Images of humanoid machines or robotic arms in factories spontaneously come to mind when we talk about robots, this vision is however incomplete. Today new robots that take the form of software called RPA (Robotic Process Automation) emerge in the back offices of our companies; they are capable of replacing humans with standardized and recurring processes. Robots make life easier for employees who work on computers; they are used in particular for the so-called support functions or for operational tasks within banks and insurance companies.
If you read the studies that explain technological trends and evaluate their impacts, already proven or just potential, you could not escape the acronym RPA (Robotic Process Automation). RPA analysts, for instance, Gartner, HfS, also Forrester, as well as large consulting companies such as; Accenture, Deloitte Capgemini, EY or perhaps McKinsey actually agree that the RPA is a bottom-line movement, which allows for the initiation of the digital transformation of companies via short projects whose ROI is fast. The subject, therefore, deserves a closer look to understand exactly what it is.
What Is Robotic Automation?
Robotic automation involves applying software to automate tasks and processes that are otherwise performed by human beings. In short, robotic automation consists of automated software. Software robots can completely automate essential business transactions by automating robotic processes (RPA) or can optimize the way people work with robotic desktop (RDA) automation. The goal of robotic automation is to improve the customers’ experience and operational excellence by increasing the efficiency, performance, and agility of the day-to-day operations of the entire company.
In large enterprises, users of computer workstations spend a lot of time interacting with different applications of the information system. To achieve their mission they are often required to perform many re-entries or copy-paste data from one window to another, or to compare and verify information from two applications. The RPA truly consists of employing robots to actually automate all these monotonous tasks with no additional charge.
This very non-manual robotization method frees up 20% to 40% of the person’s time, which can, therefore, be more usefully devoted to actions presenting a real value for the company and improving the quality of the service returned to clients.
As a corollary, this automation improves the comfort of employees at work, and this is not the least of its advantages: the employee who spends his working day in front of computer tools will adhere better to the strategic speech of the management who wants to accelerate the digital transformation of the company.
RDA Or maybe Attended Robotic Process Automation
The company’s business processes truly involve all of its information systems, from database servers where data is stored on the employees’ workstations, and of course through applications: access to large transaction systems, client-server, intranet/extranet, Customer relationship management (CRM), and enterprise resource planning (ERP).
Automation could be completed at the workstation level, the place in which the software robot is going to perform the interactions in the place of human beings: akin to a human, the software robot will read the contents of an application window, identify the fields containing the useful data, copy them to another window, and also launch a transaction. By performing these tasks, the robot can, if necessary, give back to the person in front of the workstation, so that the latter can make a decision using his intelligence and his experience of the trade.
The robot can, if necessary, perform control actions on the data it handles: this provides the company with additional guarantees regarding the respect of certain regulatory obligations and the worth of the outcome of the processes hence executed. And again, this very aspect of RPA in which our robot really appears just as a software application assistant to a human being interacting with a workstation respecting the logic of his job is called attended RPA, or Robotic Desktop Automation.
Its implementation is very fast, since it is done on the workstation, and therefore on the periphery of the Internet service (IS). The attended (RPA) Robotic Process Automation has no any poor impact on the data system as well as does not require intervention on applications, which continue to operate without any changes. Suddenly, Robotic Desktop Automation tasks are short as well as their ROI is very fast out there: it takes just a couple of months to actually make a solution that saves 20% of their time to dozens or even hundreds of employees.
And since the workstation will not be cut down by magic out there in the short term, the attended Robotic Process Automation (RPA) solutions will help the corporation for many years.
Stand Alone Robots Or Unattended Robotic Process Automation
The automation of certain processes can also occur at the server level, and take place without any interaction with a human being. A software robot can only connect to databases to retrieve information, apply control rules to them, execute processes that will produce new data, and also add them into some other great applications employing their own data programming interfaces. This very feature of RPA in which the robot works alone, in the bunkers of the information system, is called unattended Robotic Process Automation.
Though, this great autonomous robot remains always under the supervision or simply management of human beings: so, it’s indeed essential to monitor or perhaps watch the execution of processes to ensure their proper execution. In the event of an anomaly, a human expert precisely a robot supervisor will be able to understand the cause, correct it and then restart the robots so that the processes resume from where they stopped.
Due to the fact that these robots are actually installed on servers and consequently inside the data system, the unattended Robotic Process Automation robots necessitate the provision of a little infrastructure and because they act directly on the data of the applications, they need to use the APIs of these, which requires a programming work. As a result, it will have been guessed, the projects of unattended RPA may be more complex, so a little longer, especially in terms of production.
Clearly, the RPA must be considered in its entirety, starting with the workstation, by Robotic Desktop Automation (RDA), and focusing first on the most repetitive and time-consuming processes, it encourages the support of employees to the digital transformation process of the company from which they quickly get the results.