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Wipro Harmony Simplifies GBS Harmonization & Automation

 

Wipro has a long history of building operations platforms in support of shared services and has been evolving its Base))) platform for 10 years. The platform started life as a business process management (i.e. workflow) platform and includes Base))) Core, a BPM platform in use within ~25 Wipro operations floors, and Base))) Prism, providing operational metrics.

These elements of Base))) are now complemented by Base))) Harmony, a SaaS-based process capture and documentation platform.

So why is this important? Essentially, Harmony is appropriate where major organizations are looking to stringently capture and document their processes across multiple SSCs to further harmonize or automate these processes. It is particularly suitable for use where:

  • Organizations are looking to drive the journey to GBS and consolidate their SSCs into a smaller number of centers
  • Multinationals are active acquirers and need to be able to standardize and integrate SSCs within acquired companies into their GBS operations
  • BPS contracts are coming up for renewal
  • Organizations are looking to shorten the time-consuming RPA assessment lifecycle.

Supporting Process Harmonization for SSC Consolidation & Acquisition

Harmony is most appropriate for multinational organizations with multiple SSCs looking to consolidate these further. It has been used in support of standardized process documentation, and library and version control, by major organizations in the manufacturing, telecoms and healthcare sectors.

In recent years, multinationals have typically been on a journey moving away from federated SSCs, each with their own highly customized processes, to a GBS model with more standardized processes. However, relatively few organizations have completed this journey and, typically, scope remains for further process standardization and consolidation. This situation is often exacerbated by a constant stream of acquisitions and the need to integrate the operations of acquired companies. Many multinationals are active acquirers and need to be able to standardize and integrate SSCs within acquired companies into their GBS operations as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Process documentation is a key element in this process standardization and consolidation. However, process documentation in the form of SOPs can often be a manual and time-consuming process suffering from a lack of governance and change & version control.

Harmony is a standalone SaaS platform for knowledge & process capture and harmonization that aims to address this issue. It supports process capture at the activity level, enabling process steps to be captured diagrammatically along with supporting detailed documentation, including attachments, video, and audio.

The documentation is highly codified, capturing the “why, what, who, & when” for each process in a structured form along with the possible actions for each process step, e.g. allocate, approve, or calculate, using the taxonomy developed in the MIT Process Handbook.

From a review perspective, Harmony also provides a view from the perspectives of data, roles, and systems for each process step, so that, for example, it is easy to identify which data, roles or systems are involved in each step. Similarly, the user can click on, say, a specific role to see which steps that role participates in. This assists in checking for process integrity, e.g. checking that a role entering data cannot also be an approver.

Wipro estimates that documentation of a complex process with ~300 pages of SOP takes 2-3 weeks, with documentation of a simple process such as receiving an invoice or onboarding an employee taking 2-3 days, and initial training in Harmony typically taking a couple of days.

Harmony also supports process change governance, notifying stakeholders when any process modifications are made.

Reports available include:

  • SOPs, including process flows, and screenshots, which can be used for training purposes
  • SLAs
  • Project plans
  • Role summaries
  • Gap analysis, covering aspects such as SLAs and scope for automation.

Support for process harmonization and adoption of reference or “golden processes” are also key aspects of Harmony functionality. For example, it enables the equivalent processes in various countries or regions to be compared with each other, or with a reference process, identifying the process differences between regions. The initial reference process can then be updated as part of this review, adding best practices from country or regional activities.

Harmony also plays a role in best practice adoption, including within its process libraries a range of golden processes, principally in finance & accounting and human resources, which can be used to speed up process capture or to establish a reference process.

Facilitating Value Extraction from BPS Contract Renewals

Despite the lack of innovation experienced within many in-force F&A BPS contracts, the lack of robust process documentation across all centers can potentially be a major inhibitor to changing suppliers. Organizations often tend to stick with their incumbent since they are aware of the time and effort that was required for them to acquire process understanding and they are scared of the length and difficulty of transferring process knowledge to a new supplier.

Harmony can potentially assist organizations facing this dilemma in running more competitive sourcing exercises and increasing the level of business value achieved on contract renewal by baselining process maturity, identifying automation potential, and by providing a mechanism for training new associates more assuredly.

Harmony provides a single version of each SOP online. As well as maintaining a single version of the truth, this assists organizations in training associates (with a new associate able to select just the appropriate section of a large SOP, relating to their specific activity, online).

Shortening the RPA Process Assessment Lifecycle

As organizations increasingly seek to automate processes, a key element in Harmony is its “botmap” module. Two of the challenges faced by organizations in adopting automation are the need for manual process knowledge capture and the discrepancies that often arise between out-of-date SOPs and associate practice. This typically leads to a 4-week process capture and documentation period at the front-end of the typically 12-week RPA assessment and implementation lifecycle.

Harmony can potentially assist in shortening, and reducing the cost of, these automation initiatives by eliminating much of the first 4 weeks of this 12-week RPA assessment and implementation lifecycle. It does this by recommending process steps with a high potential for automation. These recommendations are based on an algorithm that takes into account parameters such as the nature of the process step, the sequence of activities, the number of FTEs, the systems used, and the repeatability of the process. The resulting process recommendations assist the RPA business analyst in identifying the most appropriate areas for automation while also providing them with an up-to-date, more reliable, source of process documentation.

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