What is Robotic Process Automation?
Robotic automation refers to an automation style in which a machine or computer imitates the action of a human when performing tasks based on rules. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a mix of technology that automates tedious and predictable office tasks that your workers conduct in any of the IT systems using a mouse and a keyboard. RPA is an excellent tool for activities guided by processes, plans, and guidance. Your workers gain support with the most tedious tasks due to robotics and can spend more time on creative jobs. RPA works great irrespective of your sector (including all forms of shared services–administration, payroll, human resources, but also customer care, banking, or health services). RPA can cooperate with a wide range of applications, from "black" terminals to all kinds of windows applications to the most modern web application.
In the context of back-office administrative process automation, what does Robotic Automation mean?
Robotic Automation refers to automation back-office administration where a computer drives existing business application software in the same manner as a user does. This means that Robotic Automation, unlike traditional application software, is a tool or platform that operates and orchestrates other application software through the user interface of the existing application and is not "integrated" in this sense.
What are the advantages of robotic process automation through the user interface of existing applications?
- No, IT infrastructure changes are required–there is no integration requirement–in the same way as the user does, robots interface with any application via the user interface.
- No cost of integration–robots are driving existing applications.
- IT robots have their users "trained" by "showing" how to complete a task. This is similar to a new employee's training.
- A robot can scale across any number of other robots once it has been trained.
- In the course of time, robot knowledge is extended and reused.
- In a live environment, a robot is trained to make projects less expensive and faster than traditional IT.
- It is possible to synchronize multiple robots applied to a task to deliver large-scale robotic platforms.
Is Robotic Automation like macros or screen scraping?
No, Robotic clerical automation is a generation of old technologies such as screen scraping or macros. The main differences are: Robots are universal application orchestrators–any application that a person can use can be used by a modern robot, be it mainframe, legacy, tailor-made application, enabled web service, or even a closed third party API hosted service.
Applications are "read" by the bot, through the dedicated APIs where they exist, or the OS before the application display, or the native application screen.
A modern robot "reads" an application screen in the context in the same way as a user does. It is shown as part of the robot training on how to read the display of the application, much like a user is shown.
Robots collect procedural knowledge that can be reused by any other robot or device over time (similar to objects built in traditional SW engineering) in a shared library.
How easy is the activity of the robots to train and manage?
A robot is trained by a procedure flow chart. To outline the procedure, a flow chart is created and audited. Management information is automatically collected during the operation of the robot. As a by-product of the action, all processes generate statistical profiles. This enables a process to be tuned and developed in the light of real data.
Modern robot systems are integrated as core capabilities with failover and recovery. It means that a "smart" response can be trained in the overall system if changes occur or downstream failures occur.
Modern robots have full audit and security authorization to record and regulate all changes and access. The robot platform automatically captures back-up process steps, roll-back, and recovery, as well as process change-highlighting.
How is Robotic Process Automation different from Business Process Management (BPM)?
BPM is primarily aimed at improving IT architecture to make automation and process management capabilities more flexible. Most often, its objective is to support agent productivity through the acceleration of the desktop actions, connectivity of the application, management of the workflow. As a result, BPM is part of the core IT toolset, which usually requires a traditional IT change program for adjustments outside configurable parameters to a solution. Connectivity between applications is a key skill required to operate BPM effectively, and design work on how applications should integrate to meet business requirements.
Robotic Automation focuses primarily on the replacement of clerical staff as opposed to the acceleration of clerical staff as with BMPS. Therefore, the approach's philosophy is to focus on routine, repetitive, rule-based tasks (procedures as sub-tasks in a larger business process). Often for long periods of time, such tasks can tie down clerical staff. Such tasks are very often small, possibly involving 5-10 people, and therefore do not justify automating large IT projects, or even BPMS. For robot automation, the difference is that no IT is required, and business users can "show" what to do to the robot. Therefore, the capacity is distributed to operations personnel in order to divide and conquer many mid-to-small automation initiatives that would otherwise require people.
What is the cost of robotic automation?
A "fully loaded" digital worker is about 1/3 the cost of agents that have been sourced globally. Additionally, deployment flexibility means that this comparison is easy to maintain and judged as the best approach to specific tasks.
How do robots handle the judgment of humans?
For now, robots are only following rules. Where a procedure requires interpretation and ability to judge an outcome, a robot may not be appropriate. One common technique is to reorganize task steps in order to deal with any judgment from the front–the work is prepared for robotic automation. This allows robots to handle bulk rules and distribute them to humans once a judgment is required. In instances will AI is deployed with RPA, the intelligent automation framework allows bots to make data-backed decisions and limit human involvement events further and as required.
What are the advantages of Robotic Process Automation in the context of administrative back office?
- Robotic FTE's are 1/3 of the offshore FTE's price and can work 24/7
- Automation speed means it takes days and weeks to automate clerical procedures
- "Self Build"–no need for specialist IT, robots can be trained by end-users
- Robots are trained to perform repetitive clerical tasks and drive existing applications so that costly integration and costly process re-design expertise are not required.
What types of processes are ideal for this type of automation?
Lots of repetitive rules-based procedures are the best projects for robot automation. The robotic automation platform's flexibility is such that it doesn't matter if it involves multi-system interaction. We have made available an RPA Use Case Assessment Matrix to help companies identify, qualify, and rank their RPA opportunities. You can find a copy of the matrix here.
Are You Going To Change My Existing Systems?
Our key design point is that we don't change any of your underlying systems because it's often complex and costly to perform. We collect data and integrates processes at an abstract level using a variety of techniques and interfaces to ensure that underlying systems are not affected. This not only impact speed; implementations are faster, which intern means your business rules remain intact.
Is Your Robotic Process Automation Platform Safe And Auditable?
Security and auditability are integrated at several levels in our robotic process automation platform. The runtime environment is completely separate from the editing environment for the process. Permissions are specific to each authorized user to design, create, edit and run processes and business objects. It maintains a complete audit trail of changes to any process and provides comparisons of the changes before and after effect. The log created for each process at run-time provides a detailed, time-stamped history of all actions and decisions taken in an automated process.
Our customers tend to find that running a process with our technologies gives them much more control than a manual process, and from a compliance point of view ensures consistent processes are run in line with the process definition.
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