Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is already being implemented and used by many different companies. Nevertheless, in addition to the clear advantages, there are also many uncertainties and questions about this topic. Not very strange when you look at the average Hollywood movie where robots often play a dangerous and grim role in our future.
Fortunately, the reality is a lot brighter.
In this blog, Maarten Veger tells you about what RPA does and the possibilities it offers.
What is Robotic Process Automation?
Digital transformation through Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is about accelerating your business processes through technology. Because many business processes still run manually, this results in an unnecessarily long lead time. These processes are often repetitive manual work, which means that people actually have to act as robots. The solution to this is simple: actual robots!
Maarten: “In this case we are of course talking about software robots. As a result, simple and frequently occurring actions are actually taken over from humans. Sometimes employees in a company have to process information that they receive by telephone or in writing from the customer. This often happens, for example, with address changes. Most of the time, these people have to process this separately in 4 different systems. Of course they are goint to get faster at this during their career, but it still takes a lot of time. This is time they cannot spend on the customer or other things that actually add value. Robotic Process Automation comes into its own here perfectly, because it often concerns repetitive actions that can be accelerated by means of RPA. Operations that sometimes take a few minutes can be performed within seconds by means of RPA”
The development of RPA
A few years ago, automation was mainly focused on the back office processes such as the financial department. Today it is also increasingly used in customer-facing and revenue-generating processes.
Does this mean that robots will automatically take over all tasks from humans? Certainly not. The way to really focus on employee value is to have a digital workforce to support your employees. People often like to be supported in their work.
“This provides, as it were, the ultimate collaboration between robot and human. You combine the muscle power of digital employees with the efficiency and artificial intelligence of the software. This allows employees to focus more on things they excel at or that are really relevant. Such as communicating with the customer or creating a creative customer experience, ”says Maarten.
Robotic Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence
RPA is often mentioned together with artificial intelligence (AI). The combination of RPA, AI and machine learning will ensure that robots are increasingly able to deal with complex and new cases.
Maarten: “More and more smart things are being built into RPA. You have the basic things like opening a simple PDF, but nowadays you also see text and photo recognition elements. This mainly concerns recognizing and processing certain forms of documentation. Something you normally could only do as a user yourself ”.
Pega Robotic Automation has a platform that allows companies to control all robotics processes from a single location. Together with the Pega 8 BPM platform and the case management applications, organizations can easily integrate human actions with robotic automation for an optimal workflow. For organizations, this means that tasks can be effectively automated, processes can be streamlined and optimized more efficiently, employee productivity can be increased and thus higher customer satisfaction can be achieved.
“Within the RPA possibilities of Pega you actually have two possibilities. The attended and unattended RPA. With unattended RPA, the entire process is automated. Attended RPA however, runs on a Windows desktop and can take over tasks from the Pega process from there. What sets Pega apart from others is that parts of the process can also be automated with RPA. You often see that companies want to automate an entire process, which succeeds for 70%, but the last bit just doesn’t work. As a result, that automation fails and as a result of that an entire project fails. By constantly automating individual parts of the process, the automation can be put into use much faster and you can also continue to manually execute the difficult issues and complex parts. As a result, such projects can continue as usual. ”
RPA in the future
What the future of RPA implementations will look like is still unclear. According to Maarten, this largely depends on the progressiveness and tenacity of companies;
“What often stops people or makes them hesitate to start on RPA is that you see that it often seems to take some time. That is of course always the case with automation. You automate something because you assume that it will ultimately cost you less. The considerations you make in advance are often: does it ultimately deliver on the promise, and is it really cheaper in the end? Ultimately, such an investment must of course pay for itself. In addition, the new systems are not always easy to work with. You do need certain people / employees who can work with it. The way most companies deal with this is by looking at other companies. Are there other companies that have already done it. Are they successful? Then the risk for you as a company is of course lower. People will always keep looking at what others are doing when it comes to these kinds of things. ”
Nevertheless, it is very likely that RPA will continue. In fact, by 2024, organizations are expected to have reduced operational costs by an average of 30% by combining hyper-automation technologies with redesigned operational processes. Also in functions related to customer contact (front office) an increase of 30% is expected by 2023.
In short, robots are the future!
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