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Automating Onboarding Workflows in a High-Security Environment

Client

The client is a global leader in simulation technologies, modelling technologies and training services to airlines, aircraft manufacturers, healthcare specialists, and defence customers. They have a large international footprint with manufacturing operations and training facilities in 35 countries.

Background

When our client recently hired a senior executive, he noticed that his onboarding experience was not particularly robust and was littered with manual steps, which brought with them the potential for errors and issues throughout the onboarding experience for the end-user – a new employee. Our client is focused on delivering exceptional experiences for employees, and this experience triggered a re-engineering of the onboarding process.

Welcome

Challenge

Dispatch was challenged with building integration and workflow automation solutions to support automated onboarding and offboarding processes. These onboarding and offboarding workflow automations would reduce errors that were impacting the employee experience and increasing costs. Further, the automations would improve process confidence and reduce potential data security risks, streamline processes to eliminate manual steps to reduce cost and increase onboarding velocity, as well as create scalable processes that would allow the client to accelerate hiring without increasing overhead costs. The current process our client was struggling to manage was crowded with user dependencies, numerous steps, and brittle data exchange between the HRIS platform (Workday) and Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager (MIM). 

Ensuring a smooth transition between the pre-hire and day one onboarding was of critical importance to our client, in addition to reducing the process lag between systems caused by batch-oriented processes. A single orchestration point for all IT provisioning activities was the end-goal and primary focus of this integration build.

 

Solution

The generation of newly hired and rehired worker emails and usernames, along with updates to the username/email for existing employees through automation earlier in the onboarding and employee life cycle process, was achieved by making a transition from batch/file-based employee provisioning between Workday and MIM to a near-real-time API-based interface. While using existing rules frameworks within MIM when possible, Dispatch leveraged the Azure Serverless Functions and various Azure services for client team empowerment in the event of future changes to the integration.

Security management was a major requirement for our client, which served both civilian and military sectors. Dispatch’s solution had to meet the extremely high standards for data security and information privacy. The minimization of our security risk footprint was key and achieved through a clear and robust network and application topography, established in our Discovery Phase of the project and with deep collaboration with the client IT and security teams.

The solution that was implemented by Dispatch was a single-function app with distinct endpoints, which proved very useful during the testing phase of the project by minimizing dependency on the source and target systems during testing. This solution encompassed a unified end-to-end process with logging for error triaging and an API façade which acted as a gateway for the Function App.

A very specific Rule File was utilized as a table of exceptions. A certain email address format would be generated if the new hire matched a specific location or business unit. This Rules File was designed for longevity and future use so that the client could amend/update the rules without changes being made to the code.

 

Outcomes

This automated solution has resulted in new employee credentials being automatically generated and assigned in seconds. This is in contrast to the slow and error-prone prior manual processes, which sometimes took days. Data security is improved with less manual manipulation of personnel records, and the employee experience has been vastly improved. This automation has rolled out globally and is used across multiple business units in many different countries.

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