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PegaWorld iNspire 2023: Taking a Journey-first Approach to Financial Management

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Financial Services Center (FSC) provides an array of financial management, professional, and administrative services to the VA and other governmental agencies. The FSC is divided into services that are organized around revenue centers and product lines to better focus service delivery and accountability. The FSC turned to Pega to enrich its architectural runway with the objective of automating agility, maximizing value, simplifying service transactions, and boosting efficiency. With a journey-first approach, the organization is optimizing its financial deliveries.

Learn how, by using Pega, IPPS processes 5,000+ invoices in a day and 150K+ invoices in a month – saving $1.2 million every month. With Pega’s CRM, the organization averages 75,000 customer inquiries handled in a month with an average 3,000 inquiries in a day. Hear how the FSC improved CX experiences, optimized benefits processing, reduced costs of benefits integrations, augmented employee efficiencies, improved employee productivity, and achieved overall maturity in operational agility.


- Good afternoon. Thank you all for coming on the second day of PegaWorld. Hopefully you're having a great time here in Las Vegas. My name is Cindy Stuebner and I am the North American government industry lead for Pega. And I'm very honored to introduce our guests who are speaking on behalf of the, excuse me, on behalf of Pega at the VA. We have Jim, excuse me, we have Bill Hohorst. Bill's an IT program manager at the VA Financial services center in Austin. And he oversees the work of three government and 40 contract employees. He leads a portfolio of high performing agile scrum teams who develop and sustain state-of-the-art software products that enable the delivery of VA financial services. Notably, Bill led the financial services center effort to transform the product management office from the waterfall to the Agile software development process, not an easy feat. In partnership with the PMO support contractor, he has established the first of many agile scrum teams who now provide new features to the business users in record time. Bill earned his bachelor of mechanical engineering as an Air Force ROTC student at the Georgia Institute of Technology and later awarded, attended Pepperdine University where he was awarded his Master's of Business Administration. He's a project management professional and has also earned federal program management and systems engineering certifications. Bill is also an avid cyclist and a one time competing a metric century ride, and he is also a Formula One fan. We also have with us Jim Corry. Jim is an IT program manager contracted by TSTA to the VA financial services center in Austin, Texas. He is assigned to the financial operations service line where he manages two development teams who support commercial invoice certification, document management, vendor file maintenance, and record storage from more than 100 VA service locations. He guided the team's transformation to the safe agile development, systems development process. And if you were here with us earlier this morning, we already have mentioned safe as a development process. Jim was introduced to business systems technologies when he was recruited by Accenture. He also helped positions at Pricewaterhouse and IBM where he implemented information systems for state and local governments, the Navy, insurance companies, and investment firms. Jim holds a BA in government and an MBA, both from the University of Texas, go Longhorns, where he also studied accounting. He has obtained numerous professional certifications most recently safe PO and PM, program office and program management. Jim enjoys singing and playing guitar and ukulele and occasionally performs in public. He performed earlier for us. And finally we have Krishna.

- Hey everyone.

- Chava. He's our Pega solutions architect involved in the architecture, design and implementation of various complex solutions leveraging the Pega platform and solution tool sets to deliver value to organizations for over 15 years, and to the FSC since 2012. He's been part of various process improvement initiatives at FSC, including digital transformation, DevOps, cloud modernization, and robotics automation. His ability to empower teams by sharing solution architecture, best practices, standards training, mentorship, strategic planning for upgrades and frameworks, reusable assets and strategic enhancements. He actively collaborates with the enterprise architecture team in preparing assessments of the intake requests in terms of technology justification, cost benefit analysis, and cross system impact analysis. He is a member of the FSC Financial Services Center Pega Center of Excellence team. And it's, excuse me, is responsible to provide leadership support, training and guidance to the FSC Pega development teams. And he too watches some Formula One in his spare time. With that, I'm gonna turn everything over to Jim.

- I'll take it.

- And we'll get started.

