Robotic Process Automation
Robotic process automation (RPA) is the 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.
Robotic Process Automation is a 10+ year old software technology which was re-architected by Blue Prism, Automation Anywhere, UiPath and others to perform work currently being done by financial, processing and administrative staff.
The ‘robotic software agents’ are a relatively new technology that is commonly termed Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Their objective is very straightforward – to carry out the business processes that would normally be done by human beings. This works best when the processes are repetitive, rules-based and frequent.
A robot is trained through a flow chart using the procedure to be automated. Once configured and trained, these software robots log into applications with valid credentials and perform specific rules based, on-screen, computer tasks, exactly as they are trained for. Jobs are generally executed round the clock and they never make human errors and can work at twice the speed of humans. Robots identify the objects on the ‘procedure under test’ and the underlying tasks using these objects are performed while running the corresponding procedure or process. Identified objects needs to be recognized uniquely by the system. Procedure that need to be followed during execution will be that of corresponding task workflow. Modern robotic systems come with fail over and recovery inbuilt into its core capabilities.
An industry that use humans more on recurring jobs is one that can be replaced with robots once they are trained specifically on that task. An example of using RPA: In a UK insurance firm, a team of just 4 people can process around 3,000 claim documents a day (of which around a quarter are on paper) – without RPA the team would need to be as many as twelve.
There are different types of Robots in the industry which include a) Task Bots -which is left unattended b) Meta Bots-the attended c) IQ Bots-Cognitive, makes decisions based on accumulated learning experience.
Below listed are vendors that provide Robotic Process Automation software
- Automation Anywhere
- UI path
- Infosys – AssistEdge
- IBM Watson
Gartner has recently recognized Blue Prism as one “Cool Vendor” since they have been making steady inroads in several markets that include: Financial Services, Energy, Telecom, BPO and Healthcare.
Blue Prism configuration is code-free, logical and highly visual. Processes are designed to be created, maintained and managed by business users, process excellence engineers and subject matter experts. Building blocks are designed for re-use and are interlinked to produce end to end processes.