Robotic process automation (RPA) is an emerging form of clerical process automation technology based on the notion of software robots or artificial intelligence (AI) workers. Robotic process automation (RPA) is the application of technology that allows employees in a company to configure computer software or a “robot” to capture and interpret existing applications for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses and communicating with other digital systems.
Traditionally robots revolutionized the manufacturing industry largely in context of assembly lines. Today, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is impacting the back office and process related work in the very same way. In the manufacturing sector, physical robots replaced workers doing repetitive tasks, whereas in the office world, software automation (termed as RPA) is replacing many of the repetitive tasks and associated jobs which occur across business offices worldwide.
RPA is most effective when:
Many organizations use RPA across many functions. Some of the most common avenues of usage are:
There are some notable use cases for RPA across specific industry verticals also.
Regulatory Compliance for Financial Services: RPA solutions address regulatory compliance by performing the function in the same way repeatedly and provide a detailed and sustainable audit log of activities, which is a crucial requirement for compliance. RPA tools can also be scaled easily and made to ‘learn’ and perform new processes as they are introduced by regulatory agencies.
Mortgage Loan Processing: RPA tools execute routine rules-based tasks and therefore provide increased and accurate loan processing experience. By applying rule-based algorithms RPA tools resolve errors and increase speed through the loan origination systems. Also RPA tools can “learn” to analyze data in the applications and recommend cross-selling of other products to the customers like insurance, savings instruments etc.
Telecom Sector: Telecom providers need to switch circuits based on customer movement. However, some of the decommissioning work requires verification from multiple systems and third party circuits and sources. Traditionally these have been resource intensive processes, requiring multiple steps and checkpoints. RPA tools have been employed across such areas and are providing increased efficiency as most of these processes are rule based.
This is still an evolving area and with more cognitive and artificial intelligence being built into the tools, they are becoming smarter. The impact of this smart revolution is felt across many industries not limited to BPO only, not to mention the impact it has on jobs and the change of human roles and skills required along the way.
According to Harvard Business Review, most operations groups adopting RPA have promised their employees that automation would not result in layoffs. Instead, workers have been redeployed to do more interesting work. One academic study highlighted that knowledge workers did not feel threatened by automation: they embraced it and viewed the robots as team-mates. The same study highlighted that, rather than resulting in a lower “headcount”, the technology was deployed in such a way as to achieve more work and greater productivity with the same number of people.
First things first though – how is it done? Once it has been established that a business process is automatable using a robotic solution, the business rules need to be captured, connectivity tests with the systems in question completed, and process flow optimized for robotic automation. Developers then code the business process into the RPA software and enable it to deal with business exceptions. It works by employing a variety of tools for grabbing digital data, which can include screen scrapping and digital image recognition. The robots employed can then process transactions, manipulate data, trigger responses, and communicate with other systems as necessary.
Some of the notable RPA Software provider vendors are:
This RPA software are different from traditional Software
1. Code-Free – RPA does not require programming skills. Business operations employees – people with process and subject matter expertise but no programing experience – can be trained to independently automate processes using RPA tools within a few weeks.
Many RPA platforms present a flowchart designer, much like Microsoft Visio, process definitions are created graphically by dragging, dropping and linking icons that represent steps in a process.
2. Non-disruptive – One of the challenges of traditional IT deployments is that the transformation or change of existing systems is complex and risky. Thus, many large organizations are reluctant to redesign, replace or even to enhance existing systems through the creation of new IT interfaces (or APIs). For this reason, the philosophy behind RPA is to avoid the complexity and risk of such changes where they are not warranted, (or indeed to enable such changes to be prototyped and tested, simply by simulating equivalent input/output via the user interface in lieu of APIs).
RPA tools therefore lean towards “light” IT requirements and do not, for example, disturb underlying computer systems.
3. Business user friendly – RPA’s ease of use and low requirement for technical support perhaps explains why adoption typically originates inside business operations and not inside Information Technology (IT) departments. Because RPA projects do not require expensive IT skills and investment in new platforms, the economic threshold of processes with a viable business case for automation is substantially lowered.
RPA is still in early stage and many big organizations are in study phase, there are many areas like banking, accounting and insurance where RPA can be proved as Gold Rush for these organizations. All of these sectors are looking for cost effective solution, faster and lesser error prone process. Automation has the potential to make companies more agile and responsive, which is crucial in today’s increasingly global and complex marketplaces.
Study shows Automation technologies, such as RPA, will have a potential economic impact of nearly $ 7 trillion in next 7 to 8 years. Traditional approaches will have to make way for RPA in most of the aspects in current IT industry processes in order to excel.
Interesting time ahead for RPA and by considering this high expectations our Verinite labs has introduced Veribot an off-the-shelf product for performing robotic process automation.
VeribotTM allows organizations to manage process automation from a centralized server with multiple bots operating at individual desktops and reporting back to the server. It enables improved operational efficiency and accuracy by automating repetitive manual activities which are prone to errors.
Stay Tuned for more details about Veribot!!!!