Digital Staff looks to free up people’s time

December 18
By Sean Meyer
 Oscar ONeill realized early on he liked problem solving and helping people, which is why after graduating from university he looked to the IT sector as a way of providing that bit of assistance people often need.
While that led Oscar to launch Your Tech London, which he describes as basically “an out-sourced IT department,” he knew he wanted to do more. The more, in this case, led him to focus on something more specific — robots.
Granted, they aren’t your typical, science fiction-style machines, but at Oscar’s new venture, Digital Staff, the robots are used to do what he calls, “robotic process automation” or RPA. 
Put another way, he gets a computer to do repetitive tasks, which then free up people to do the things they would rather focus on.
“We want to help our customers increase their customer satisfaction, their employee satisfaction, by handling repeated, rules-based tasks with robotic process automation,” he explains. “If you think about the kind of work RPA is good at, it’s rules-based, high-volume, and digital. Those are things people don’t necessarily like doing. Accountants, bookkeepers, would they rather spend time copying down numbers from a piece of paper when they could be working with their clients?”
Born in Ireland, Oscar was eight years old when his parents decided to come to London and he quickly fell in love with the city.
To his mind, London’s size is what he likes best, as the Forest City isn’t so large that it loses its sense of community.
In 2017, Oscar graduated from the Media, Information & TechnocuIture program at Western University. From there, he would launch Your Tech London before shifting his focus to establishing Digital Staff.
Currently, that means reaching out to medical clinics across Canada, explaining to them what his robot can do. At a medical clinic, for example, his tech can read documents that come in either from hospitals or other specialists, read the patient details, and file the information automatically. 
Typically, Oscar said, doctors produce generally 40 or 50 documents a day. If a given clinic had 10 doctors working out of it there would be some 500 documents that come in.
His system, he explains would allow the robot to take over those more mundane tasks.
“The receptionists, office administration staff, they would rather be talking with patients . . . it would be better to help them feel better instead of putting them off so they can do some filing,” he said. “You still have to do that stuff, but it isn’t necessarily the best use of people’s skills.”
Oscar needed a space to launch his business from and it was while working out of Propel — Western’s entrepreneurship centre — he was introduced to the idea of looking into Innovation Works.
Eventually, Oscar would move in with Tyler Bryden, at SixFive Interactive, in the lower level at Innovation Works before moving upstairs into his own office.
A self-described “fan” of the shared space concept, Oscar said without Innovation Works serving as a hub for so many like-minded people, they would be scattered across the city and not helping support each other — something he sees happening every day.
“I see it as a win/win situation. If we’re all sitting at home, we aren’t going to have random meetings, random encounters, and who knows what comes from those conversations,” he explains. “If I wasn’t here at Innovation Works, I could stay on the computer all day and never talk to anyone, ever, just send emails and program. Having people to remind me of why I’m doing this is important.”
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