There’s been a lot of buzz recently about robotic process automation, and for good reason! The benefits of the still-emerging technology area – which automates repetitive, high volume tasks – almost seem too good to be true. But our RPA consultants can demonstrate the extreme power of this technology. Today, you can use an RPA bot to automate a task or two or streamline the entire business with process orchestration!
While RPA is a breakthrough, it’s based on a natural evolution of software automation tools that have been used for decades. It’s like a macro on steroids – far better than screen-scrapers that duplicate keystrokes.
The first commercial RPA product, developed by UK-based Blue Prism, launched in 2003. Today, companies have dozens of RPA platforms to choose from in the marketplace.
Technically, RPA technology is a platform that resides on top of a company’s traditional information technology infrastructure, living in a cloud or server. RPA can work across many different business applications.
Think of RPA as a control center for licensed software bots or digital workers. Through programming, learning and artificial intelligence, these digital workers learn to process data in business applications like human workers do, but better. They specialize in processing high-volume, repeatable tasks — from simple to complex — with extreme efficiency and accuracy.
For example, it can open emails in an accounts payable folder of Outlook, “read” the email with artificial intelligence and then process the invoice in an Oracle, SAP or QuickBooks app. The bot can be taught to handle certain exceptions and send its work to a human to review and approve in batches.
Or, a bot can be taught a complex workflow requiring multiple steps, logic-based decisions and use of numerous applications. An RPA bot can swivel its virtual chair through different programs and data sets to complete processes.
What’s more, enterprise-grade bots, like those offered by Blue Prism, work extremely fast. Instead of working through the human interface of software programs like humans do, which sometimes come with delays as programs are launch and data is saved, they process work in an app through an API. This allows them to complete tasks at super-fast speeds in batches.
The benefits of using a bot to do specific tasks – the list of possibilities is long – exceeds the time- and cost-saving benefits of executing the task, too. For example, when a bot does work, it can be 100% compliant with requirements. What’s more, its work can be easily traced and audited. Bots can also be easily scaled up or down to meet demand.
In today’s era of super-low unemployment, many U.S. companies are also turning to RPA as a workforce solution strategy. In fact, 67% of CIOs report planning to use automation “to remove the need for additional headcount,” according to the 2018 CIO Survey by KPMG and Harvey Nash.
Consider these questions:
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you should explore whether Robotic Process Automation (RPA). The easy-to-deploy technology could be saving your company time, money and the challenges that come with inaccurate work.
Vigilant offers a 1-2 day workshop to identify opportunities for automation and outline the improvements RPA could have on your business. Here’s how it works:
1Vigilant provides a preliminary consultation workshop to identify 1-3 tasks appropriate for RPA automation, along with a complete Justification of Investment document that outlines the scope and timeline of an RPA project, along with the expected ROI.
2After a decision is made to proceed, Vigilant’s consultants conduct an in-depth assessment of the first process to be automated. This phase includes an examination of the business applications and systems being used during execution of the task, interviews with key business resources, and an assessment of any underlying technology.
3Recommendations may be made to streamline the process before automating, in an effort to extract the maximum ROI value out of the project. Because Blue Prism bots work 24 hours a day, we make an effort to reduce the time-per-task, so the licensed bot can automate as many tasks as possible. This is a vital step for success.
4The Vigilant team will map and model your logic-based RPA workflow in Visio.
5Then, we’ll install licenses and develop bots in the Blue Prism Studio to take over the task. This is typically the fastest part of the project.
6During the final “roll and shake” phase of the project, we roll the bots out to take over responsibility for the task and shake any bugs out of the process.
7As part of a rollout, Vigilant also provides a 6-month post-launch project assessment that reviews the security, governance and ROI of the project. Adjustments can be made if desired.