Ascension launches consulting, training operation with 65 workers

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The parent of St. Vincent Health is launching a consulting and training unit in Indianapolis to help companies become more efficient at using robotic-automation technology to handle manual repetitive tasks.

St. Louis-based Ascension, the nation’s largest Catholic health system, announced the launch Wednesday morning at the Intelligent Automation conference in New Orleans.

The operation, called Agilify, is expected to start with about 65 employees, including process analysts, data analysts, technical configurators, and sales and marketing workers.

Agilify is designed to train clients to use software bots and other technologies to speed up processes of mundane jobs, such as tracking down payments from big customers. Without automation, such a task could require someone to spend hours on a phone, said company president Ed Hawkins.

“With the intelligent process automation, all they have to do is send in a spreadsheet that contains what they believe they are owed, and the robot picks it up and does all the analytics against the data base,” Hawkins said.

Agilify will be based at 4030 Vincennes Circle, just a few blocks from St. Vincent Hospital’s huge campus on the northwest side.

The operation is an offshoot of Ascension’s shared service center, set up in 2010, that helped the health system standardize and automate its own business services, which it said helped it achieve a 10 percent cost savings a year.

In recent years, other companies have approached Ascension to learn how to use robotic-process automation. Ascension recently decided it was time to turn the in-house operation into a commercial unit, Hawkins said. He estimated Agilify would ring up annual sales of between $50 million and $70 million within five years.

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