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What does Process Automation cover?
Process automation is a term that has developed with the evolution of technology:
Initially, some elements of automation were embedded into core systems in the form of functionalities/capabilities. For example, generating a supplier invoice.
Over time the technology landscape has become more complex, increasing the process automation offerings to include Electronic workflow, Business Process Management systems (BPM), and Desktop Automation. Unfortunately, these initiatives often took a very long time to put in place, implementing a BPM solution, for example, could take upwards of 12 months, and under-delivered on expected value since they required complex integration and changes to a company’s core IT systems.
Over time, technologies like Screen Scrapping, Artificial Intelligence, and the Cloud have enabled the evolution of, Desktop Automation and Robotic Process Automation (RPA). The idea is to maintain the existing applications and allow a software robot, also called a virtual worker, to replicate the actions of a human and execute the same sequence of activities, seamlessly, across multiple systems.
As AI algorithms become more advanced we will begin to see a higher degree of RPA capacity to perform more and more complex tasks, allowing staff to focus on high-value activities including interacting with customers.
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Wondering what the key differences between the various types of process automation are? Below is an overview of the different types of process automation and how RPA differs.
Who are the key providers for business process automation?
There numerous providers in the RPA space – below we have put together an overview of the industry leaders, both for Business Process Management solutions and Robotic Process Automation solutions.
|BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT (BPM)||ROBOTIC PROCESS AUTOMATION (RPA)|
|BPMS provider||Description||RPA provider||Description|
|Pegasystems: founded in 1985 with ~3,500 employees is a long-time player in the automation space known for their workflow and BPMS solutions.||BluePrism: founded in 2001, 100-200 employees, one of the RPA leaders as per Forrester research. More about BluePrism RPA solution.|
|Appian: founded in 1999 with ~1,000 employees is another long-time player in the Business Process management space and, more recently, in mobile enterprise applications.||UI Path: founded in 2005, 100-200 employees, another company that is well known and seen as one of the leaders in the RPA space.|
|IBM: Is a heavy-weight in the enterprise IT and application software solutions. No wonder that there are also BPMS solutions from IBM that are available on the market.||Automation Anywhere: founded in 2003, ~500 employees, is a company that focuses on a range of automation and RPA solutions.|
|Other service providers: TIBCO Software, AuraPortal, Oracle, Bizagi, PNMsoft, Axon Ivy||Other service providers: Redwood, WorkFusion, Nice|
Not sure which automation solution is best for your business? We can help.
Automation Software / RPA architecture
For most RPA solutions there are four essential components:
- RPA Interactive client: User desktops used for RPA development, monitoring and control
- RPA Robots (also called virtual workers): These are run-time resources that execute tasks according to a pre-defined logic
- RPA Application server: used to manage robots and distribute tasks between them
- RPA Database Server: Storage for all RPA related transactional and other data e.g. results of robots execution, logs, etc.
Please note that components can vary across providers.
Interested in learning more about RPA? Our detailed RPA software introduction will prepare you with all the key data and insights necessary before embarking on an RPA journey.
Process Automation and BPO
There are many benefits to combining RPA and BPO. For example:
- 10x loan arbitration when outsourcing activities from North America to Philippines
- 80-90% efficiency increase in the outsourced processes through automation.
Interested in learning more on this topic? Read our detailed RPA and BPO overview.
How our Process Automation services can help you
There are number of ways that Process Automation, specifically Robotic Process Process Automation can help you:
- Automating your processes to become leaner and more cost efficient.
- Running a BPO or using BPO services? RPA can help you get to the next level of efficiency. Find out more about RPA and BPO.
- Using RPA to automate your business processes does not only lead to the reduction of costs but also to an increase in process quality and improved customer experience.