What is RPA (Robotic Process Automation)

RPA is defined as an application technology which is designed and made according to the business logic and requirements, and focuses mainly in automating the Business Process. It is a type of software robots (bots) on the trending technology called AI (Artificial Intelligence).

The process of RPA begins by a software developer, who produces a list of tasks that are needed to be performed and interface to the backend system using APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) or a dedicated scripting language. A bot developed in RPA systems monitors the user actions on their application and then automate the repeating task that is being directly used in their application’s GUI (Graphical User Interface). Some examples where RPA used are :

  • Extracting messages from an email or invoice.
  • Extracting data or performing action on Facebook, twitter, etc.
  • Automatically reading the data and sending it mail directly to another person.
  • Filling up excel sheet from a text file in a particular format.
  • And many more…

 The main purpose for using RPA is to reduce the time and cost over repetitive process. And also high accuracy, speed, quality, consistency and scalability of production. It also provide security because of specific APIs that are integrated in it. David Thompson, CIO of American Express Global Business Travel, says that their company uses RPA to automate the process of canceling and refunding an airline tickets. Hence there is vast scope in RPA.

Implementation of RPA

The implementation begins by hosting RPA services with metaphor of software robot, with each instance of it having it’s own virtual work environment. The process is similar to human being, where an environment is being setup for an employee like mouse, keyboard and job assigned as typing. All these are set in virtual environment and not on the front screen.

The robot does the automation process which is programmed by software engineers, without showing on the screen. These bots are tested and configured accordingly and changes are made if ever required. But it required complex maintenance.

Impact on Employment

There is a large debate going on this issue and everyone this in different ways. According to Harvard Business Review, they are happy with RPA technology as it helps their employee in reducing the workload and also reduces the chance for any error. On the other hand, some analyst declares it as a threat to employment, as these can take away smaller jobs. But in reality, Big Companies are focusing on RPA for maximum yield in minimum time.

Advantages of using RPA

The main advantages of using RPA are :

  • It improves customer experience.
  • It reduces the chance of error.
  • It can easily be integrated on various Platform.
  • It increases the use of Artificial Intelligence.

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