Robotics Process Automation

Introduction

This is a Robotics Process Automation(RPA) tutorial offered by Simplilearn. The tutorial is part of the Digital Transformation course and will help understand the basics of Robotic Process Automation with examples and learn the importance.

Objectives

At the end of this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Define Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

  • List the benefits of Robotic Process Automation

  • Explain the three stages of RPA solution

  • Describe RPA Implementation process

  • Discuss the popular RPA vendors and their tools and platforms

Overview

It might seem that we are living too far from the sci-fi future where robot-doctors treat patients, clean houses, or drive spaceships. This future is closer than you think.

Robotics today is a hot field with investment dollars lavishly going to both hardware companies and software labs working on improved machine learning solutions and advanced AI.

According to IDC, the robot market will be worth $135 billion by 2019. Japan and China are ahead of the competition and are now in the early stages of retooling its manufacturing sector with a completely robotic workforce. Google has just given $1.5 million to fund a US research group applying tactile learning to robots.

Robotic Process Automation is a form of automation where intelligent software processes, referred to as “robots,” take over repetitive and rule-based tasks that would have been otherwise performed by human beings.

As opposed to industrial robots, RPA robots automate and administer processes such as:

  • Business

  • IT support

  • Workflow

  • Remote Infrastructure

  • Back office work

What is Robotics Process Automation (RPA)?

Institute for Robotic Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence defines RPA as the application of 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.

Benefits of Robotics Process Automation(RPA)

Let’s understand the benefits of Robotic Process Automation below.

  • Provides flexibility and scalability

  • Prevents employee burnout by automating labor-intensive tasks

  • Provides faster turnaround time in processes

  • Helps in increasing productivity and accuracy

  • Helps in reducing processing costs

  • Helps in making processing times predictable and consistent

  • Improves regulatory compliance

Eager to learn about Robotics Process Automation in detail? Click here!

Robotics Process Automation(RPA): Impact on Industries

RPA is emerging as a disruptive technology solution offering multiple benefits. It has already impacted organizations deploying virtual workforces. It is impacting industries in areas such as:

  • Customer order processing

  • Credit card applications

  • Shipping

  • System access and setup

  • Payroll processing

  • Call center operations

  • Complaints processing

  • Statement reconciliation

  • Benefits Administration

  • Claims Processing

  • Data migration and management

  • IT and infrastructure support

Let’s discuss examples of a few organizations where RPA has provided meaningful solutions to facilitate the transformation.

Banking:

Deutsche Bank is using RPA to increase efficiency and effectiveness in its back-office administration. Dean Mazboudi, the head of the innovation lab in New York stated that RPA tools when coupled with cognitive capabilities are capable of transforming repetitive manual work to automation.

RPA has helped in automating functions in trade finance, cash operations, loan operations, and much more. It has also reduced the time taken to train the employees, thus ensuring efficient work delivered in less time.

Logistics:

Amazon is practicing the effective use of robotics in logistics with the purchase of Kiva Systems, which was renamed to Amazon Robotics. It has outfitted several U.S. warehouses with squat, orange, wheeled robots that move stocked shelves to workers, instead of having employees seek items amid long aisles of merchandise, according to people familiar with the matter.

The robots have helped Amazon to save fulfillment costs by reducing the number of times a product is touched.

Healthcare:

Transenterix, a medical device company, is using robotics to improve minimally invasive surgery by addressing the clinical and economic challenges associated with current laparoscopic and robotic options.

RPA provides solutions to almost all the industries across the globe. The benefits of RPA solutions can be leveraged in three stages. Let’s look into each stage in detail.

Three stages of Robotics Process Automation(RPA) Solution

Let us look into the stages of Robotic Process Automation one by one.

Stage 1:

This RPA stage involves dealing with static rules and structured data. Tasks like data entry and validation are automated at this stage. This stage helps in decreasing the cycle times.

Stage 2:

This stage of RPA primarily consists of the implementation of some form of natural language processing capabilities. Tasks such as content analytics and process automation are performed at this stage to ensure flexibility, scalability, and accuracy.

