Automation is creeping into every sphere of our life. Technology is not a sidekick anymore, it’s a given. The pace at which technology is creeping into different aspects of our lives is staggering. Today there is close to 15 Zettabytes of data in the whole world. This is 15 with 21 zeroes (15000000000000000000000). Of this, close to 90% of it is not analysed. We are in the midst of a data storm or should we say a hurricane. The need for more data is fuelling pangs of those big hungry companies, which literally get down to ground zero for tackling the data juggernaut.

There are many levels of automation in a company:

  1. Basic : This is the standard ERP / CRM / SCM systems which become the backbone of the company.
  2. Value Added Services : These are external tools which bring the power of analytics to the table. These services are typically enabled by ML / Visualization products.
  3. Platform tools : These are built on top of other software / platform to benefit the company in ease of use and typically, productivity.
  4. RPA (Robotic Process Automation) : These are simple programs which make repetitive work easy to automate thus saving the company / individual a bundle and also making the process seamless.

Let’s talk about the last one – RPA.

There are many RPA vendors out there who automate our repetitive tasks for e.g: some notifications that must be fired when some event takes place. Another example can be updating a file based on a criterion. Now all these small yet voluminous operations are good candidates for process automation and machines are quite apt at doing these. Hence the term Robotic Process Automation. The three main vendors for RPA are :

  1. Blue Prism
  2. Automation Anywhere
  3. UIPath
  1. Blue Prism

Blue Prism accesses all its applications through their user interfaces (UI) and a process works much like a human client because it applies the logic of a software robot. And every process is described using single or more pages and all of them looks like a business object action, and every page has some number of phases and data items. But however, there are notable differences between business object actions and process pages. For instance, in a business object, any released action can be retrieved at any given time and the object exhibits a set of actions that can be done in any order. But a process always starts at its Main page and the pages it is included in always runs in a pre-defined order. Blue Prism is the leader of Process Automation. However, you would be disappointed if you are looking for a free version.

  2. Automation Anywhere

The framework, that is included in Automation Anywhere Enterprise does much more than simply import and export bots–it integrates readily with the DevOps workflow. Support for separate development, testing, acceptance, and production environments—including complete version control and roll-back features—comes built-in. A highly granular role-based access control (RBAC) is another enterprise must-have that underpins security of the Enterprise RPA platform. With granular RBAC, the bots seamlessly transition between stages in the DevOps lifecycle. But what about dependencies? Dependencies transition along with bots. That’s because Automation Anywhere Enterprise manages the entire bot package as part of the bot lifecycle. This control over versions, roles, and bot packages lets you develop more bots faster even when you have stringent compliance requirements. This enables you to scale RPA rapidly across your enterprise and experience higher ROI even faster—a hallmark of a well-crafted enterprise-class RPA strategy.

3. UIPath

UIPath is leading the “Automation First” era – championing one robot for every person, delivering free and open training and collaboration and enabling robots to learn new skills through AI and machine learning. Led by a commitment to bring digital era skills to more than a million people, the company’s enterprise Robotic Process Automation (RPA) platform has already automated millions of repetitive, mind-numbing tasks for business and government organizations all over the world, improving productivity, customer experience and employee job satisfaction. A community edition of this software is available. Those who want to start with RPA are most likely to opt with UIPath as this tool is very easy to use.

Overall, here are the benefits of RPA

  • Productivity and Efficiency : taking over labour-intensive administrative tasks, they free your employees for more high-value activities. By focusing on decision making and customer service that can’t be automated, your personnel are far more efficiently employed and feel more professionally engaged.
  • Scalability and Flexibility : The ability to replicate robotic tools across geographies/business units increases scalability and flexibility.
  • Compliance : Robotics allows data and processes to be adhere to standards.
  • Accuracy : Robot’s don’t make mistakes or judgement calls, and they don’t get tired. With routine processes completed flawlessly, every time, you don’t need to allocate time for making corrections.
  • Cost Savings : With automation of work processes, administrative costs are reduced immediately and no additional back office resources are needed, for a quick return on your investment.

RPA tools are coming of age now with features which were not possible without AI and other advanced software components.

Move over – those doing boring jobs – the robots are coming …

Techno Spiritual Entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience in the IT industry. Author of 5 books, trainer and consultant. Seeker of the truth - inclined towards spirituality and technology. Also, love to read and write inspirational stuff.