us through it all. Robert and Jill helped us pull it together. And if you had asked me at the beginning of the year, was this possible? I would've told you, probably not. Even when we tried to do it, it slid by what, two months? Because trying to get it all together with everything that was going on. But these seven apps that we'll have available by the end of the year, again, zero cost, using what I've got available to me, solving business problems. What are we gonna do now? We need a lot more of the same, okay It's working, the model works. We're saving money by not funding strategic big efforts but still getting them done. We are avoiding costs. So when you talk about that 3.2 million that we were able to avoid because we did it in Pega versus in a legacy system. We are building and replacing software that's at risk. So I've got workflow software that might be end of life maybe. We've probably moved 75, 80% of our workflows into Pega, but I've still got up a group, one of our latest acquisitions, some workflows I've gotta deal with. But we're doing it. And guess what? We got two more of those going in in about two months at zero cost, 'cause we're doing it through the BAU model. So we're excited. The two new workflows that talks about us building, those are the ones from the Pegathon, so those are the two use cases from the Pegathon. The biggest win for us though has been what we're calling our community of practice. So I've been doing Pega for seven years. We had this wonderful governance meeting. Y'all sit in governance meetings. We ran through lots of decks with lots of slides and lots of numbers. And I had quit attending. I had probably had the biggest Pega space presence, I had quit attending. There wasn't value. There really wasn't. We changed the model about nine months ago and we said this is not about reading numbers, this is about coming together and it's our Pega partners are sharing what's new and what's great, what should we know about, our teams are actually sharing success. So I've got Rory in the room who actually has done presentations saying, Hey, we did this and it works, you need to do it too. So we're sharing best practices, we're learning, we have our business partners come into this meeting and they brag about the difference we're making in their business, but they also talk about the problems they're encountering and they let us as a community try to solve them. So it's not so much now about governance and reading numbers. It's about sharing and learning and reusing and growing and just maturing in our Pega journey. We're gonna grow, it's gonna continue to happen because it's just, we've got the momentum now and we're excited about it, if that makes sense. The last note I put on there is Pegathon squared. It's gonna happen. We got a lot to do this year, I'm not sure if it's gonna happen this fall, but we're gonna do it again because after the first Pegathon, when our business partners heard what we had done and what their peers had done, let me clarify what their peers had done, they were like, when's the next one? I wanna sign up, I got a problem. So we've got this level of excitement in our business partners, in our teams and right now there's no stopping us. We're really excited about what the future has to hold for us. So I actually went a couple minutes over into the QA but we wanted to allow plenty of time for Q and A. I will tell you I'm not the expert, I have a wonderful presence here from our business units, from our IT teams. They can help me answer any question you've got about anything we've shared. So are there any questions in the room? Yes.

- [Audience Member 1] First apologies, I was a bit late so I work for Kindred in the UK. We are a gambling and entertainment company so I was quite interested in the way you said you ran Pegathon.

- Right.

- [Audience Member 1] Couple of questions, what made you go for a concept like this? Unless you're only limited by Pega, and in this space there's always like up and down stream systems, data, and in our case creative and content and all of that. And we kind of maybe in a similar situation by need to understand from you obviously, is obviously your need to do that and how do you deal with other slow moving parts with the business, and whether they can all be brought together to work at the same speed?