Stage 3:

Stage three of RPA consists of advanced natural language processing and cognitive capabilities. It includes RPA systems capable of human-like decision-making. This stage helps improve employee morale and brings in detailed data capture.

Once you approve RPA to be the solution for your needs, you must consider numerous factors before it’s implementation. Each RPA process depends on the needs and maturity of your organization, and its implementation is a five-step process.

Interested to know more about RPA tools? Click to learn about RPA in detail!

Robotics Process Automation(RPA) Implementation

Let’s learn about it in detail.

Step 1: Assess opportunities for automation

It involves:

  1. Listing down the processes that best fit the automation

  2. Evaluating the relevance of different process for the pilot project

  3. Analyzing how to engage process owners to try automation

  4. Anticipating the results of the pilot project on automation  

Step 2: Develop the prototype of business

It involves:

  1. Analysing significance of automation to business needs

  2. Evaluating the pros and cons of the adoption of automation

  3. Examining how it will alleviate the pain areas

  4. Listing down the metrics to validate the automation

  5. Creating strategy for using existing resources after automation

Step 3: Determine the most efficient operating model

It involves:

  1. Evaluating the relevance of different operating models

  2. Determining the availability of human resources to take the work forward

  3. Examining the number of people that will be required to manage and monitor the software robot

Step 4: Identify automation partners

It involves:

  1. Discovering the main vendors in the RPA space

  2. Determining the vendors that suit your needs

  3. Analyzing the sourcing options

  4. Determining the metrics that will facilitate comparison of different pricing models

Step 5: Plan framework for automation

It involves:

  1. Determining the time frame of the pilot project

  2. Evaluating the stages after the pilot project

  3. Analyzing the scale of strategy execution

  4. Creating a framework for the stakeholders to justify why it is important to automate

There are different RPA tools that facilitate this implementation process.

Let’s learn about them.

Popular RPA Tools

To extend the field of application of RPA tools, leading vendors are investing in cognitive technologies such as:

  • Machine learning
  • Speech recognition
  • Natural language processing

Three vendors that have developed RPA tools with cognitive capabilities are:

  1. Automation Anywhere

  2. Blue prism

  3. UiPath

Let’s learn about them in detail.

RPA Tools: Automation Anywhere

Automation Anywhere has developed computer vision technologies and machine learning capabilities in-house.

The company has used natural language processing techniques in loan processing, which extract sentiments from supporting documentation in order to establish loan applicant’s creditworthiness.

Products developed by this vendor are as follows:

  1. Automation Anywhere Enterprise

  2. IQ Bot

  3. Bot Insight

  4. BotFarm

RPA Tools: Blue Prism

Blue Prism’s cognitive strategy centers on partnering with cognitive technology specialists.

The company has proclaimed a partnership with IBM Watson with the goal of desegregation of cognitive technologies into method flows. They offer associate degree intelligence, connectedness, and ease-of-usage to digital personnel integrated with technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Sentiment analysis. Their latest product is Blue Prism V6.

RPA Tools: UiPath

UiPath is working with cognitive technology tools from third parties, including open source machine learning libraries, to craft point solutions for clients. The company has developed various platforms and tools including Orchestrator, Robot, and Studio.

In this lesson, you have learned how robotics is the future of transformation.

Key Takeaways

Let’s summarize what you have learned.

  • Robotic process automation (RPA) is the application of 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 provides a solution in three stages. Stage one involves dealing with static rules and structured data. Stage two primarily consists of the implementation of some form of natural language processing capabilities. Stage three consists of advanced natural language processing and cognitive capabilities.

  • Three vendors that have developed RPA tools with cognitive capabilities are Automation Anywhere, UiPath, and Blue Prism.

Conclusion

With this, we come to an end about this Robotic Process Automation(RPA) tutorial. In the next chapter, we will discuss Cloud and DevOps.

  • Disclaimer
  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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