The robots are amongst us…though they sure don’t look like robots. Rather, they emerge as powerful software solutions that target the mechanistic and repetitive processes of the human workforce, typically interacting with screens and systems. Robotic Process Automation looks at this interaction and aims to automate it as much as possible. The mission of RPA is not to fix underlying technical problems or flawed application logic. It is simply to maximize the efficiency of process execution, in spite of inherent shortfalls. So while they may not be the shiny robots that walk around, carry your stuff, and do your household chores, they sure will speed up your routine business activities, 24/7/365. Robots rock.

What

· Robotic Process Automation (RPA) utilizes a software system to replicate the actions of a human worker interacting with the user interface of a computer system.
· This “software robot” can be trained to use the user interface in exactly the same way as a human would, virtually initiating input actions (such as mouse clicks and keyboard input), interpreting display output, and taking automated actions according to pre-defined rules.
· Additional RPA management software manages resource allocation, systems usage and compliance.
· RPA solutions typically carry out their actions much faster (and more reliably) than their human counterparts.

Use

· From business processes in finance, HR, and supply chains through to technical and service management processes in IT, Capgemini’s business services (BPO) global practice deployed RPA technology in order to generate new operational efficiencies for their clients while increasing price-competitiveness.
· A large services organization automated its order management process with RPA, covering the work of 800 FTEs by 50 software robots. The average handle time was reduced from 30 minutes to ten and an 80% cost reduction led to a return on investment within six months.

Impact

· A faster and potentially more reliable execution of routine human tasks carried out across a multitude of different applications, saving money, time, and resources.
· Repaired application integration and cross-silo organization issues that are typically too small or too costly to address within the core application systems.
· Due to its non-invasive nature—no applications need to be changed—benefits are delivered quickly, effectively, and without additional risk.

Tech

Robotic Process Automation platforms
http://www.uipath.com/, Automation Anywhere cognitive robotic process automation, Blue Prism robotic process automation, Jacada Integration and Automation,  Kofax smart process applications, Nice robotic process automation, Pega robotic automation and workforce intelligence suite, UiPath robotic process automation, WorkFusion intelligent automation

Contributing expert: Lee Beardmore
Here’s the full overview