- Great question. So he basically kinda wants to know a little bit more about why and how we put together the Pegathon, and the reliance on downstream upstream processes systems. So I'll be honest, we were a little bit select on the use cases, I'm not gonna lie, but let's talk first about why we were going there. I had heard about the low-code, no-code module. I had actually gone out to, what's the training, Pega Academy. There we go, brain dead. I had gone out to the Pega Academy and played around a little bit, so I knew that there were some things possible. And then I have great partners who are saying, you know there's this low code thing you can do. And so they actually kind of were feeding us information about you don't have to have a developer do everything. And I'm talking about not having strategic funding, needing to find ways to get creative and to make things happen without the big bucks. And so we just talked more about what low-code no-code meant and who really could do it. And so when they told me more about how they had conducted them in the past, we talked about training. So the first day literally is a training session. A lot like what we did yesterday here, if any of you participated. We brought our business partners in and they went through the module, hands on, very guided doing the exercise, and they were successful. They were able to follow directions. And so then we took their use case the next day. Now these use cases were not highly dependent on upstream or downstream systems or processes. Some of them were, they were data-driven and the data was available. So we were able to source from the data and then layer on top of it. Some of them do have a couple of integrations, so we're gonna do some calls to get some information, but we've already got APIs built for that. So literally we're just gonna be able to connect. But I would say to be successful, you do have to choose wisely the first time round because if we had fallen on our face, we wouldn't be having this discussion today. Because it wouldn't have convinced anybody that we could make a difference. So the right use case, and I'm not gonna say not complicated, some of the things we're doing are pretty incredible, I'm gonna be honest. One of the things that we're building, one of the use cases is actually, it's an escalation process for our field force. So our field force, our market offices and even internal customers sometimes need to escalate because something isn't going well. And so this has got multi-touch points, both external to the company internal, it's gotta have a web presence as well as a backend presence. And we were able to pull out of that morning session with a minimum viable presence there. So it's doable but I will say choose the right use cases. It's not your hardest case to begin with.

- [Audience Member 1] Makes sense. Sorry.

- No.

- [Audience Member 1] Also I'm interested, do you have plans for, you said Pegathon two?

- Yeah.

- What's in store for that?

- Do I have plans?

- What's in store? What .

- So a lot more work for us, I'll be honest with you it was an event. But what we'll do there is we'll expand. So we went out to our business partners, and we got a lot of response, so don't let me take it the wrong way. But with a company as big as we are, we didn't get a huge response. We got some input following it, I wish I had responded. So we're broadening that reach and try to get more interest, but more business cases out on the table. So I think it's gonna be a little bit better communication. I think there'll be more interest simply because they've heard about it now. Ask your business partners what a hackathon is. They don't even know. If you're outside of the IT walls, you don't even know what a hackathon was. So I think it took us kind of showing them what could happen to make it a possibility. I'll also tell you that my big boss who's gonna sitting over this way, he has some shadow IT work that he wants us to do that's gonna fit right in there. And it has to do with access and macros, a lot of them. So there are a lot of possibilities that we've already kind of got in mind for the next one. Okay, question in the back?

- [Audience Member 2] if you used any frameworks when the frameworks respond as well as you expected them to or you have ?

- So we stayed within the app studio framework, didn't we? Robert, I'm looking, I am not the most technical person in this room, I will tell you that right now. We stayed within the app studio and honestly it went incredibly well, it was very responsive. I had seven different teams hammering this environment. It did well. We had one glitch where somebody stepped on a rule that kind of threw us a curve ball. But we were able to with Coforges help get that fixed on the fly. But it went really, really well.

- [Audience Member 2] On the platform? On the platform app studio.

- Yes.

- Have not use something like the sales automation or any other?

- No, we were actually in app studio using what we've seen on the screens this morning. So when you look at the case build, yep, that's absolutely what we had our business partners use. Yes?

- [Audience Member 3] So when you first started, how much staff did you bring on and I mean, how did you determine you had enough staff to complete these $0 projects?

- So we're seven years in, so I'm gonna go ahead and tell you that. So when we started seven years ago, I wish some of the other Pega folks that were my partners then we're still here. But we were blessed. We were able to get strategic funding, we had a very strong reason to look for a replacement at that point in time. And with that being said, we actually brought in Pega systems themselves. So they helped us put it in play and build the first probably two or three workflows. So they sat by our side. I took a team, they had never heard of Pega and we taught them Pega on the job. So they've gotten their certifications and that kinda stuff. But literally these are dotnet developers. We used OpenText, what was that? I can't even remember what the language is there. But literally they low-code. Some of them still don't like it because it's too easy. That tells you what they were accustomed to, right? Because they're used to coding blank screens, all that stuff. But we took the existing team members, taught them on the job. These are the guys that are still running it today. Now I do a lot of staff fog. So I run probably about 40% of my team with actual employees. And then I do about 60% that staff out between my partners at Coforge and Mindtree. But we are growing our Pega engineering practice. So I have friends from Northern Ireland who are here. We actually have a Pega hub in Northern Ireland now. And we are growing and expanding our practice. So literally I have one person in a Pega engineer role, and I'm posting for two more right now. Now I do have two additional on my team, but we are running these 30 apps. We're doing all this innovation with that amount of team members, but we're seven years in, so we've got a strong foundation. Other questions?

