Region:North America

Industry:Banking and Financial Services

OMERS works smarter, accomplishes more, and builds capacity for strategic initiative



business processes automated

“The main priority has always been about giving time back to our employees,” explains Vipin Jain, Director, OMERS Automation COE (Centre of Excellence). “Our ultimate goal is to free them up from routine activities, giving them more time to focus on meaningful, value-added work.”

Digital transformation can deliver a wide range of benefits, but for Vipin, one of the most compelling is the opportunity to make work more engaging and satisfying for the people who do it. “When we give people the time to develop new skills, we’re improving our ability to serve our members and achieve our strategic goals,” he notes.

For the past few years, OMERS has partnered with UiPath, using AI-powered automation to drive employee growth and a culture of innovation.

Employee ally

Initially, OMERS began by engaging program sponsors and business stakeholders using a “crawl, walk, run” approach, demonstrating simple use cases and the strategic value of automation in order to build trust. In recent times, though, a growing number of OMERS staff have been given the opportunity to engage with the technology. Last year, says Jain, more than 300 people attended educational UiPath roadshows. “Our objective is to empower and enable our employees to understand the art of the possible with Automation so they can champion it,” says Vipin.

These “Build a Bot” sessions—designed to show people the art of the possible with automation and how automation can be an ally in their working lives—have been instrumental in discovering and helping OMERS develop new, highly specific use cases. Over a dozen of these cases are AI-driven, using products such as UiPath Document Understanding, AI Centre and Action Centre, and they’ve slashed time spent processing financial reports and other documents.

Automating Accounts Receivable

Take the company’s Accounts Receivable function. As an investor operating in multiple fields, OMERS is made up of a range of different internal entities. As a result, when bills arrive, they often need to be split between those entities. Previously, that was a manual process, requiring accountants to scan a range of free-text fields in the general ledger to work out which entity owed what. Not only was that process time-consuming, it came with a high risk of error, too.

Today, UiPath handles the entire job from start to finish. “It scans the document, interprets it, and then issues a bill to the appropriate entity,” says Jain. “It also teaches itself. We don’t need to train the model again and again, because it auto-trains based on the input we give it.” That particular automation was created by a developer with no background in machine learning, he adds.

Transforming our finance processes

One of OMERS tax processes has been similarly transformed. T12 Corporation Income Tax forms—mandatory documents that OMERS must create for each of the companies it invests in—are now handled by a UiPath robot. This reviews the trial balance provided, uploads it to the tax preparation software and reviews the output PDF to ensure all fields are filled correctly based on provincial regulations and compare that with the last year to do the compliance checks and present that back to the user to make the decision for the next steps.

That entire process is handled using UiPath’s in-built regular expressions & document understanding —simple search tools that made it easy for OMERS developers to point the robot in the direction of the information needed. “That process of information-gathering and submission used to be manual, but automation now completes that end-to-end process to give time back to our Tax team during busy season,” explains Vipin.

“Other use cases are proving to be just as transformative, where we are automating a lot of period-end processes that will allow our Finance team to focus on analytical work and to do more with the same resources,” he adds.

With examples such as these already delivering returns, excitement for the possibilities offered by UiPath continues to grow. Today, more than 90% of ideas contributed by analysts and senior analysts—a testament to the level of confidence in the Automation program that uses UiPath.

Confidence driven by proof

“Our primary metric is hours back to our business teams to enable our employees to focus on value added work,” says Vipin. “There are other metrics that are helping drive automation adoption for us, including reduction of manual errors, fostering learning and the growth of employees, enhancing employee well-being by improving work-life balance, supporting compliance programs and contributing to the overall growth of the organization.”

As OMERS grows, our processes will grow as well. In pursuit of that goal, AI-powered automation is allowing its teams to work smarter, accomplish more, and allocate capacity to new strategic initiatives.

UiPath gives us the ability to leverage emerging technologies like AI easily and confidently, and without having to build them from scratch. In a market that is saturated with AI solutions that are often disconnected from business needs, that’s genuinely unique.

Vipin Jain, Director, Automation Centre of Excellence

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