Robotic Process Automation RPA

Robotic Process Automation

Streamline your workflows with a scalable, digital workforce

 

What Is Robotic Process Automation?

 

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a type of automation technology that is transforming the way organizations operate. RPA relies on a scalable, digital workforce to streamline manual processes and reduce the burden on employees by giving repetitive tasks that can be performed more efficiently and more accurately to software bots.

RPA bots can communicate with business systems and applications, following the same steps in a process that human workers perform, even interfacing with multiple applications in the same workflow. Opportunities for automation exist virtually anywhere throughout the business because RPA is scalable, flexible, and it integrates workflows efficiently across the entire enterprise. 

 

 

How RPA Works

 

Robotic process automation works using two approaches to streamline repetitive tasks for both IT and business users. Both approaches can be combined for complete, end-to-end automation.

1) Front-End Automation: RPA bots streamline tasks associated with interactivity, websites, and attended processes. Use it for items like screen scraping or GUI automation, among others.

2) Back-End Automation: Leverages APIs for direct access to data. Used for high-capacity processes, including file movement and database processing.

RPA Solutions for Any Industry

Organizations across every sector and function are turning to RPA to optimize resources and maximize efficiency—from healthcare to financial services and insurance to human resources and call center automation. RPA bots can easily manage processes spanning departments, locations, and systems—on premise or in the cloud.

Could Your Organization Benefit from RPA?

If you’re on the fence about whether your organization would benefit from an RPA solution, then take a short quiz to find out.

Watch RPA Videos

Processes to Automate

A series of short videos demonstrating popular use cases

Real-World Success Stories

A series of short videos on how various organizations use RPA

Begin Your RPA Journey

A series of videos to help you start your RPA journey

Common RPA Challenges & How to Avoid Them

Organizations that have gained the strongest competitive edge through robotic process automation didn’t just implement the software—they had a strategy for their RPA implementation journey. But unfortunately, many organizations make costly mistakes along the way during their implementation processes.

The most common RPA challenges and mistakes are detailed below with recommendations on how to address them. You can also view the on-demand webinar below, where automation experts detail strategies for solving cross-functional RPA scaling issues. 

 

 

 
Key People Missing from the Team

Once you’ve committed to implementing RPA, don’t forget to invest in the team that will implement and manage it. We strongly recommend that IT is involved in the project to avoid technology siloes and to ensure high application performance and robust security.

Other skillsets are also needed for a successful enterprise-wide automation project. First is the business analyst. This someone with a talent for visualizing process improvements to document existing processes and redesign them for optimal automation. Second, is a developer who will work with the process documentation to build automated workflows. Depending on the needs of your organization and the capabilities of your automation solution, the developer may not have to be an actual programmer.

You should also make sure to have an operations specialist involved in your RPA implementation. The operations team is key to managing your automation once it’s up and running across the business, so they should be represented on the core team from the start. Finally, you’ll need executive sponsorship. 

Automating the Wrong Things

Start your RPA implementation with a pilot project or proof of concept. This should be a process that’s not too complex, but delivers measurable value for the company. 

Once you’re ready to scale your automation throughout the organization, take into consideration a variety of factors when prioritizing processes to automate. Your automation project team can use a weighted matrix that assesses each automation candidate based on criteria like criticality to the business, potential time savings, effort to automate, and any other factors that may be important to you. The team should also regularly review existing automation to see what’s adding the most value to the company.

Get the RPA Toolkit to prioritize RPA projects and optimize workflows 

Not Optimizing Your Automation

Automating a process as-is is quick and easy—just what you need to demonstrate the value of the software without putting in too much effort. It’s also a good choice for low-volume processes or those that aren’t mission-critical. However, GUI automation isn’t the fastest or most reliable method of automating.

If you have a process that involves multiple people and is fairly high-frequency, you should consider optimizing your automated workflows. Go through the process steps and make note of where you can automate via the backend. You may end up with a combination of as-is and optimized automation, or you may completely redesign the workflow according to workflow best pratices.

Not Approaching RPA as an Ongoing Initiative

Automation isn’t just something you set and forget—it’s a project in its own right. Too often, the automation pilot project is executed with limited resources and no ability to scale. It’s not clear who is managing the project, investment in the automation doesn’t increase beyond a single process or department, and the right infrastructure isn’t in place to support your robotic process automation implementation.

Learn more about building an Automation Center of Excellence.

Losing Executive Buy-In

Your executive sponsor is likely to be focused on how your automation solution will help the bottom line. When you initially discuss the potential ROI of robotic process automation, make sure you cover areas of savings, like increased uptime, decreased errors, and fewer hours spent on custom scripting, as well as new costs, including user training and software maintenance. Once you’ve obtained approval to purchase RPA software, don’t get too complacent—you’re going to need to maintain that executive support as you implement automation throughout your organization.

As you go forward, it’s helpful to have someone on the executive team sitting on the steering committee for your automation project. Make sure that any automation success story from within your company is shared widely—this will generate enthusiasm for robotic process automation from the C-suite down.

How to Implement Robotic Process Automation

No matter where you are in your RPA implementation process—from getting ready to implement your first software bots to increasing your competitive edge through strategic automation—we've developed a comprehensive library of resources for every step of the way. Click on an implementation step below to get started.

Watch a Quick On-Demand Demo of RPA in Action