Robotic Process Automation is one of the most recent developments that is increasingly being adopted in Business Process Management. Though it seems like a modern technology, robotic process automation has been around for few years now. Take for example, inbound call centres have been using Interactive Voice Response Systems (IVRS) for years.
SAP has also developed a Business Process Management tool called SAP intelligent RPA, which combines both RPA and machine learning technologies. Read on to get insight on the first impression of the SAP iRPA tool article.
What is RPA?
Before going to SAP Intelligent RPA, let us have a brief look into what is RPA. Robotic Process Automation or RPA is a term for a piece of software, or a ‘robot’, which carries out tasks and activities within systems, or applications, in the same way a human would. The term “Robotic Process Automation” imply visions of physical robots wandering around offices performing human tasks, the term really means automation of service tasks that were previously performed by humans. For business processes, the term RPA refers to configuring a software to perform tasks which were previously carried by people (for instance, transferring data from multiple input sources like email and spreadsheets to systems of record like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems).
SAP Intelligent RPA
SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation is a complete automation suite where software robots are designed to mimic humans by replacing manual clicks, interpreting text-heavy communications, or making process suggestions to end users for definable and repeatable business processes.
Components of SAP Intelligent RPA
There are mainly 3 components of SAP Intelligent RPA.
Desktop agent is the engine to be executed on the user desktop or on the server either Attended or Unattended bots.
There are two ways to consider the assistance depends on what needs to be automated and how should be automated.
Attended bot (digital assistant): It is deployed on user workstation and launched by user. Robots are interacting with the user in the workstation to ease manual processes and simplify them and increase the user performance. Some areas of the process can be automated, but at the end user is in control.
Unattended bot (digital worker): It is deployed on server. When a large set of tasks which does not need human interaction, then we can use unattended bot. It need only one human to supervise to execute the process of all the bots then the robots will work autonomously. The goal is to skip manual processes and can be automate the whole process.
Cloud factory is responsible for orchestration and monitoring process automation. It is a cloud-based solution powered by SAP cloud platform and allows to launch though that it can be triggered by the user or scheduled on the server. No deployment is required for cloud factory. It manages environments, hierarchies, and script packages.
Desktop studio is a complete and powerful IDE which offers the complete automation development environment including the classic faces of IT development with advanced support functions. It allows the user to build the process automation. The user only must deploy the studio on the developer’s workstation.
Both desktop agent and desktop studio are connected to the cloud factory.
First Impression of the Tool
Setting up of the SAP Intelligent RPA tool is straight forward. SAP provides a detailed instruction of how to proceed with the installation, which is easy to follow.
The desktop studio has 4 components, Applications, Workflows, Scripts and UI Designer.
Applications tab helps you to capture and application and its pages. All the elements on that page will also be captured. Then you can decide what operation you want to perform on the page. It is very helpful for the user that they can capture a whole page instead on each element separately and choose the operations they want to do later. This can always be changed.
Workflow is where the sequence of execution is determined. There are multiple activities available to perform actions like starting and closing an application, message boxes, SAP APIs, Web Services etc. You can add the captured web pages according to their sequence to follow an execution path. Creating workflows is easy and since all the components are readily available, the process is faster.
After creating a workflow, you must build the workflow created. This is when the script is generated according to the workflow created. If the workflow has some issues, the debug process will throw you errors. You can analyze the errors and make changes to your workflow.
After building successfully, debug the code. This will start the execution of the process. An execution window opens, and you can see what is happening during execution. With the help of the agent, the automated process will now run. It is also possible to export the project, upload into the cloud factory and schedule when the bots need to be run.
Business Value of SAP Intelligent RPA
SAP Intelligent RPA can remove manual, tedious and error prone tasks from the process so that the people can focuses on high value assignments and transformational activities. The user can build efficient bots using SAP Intelligent RPA which can multitask and do parallel processing of various set of tasks with out disturbing humans and interfere only when needed. It prevents long and expensive development and focus on high value tasks creativity.
Reduce cycle times
SAP Intelligent RPA ensures that the user do not get trapped into long and expensive development process. By reducing the cycle times, it can bring insubstantial speed and reliability in the process execution cycle, which can reduce overall cycle times for completing various set of tasks which otherwise user needs to manually ensure. Cycle time reduction can be immediately producing considerable cost savings and results a quick return investment. It will improve overall process efficiency and reduce/cut process execution time.
Increase compliance and service quality
The use of SAP Intelligent RPA will improve to increase service quality. It reduces human errors and gain speed and efficiency with bots running all the time. However, human can no focus on valuable error handling, taking care of the customers. iRPA helps the user to recompile well documented audit trails provide the user even clear visibility what bots did where they succeeded, or they failed etc. The detailed process execution logs introduce validations and auto reporting.
Gateway to AI
SAP Intelligent RPA acting as a gateway to artificial intelligence. SAP iRPA is about setting a right stage for AI as bot platform and create a lot of digital history on process execution. This can allow the application of AI models on the bot execution data to teach the bots for handling unstructured data learning through exception, handling experiences and eventually even heal them themselves in case of exceptional failures. Machine learning services here can participate in the process exceution.by digitally reading or interpreting texts or images or documents and feeding those inputs so that the bots can continue to execute.
SAP iRPA is a robust tool that combines the technologies of both RPA and machine learning. The tool is intuitive and once you get a hang of it, it gets easier and faster to create bots to automate business processes.
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