- Thanks Cindy. Well, it sure it's great to be at PegaWorld again. Thank you all for coming here to this session so we can share our journey with you. So our journey started nine years ago with Pega and we're gonna talk to you about how we had an initial problem of we had to improve our process to certify invoices and then we partnered with Pega, and from there we took that partnership, we learned how to provide business value faster for our customers, and then we built this really good platform that at some point we could leverage to do other things like participate in the modernization effort and also serve veterans benefit administration. And then after five years, we got really good at it and we stood up a new service offering at the FSC digital business services, where we can probably provide workflows and then where it makes sense, automate. So first of all, what is FSC? We are a fee for service organization, a franchise fund. We get no money from Congress, we have to find customers that will pay for our financial services. Now, things like accounting, travel, payroll, processing of invoices, processing of claims. And to give you a, the scope of what we do, our revenue is about a billion dollars a year. And within that, we process 500,000 veteran claims every month. Over in credit cards, we process $13 billion in transactions. And the one thing I think is really amazing is every two weeks, 439,000 VA employees get paid. The only entity in this country with a bigger payroll is Walmart. So how did we get started with this partnership? What made this happen is that 2014, there was lots of funding from Congress to improve services for the VA to our veterans. And this started out with things like community care that we saw this morning, and then also not just community care, but new facilities for the VA. Like the one pictured here is a Lake Nona down south of Orlando. I attended a class there, it's not as the hospital, the state of art hospital, but also has a campus, has a training facility, a simulation lab for the professionals to hone your skills and teach others. There was money for home improvements, I saw this in my neighborhood. There was a navy veteran that had an issue and became wheelchair bound. So the VA contracted to have his house completely redone to make it accessible for him. So with all this happening, there's more purchase orders and there's more invoices. Fortunately, we have smart leadership at FSC and they said, we gotta do something now, we gotta take action to be able to handle all this. So we gotta do something. And now Krishna is gonna tell you what FSC came up with.

- Thank you Bill, that's lots of invoices to process. Well, good afternoon everyone. My name is Krishna and I'm a Pega Solutions architect from FSC Pega Practice. Being the second largest federal department in the United States after the Department of Defense, the Department of Veteran Affairs has a great deal in processing these invoices so it could pay its vendors on time and eventually the veterans could benefit, could get the benefits and services from the VA and its facilities continuously. Back in time, we used to receive most of our invoices through paper and fax. And it used to take seven to 10 business days to process an invoice, can you believe, seven to 10 business days? But today with Pega, we're able to process an invoice under two minutes to four days on average. And most of our invoices are received through electronic channel like AD and Tungston and less than 20% through paper, and our fax channel is almost dying. With Pega, we're able to better track our invoice status and find what stage the invoice is in and able to provide training reports to our leadership and business. Vendors nationwide submits invoices through our centralized payment processing system. And from there, invoice information matches against three way matching we call, which are against the receiving reports, which conforms whether the facilities has received the particular merchandise or services from its vendors against the contracts to make sure whether a vendor has an established contract with VA or not. And again, the vendor file to make sure the vendor itself is valid or not. When the invoice information matches against these three components, we call it is an exact match scenario and invoice is auto approved under two minutes. And from there, the invoice is authorized for payment and send it to our financial accounting system. From there to the treasury, which will release the payment to its vendors. If it is not an exact match scenario, then the invoice is routed for our finance specialist for further review where they review the possible discrepancies, whether the invoice or more not matching with the receiving reports or the multiple shipments did not receive at the facility or the contracts information is wrong or the vendor is red flagged by VA, et cetera. When the review unresolved the possible discrepancies on the invoice, the finance specialist, they will go ahead and further either approve or reject the invoice. Approve will go through the same process authorizing the payment and to the treasury. If it is rejected, then the system will generate a correspondence and send it to the vendor, inform me that their invoice is rejected so they can submit a new invoice. So we are giving a better information communication to our vendors. So far we have my, so far 35% of our invoices are out, out of around two minutes. And the remaining goes through, goes through the non-exec match scenario. But we are getting there, we're trying to, you know, make more our invoices getting auto adjudicated so we are able to reduce time and able to release our payments more better way. So next, Jimmy's going to talk about how our payment processing system has been transformed from 2014 to current date, so over to you, Jim.

