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What is Robotic Process Automation?

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Robotic process automation (RPA) is the application of technology that allows employees in a company to configure computer software or a “robot” to capture and interpret existing applications for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses and communicating with other digital systems.

Any company that uses labor on a large scale for general knowledge process work, where people are performing high-volume, highly transactional process functions, will boost their capabilities and save money and time with robotic process automation software.

Just as industrial robots are remaking the manufacturing industry by creating higher production rates and improved quality, RPA “robots” are revolutionizing the way we think about and administer business processes, IT support processes, workflow processes, remote infrastructure and back-office work. RPA provides dramatic improvements in accuracy and cycle time and increased productivity in transaction processing while it elevates the nature of work by removing people from dull, repetitive tasks.

The technology of RPA can be applied specifically to a wide range of industries.

Process automation

Technologies like presentation-layer automation software – a technology that mimics the steps of a rules-based, non-subjective process without compromising the existing IT architecture – are able to consistently carry out prescribed functions and easily scale up or down to meet demand. Process automation can expedite back-office tasks in finance, procurement, supply chain management, accounting, customer service and human resources, including data entry, purchase order issuing, creation of online access credentials, or business processes that require “swivel-chair” access to multiple existing systems.

IT support and management

Automated processes in the remote management of IT infrastructures can consistently investigate and solve problems for faster process throughput. RPA can improve service desk operations and the monitoring of network devices. Separating scalability from human resources allows a company to handle short-term demand without extra recruiting or training.

Automated assistant

As in voice recognition software or automated online assistants, developments in how machines process language, retrieve information and structure basic content mean that RPA can provide answers to employees or customers in natural language rather than in software code. This technology can help to conserve resources for large call centers and for customer interaction centers.

As RPA brings more technologically-advanced solutions to businesses around the world, operating models that adopt automation, whether in-house or offshored, will cut costs, drive efficiency and improve quality.

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