RPA stands for Robotic Process Automation. It is the process of automating a particular task to repeat in a cycle for a fixed number of times, without any direct human intervention. Robotic Automation involves observing the user perform tasks on a GUI and mimic the process of its execution, to reduce human efforts and time consumption. Robotic Automation help organizations to enhance their business performance, due to increased productivity and the right use of human resources for complex and demanding tasks.
This RPA tutorial is introduced to understand the process of RPA, its tools, implementation techniques, applications, general difference against the test automation, and its advantages.
|RPA Tutorial - Table of Content|
RPA (Robotic Process Automation) is an advanced technology of employing a robot or substantially a computer program, to emulate and imitate the actions of a human on a digital interface, essentially to execute a business process. These intelligent computer programs (robots), capture the activity of a human on an interface and manipulate applications in a similar way. They perform trigger actions and coordinate with other systems, to execute a vast variety of repetitive tasks; only in a better way. They also cost much less than a human counterpart.
RPA is commonly used in the automation of
The main role of RPA in business is to carry out repetitive tasks, which are seldom boring, and hence direct human resources for better and challenging job roles.
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For any growing Enterprise, change is constant. There will be endless changes happening in the business and technical processes. This is the way of evolution, which is indomitable.
The newer adaptations in say, sales, products, marketing, etc., will demand a change in the associated IT operations. More often, a typical enterprise would have multiple IT systems, which run operations in an independent way. Upon variations in the high-level business processes, these systems are not modified completely owing to the budget, time requirement, and implementation complexity. This leads to a misalignment of technical processes in IT systems with that of the business processes.
To gain control over such scenarios, companies try to hire more employees and train them to handle bridging operations. As it happens, mostly the employees will be either not very compatible with the technicalities of the role or demand training to cope up with it.
Reduced production life-cycle due to the faster execution time of robots.
Cost-cutting due to reduced human hiring for nagging tasks.
Subjecting to external factors, humans are prone to errors. However, robots are 100% error-free.
A robot can perform multitasking better than a human counterpart.
The above-stated solutions are manual and expensive for the company.
Robotic Process Automation overcomes all these shortcomings and leads to a complete business transformation.
Some of the reasons contributing to the drastic improvement of an organization’s performance by implementing RPA are listed below:
To understand the efficacy of RPA in a real-time business environment, let us consider the following case:
|Description||Can be automated using RPA?|
|To open the invoice email and get it printed||Yes|
|Barcode Scanning||Only Manual|
|Creating a new work item in the legacy software system||Yes|
|Enter PO to retrieve the invoice||Yes|
|Checking the correctness of the supplier name||Yes|
|Checking for the key invoice number, date, and amount||Yes|
|Matching PO and Invoice||Yes|
|Checking for the matching amount||Yes|
|If matches, calculate the tax||Yes|
|Completing the process||Yes|
|Closing the work item||Yes|
|If the matching of the amount fails, then follow up with the supplier||Yes|
|Acceptance status from Supplier||Yes|
|If the name of the supplier is wrong, hold a pass to the exception team||Yes|
|Raising the flag for exception handling||Yes|
As we can see in the above description table, most of the processes can be handled by RPA well. Human dependency on most of the obvious jobs is reduced, leading to enhanced performance.
RPA is an automation process employed in organizations with a completely different end goal compared to normal test automation. Both are often confused about their implementation.
Let us see the differences between them for a better understanding.
|End Goal||To reduce the test execution time||To reduce the human resource in mundane jobs|
|Task||To automate the repetitive test cases||To automate the repetitive business processes|
|Coding Knowledge||Required to write the test cases||Wizard driven applications and the end-users do not need the coding knowledge|
|Technology||The platform support is limited. Ex: Selenium can be implemented only on web apps.||Supports diverse tech environments|
|Implementation environment||It can be run on the UAT, performance, QA, and production environment.||It is usually run only in production environments.|
|Application||Can be used to automate a product||Can be used to automate a product as well as a service.|
|Role||It acts as a virtual assistant||It acts as a virtual workforce|
|AI||It can execute only what is coded||Most of the RPA tools come with AI Intelligence systems that work like a human replacement.|
There is a defined process followed in implementing RPA in an organization. These steps are described below:
Planning: This is the first phase, where you need to plan on the processes you want to automate. The checklist given below will help you identify the right process that needs automation.
Once the basic decisions on the project are made, the next steps in planning are given below:
Development: This is the next stage of Planning where actual implementation starts. Since the RPA deployment is wizard-driven, the process is quick and easy.
Testing: Testing is done on the in-house configuration.
Support & Maintenance: Continuous support on production testing and new customer requests as a post-deployment service.
Some of the real-time uses of RPA are given below.
|Manufacturing and Retail||
|Banking and Finance||
|Travel and Logistic||
Selection of Robotic Process Automation Tools is one of the challenging and interesting tasks, as there are an array of equally qualified tools available in the market. There are a couple of parameters that are to be considered while selecting an RPA tool, which helps in crossing out the ones according to our criteria. These parameters are given below:
Now that we are aware of the parameters of selection, let us look into the popular RPA tools in detail:
Blue Prism is a leading organization in providing RPA solutions for various enterprises. It is specialized in connected-RPA intelligent software, which automates repetitive tasks with intelligent algorithms to perform the tasks better and faster. The product is designed to divert human resources from unskilled work to more intelligent tasks so that there is the right energy distribution in the business organization.
Advantages of Blue Prism
|Related Article: Blue Prism Process Studio|
Applications of Blue Prism
This is one of the quality RPA software, which is built for enterprises looking for a digital workforce made of software bots that complete business processes end-to-end.
Advantages of Automation Anywhere
Applications of Automation Anywhere
|Learn more about Automation Anywhere.|
UiPath is a pioneering RPA provider, which is extensively focused on improvement in robotics and automation for enhancing the performance edge of enterprises. It has the largest RPA community, which is committed to continuous innovation and excellence.
Advantages of UiPath
The advantages of UiPath as an RPA provider are listed below:
Applications of UiPath
|Learn more about UiPath.|
OpenSpan is an Atlanta-based enterprise acquired by Pegasystems Inc in 2016. It is an RPA solution provider, which aims at providing intelligent automation to aid the customer service representatives (CSR).
Advantages of Open Span
Applications of Open Span
Below are some of the most significant benefits of using RPA:
|Frequently Asked RPA Interview Questions & Answers|
Like any other software in the market, RPA has an equal share of Myths. They are listed below:
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RPA is designed essentially to nullify the high-volume dull and manual jobs that are repetitive and time-consuming for an organization, with robotic automation. It reduces the back office work dramatically, to improve the ROI along with an increase in accuracy and customer satisfaction.
Robots are slowly consuming the low-end jobs in the industry. In no time, the robotic influence can control complex jobs. Companies are expected to adapt to the growing business transformations faster, to deliver the industry-expected returns.
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Soujanya is a Senior Writer at Mindmajix with tons of content creation experience in the areas of cloud computing, BI, Perl Scripting. She also creates content on Salesforce, Microstrategy, and Cobit. Connect with her via LinkedIn and Twitter.