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Robotic Process Automation (RPA): Delegating Repetitive Task Processing to Software Bots

By Dick Weisinger

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is increasingly being deployed to reduce costs and error. RPA bots, or robots, are small programs or scripts that perform repetitive tasks previously that had been done by humans. RPA often takes standard automation one step further by using techniques from artificial intelligence to enable the RPA software to flexibly respond to and adapt to changes in the tasks that they perform.

RPA software scripts can simulate a user’s interaction with the user interface of a business software application. The bot interacts with the existing application, simulating the key and mouse clicks of a real user.  Because bot software is separate  from the business software that they interact with, bots are independent of the software technology that they interact with and can be used to control both new business software applications as well as older legacy ones.

Daniel Dines, CEO at RPA company UiPath, said that RPA can be used “to automate a lot of front office and back office processes, particularly in finance and accounting, ticketing, repricing and all sorts of different processes… [RPA is equivalent to] autopilot in a plane or a self-driving brain engine in a car.”

Vik Renjen, Senior Vice President at Sutherland, wrote that “once intelligent automation or various forms of RPA are implemented within an organization, a wealth of information is available from the data surrounding those activities. Companies can use this new data and analytics to report on and gain insight on how to optimize labor capacity, conduct a Pareto analysis of top reasons for process exceptions, improve customer satisfaction and glean insights from new business process areas that could lead to opportunities for new product introductions from a marketing and sales standpoint.”

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