- [Audience Member 4] Right here.

- Yes, I'm sorry.

- [Audience Member 4] Yeah, so you mentioned that you have non-developers going into low code environments and then they built something within three hours, seven business processes within three hours?

- Yes.

- [Audience Member 4] And then you said that you hope to get it in by the end of the year.

- Okay, yeah, good question.

- [Audience Member 4] Our businesses we're interested in, everybody probably is in having non-developers developing the products. But as we use low code, what we find is that all we do is we write basic info that a developer has to then take and then build it themselves on a large backlog. And so what are you doing different in low code versus what we're doing?

- And I may need Robert to help with that answer. Maybe Jill, I don't wanna put you on the spot. So what they actually built was not quite production ready. So I'm not gonna lie, we talked about productionizing it. There were two things we had to do, one, we had to take it back and look at it from a development perspective and see if it was viable. The framework that we used with the coaches by their side, what they had built was viable, but it wasn't the entire solution. So one of them, they wanted to build a workflow for three different inputs from three different kinds of, not like email, mail, whatever, three different types of work processes. In that three hours they built it for one. So we still gotta go back and hook in the other two. They are doing that work though. What we're doing is we're by their side, we're actually working with Pega, they're gonna provide some coaching for us so that we can actually get additional bandwidth. So our business partners are gonna do the work with a remote virtual coach, actually they're not even coming to Columbus and they're gonna guide and lead and direct our business partners. Now when we talk about having an app factory model, what that means is it will still come through the COE. We are still gonna go through and make sure, but we're engaging with them early on to make sure if there's something we can reuse that's already available to them that we're using that. We're keeping 'em in the framework, we're limiting customization, we are sanity checking all along the way. So the COE is engaged, but from an oversight perspective. It's working well so far, we're early. This was two months ago and we will have them in prep the first one by the end of this month. But it's been a lessons learned kind of journey. But what they built was viable, it was. They're not doing integrations though, I will tell you that. So when it came time to do the API, they didn't do that. We're doing that kind of thing.

- [Audience Member 4] Okay, thank you.

- Okay, we've got about a minute and a half. Any other questions?

- [Audience Member 5] Got one.

- Sure.

- [Audience Member 5] The authentication benefits you talked about, did you use an IVR solution, or did you use CSI or?

- So I have the team here, but we use Experian, I think, yeah. So we do a web connection to Experian using the information we know and gather at point of call. Chris, you wanna better answer that?

- [Chris] Oh yeah.

- I'm fine with somebody else stepping in.

- [Chris] There's a number of workflows .

- Okay, so we're under 30 seconds. One last question. Are you ready to get to your next- Oh, I see one in the back, I think, there's lots of lights, I'm sorry.

- [Audience Member 6] Yeah, , that was the chatbot. And how complex or how difficult was it to set it up?

- I heard Journey with, but I'm not catching it.

- The chatbot.

- Chatbot. So I will tell you we love our chatbots, but it has been an experience, let's be honest. We have seven Legacy? So we've got seven on the legacy system and there are some opportunities there with disconnects and that kind of thing. So we've had some challenges there. We recently went to Pega 8.8. We've already got one in digital messaging and we're converting the other seven into digital messaging. I'm not gonna tell you, it's been seamless. There have been some late nights and early mornings, yeah. But I will tell you that it has been worth it. When you look at that $4 million in savings, it's definitely been worth it. I think we're finding digital messaging to be smoother, getting there, yeah.

- Getting there.

- Yeah. So given the fact that that's the product of choice now, we highly recommend digital messaging. I think Legacy's going away by the end of the year anyway. So not that it's an option, but it has not been foolproof, but it's been worth every minute of it, I will go there. All right, thank you so much for joining us today. Hope the stories meant something. And thank you guys.


Tags

Industry: Assurance Thème: Développement low-code

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