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Spain’s Social Security administration: Using AI to deliver benefits to citizens more efficiently

About Spanish Government Seguridad Social

The mission of Spain’s Social Security administration is to provide a reliable social protection system for all Spanish citizens. It provides over 11 million people with benefits of various types, encompassing healthcare, unemployment benefits, pensions, work-related sickness or injury benefits, assistance to the elderly, and more.

Industries: Government & Public Sector
Location: Spain

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About Accenture

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Google Cloud worked with Spain’s Social Security administration to develop a Dialogflow chatbot assistant and other cloud-based applications, which became the administration’s main channels to provide services to citizens during the pandemic.

Google Cloud results

  • The pilot chatbot assistant, known as the ISSA Social Security assistant, took one to two months to deploy
  • It became the main channel to deliver information and assistance to 10 million citizens
  • Another cloud-based service, a benefit eligibility simulator, answered nearly 20,000 requests per minute during its launch week

During launch week, nearly 20,000 requests were registered per minute

With all of its offices forced to close due to social distancing measures made necessary by COVID-19, Spain’s Social Security administration had no way of delivering crucial information about its benefits to Spanish citizens.

This created an immediate demand for a scalable solution that could replace the customer service of several physical offices and handle the high volume of inquiries during the pandemic. The solution also had to consider General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) guidelines and offer secure online support to citizens, from providing appointment booking to digitizing documents.

“The IT department at the Spanish government’s Social Security has been supporting the organization to deliver benefits to citizens for 40 years. However, the pandemic completely shifted the landscape and created the need for a more responsive and scalable approach to deliver our services. This was something only a cloud solution could offer.”

Andrés Pastor Bermudez, Gerente Adjunto, Gerencia de Informática de la Seguridad Social

While Spain’s Social Security administration had long invested and worked with IT systems, it had never used a cloud-based system before. However, it recognized the need for an agile and scalable cloud solution that could help deliver its benefits to over 11 million Spanish citizens in a timely manner. Working closely with Google Cloud, its teams developed the International Social Security Association (ISSA) Social Security assistant based on Dialogflow, the Google Cloud artificial intelligence technology used to create chatbots that are trained to learn the natural language of users to provide interactive responses.

At the same time, Spain’s Social Security administration developed a set of cloud-based applications to collect citizens’ requests for minimum vital income benefits to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.

The solutions based on Google Cloud’s Dialogflow AI/ML managed service were developed in just two weeks. In the chatbot’s first week, nearly 20,000 requests per minute were registered—a milestone in the Dialogflow platform for this type of application.

These cloud-based solutions have already had a significant impact on the organization. They’ve opened new horizons to different ways of working, replacing paper trails and physical appointments with digital documents and immediate, detailed assistance. According to Spain’s Social Security administration, more than 6.5 million citizens have used the chatbot to learn about services and what steps they need to take. This has presented both human and environmental benefits, proving that transformative change can often come from catastrophic events.

Vision for the future

Spain’s Social Security administration is continuing to explore new cloud-based solutions to build on the success of the ISSA Social Security assistant. It’s also working with Google Analytics across all of its websites and services to gather insights into how citizens are interacting with these channels, and what improvements can be made.

Tell us your challenge. We're here to help.

Contact us

About Spanish Government Seguridad Social

The mission of Spain’s Social Security administration is to provide a reliable social protection system for all Spanish citizens. It provides over 11 million people with benefits of various types, encompassing healthcare, unemployment benefits, pensions, work-related sickness or injury benefits, assistance to the elderly, and more.

Industries: Government & Public Sector
Location: Spain

About Accenture

Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology, and operations.