Table of Contents
Although RPA will not be obsolete anytime soon, there are alternative options for using it:
Business Process Management
Business Process Outsourcing
Specialized Plug And Play Solutions
As we wade through the sea of technologies within the modernization realm, automation, especially process automation, has grown by leaps and bounds, taking on a new guise in the form of robotic process automation or RPA.
Why Are Organizations Using Artificial Intelligence?
More cognitive capabilities are needed as organizations look to automate more complex business processes with data from unstructured sources (like scanned documents, emails, letters, and natural speech).
That’s why the open platform of NICE RPA integrates with numerous AI technologies such as OCR, speech recognition, chatbots, and machine learning.
According to the December 2020 Global Intelligent Automation Study from Deloitte, 73% of organizations worldwide use automation technologies.
That’s a significant increase from the 48% of organizations using such technologies in 2019.
Some of the most commonly used options are robotic process automation (RPA), business process automation (BPA), and digital process automation (DPA).
With artificial intelligence in the mix, organizations can work faster and smarter toward achieving better efficiency, cost savings, and customer satisfaction goals.
What Is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?
Robotic process automation (RPA) contains software robots (bots) that imitate human tasks. These bots complete rules-based tasks by recording the process workflow humans perform.
They can log into systems, navigate the page, and input and extract data, mimicking the interactions humans have with computer systems.
What Is RPA Used For?
RPA is appropriate for organizations looking to reduce the time employees spend on low-value activities, and improve the efficiency of daily operations.
Though it is more limited in its capabilities than AI, RPA also costs less to implement.
Since organizations have structured data (e.g., form fields) and unstructured data (e.g., free text, natural speech), many processes require RPA and AI to fully automate a process from end to end or improve a robotic process once deployed.
Marketers can typically overlay it on your existing IT infrastructure, or embed it within a newly acquired software application.
Small and large corporations quickly incorporate RPA in business functions to improve their productivity.
As a result, the RPA market grows, with different vendors targeting different needs.
Certain vendors incorporate machine learning and cognitive data, allowing bots to operate with structured and unstructured data, while others focus on large-scale automation.
Examples of vendors include Automation Anywhere, UiPath, Blue Prism, etc.
Benefits of RPA Technology
Using RPA to augment people is a proven way to benefit the organization with:
Accuracy: minimize human error and the costs associated with it
Compliance: create audit trails and follow regulatory rules precisely
Speed: complete tasks 4-5 times faster, improving efficiency
Reliability: bots are always available and work round-the-clock, minimizing delays
Improved Employee Morale: free up employees from repetitive tasks to focus on productivity – not processing.
Instead of making people redundant, RPA robots are more like virtual assistants who let you offload repetitive tasks that aren’t complicated but consume valuable employee time.
Unlike humans, robots never get bored as they complete these tasks exactly as instructed and efficiently.
Consider the improvements RPA and intelligent process automation brings to the Procure-to-Pay (P2P) process, for example:
Hands-free automation of essential P2P workflows
Freeing staff for more strategically valuable tasks
Automatic and complete collection, organization, and analysis of all your data, from spending data to vendor performance and compliance
IPA’s advanced data extraction and analysis tools can help it extrapolate to “fill in the blanks” when critical data is outside established parameters, incomplete, or missing if trained through observation of humans performing similar tasks.
RPA robots perform the same way every time. They don’t learn from one repetition to another, and they will not improvise or come up with a better way of doing their programmed task.
What Is Natural Language Processing?
NLP is a data analysis tool that allows the software to recognize and parse human speech for useful content.
For example, marketers might use NLP with speech recognition to allow users to search company databases for essential information using everyday speech.
How Does Business Process Automation Work?
Business process automation (BPA) automates workflows to improve an organization’s efficiency.
It’s an umbrella term used to describe process automation and engineering of large-scale end-to-end business processes in an organization.
BPA does not focus on a single department, but rather on the entire organization by implementing software systems that integrate all existing applications.
The workflow used in BPA is more complicated, where a single processing model is used to create workflows that integrate diversified systems.
These systems exchange and extract information from each other to automate tasks, requiring APIs and database access.
This requires heavy IT support for coding and development. There is no need for an API when using RPA: the bots record, train, and act independently.
RPA’s primary function is to replace time-consuming human tasks with software.
RPA does not disrupt existing business processes and integrates into existing BPA software like ERP and CRM.
An example of RPA implemented in CRM is chat boxes on websites. Chat boxes that pop-up saying “how can I help you” are run by bots.
These bots transfer the collected information to an employee who handles the customer.
Business Process Management Platforms
BPMSs integrate enterprise applications to increase the “straight-through processing” possible within a process.
BPMS can achieve similar results to IT transformations and more rapidly.
However, their benefits can be limited based on the variety of enterprise applications used in the process.
What Does Digital Process Automation Do?
A big focus of DPA is to improve employee and customer experiences by taking friction out of the workflow.
Marketers use this software to create efficiencies and enhance UX in various areas of the enterprise, from IT service requests to onboarding new employees and client intake.
Organizations use DPA to automate a process from its beginning to its end.
Typically, marketers use DPA for longer and more complex processes than the tasks that RPA can effectively handle.
While RPA and BPA take a task out of human hands, DPA provides automation that helps humans better interact with the systems so that the users have a better, faster experience as they do their work.
Marketers can use RPA in conjunction with DPA deployments, with bots performing the repetitive, time-consuming tasks
Rise of The Machines
As the second decade of the twenty-first century comes to a close, we’re all still anticipating (or perhaps dreading) the robot maids, cars, and soldiers pop culture has promised us for years.
Nevertheless, robots are becoming an important part of our daily lives, in the form of software robots powered by artificial intelligence.
Benefits of Bots
Industries in finance, banking, healthcare, and many more have implemented RPA to streamline processes, mitigate risk and increase productivity.
Telecommunication firms use RPA to deliver quality customer services and mine data from various sources.
Additionally, the bots assist accountants in budgeting, managing transactions, and other duties that don’t necessarily need human input.
Bots improve data analytics and accuracy through sophisticated data management by extracting data from different sources and screens, then combining and migrating the data to form metadata.
Bots remove inaccuracies and duplications.
Python is a computer programming language that simplifies difficult tasks. It uses inbuilt systems to perform artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning.
Many developers and individuals are slowly switching to it as the preferred coding language since it uses straightforward commands, unlike other tools requiring a lot of text.
You can efficiently manipulate Python to run several tasks for you.
The areas you can use Python are endless, and the best thing about it is that many experts write various codes daily; hence, there is a high chance that you will find a written code to guide you through your tasks.
Python comes in handy for great companies like Google, YouTube, Wikipedia, NASA, and other organizations.
The software is used daily in applications like Instagram, Dropbox, Quora, and even movies like marvel films.
It works behind the scenes but is the key element in running the most popular apps worldwide.
Specialized Plug And Play Solutions
Some processes are common across companies that rely on the same systems.
New tools that easily integrate into those systems can provide powerful and easy-to-integrate solutions.
Accounts payable, for example, is such a process as all companies need to process invoices, make payments and store the data in ERP systems such as SAP.
Another example is T&E (travel & expense) cost optimization.
All companies have these costs, and specialized solutions like Appzen use AI to help companies of different industries tackle these challenges.
These tools are easy to integrate into existing systems, allowing companies to access leading-edge tools quickly.
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