Digital GBS Consortium

Automation and robotics had been significant topics in our consortiums since January 2016.  All participants have learned from one another, resulting in initiation and acceleration of development, piloting and implementation of these new technologies.  With a goal of further increasing knowledge, sharing of experiences and accelerating innovation, we launched the new Digital GBS Consortium in the Spring of 2019.  It is designed for leaders of Automation in GBS in major companies to share innovations, ideas and leadership issues of common interest.  Our members are industry leaders in these endeavors.  Our agendas are developed collaboratively with all members and address the four key areas of leadership shown below.

Strategies and Governance

  • Opportunities and options of “digitizing the business”
  • Driving toward a “digital culture” in Finance and other parts for the business
  • The future of governance of automation in GBS and challenges of linking with automations throughout the company
  • Emerging and evolving structures, focus and approaches, including portfolio management
  • Digital automation frameworks to guide governance and launching automation solutions
  • Governing the demand of businesses for desktop automation: dealing with the risks and control issues, and facilitating solutions
  • Achieving promised benefits from RPA: how to deliver on the business cases

Digital Use Cases

  • Use of Machine Learning and/or RPA in Tax and Procurement processes
  • Automation of billing using RPA as an early step in improvement of a larger process, including the journey working with “internal customers”
  • Automating journal entries in Accounting
  • Blackline automation for “close process”
  • Using Power Query and SAP scripting as valuable tools for automation
  • Machine learning to mine and interpret data from OCR imaging
  • Automation solutions for OCR and workflow
  • Exploring and identifying Blockchain applications

Managing Digital/Automation Operations

  • Satisfying “customers of automation” through developing a sustainment capability
  • Developing approaches and tools to manage completed automations
  • Challenges and solutions with sustainment including organizing efforts, control rooms, SLAs and dashboards
  • Control towers for managing and sustainment of automations, including in-house developed tools

People and Organization

  • Resourcing Digital transformation projects, including attracting and retaining qualified talent
  • GBS as a supplier of automation to business operations, Supply Chain, Marketing, Audit and Tax
  • Establishing “automation incubators” to identify approaches and techniques for automation and digital transformation
  • Challenges and solutions of using consultants and BPO suppliers
  • Change management and communicating with affected employees

At our meetings, Automation leaders gather for two days, three times per year, with meeting locations rotating among the member companies.  The meetings are member-driven, and discussions on innovations are led by members who get the conversations started by sharing their innovations and initiatives.  Substituting participants is discouraged, as the relationships and ongoing familiarity with one another’s programs are important success factors.  Suppliers and consultants rarely participate, which enables open and honest discussions.

The following companies are currently participating in the GBS Leaders Consortium:

  • Cemex
  • Disney
  • Kimberly-Clark
  • Lockheed
  • United Technologies
  • Veritiv
  • Siemens
  • Walmart

Our target is to keep membership at about ten, and we recognize the opportunity to add a few more leading companies with innovation-rich programs. 

If you would like to learn more or discuss participating in this consortium, please contact Mike Markos at