What is Robotic Process Automation?
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the application of technology that enables any rule-based process to be automated. An Application software or a “robot” can capture and interpret existing applications data for processing a transaction, manipulating, triggering responses and communicating with other systems.
RPA Bots can be configured to automatically connect, interpret and act on all types of applications including Mainframe, Web, Windows, API layers, O.S and databases The Robots can run 24×7 based on configured rules without making any mistakes and can work in sequential or parallel mode. The Robots also create audit logs of every action they take and create exception reports for tasks that could not be handled by robots
The Robots can run as attended or unattended. Attended Robots run on application user’s desktop and are also considered desktop Robots. For e.g. they can be used on CSR (Customer Service Rep) desktop to assist the CSR their tasks Unattended Robots run on virtual machines or dedicated workstations where they are used for automated tasks that do not require human intervention.
Some of the jargon and methodologies used within Robotic Process Automation are described below:
What is Intelligent Process Automation (IPA)?
IPA is a logical evolution of RPA Technology where Robots utilize Artificial intelligence and Machine learning to perform cognitive tasks
Intelligent Process Automation is a logical evolution of RPA Technology where Robots utilize AI and ML to perform cognitive tasks. The cognitive bots are a part of Intelligent Process Automation. IPA yields great value when dealing with Unstructured Data. Using technologies such as Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP), it is possible that an algorithm can extract the relevant data points and understand/process them contextually. Once the relevant data is extracted, it can then be processed like any other machine-readable data. Consider Unstructured Email Requests, Legal Contracts, Sports Casts, Business News etc. which can contain many data points which can be contextually understood and extracted for further processing.
Intelligent Process Automation is an evolving technology that utilize Machine Learning algorithms that process unstructured data, These algorithms are open source or can be purchased and plugged into your existing Automation Workflows.
What are Benefits of RPA?
There are many benefits of Robotics Automation.
- Reduced Costs
- Decreased Errors
- Increased Capacity
- Improved Productivity
- Business Agility
Reusability comes from good process design and it’s the first phase of any Automation project. When an underlying application changes the application robots should be resilient to the change and apply to any process. It increases RPA adoption, increases uptime and productivity. Reusability is one of the building blocks which ensures standardized implementation which can be scaled across the enterprise.
Good Process Automation Design dictates the use of reusable components. RPA platforms allow you to build common building blocks that help you scale. This allows for the automation to be application resilient, i.e. it reduces the amount of change required to the robot configuration, when the underlying application changes and the change is automatically applied to any process using this building block. This increases RPA adoption, reduces down time and ensures standardized implementations and governance for complex enterprise scale automation.
Where can RPA be applied?
RPA can be applied in all business process in HR, Accounting, Finance, IT support services, IT application Development where there are processes which are labor intensive, rule based and time consuming. E.g.: “extracting from “and “inputting to “systems. Interaction with web, windows, cloud, legacy or O.S systems. Data comparison and validations, Rule based decision making.
This is a horizontal and can be applied within all business verticals. A Robotic Centre of Excellence with good operating and governance model can enable enterprises to meet the Digital workforce needs to tomorrow.
What are Process or Tasks Robots?
At the core of Automation are Process Execution Bots or the tasks bots. These Bots automate rule-based, repetitive tasks, which have diverse format, labor intensive and time consuming activities in areas such as HR, Accounting and Finance, IT Support Services, and much more, leading to immediate improvements in productivity, cost-savings, and error reduction. Process Bots are generally dedicated to single task and may include interactions with other bots or human intervention
What is Cognitive or IQ Robots ?
RPA platforms now include enhanced cognitive capabilities. Bots can understand structured or unstructured data through during learning phase, and act based on the incoming data. This is especially useful when processing documents of varying formats and types. The bot learns from human in real time and becomes smarter over time Cognitive robots add efficiency to automation and are core building blocks of automation strategy. Cognitive bots have to be programmed
What is Artificial Intelligence?
Computer Systems performing tasks that normally require human intelligence. Such as visual perception, speech recognition and decision making
What is machine learning?
Systems that learn from data without being explicitly programmed.
What is Deep learning?
State of art technology deployed with multiple layers of artificial neural networks to represent and organize data