How-To Guides

How-To Guides

What is Robotic Process Automation? A Simple Guide

Posted on Sep 16, 2021 7:08 am

Data is the driving force of the business world today. Advanced technologies like AI, machine learning, and cloud computing are pushing data to the forefront of companies’ minds. It’s one of your business’s greatest assets.

This push toward data means your team’s IT infrastructure also becomes more important. Your IT managers need to be optimizing your network and data processing to get the most out of your company’s digital presence.

Cloud computing, the Internet of Things, and robotic process automation (RPA) are all processes to help you do that. But, what is robotic process automation? RPA is another tool that can help you and your team maximize your IT output.

There’s a chance some of you reading this may not have heard of RPA. That’s not a problem. Today’s your lucky day.

By the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll be an expert at what RPA is and what it can do for your business. Consider this article a complete and simple guide to the world of RPA.

There’s a lot of information to cover, so let’s get going.

What Is Robotic Process Automation?

Robotic process automation is the process of using software to maximize your team’s productivity and output. The software allows you to build, manage, and maintain software “robots” within your business.

These bots have the ability to help you complete a wide variety of tasks within your business’ workflows. They can understand what’s on the computer screen, help navigate systems, locate and extract data, and perform a wide variety of actions.

If you can clearly direct a bot to do it, it will get done. No matter what it is. The possibilities are virtually endless.

Robotic process automation jobs can be things as complex as evaluating employee resumes. Job applicants can be evaluated, accepted, and rejected all without the help of human influence. The RPA bot will even download the resumes of qualified candidates.

Imagine what that could do for a company’s hiring process!

RPA Benefits

Leveraging the power of RPA bots can do amazing things for your company. Sure, these bots are implemented in your IT department, but the benefits of what they do are experienced company-wide.

Here are just a handful of the ways RPA can help you and your team thrive.

Streamlines Workflows

The biggest strength of RPA is the streamlining of company workflows. Using bots that allow for automation helps teams to remove redundancies, remove human error, and work smarter overall. As a result, companies wind up being more profitable, flexible, and productive.

Streamlining your workflows will also help your team. RPA will help to remove repetitive tasks from your employees’ workday. This makes employees happier, increases their engagement, and will also make them more productive. 

We’ve all had that job where we bang our heads against the wall doing boring, mundane tasks. How much more would we have liked that job if we were doing something worthwhile?

Speed of Implementation

Another benefit of RPA is the speed of implementation. It doesn’t require a lot of resources to set up and can be up and running in no time. 

One of the areas where RPAs work best is with legacy systems. Legacy systems are the older sections of your IT framework. These systems may not have modern technologies like APIs. 

As a result, it makes it challenging for these sections of your IT estate to connect with other digital assets within the company. RPA bots can also help with database access or systems that rely on virtual desktop infrastructures (VDIs).

Cuts Costs

Perhaps the thing that businesses love most about implementing RPA is that it can cut costs. Using the automation these bots can provide will drastically reduce expenses in several ways.

First, you’ll be streamlining your workflow. This will cut out redundancies in processes and software. An RPA bot may shed light on a portion of your workflow where two apps were accomplishing the same task.

You may be able to cancel a subscription to one, or both, and have RPA pick up the slack.

RPA can also save you money when it comes to your team. Now, we’re not recommending slashing people’s jobs because you can. But, RPA can handle a lot of the day-to-day tasks your team is currently doing.

This allows you to save money on locating, hiring, and training extra talent. It also frees up your team to focus on more high-value tasks since RPA is handling the easy stuff.

Important Features of RPA

So, what should you look for in your RPA system? Well, the goal of RPA is to help you run more efficiently. You want an RPA system that can handle more than just one particular task.

The proper RPA setup will go far beyond one particular workflow process within your business. If you’re using it properly, the effects of RPA will be felt throughout your organization. RPA should be moving you forward toward the goal of being a fully automated company.

Your RPA system should be taking a lot of the heavy lifting off of your IT team’s shoulders. You should be leaning on RPA to find automation opportunities within your workflow. The system should then be able to handle building intelligent robots to handle those opportunities.

Finally, your RPA system should also be able to handle the management of the thousands of workflows it’s creating.

RPA vs AI

People hear the term “robot” is used when it comes to RPA. As a result, they think that RPA and AI are the same things. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

However, RPA and AI can be used together to really take your business to the next level. AI allows your IT team to overlay skills like NLP, machine learning, and character and image recognition on top of your already intelligent RPA robots.

Using the combined power of AI and RPA takes the intelligence of your system to the next level. With the help of AI, RPA bots can read and understand documents within your company’s file library. Regardless of whether the data is structured or not.

Your bots will also be able to understand and carry on conversations. This can be useful in actual conversation or chatbots. RPA bots equipped with AI are great for a company’s customer support.

AI also helps your RPA bots with a feature called process mining. AI combines with the power of your RPA bots to mine automation opportunities out of your company workflows. As a result, the bot can build a large pipeline of automation opportunities that will help your business run faster and smarter.

After seeing their combined power, you might be wondering what is robotic process automation without AI.

RPA In the Real World

Many companies are using the power of RPA to their advantage. These businesses are not only using RPA to help their businesses perform better, they’re using RPA to change their industry as we know it.

Here are a couple of industries where RPA is being put to good use.

Banking

Large banks typically operate large call centers to handle the customer service arm of their business. In most cases, a call center can handle hundreds of thousands of calls per day.

In addition to these calls, employees also have post-call activities they’re required to complete. These may include properly classifying the call, making sure there are complete notes and escalating issues to the proper department.

In addition to all of that, call agents need to be on the lookout for potential fraud cases. It can be a lot for anyone agent to handle.

To help with the workload, major banks have begun to implement RPA in the case of fraud. RPA bots help agents during fraud investigations. The bots provide guidance to help increase accuracy and reduce the turnover time on company fraud cases.

The bots can also document conversations and file claims requests. More fraud investigations are being completed and employee satisfaction has gone through the roof! A job well done by RPA bots.

Utilities

Banking isn’t the only industry benefiting from the power of RPA. Oil, gas, and other utility companies are also seeing what RPA can do for them.

Agents with utility companies are often asked to process changes of address. Customers may move and request that their service be switched to a new address or turned off at an old one. These address changes came with a high percentage of human error.

RPA bots combined all of the agent interfaces into one, seamless dashboard. The bot also creates new accounts and conducts meter checks for new customers. Finally, the RPA bots will update the company’s CRM system with new customer information.

What were the results? Human errors were all but eliminated and change of address process time drastically decreased.

These companies were able to cut costs and increase customer satisfaction. And it’s all possible because of the power of RPA.

Thank You Very Much, Mr. Roboto

You may have begun this article wondering “what is robotic process automation?” We’re confident you now have enough information to answer that question.

Now, the only question is: are you ready to put RPA to work for you? If you want to get started implementing RPA in your own business, or have any other IT questions, contact the team at NETDepot

Tags

Contact Us

/** * Pardot script * */