- Thanks Krishna. The Veterans Administration is the largest healthcare service, unified healthcare service in the world. We have 1,250 something service locations, which include enormous hospitals, clinics, administrative offices, of course, care facilities, homes, and unfortunately, memorials. And they generate a lot of bills. So we pay for all that, all that, all those financial transactions come through the financial service center. When we first cranked up the system back in 2014, we processed about $20 billion of invoices, over a million invoices came through the system. So over time, that's grown primarily because we've added new customers, what we call our customers, the other units or agencies of the Veterans Administration who've decided to use our services. We've included new products, we've included some education benefits, now go through the system, service orders now go through the system. Construction is not on the slide, but construction now goes through the system, and we've started doing benefits for the VBA, the Veterans Benefit Administration. So we're not just paying for the normal commercial invoices, we're starting to add new and new businesses all the time. So, this is all done through Pega rules. As you saw in an earlier slide, there's about 5,000 rules in the system right now. And each one of these business lines that I mentioned has their own unique set. So as Krishna mentioned on the products that we receive, whether it be a CAT scan machine or a bandage contract or mowing the yard for a facility, we match those. In order to do business with the government, there has to be a contract, we call it an obligation in our business. So an understanding between the government and the vendor. So when the good or services provided, they'll send us an invoice for that based on when the goods or service was provided. And we will match that to the original contract. And if everything matches up, if the good or service provided as per the terms of the contract, that is just one of the checks and balances that the thing goes through. We have a group of individuals, our accounting technologists who when the invoice needs human touch, we go through the Pega case system and it'll appear on their workbook, on their workbench. And then they're all specialized in different kinds of invoices that we receive. So they're familiar with the vendors and they're familiar with the customers. For education, what we've decided to do is have the VA counselor will authorize a veteran to go to school, and we will get the authorization, which stands essentially in our world for the contract. Then the school will send us the invoice. In this case, it would be the tuition bill. We also have an agreement with bookstores. It turns out about half of the college books in the the nation are supplied by a single company. So we have an agreement with them, they send us invoices and we pay those. We also have stipends that we send to the, the veteran themselves for living expenses. A service labor contract requires a human certification. So we'll send that through the Pega system. It'll appear in a work basket for a human to work on. Construction requires progress payments. And there is a, Krishna mentioned an auto adjudication. There's, if a invoice comes in that meets certain criteria, it will be auto adjudicated, it'll just flow through the system, we'll send it straight to the financial system, which then in turn notifies the treasury. But I'm not going to give you the secret sauce of how that works. So now we've got the system up and running, we're moving along, we're starting to add a few things to it. It seems to be working well, but suddenly, Bill, what happened?

- Yeah, well the users are really happy. They hadn't seen PE before and it's like wow, I can process these invoices. It looks like there's other stuff I can do. I got some exceptions, can you help me with exceptions? So these other requirements were coming up from our FOS, our financial operations service, users. And at the same time, all those other products I talked about before, you know, payroll, healthcare, travel, those IT shops or not those, those business, they want changes from the IT shop for their products too. And so at this time, if you needed something done to your product, you had to negotiate with the IT department to get a developer do this work for you. And then when it was done to your satisfaction, you had to get under schedule, which at the time was quarterly. So you can imagine you have all the business people over here wanting this. You have the IT department over here, all the negotiation going on, the business wasn't too happy. But PMO had a vision, had some smart leadership, they said, you know what, there's a better way ahead. And now Jim, please tell us what we did.

- Well, FSC participates in the VA wide initiative to adopt agile. In fact, my first meeting with my service line director, he said that he wants a way and he's authorizing me to do whatever it takes to be able to promise his customer that we will be able to provide that service on a specific day in the future. So we needed to figure out a way to organize our work such that we could estimate what it's gonna take to accomplish and commit to a go live date. And we were able to do that. The transformation from Waterfall to agile was a bit difficult. We're still was working on that. Not all of our service lines are transformed completely. And those of the ones that are like mine, still have some maturity to go through. But we're seeing the benefits. We've been able to deliver what we promise. Because there's another important piece to that that had to be put into place, the heavy lifting is not just organizing the people a certain way. There is a technological component to this, and Krishna's gonna tell us about that.

