RPA, robotic process automation, is a technology that is based on utilizing software-based robots that can perfectly emulate how a human would execute a business process. (RPA) robots help governments and businesses perform tasks using the same interface that the employee would have used. Additionally, these bots can use keyboard shortcuts, type, click around, open applications and do a lot more.
These robotics are pieces of software that automate our manual processes.. They effortlessly mimic human responses to business processes as well as integrate human actions within the various available digital systems so as to optimize the business processes it is involved in. Robotic process automation is programmed to capture data, trigger responses, run applications and communicate instructions to other systems so that they can perform the tasks at hand. These software bots are normally used to increase business process efficiencies and consequently grow the business.
Robotic process automation is versatile enough to be applicable in a variety of establishments from startups to global enterprise organizations. As such, depending on the size of your organization as well as your budget, you can opt for a system that works through any of these software bots.
• Programmable bots are controlled by a defined set of instructions. This means that the parameters are already pre-installed in the bot before it is set to work. Before such bots are sent to work, the process has to be laid out in its entirety, step by step. This means programing for complex tasks can be time-consuming. These bots are suitable for simple tasks.
• Intelligent bots gather and analyze data, present and past, so as to learn how to perform tasks. The bot follows your reactions on the computer. It captures and analyses mouse movements, clicks and all other actions on the computer. Once the bots have enough data, it analyses and is now ready to take over those tasks. Self-learning, intelligent bots are best suited for processes with fluctuating parameters and unstructured data.
Unlike other business process automation options, RPA can allow or block a process from happening. When it analyses the data that it had gathered, it can affect how a process is carried out based on the logic parameters programmed in it. It is important to note that unlike other process automation options, RPA does not need system integration.
RPA is the umbrella term that is used to represent a myriad of widely differing technologies. However, these software bots have three things in common; developer tools, a bot and a controller.
Software bots differ widely depending on how and why they have been programmed. As such, they perform different roles in business processes. You need to know exactly what you want to achieve when it comes to business process automation as well as which software bot can help you get the results you want. In order to get a glimpse of just how different software bots are, here are the three main classes of software bots.
These software robots are used to automate repetitive activities that are driven by data. These activities can be performed across portals, websites and even in the business’ own internal applications. They perform tasks as is informed by the data analyzed as well as offer electronic documentation for the critical business processes.
The best thing about process bots is that with additional data, they can build intelligence to handle more automated tasks. This can happen even if it only has access to high volume unstructured data in real-time. This feature makes these bots versatile, and can be easily deployed to provide custom integration flow.
Process RPA bots, once well equipped with the necessary data, is quite handy in the following processes.
• Automation of sales orders
• Managing accounts payable
• Automation of supply chain tasks
• Aggregation of shipping data and final accounts
• Customer service and support
• Monitoring and reporting compliance
These software bots acquire and integrate data from online portals and websites into business processes and applications. There are some RPAs that are programmed to gather critical market intelligence. This information once acquired, is presented to decision-makers in a fast and cost-effective manner. Additionally, these bots assist in breaking down barriers related to costs, data access as well as time to value hindrances.
Some of the most common applications of web RPA bots include the following.
• Aggregation of market data and brand monitoring
• Monitoring prices and gathering competitive intelligence
• Conducting background screening and sales intelligence
• Research into investment options
• Detect IP and fraud
• Aggregate government data
• Integrate mobile application
Did you know that you can automate the transfer of content and data from content management systems? Well, with these bots, you can! Enterprise organizations, with the help of content bots can easily and almost effortlessly merge legacy web content and enterprise CMS to other platforms.
Automation of content migration is cheaper, faster and requires less labour to accomplish. Additionally, these bots ensure optimal and seamless search experience by applying metadata across legacy and new content.
It is common to wonder if artificial intelligence and robotic process automation is one and the same thing, especially if you are just getting acquainted into this industry. For those who associate artificial intelligence with secret service, you can file FOI request to understand how governments are using AI. Those who are better acquainted with the terms, as well as those seeking jobs available in robotics process automation, wonder which technology is superior between the two and if they can work together. The overlapping of capabilities sometimes leads to this confusion, which is natural. However, it is important to understand how each works so as to use it effectively.
As earlier stated, RPA bots are programmed to automate repetitive activities in a business process with negligible errors. These bots however, cannot make cognitive decisions and always depend on the logic that is pre-programmed.
Artificial intelligence simulates human behaviour even in making decisions pertaining to the tasks at hand. AI systems involve a myriad of capabilities such as identifying and solving, thinking, learning, recognizing speech as well as delivering results according to the needs of the situation.
