This post is part of a special series to recognize Pledge 1% Members featured on the 2023 Cloud 100 List.
Why did you first decide to join Pledge 1%? We launched our Social Impact Office (SIO) two years ago with a vision of empowering nonprofits with access to cutting-edge technology, uplifting human lives through upskilling and reskilling—and encouraging our employees to participate in volunteering and community drives. As part of our SIO’s formal launch, we wanted to demonstrate the depth of our intention by making a Pledge 1% commitment for product and time. Our social impact focus areas (technology access, human economic uplift and community investment) align well with those of Pledge 1%, and we’re very excited to collaborate with and learn from our fellow technology members in the Cloud 100 community.
What does your Pledge 1% program look like in action?
Our mission is to fuel the future of work by helping every organization build a digital workforce to increase their productivity and growth. Combining generative AI and automation, our technology is unlocking the next wave of productivity for our non-profit and social enterprise partners, and those they serve. Automation empowers nonprofits to save time and resources to focus more on their mission—the kind of work only humans can do. We also aim to make the future of work more inclusive and equitable by affording underrepresented groups greater opportunity for employment in the tech arena and bridging the wealth gap.
Our automation helps impact partners to become more efficient, provide more programs and services for more beneficiaries and maximize their limited resources. We offer a starter package for verified nonprofits and social enterprises with discount pricing of 75% off.
We have carefully designed a free upskilling/reskilling curriculum that is welcoming to communities that fast-developing technologies typically leave behind, such as minorities, women, working mothers, veterans, refugees, people with lower incomes and those with disabilities. These groups may have little time or resources to invest in traditional learning, and our curriculum offers them feasible alternatives: An accessible low-code/no-code platform; bite-sized, self-paced learning modules; certifications that take months rather than years to achieve and scholarships for certification exams; connections to engage with our user and developer community.
Our four days of paid Voluntary Time Off (VTO) and a #GoGiveBack volunteer campaign each year offer our employees opportunities to support our impact partners and other organizations and causes—and bring resources to work for good around the world.
What have been some of the greatest highlights or impact moments to date? A major part of our program is providing technology access for nonprofits. Ukrainian NGOs like Step with Hope are providing relief to 18 million people needing assistance. Responding to backlogs of up to 1,500+ aid requests, Automation Anywhere, Center for Humanitarian Technology (CFHT), and other partners collaborated to expedite this NGO’s refugee relief efforts through automation technology. Our first automation turned Telegram relief requests into help desk tickets that accelerated aid delivery, eased the request process for refugees and mitigated capacity complications caused by backlogged requests. A second “Help ID” bot later processed relief center sign-ins and allowed volunteers to refocus away from information collection and reporting to providing actual aid. Within 6 weeks, the NGO responded to >400% more requests, processing 17,500 aid requests from 14,000+ Ukrainians. The NGO repurposed 400 volunteer hours into time for essential direct relief. Due to new efficiencies, the NGO expanded from 18 to 25 centers.
We also believe that volunteering begins at the top; in December 2022, Automation Anywhere’s CEO Mihir Shukla and his direct reports came together as a team in one afternoon to process 1,000 backlogged requests for aid as part of a data cleanup for Step with Hope. Team members described the experience as “eye-opening,” saying, “you can see some of the very real struggles people are having” and that this created a new perspective of how companies like ours can step in to support the critical work of nonprofits.”
We also focus on upskilling and reskilling people in the workforce. In 2021 and 2022,
71,800+ non-paying learners completed 270,500+ training hours at Automation Anywhere University or through social impact partners
106,400+ accessed free Community Edition Licenses for Automation Anywhere’s flagship platform, Automation 360.
Spencer George transitioned from his job as a cook at a fast-food franchise in the U.S. Mississippi Delta to become a PeopleShores associate, becoming an automation student, then a developer, and most recently a trainer for local community college students. He now has the potential to earn nearly ten times the income of a short-order cook.
"Mohamad," who fled Syria to Turkey, embarked on an AI-automation reskilling journey through Robo Co-op, a refugee-led cooperative for digital inclusion. He now "pays it forward" by training other refugees from various parts of the world, including Ukraine.
Gloria Jackson, an entrepreneur from Botswana, Africa, chose to participate in leriba.ai’s 1 Million Women in Intelligent Automation program to stay relevant in her field.
What does it mean to you to be a Pledge 1% member on the Cloud 100 List? Participation in Pledge 1% demonstrates our commitment to supporting human enablement for societal good, and we are excited and proud to be working shoulder-to-shoulder alongside the other amazing Cloud 100 technology companies.
From Day 1, we envisioned our technology as part of the foundation for an equitable society. We’re passionate about democratizing access to tech-enabled career pathways with digital reskilling that empowers learners from all communities and all walks of life, who may have talent and passion but little opportunity. As only truly diverse teams can build ethical AI, we’re striving for the kind of societal transformation leading to greater inclusion at the decision-making level, especially when it comes to building and working with AI.
The commitment of our leaders and our four company values have fueled our ability to come together and deliver automations to answer urgent, time-sensitive needs of impact partners. Our award-winning work with the NHS throughout COVID is an example of how living our four values works to solve global challenges.
1. Passion (Embracing challenges and goals with persistence and urgency). Our one-of-a-kind relationship with the UK’s National Health Service is a global impact partnership. Based on a commitment of additional internal resources from our highest levels to help the NHS fight COVID in any way possible, our time and services far exceed our contractual business relationship. The Automation Anywhere team worked overnight, side-by-side with NHS hospital IT staff to build the Oxygen Bot.
2. Innovation (Using our creative skills, ideas and capabilities to delight our impact partners, surpassing their expectations). When numerous COVID patients needed oxygen treatment, overwhelmed NGH staff were asked to check the hospital’s oxygen tank levels every hour, instead of every six. Logging into systems and collecting readings from the tanks each time was critical to ensure adequate supply levels for patients—but overwhelmed staff needed relief. In just 12 hours, they built a 100% accurate, 24x7 reliable “Oxygen Bot” that improves clinical safety and gives more than 1,500 hours a year back to staff. NGH became the first known hospital to monitor oxygen tank levels with robotic process automation (RPA.) “Launch of the Oxygen Bot gave us confidence in automation and proved that innovation doesn’t need to stop in a crisis,” says NHS’ Head of Emerging Technology. “Delivering precious time back to our colleagues at the height of the pandemic gave us the courage to explore automation further and with other NHS organizations.”
3. Customer First(Caring that inspires us into action based on partner feedback, data, and stories) A team of approximately 30 Automation Anywhere employees, ranging from engineers, who built the Oxygen Bot, to a company co-founder and many global executives, stood ready to work with the NHS as needed for pandemic response.
4. One Team One Goal (Agreeing on and establishing goals and plans to deliver as a team). The collaboration lived on, sparking other automations across dozens of NHS entities in 2021. Together, Automation Anywhere and the NHS wrote a whitepaper series that is a blueprint on how digital automation can be built and delivered to large healthcare systems worldwide.
Can you share any quick tips or learnings you’ve gained while implementing your program? Assemble all stakeholders at the same table, especially when launching cross-sector initiatives. What made our support of Ukrainian relief agency Step with Hope successful was partnering with several companies to share all our strengths rather than as a silo.
If you were to give one piece of advice to companies thinking about joining Pledge 1%, what would you say? You can start as big or small as you’d like, and there are greater ways to give than just traditional corporate philanthropy.
"Look inward to find what makes sense for your business - for us it was giving through our product/technology and time."