- Sure, thank you Jim. Well, with agile, things are not same anymore and things have been transforming very fast. So we realized we would need a better process to deploy our features faster to the production so our end users can process these invoices more efficiently. In 2019, FSC has started a process improvement initiative called DevOpsy. And with that, we have created an end-to-end DevOps pipeline and enabled automated deployments for FSC with a single click. Today we are able to onboard all our Pega applications into our DevOps pipeline and able to release our code from dev environment to all the way production environment. Our end-to-end DevOps pipeline has checks for guardrail compliance to make sure the code quality is good before we release any code, automated release nodes, run static code scan to find any security vulnerabilities, extract the build, capture CM team approvals within the pipeline itself, deploy the build, and send email notifications at every stage of the deployment to the corresponding teams. Today we are able to release our code anytime and any day in the week. But can you imagine, back in time we are allowed only to release two days in a week, which are Tuesdays and Thursdays, because of the schedule and operational limitations we had from our teams at that time. We have automated our testing efforts so we are able to reduce our release cycle and able to deploy our features faster to the production. And now that enable our testing team to be able to focus on other important tasks like test planning, test preparation, test report, and eventually produce more test automation scripts. In the next, I want to talk about some of the, the release metrics that got better over with our automated release pipeline compared to our manual deployments. Our lead time to deployment has been reduced from days to the minutes. This is where our change management team has to run the deployment plan with all the stakeholders, the corresponding teams and bring the teams to the deployment window, which is a huge manual exercise. And our deployment time itself has been reduced from hours to the minutes and our testing effort has been greatly reduced as well. Today, we are able to release our code in minutes to 10 days and that enabled our team to focus on other important work instead of getting stuck in a deployment window. Our automated release cadences has been growing year after year as you see here. And today, more than 80% of our deployments are automated. So next Bill, what challenges we have?

- Well thanks Krisna. Well, now we got this amazing team together, we've got the technology to support the team, and so this scrum team that Jim runs right now is dedicated to financial operations and they had payment integrity issues that bubble to the top. We said, Jim, we got two problems here. Up front, we have invoices coming in that we can't even process. They're just immediately rejected. There's issues with them, there's stuff in the wrong field, we need help there. Oh, and by the way, at the other end we gotta make sure that we do proper payments that a vendor didn't submit three times, we pay 'em three times. Or if there's a vendor that owes the government to debt, we deduct from that. Or if there's an entity which cannot do business with the VA, make sure we don't do that. And this is complicated 'cause we have over 3 million vendors.

- That's a lot.

- So Jim, please tell us how team solved this problem.

- Well, when we defined the workflow using the Pega system, we were, we finally got our arms around and got a better understanding of the various workflows, how things would go through the system, and we could pull key metrics on that and identify bottlenecks where the system needs to be improved. One of the, one of the outcomes of that was something we called purchase order flip. What we've been able to do now is for vendors that are doing business with the government, we can send them the information, essentially all the information they need then to push a single button that will convert that information into an invoice and send it back to us. And what that done, what that has done is virtually eliminated all the fat fingers. That significantly improved the integrity of our input. So, we would never even been able to imagine that, it didn't have the foundation of what we started with. The PL flip has been instrumental in improving the invoice matching. Another thing that we've been able to do is add onto the system what we call BAN, which is a business activity monitoring. It is a artificial intelligence solution provided by a third party vendor, and that we worked with very closely so that as invoices are moving through the certification process, at a point along the way, we will ask BAN to rank that invoice in terms of risk. So BAN will look back and at whatever it does in the magic data that it's kept, that that vendor has had issues or that certain transaction is an anomaly for that vendor or that certain transaction is an anomaly for that government entity, whatever the case may be. It use all these user supplied criteria to rank the transaction on a risk factor, and then when it appears that it needs additional attention, it will route that to a, to one of our financial technologists that will then solve it. It's all become fairly well-oiled and things are moving along really well right now, but there's still challenges on the horizon. Bill, what's out there?

- Well Jim, we got a well oiled mature product now. We got a really good high performing scrum team. We have business that's actually absolutely involved in what we do all the time. And in 2019, VA took on a big challenge, modernize financial management, the new business transformation. And a part of that is the procure to pay process we're involved in. And at that time, these systems didn't really talk to each other and needed to be improved and needed to modernize. So IBPS, this payment system had a reputation and one of our smart leaders said, you know, I think for this integrated financial acquisition management system, IPPS can be the payment solution. Came to us, came to FSC and said, can you guys do this? And by the way, we want it one year from now. Krishna, what do we do?