In recent years, there has been greater integration between these two, which further blurs the distinction line between them. Disciplines such as computer vision that have been previously exclusive to artificial intelligence are now constantly getting paired with RPA. Today you can get AI-powered chatbots that not only gather data but also analyses the information collected and gives an appropriate response.
There are endless tools that you can use if you wish to employ robotic process automation in your business processes. In RPA, the key is choosing software based on what its bots can be programmed to do. Some of the top RPA tools are as follows.
• Blue Prism – known as the pioneer of RPA bots technology
• Automation anywhere
• Nice Systems
If you are looking for a software bot that will make your repetitive business processes fast and cost-effective, Blue Prism is your answer. It comes with a design that is easy to use; simply drag and drop the processes you wish to automate and the system picks it up from there. The best thing about this tool is that it can work with any application or platform and is perfect for medium to large organizations. There is one thing you need to know though; you must have programming skills if you will be using it.
UiPath is the second most popular RPA tool today. If you are not a developer but would still like to enjoy top quality automation features, then UiPath is your tool. It is perfect for automating web apps in any size of business. It can be hosted in implicit cloud environments and terminals and manages endless processes regardless of complexity.
Pega systems combine predictive analytics and business process management mechanisms so as to make processes easier and faster to carry out. It is a cloud-based solution that can smoothly operate on Linux, Windows as well as Mac. This system can be used to automate processes in medium and large organizations.
Automation Anywhere provides both cloud and on-premise services. It is also ideal for medium to large enterprises, is very user-friendly and can combine and implement core capabilities. This tool merges the robotic business automation with artificial intelligence elements such as understanding language as well as addressing unstructured data.
Context works well in a front office environment. This RPA tool offers client view as well as online help and can comfortably share data between applications. It is a cloud service as well as on-premise tool that works for all workstation applications. It supports hybrid virtual environment as well as Citrix and can automate tasks real-time. Additionally, Context can observe workstation processes as well as ensure proper task sequencing.
If you are looking to establish customer service centres, communication centres as well as any other interactions centre, Jacada is your tool. This software is excellent in establishing interactions as it assists in increasing customer satisfaction, accuracy in interactions as well as productivity. This is an excellent automation tool for those redundant, time-consuming and error-prone tasks.
WinAutomation is a Windows-based RPA tool that offers excellent desktop automation options. This tool increases efficiency of business processes as well as keep them cost-effective. It is an easy to use platform that allows you to automate your regular monotonous tasks.
Nice systems’ tool is abbreviated as NEVA. This translates to “nice employee virtual attendant”, an intelligent tool that helps employees through their repetitive tasks. It is an on-premise and cloud business software solution that works by analyzing structured as well as unstructured data. This tool can be used to automate back end tasks in HR and Finance among other back-office operations.
Kyron’s RPA tool is named Automate, and it offers three main solutions for automation. These solutions include attended, unattended and hybrid. The unattended option is equipped to make decisions in various situations. The attended option offers speed with accuracy as well as efficiency while at work. The hybrid option combines attended and unattended features for better automation. This system is scalable and improves productivity in all areas under automation.
Kofax is an RPA tool that can work with any application. It is perfect for processing data from portals, websites and desktop applications. It optimizes the business process with the help of Robotics intelligence, which increases operational efficiency. This tool efficiently acquires and delivers information from any data source or application. You do not have to be knowledgeable in coding to use Kofax.
In all organizations, there are some tasks that are both time consuming and repetitive. As such, there is always a huge chance that errors might occur due to repetition. This is where these tools come in to ensure that all repetitive business processes are fast, efficient and error-free. It is no secret that robotic process automation (RPA) improves service delivery. The costs vary widely depending on the features of each RPA tool and how much it can handle. Therefore, before you settle for any tool, be sure to read widely so as to make an informed decision.
While RPA tools are very efficient and easy to operate, not all are appropriate for your business. Therefore, if you do not know how to go about choosing the right tool for your business process automation, here is a quick checklist of what to look for.
• Is the RPA tool compatible with other already existing systems and software?
• Does this new tool integrate with other platforms and applications that you will need?
• If you work in an industry that makes data sharing necessary, you need to look for a tool that comes with strong security features
• Is the tool easy to use if do you need coding skills (which you may not have)?
• Does the RPA software manufacturer or seller offer you training and technical support?
• Do you understand the long term implications of having the system installed?
Most of these RPA tools are suitable for medium to large enterprises or are scalable. As such, you need not worry about their capability to handle the increasing processes once your business starts to grow exponentially. Additionally, you can always change the software whenever you like if it no longer serves your needs.
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