Wiltshire Council Deploys Thoughtonomy Virtual Assistants to Free up Staff Capacity and Deliver Improved Services

Thoughtonomy, the leading Intelligent Automation platform provider, is working with Wiltshire Council to transform the way it delivers services to residents as part of its long-term automation strategy.

Wiltshire Council is amongst the first local government bodies in England to deploy Virtual Assistants to process high-volume, repetitive tasks which are typically a drain on staff time and capacity within local councils. The addition of a digital labour resource pool, which can operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, will mean that existing staff have more time and energy to focus on critical activities that make a tangible difference to residents.

Using Thoughtonomy’s Virtual Workforce® platform, Wiltshire Council is looking to automate a wide variety of back office and front office manual processes. In order to maximise the benefits of Intelligent Automation, Thoughtonomy is helping the council establish an in-house Centre of Excellence for automation, ensuring that council staff rapidly develop the skills and expertise needed to identify, build and deploy new automations across any function.

The first key milestone in the programme to build experience, has been to launch automations within the council’s own HR function. Automated payroll processing has gone live and Virtual Assistants are successfully carrying out the necessary checks on more than 43 payrolls each month. These payrolls cover schools and academies in the region as well as Wiltshire Council’s staff. Payroll checks need to be conducted before payments are made. Virtual Assistants are now able to do this in one minute per payroll whereas previously it could take up to 10 minutes for this to be run manually. Importantly, this improvement will allow Wiltshire Council to generate additional revenues by taking on more school payrolls in the region.

Building on this success, the council is working on automating a further 10 processes which are due to go live in the coming months and will benefit residents and council staff. These include automations to facilitate the planning application process, invoicing of Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) checks, further payroll processes connected to pension payments for teachers and costing reports for schools.

Ian Blair-Pilling, Cabinet Member for IT and Digitalisation, said: “This is a really exciting time for the council and we have taken a huge step forward on our digital transformation journey. Leveraging technology, where it makes sense, is a key part of our strategy and will shape how we deliver our services in the future, in the most cost effective and efficient way for the residents of Wiltshire. We are an innovative council, and plan to be at the forefront, capitalising on technological advancements, to deliver our business plan. Our staff involved have been enthusiastic in embracing these opportunities and are excited about the changes it will bring to the way they deliver services.’’

Phil Sheen, Head of Public Sector at Thoughtonomy, said: We’re thrilled to be working with Wiltshire Council, its members and staff in order to deliver the best services possible to residents, businesses and visitors to the county. Our strategic engagement with the Wiltshire team will see us continue to work closely with them over the coming year to develop their virtual assistant capability. This also provides a new range of digital skills which will be embedded in the Council and continues to demonstrate Wiltshire as a leading innovator in digital public services and citizen outcomes.”

Earlier this month, Thoughtonomy was certified on G-Cloud 11, the latest iteration of the government procurement framework for cloud-based services, and it has been ever-present on the framework since G-Cloud 8 in 2015.

The certification follows Thoughtonomy’s work helping public sector organisations to streamline processes, free up critical staff capacity and improve patient and citizen outcomes through Intelligent Automation. The UK-headquartered firm works across the UK Public Sector and in the last year has added more than 20 organisations to its customer base spanning NHS Trusts, Local & Regional Government entities and Police forces.

About Thoughtonomy

Thoughtonomy, a Blue Prism company, delivers artificial intelligence (AI) driven intelligent automation platform that enables organizations and the people they employ to do more and achieve more. A leading provider of intelligent, cloud-based automation, the company’s award-winning Software as a Service (SaaS) platform gives companies access to a pool of cloud based intelligent digital workers that can perform the repetitive, time-intensive tasks that slow people down. By integrating this digital workforce with their human teams, companies can accelerate growth and achieve a step change in efficiency. Thoughtonomy has grown at a rapid rate since being founded in 2013, with more than 200 customers using its platform in 29 countries spread across four continents. In 2019, Blue Prism acquired Thoughtonomy, to add the SaaS offering into its wider Connected-RPA portfolio. Visit www.thoughtonomy.com to learn more.