- Yes, Bill modernization, that sounds terrific, but well, it is a challenging requirement to support two different financial accounting systems at the same time because each system comes with its own complexity, business logic, integration points, and security posture. But with Pega's powerful smart rules engine and case management capabilities, we're able to quickly spin off a separate process flow, employ new business rules and validations and able to process these invoices efficiently into our new financial accounting system while we keep our existing payment process as is uninterrupted and maintaining payment integrity. This is called dual payment processing. This transition was seamless to our vendors because most of the heavy lifting was done within our Pega system and also onboarding the core process changes. And after moving to the new iFAMS system, our users experience has been tremendously increased thanks to the realtime service capabilities our new modern iFAMS system offering. And now our users are able to process invoices more efficiently because they have the up to date account information with them as opposed to the FMS, which is our legacy financial accounting system, which doesn't transact in realtime data and always the users has 24 hour world data. So far, we have migrated 25% of our invoices to our new iFAMS process and the remaining 78% we are still processing through our FMS legacy process, but we are expecting soon to migrate all our invoices to our new iFAMS process because that is the path we are VA is marching towards to as Bill explained part of the modernization. So next Bill, what challenge, what more challenges we have?

- Well, more challenges is people know about this great system that we have. And so as usual, Congress passes something and boom, VA's gotta take action right away. So VBA had this new program to provide training to veterans, and VBA is really good at providing training, not so good at making payments. So they came to us and I'm gonna ask you Jim, is this a journey that we were able to help with?

- Yeah, we looked into what they're trying to do and it turns out that our system can be fairly easily modified to fulfill their needs. I mentioned earlier that every transaction has to have a contract. In this case, every transaction has to have an authorization. A VA counselor will sign off on the education for a veteran, that becomes the contract the schools send the tuition bill that becomes the invoice and so forth. So we've been able to incorporate that business, we've onboarded that business and today we're paying about $735 million a year to our veterans for that program.

- Well that is awesome, Jim. Well like I said, word's spreading, this time it's the organization or the Office of Acquisition Logistics, they do a lot of contracts. And they're having a challenge with some VA employees who authorize the government to do work and they aren't authorized to do so, and then they have to do a paperwork process and figure out whether they should pay a vendor or not. Example of this is there's a purchase order for a technician to go to a hospital and fix one x-ray machine. Well the technician's there, well there's a second one broken, and there's a VA employee going, man I need to use this. Well, I can fix that while I'm here. I'll just add it to the bill. Oh yes, please do that. Okay, so he does that and then he submits through IPPS. Well guess what happens? Reject. He goes for one, not two. So this organization has come to us and they said, can your awesome payment processing system help us? What was the answer, Jim?

- No. What you've just described is not a financial transaction. It is a workflow though. It requires certification and authorization. Luckily, we've become very good at that. We've become very good at building workflow and incorporating documentation. So we have a very robust file net backend to capture all of our documents. Every government transaction requires a document. So all those documents are stored. What you're just talking about is a certification workflow backed up by documentation. And yes, we can do that. Not only that, we can start providing that service to other agencies. Hmm, okay, let's organize a new service. I work for the FOS, financial operations, we pay the bills. This new service, we're gonna call it digital business services. So we stood up to digital business services to provide our Pega expertise to other government entities. And one of those is a vendor 1099 service, setting up vendors and so forth. That is all now gonna be reorganized into our digital business service, which also includes robots. Oops.

- Yep.

- Krishna, what are we doing with robots?

