Robotic Process Automation
- A Subset of BPSDA (Business Process Service Delivery Automation)
- It processes structured data, but can manage unstructured data to some degree
- Non-Invasive integration through software's UI
- RPA can include ML or AI
The internet is full of definitions of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) that are highly complex yet technically correct, however the wholistic definition for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) lies within the few highlighted areas.
Advantages of RPA
- Reduction of Process cycle Time
- Significant reduction in Error Rate
- No changes to your existing infrastructure
- Your virtual employee who never falls sick
- Retain Audit trail of every step
- Remote control your processes
Product Offerings of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) tool-set from providers like UiPath have matured with an increasing set of useful innovative features and have witnessed growth owing to adoption across industries & geographies. Capabilities such as process-mining enabled workflow generation from UIPath’s smart recorder and built-in process AutoML from Workfusion keeps adding to the list of advantages of RPA.
|Automation for multiple application|
|System change needed for integration?||Not Required||Might Require||Required|
|Complexity of Development||Very Simple||Complex||Complex|
|Speed To Market||Very Fast||Reasonable||Very Slow|
A decision making matrix comparing Robotic Process Automation (RPA) with alternative approaches.
A Simple case of RPA
A simple example of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) where an incoming mail event triggers a Robot to perform tasks across applications and revert with screenshot-based evidence of completion.
RPA with Machine Learning
An example of cognitive capture-enabled Robotic Process Automation (RPA). It is integrated with V2’s proprietary software for document capture; one that uses Computer Vision and Machine Learning to extract unstructured data from scanned documents and transfer it to target applications such as CRM, Databases, ITSM, ERP, etc.
Dashboard Reporting using RPA
- Robot interacts with 4 different system
- Fetches relevant data from each
- Consolidates and Processes Data as per Business Rules
- Your virtual employee who never falls sick
- Sends the Dashboard report to relevant stake holder
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can be used to create a network/system monitor dashboard that results in a Full-time equivalent (FTE) savings of around 90%. The Robot interfaces with 4 different systems to fetch and consolidate metadata in an excel worksheet, applies business rules for data extraction and emails the generated reports. Users can fine-grain control over Robot execution by making changes to external configuration files.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) aided with cognitive technologies is well capable to emulate some aspects of human behavior and respond accordingly. In the above example, the Robots perform sentiment analysis and acknowledge a “happy” customer’s email while redirecting an unsatisfied customer email to be handled by humans at the customer desk.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can be used to source published reports from the web; convert, reformat and deliver the reports as per organization’s needs. Your need might vary starting from downloading data from a central authorized reporting agency and then manipulating the report data for insights as per your organization’s need, but Robotic Process Automation does it all. This has been of great use to financial, banking and mutual fund houses where data published centrally to a source cannot be integrated with any applications other than managing the process through human effort.
RPA in Loan Processing
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can be used to service a loan request. The Robot auto-logins to the Loan Processing System (LPS), accesses the loan request created by the customer desk and downloads files. Next, the robot uploads files to a Credit Bureau Website and downloads customer credit reports. Information from credit reports is scrapped and entered into a web portal to verify customer details. All data is transcribed to a core banking system and loan processing system.
RPA in Investment & Asset Management
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) example in Investment & Asset Management. Robots can be used to launch the outlook mail client and periodically check for e-mails redirected to a particular folder via outlook rules. The robot download attachments which contains a list of price estimates of securities/ assets onto the network drive. The robot opens up each attachment one by one and copy pastes the data onto a spreadsheet. The robot then fires up a browser, visits a specified URL, scraps price change estimates of securities/assets and maps it to the master spreadsheet. The user is requested to confirm the spreadsheet data and give their go-ahead for further processing. Upon user confirmation, the robot launches Tableau application, inputs data and refreshes charts.
An example of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) applied to Human Resources (HR) process of Onboarding New Hires. A robot launches the mail client, reads a mail recipient list and based on the type of list select the appropriate template for drafting mail content. It attaches forms as per the selected template and sends the email to new hires. For the returned mails from new hires, it downloads attached forms, processes and validates the data. Forms failing validation are resend to the new hires and successful ones are entered into the Human Resources Management System (HRMS). A checker reviews the new HRMS data and updates a mailer list with the Date of Joining and other details
Any repetitive tasks that employees carry out 50-60 times a day
Customer Care service desk tickets routing based on defined rules
Dashboard generation aggregating data from various daily reports & systems
Convert paper invoices to structured data and post to various systems
Monitor Network folder and initiate action
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) implementation in business processes. Replace repetitive tasks such as back-office processing with efficient robots . Our capabilities extend regular use cases and make use of AI, ML and cognitive technologies for a complete solution.
Qualifiers for RPA
Identifying candidate processes which can be automated within the scope of RPA is a challenging proposition. Process characteristics which can be used to identify pool of processes fit for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) are - process should be repetitive in nature, rule based, predictive at each step, huge volume, process should involve access to multiple applications.
Stages of RPA Evolution
“RPA has been evolving from basic rule based automation to cognitive. Most automation process implementations fall somewhere in between with AI and Machine Learning capability provided to perform high level tasks. With advanced ML & AI integrations available with RPA, Organizations should start charting out their roadmap for Enterprise level Smart Process Automation”
A Typical RPA Evolution building blocks
The environment to Design, Develop and Test the automation. Mostly used by RPA developers
Robots are output from the Development Platform. These are deployed to the actual environment.
A remote service that allows control of connected robots Control might include scheduling a grouping or environment setup.
In essence, the functional component blocks across full-featured RPA tools remains the same regardless of the vendor. These may be further categorized into sub-blocks e.g. Robots can be of ‘attended’ or ‘unattended’ types.
Potential across Industries & Verticals
|Vertical / Industry||Finance & Accounting||Procurement||Human Resource||Contact Center||Industry Specific Process|
|Banking & Financial Service|
|Hi-Tech & Telecom|
|Energy & Utilities|
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) holds great potential across multiple industries as well as business functions. Top 3 business verticals which hold maximum potential for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) are Finance and Accounting, Contact center & industry specific processes. Most promising industries for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) implementation are Banking & Financial Services (BFSI), Manufacturing, Telecom & Hi-Tech industries.
Roles in RPA Engagement
When to engage what roles in RPA development cycle ?
A "Step-Up" approach for any RPA engagement where It is not necessary to put up a large team from the start. Business Analysts must be engaged at the initial period to detail the existing process and proposed automation. The Developers and Quality analysts get engaged once every detail of the automation is documented and approved by the project approval team. And the cyclic process of Define/Develop and Test/Deploy continues for every identified process.
Where to start?
A typical RPA implementation effort. Major emphasis is on the POC stage. The “Optimize and Manage” stage is the continuous improvement and process-adaptability of a RPA solution over its lifecycle.