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Project Updates

Third Quarter 2023

DWD continued work toward eliminating manual processes and increasing efficiency and accuracy in the UI program through modernization activities, including:

  • Benefit Calculation and Liability Engine: All components needed to process a claim in the modern system have been identified, including generating required correspondence, displaying and updating the total amount paid and the remaining amount left on the claim, and refining the data displayed to ensure that UI staff have the necessary information to process the claim.
  • Adjudication Workflow Prototype: A prototype workflow has been created for one type of issue that requires a formal decision. The workflow walks the adjudicator through the process step-by-step and prompts the adjudicator to provide the appropriate supporting materials for that item. Additional development work is needed to establish the full process.
  • Adjudication Scheduler: The adjudication scheduler is a tool that allows automatic case assignment and routing based on the issue type, adjudicator skill level, and resource availability. During this quarter, development was completed, and the tool was being tested prior to full implementation.
  • Modernized IT cloud Infrastructure work: Additional improvements were made to the security of the new system's applications. DWD is building cloud-based containers to segregate different elements of the system to ensure a secure data structure to support the process.

DWD/DOA Legislative Update Oct 31, 2023

Second Quarter 2023

DWD's work has laid the foundation to eliminate manual processes and increase efficiency and accuracy. Having that foundation in place has allowed DWD to make substantial progress on several key projects, including:

  • The Benefit Calculation and Liability Engine, which will determine the amount of benefits a claimant would receive once in production.
  • Improved capabilities to submit required reports to the federal government.
  • Adjudication prototyping, which begins development on a guided workflow for cases that need manual review and intervention to ensure all steps and documentation have been completed.
  • Modernized IT infrastructure.
  • A new adjudication scheduler to assign adjudication in a more automated fashion.
  • Additional ID proofing techniques and a dashboard to prevent or stop potential fraud attempts.
  • Accessibility assessments to improve user experience.
  • A knowledge-based tool that centralizes policy and process so it is more searchable and accessible to staff at all levels within UI.

DWD will continue working on these enhancements in the coming quarters. DWD also will focus on an end-to-end demonstration that tracks the processing of a sample claim through UI's modernized systems.

DWD/DOA Legislative Update July 31, 2023

First Quarter 2023

The UI modernization project continued to focus on adding increasingly complex calculations necessary to determine the amount of an unemployment insurance claim. A first iteration of a web-based user interface has been developed. As additional calculations are added, the display and functionality will change to address the changing needs. The work to secure and manage the cloud continues to advance with a focus on a safe and reliable cloud environment.

DWD has prioritized eliminating manual processes in some key areas to maximize the impact for staff and other end users, resulting in timely payment of benefits. Over the coming quarters, DWD will continue to focus on building the systematic components to determine benefit eligibility, accurately calculate benefits, and charge the benefits to the appropriate employer(s).

DWD/DOA Legislative Update April 27, 2023

Fourth Quarter 2022

During the fourth quarter, the UI modernization team collected feedback to fine-tune the new Benefit Estimator Calculator. The Benefit Estimator tool is the foundation for the Benefit Calculation and Liability Engine, which will determine the amount of benefits a claimant would receive. The UI modernization team will continue programming work for this system.

In addition, significant work was accomplished toward establishing a secure and efficient cloud environment to support applications being developed. Having applications that result in working software supported in a cloud environment is a major step in retiring a legacy mainframe application.

DWD/DOA Legislative Update January 30, 2023

Third Quarter 2022

The Department of Workforce Development's Unemployment Insurance system modernization efforts are taking another step forward with the implementation of its first product in the form of a Benefit Estimator. With this release, a modern benefit estimator is available with a comparison tool validating the results to the existing system. The UI Modernization team will continue to expand the benefit calculation engine to address increasingly complex unemployment insurance claims. On September 20, 2022, DWD released the Benefit Estimator Calculator video, which showcases the value of the development work underway.

The recent implementation of the new benefit estimator is a successful first step in helping DWD staff members more quickly, accurately, and effectively support Wisconsin residents now – and into the future.

DWD/DOA Legislative Update October 31, 2022

Second Quarter 2022

During the second quarter, the UI modernization team continued the foundational work that occurred in the first quarter for designing the cloud architecture and the supporting protections for data protection and overall system security. As with any new build, this foundational work will continue to build over time a strong, solid foundation to support new applications. This quarter delivered an initial vulnerability plan, an automated workflow, an initial communication mechanism between the legacy and modern systems, implementation of a strategy for de-identification uniquely identified data, and early implementation of a data storage approach.

Also in progress, initial work was underway to establish a tool that could perform a benefit estimate for staff to use in working with claimants. Before moving into production, all infrastructure needs will be evaluated, including secure communication methods, data security, and vulnerability management.

DWD/DOA Legislative Update July 27, 2022

First Quarter 2022

The initial focus of the UI modernization effort is claims processing. The current system cannot address all case types resulting in a significant amount of manual processing. The UI modernization team began the task of building the early stages of the cloud infrastructure with the appropriate security and controls and initial system development with a focus establishing claimant eligibility and employer charging. This work included continuing research on our existing system, exploring options for extracting and storing the existing data, and developing technical mechanisms for connecting the State of Wisconsin-controlled data center to the cloud.

DWD completed the transition of the existing call centers to the cloud-based contact center, including the integration of the voice-based chatbot on the UI main telephone number after hours. The voice based chatbot is able to answer frequently asked questions in English and Spanish. In addition, a chatbot was implemented on the website that can answer questions in English, Spanish, and Hmong

DWD/DOA Legislative Update Apr. 28, 2022

Fourth Quarter 2021

The UI modernization team, composed of DWD and Flexion staff, held an initial kick off meeting and began the discovery process to establish a common understanding of the existing Unemployment Insurance (UI) systems.

This work was focused on developing the team working protocols and language; obtaining access to DWD systems and environments; and obtaining sufficient understanding and knowledge about the data flows, code execution flows, the new cloud-based environment, and policy and business processes.

DWD implemented the first phase of the cloud-based contact center with a subset of the call centers fully using the new cloud-based contact center. Work was completed in phases to meet both the programmatic needs and to ensure a smooth transition over time.

DWD entered into an agreement to develop a chatbot that will serve on both the DWD Unemployment Insurance (UI) website and through a voice feature on the call center. Work has begun to identify the frequently asked questions that will be included in this effort.

DWD/DOA Legislative Update Jan. 31, 2022

Third Quarter 2021

DWD began preparations for the initial kick off meeting with the UI modernization vendor, Flexion.

DWD contracted with Nice CXone, a cloud-based Customer Contact Center, through the NASPO ValuePoint Contract to provide call center services. The outcome of this contract is to establish a new cloud-based call center to increase the scalability of the solution to meet the changing needs of DWDs programs. In addition, the solution offers seamless integration of a telephony system with

DWD/DOA Legislative Update Oct. 29, 2021

Sept. 29, 2021

DWD has signed a contract with Madison-based Flexion that involves integration of off-the-shelf software and cloud-based solutions along with significant custom software development. Flexion brings a unique combination of programming expertise and user-experience insight to power DWD's unemployment insurance system modernization efforts.