- Well, Jim, digital business services, that sounds awesome. So but before that, when managing our vendor information in our legacy financial system is always manual and tedious process because our legacy financial system doesn't offer real time API integration capabilities. So, but with Pega Robotics we were able to change the situation by building robotic automations that eliminated the manual and repetitive work for our vendor raising team. We first created our vendor form robot to create our update vendor information in our legacy financial system to replace the manual entry process. And after the automation, the quality of our vendor information has greatly increased that in turn, reduced the rejected payments to our vendors and also brought down the number of calls to our call center, so which is huge success for our customer service team. After the automation, now both our vendor team and vendors are very happy and our vendor team brought two more use cases to us. Can you automate? Then we ran into the EFT reject process where we need to block the vendor regards in our legacy financial system so that the rejected payments are not going to be stuck at US Bank again and again. We implemented the EFT rejects bot that will read the payment rejects file from US treasury, open the vendor card, go into the our legacy financial system, block that vendor and send a correspondence to the vendor informing your payments are going to be on hold unless you are gonna send us updated bank information so we can make successful payments to you. After the automation, our vendor status is well tracked in our system and also our dispatch correspondence dispatch process has been greatly improved. The next bot we implemented was the separated employee, which follows the similar process, which is blocking the separate employee vendor card in our legacy financial system. And the separate employees are the ones either who left the VA or who got retired from the VA and are not supposed to receive any payments from VA. So since it follows the similar process, so instead of creating a separate robot, we reuse the EFT digs board and employ the employee separation business logic and validations into the, and able to quickly deliver the functionality to our business. In the end, robots are cool but they shouldn't be the first option to consider for solutioning, unless there are no other tool sets or potential options to implement the requirement. Because the robotics platform need upgrade patch and security and operation maintenance time to time. And also, in our example, our legacy financial system is old and doesn't, you know, offer the real time capabilities. So, we chose robotics are the perfect solution, but if your system is more than an offers API integration capabilities, always, you know, go with that. And keep in mind that not a combination of process improvement and automation will bring the better value to your process and to the organization, not just the automation itself. In this slide, I wanna talk about quickly on the savings tower our robotic automations brought to us all the time. Since 2021, we delivered three robotic automations, which saved over 14,000 man hours, created 8.4 FTE capacity to us. And in the end, it's not just the savings that our automations brought to us, but they eliminated human mistakes, human errors, increased our data quality, improved our process. So now our vendor raising team able to focus on run our vendor operations more efficiently than before. So next Bill, do we have more challenges or are we done?

- We do, we're always looking to improve. So we got some great stuff going on here, but since we're franchise fund, we gotta always look at the bottom dollar. Is there a way to do things more efficiently and is there a way to also respond to security threats faster? Those things keep coming up all the time and it takes away from other things we need to do. And of course. we're always looking at ways to get on board more customers and the customers we have continue to provide them their features faster. And to wrap things up, Jim's gonna tell you what we're considering next. Over to you, Jim.

- Well yeah, we've done a proof of concept on the Pega's platform as a service and we learned quite a bit through that. We have concluded that that is a direction that we want to head out into and we're working closely with Pega to implement something along those lines. FSC has 10 or more, maybe a dozen depending on how you look at it, applications that might be candidates for the Pega cloud. So we're moving in that direction. We're anxiously awaiting Pega's FedRAMP certification because we deal in PII and PHI quite extensively. So just to kind of wrap it up, thank you all for being here. If any of you are with government agencies that are looking for payment solutions, payment certification, Pega Technologies, robots, workflow, anything like that, please keep FSC in mind. That's what we do. So thank you all for being here. It's been a pleasure talking to you. What questions do you have?

- Can we clap first?

- Yeah, you can clap. I can barely see you.

- I think Cindy's gonna pass a mic around if there's any questions.

- Do we have any questions?

- Looks like the presentation was very clear.

- All covered.

- Do we have a few minutes left?

- [Attendee] Thank you very much for coming. I was just curious of what kinda the makeup was of the scrum teams that you have, like how many, what's, you know, what's kind of the mix of the Pega talent with the other aspects of the projects that you're managing?

- Okay, I hope I gleaned enough from your question. So we're following Safe, the scaled agile framework. So our scrum teams are made up of developers, testers, BAs, and product owners. So the, what we call the business are represented on every scrum team. We have, we're in the middle of our transformation. So not all of our work is done that method, but those that are further along on the journey, they're made up of anywhere from eight to 10 or 14 individuals. We are, they're all supported by an application we call Agility, named Agility. So we use the Agility like Jira kind of to manage that. We are, you know, the steps are to define your backlog, what it is that you're trying to do, triage that and figure out which team can is best to perform which function, assign it to a team, work with the business to establish a priority for each item. And then crank it out. And the more the team works together, the longer it lasts, the more stable it becomes, the more we can turn the speed knob up a little bit more each iteration. So we've had a lot of success with that. It's, is that answering your question? Good.

