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Introducing Robotic Process Automation
RPA stands for Robotic Process Automation and it represents a new approach to business automation that helps minimize the technical hurdles required for implementing new workflows.
Traditional business process automations rely on application programming interfaces (APIs) to allow systems to exchange data. This approach has two main drawbacks:
- The application vendor must make those APIs available
- A programmer needs to write custom code to interface with them
If your software vendor does not provide an interface for consuming the data you need to automate, then you’re out of luck. And even if they do, the development costs can eliminate the ROI if the transaction volume isn’t large enough.
RPA tools avoid the API problem by interfacing directly with the application user interface just like a human would do. They use artificial intelligence and machine learning to “watch” the operator perform a task within the application then creates its own program (called a “bot”) to mimic it. This means that:
- Bots can do anything a human can do within the application
- Users can create a bot without writing code
Practically speaking, an experienced robotic process automation consultant with programming experience is required to roll out an RPA solution enterprise-wide, and most users will only be able to automate small, routine tasks without assistance. Business-critical, high-volume automations will still involve coding. But RPA dramatically reduces the implementation time and avoids the need to retrofit APIs for software applications that were not designed to support them.
Using RPA with OCR Data Capture
OCR Data Capture is one of the most common business processes to automate with RPA. Taking data stored in paper or electronic documents and […]