Robotic Process Automation lets software robots automate tasks, that used to be done by humans. This idea originated from process automation and is used, i.e., for the automation of testing software. This method which is based on artificial intelligence, its functions, and its advantages will be presented in the following article.
Robotic Process Automation, short RPA, is the automation of processes controlled by robots. These include several different procedures: Artificial intelligence can be helpful both in querying data or entering forms and in operating complex systems and tools. This is called a software bot and performs its tasks by imitating human behavior. This offers the advantage that once systems or processes have been created, they do not need to be adapted – the bot takes over where a human worker would act. Unlike physical robots, however, artificial intelligence joins directly on the user interface and can, for instance, answer customer service inquiries or handle recurring accounting tasks. And that’s exactly what we’ve done with
Robots have already existed in the industry for several decades and do valuable help, that can no longer be pictured without. Other business areas are also looking for solutions that can simplify and accelerate processes, and thus improve the efficiency of the company. Therefore, it’s not only lowering expenses, but growth is also promoted and employees are relieved. The disadvantages of the existing options include the associated high costs and the number of resources required.
This is why RPA was developed from the examples of classic process automation from various suppliers and industrial robots. These bots can independently implement instructions and thus complete several operations and operate entire programs. Since the early 2000s, for example, artificial intelligence has been used in the social media sector to send automated emails or answer calls to customer services. However, RPA’s finest hour came in the field of software quality assurance.
Other than traditional process automation, RPA is perfectly compatible with existing systems. As described, it integrates and operates with them, which makes expensive conversions, renewed platforms, or similar investments unnecessary. The existing business processes can continue unchanged and are still executed in a shortened time and cost-saving manner. Even if the company grows significantly, no additional manpower is required here, as the bots absorb the newly created workload. The use of a holistic system also standardizes the customer experience, which creates trust and makes it easier for them to use the offers in question.
RPA is most suitable for structured processes, that are characterized by clear instructions and repeating specifications. The software learns set rules and performs work according to them. After learning routine steps, it executes them as often as desired; however, it is not able to flexibly adapt its processes to new situations and change its behavior. Unknown procedures must first be learned before they can be applied.
This question goes hand in hand with the consideration of which processes the use of bots is suitable for: Because RPA is rule-based, it can be helpful wherever there are predictable and repetitive actions to be performed that need to be done on a virtual user interface. RPA can, for example
A bot partially takes over the work of a human employee. Unlike the employee, the bot can work day and night, as well as weekends and holidays. It doesn’t take a vacation, it doesn’t drop out because it’s sick, and it doesn’t make careless mistakes. It does not miscalculate, and it does not forget to perform some of the steps. Also, artificial intelligence works at multiple speeds and brings constant, rehearsed friendliness and professionalism in direct contact with customers. RPA also records all the steps taken and automatically chooses the most cost-effective path without wasting time on this.
As a result, a company’s common processes are not only executed faster and error-free but are downright perfected. At the same time, valuable employees are freed up from carrying out routine processes and can devote their time to dealing with more complex issues.
Cost savings vary widely depending on how the company is structured. However, research shows that returns of 30 percent to 200 percent can be expected in the first year after investing in the software bots. However, before RPA can be used and save costs, artificial intelligence must learn the processes to be executed. This is done by having a subject matter expert demonstrate them to the bot on the user interface. Once the bot has learned the processes, they can be scaled at will – this means that they can be executed as quickly and as often as required.
RPA, when used correctly, facilitates several different processes and also reduces the workload of the company’s employees. RPA can hold the following benefits:
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