- [Attendee] They're not, these are committed teams utilize services model to utilize some of the team members that are also assigned from the IT op side, right? As needed like a DBA or an SA, et cetera.

- Yeah, if you couldn't hear that, our scrum teams are dedicated. They, the team persists despite the, we assign the work to the team, not the team to the work. So the team establishes their own, their internal relationships and so they work together and they gel and they start storm storming, norming and so forth. And it's, I've seen it happen. Bill introduced it to the FSC and I stepped in and adopted it fairly quickly. The other portions of the FSC that have seen that success are starting to do that as well.

- And the big aha moment is when the product owner and the business realizes they can set priorities and then the team gets it done for them.

- [Attendee] Quick question for you about the robotics process automation that you implemented. You mentioned, sorry, over here on the other side.

- Yeah, raise your hand, where are you?

- Right here.

- Okay, thank you.

- [Attendee] You mentioned that robots aren't good for everything, did you, how did you identify the scenario that you wanted to implement as a bot and is that bot attended or unattended?

- So we implemented the unattended robots and also we have evaluated some use cases where we need to implement the attended robots as well. But it entirely depends on the requirement in what use case that your business is going to bring on. And the reason I mentioned, you know, that the robots are cool, but they shouldn't be the first option because you know, when you have the modern system and it offers the modern system capabilities and when it can automate like you know the Pega BPM itself, you know, the Pega BPM can automate a lot of stuff, and when you have those options it's always better to construe instead of, you know, going to the robotics. And in one of one of the article I think Pega has published, you know, robots are kind of in a bandaid to the bad process, you know, to the legacy systems that you cannot interact, you cannot communicate, that they will bridge the gap until you know, your systems are going to be modernized. Your Hollywood legacy systems. Yeah, did that answer?

- Thank you.

- Thank you.

- He wanted to ask this question?

- [Attendee] Hi, I had a question about your considerations for Pega cloud for government versus client manage cloud. And the second question was regarding the beginning, excuse me, the beginning of your transformation and what that was like for your business users and also for your Pega developers and the rest of the IT team.

- Okay.

- I'll take the part about the transformation part.

- Okay.

- What Pega helped us do was develop things faster. That's the bottom line, 'cause the developers didn't have to do all that work behind the scenes to get something to show them. We had the out of the box UI that we could provide really fast with some limited functionality and start immediately going to the business and saying, hey, it looks like this. Is this really what you meant? You know, we have 192 requirements. Do we need to do 192 or does this meet the need now? We get that immediate feedback and you know, being fee for service that saves us money and makes the customer happy.

- Right, and I think there, there was one more question regarding--

- One part to that. Yeah, about the platform.

- Platform, I think the managed cloud versus the payer cloud, yeah. So the reason we are looking for the payer cloud because the payer cloud offers those operational burden taken away from the customer's hands. So the customer can focus on the application, on our development delivery and you know, managing the application while the payer will take care of managing the infrastructure, the security, and maintaining the FedRAMP and et cetera. So that is the whole reason we are looking more into our, the Pega cloud route instead of, you know, managing our own cloud, which is huge operational burden. And there was one more question, I'm sorry I think I,

- [Attendee] I think you guys covered I, thank you.

- Okay.

- Yeah, just to, one of my pain points is addressed the Pega application as a service. They're going to maintain all the technology stack for us. So when a new version of any piece of the technology stack is released and required to meet our fairly stringent, make the point that the government is likely the highest regulated industry on the planet. So when we are required to make an update to any of our components, the Pega folks are gonna take care of that for us. Not just the Pega application, but all the bits and pieces that are underneath it as well. So that's gonna address one of my pain points.

- And one other key point, the cost saving obviously. Yep.

- [Cindy] Okay, so thank you very much. I think we're out of time, but Bill, Krishna, and Jim will be around after the session, so if you have further questions, please let them know. And again, thank you all for attending and thank you.


Assunto: Atendimento ao cliente Assunto: PegaWorld Industry: Governo Área do produto: Automação inteligente

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