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What is RPA? The emerging technology in business process automation

Organizations experiencing benefits from business process automation (BPA) are seeing additional value through technology upgrades with robotic process automation (RPA) which is making massive changes to the standard BPA model.

For a long time, organizations that wanted to see the benefits of BPA have accepted process reinvention as necessary. Rather than automating existing processes, organizations redesigned them to use the capabilities – and work within the limitations – of digital tools.

Though BPA still provides value through process reinvention and updating, artificial intelligence and machine learning have added greater flexibility. This is what RPA offers organizations.

Instead of humans performing repetitive tasks, RPA allows AI to perform them in the same manner, just faster and more efficiently.

The value of RPA is in its ability to fit into the current workflow system with minimal impact. Processes can be changed through automation without other dependent systems needing significant changes.

How did RPA get its name if it doesn’t involve robots? The name comes from the nickname “bot” given to small software tools designed to do the same task for a period of time with minimal oversight.

The bots used for RPA are generally small, simple and quick to develop and deploy. Organizations can begin using them to automate tasks without a large up-front investment. What’s more, they can be developed to respond to external factors, including staffing changes or customer requirements in a quicker and more efficient way than BPA implementation would require.

While RPA offers greater process efficiencies, it isn’t mutually exclusive from BPA. They’re related concepts. In fact, RPA is becoming commonly used within larger BPA initiatives that require a simpler “bot” implementation rather than full automation of a process.

Interested in what turning bots loose on repetitive manual processes could do for your organization? Contact us to learn more. We promise a human will respond, not a robot.


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