Introduction to Robotic Process Automation

Introduction to RPA (Robotic Process Automation)

1) What is Robotic Process Automation?
2) What Can RPA Do?
3) Robotic Process Automation vs. Test Automation
4) Advantages of Robotics Process Automation
5) Robotic Process Automation Life Cycle
6) RPA Tools…

1) What is Robotic Process Automation?

> Robotic process automation (RPA) is defined by the Institute for Robotic Process Automation (IRPA) as ‘the application of technology allowing 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.’

> RPA (Robotic Process Automation) Robotic Process Automation enables you with tools to create your own software robots to automate any business process. Your “bots” are configurable software set up to perform the tasks you assign and control.

2) What Can RPA Do?

> RPA is software-based, it can be used to perform various tasks. These include
maintenance of records, queries, calculations, and transactions. Additionally,
any application commonly used by your company can be operated by RPA.

> For example, Citrix, .NET, HTML, and Java are all technologies commonly supported by RPA. Compatible systems include Mainframe Terminals, SAP, Oracle, Blackline, and many more. Programmable automation means that RPA can be configured to perform almost any rule-based task.

> Web based, Desktop, Citrix, SAP, and Excel tasks can be automated with RPA

3) Robotic Process Automation vs. Test Automation

> The Test Automation tools like Selenium, UFT/QTP etc…come with a constraint that they need a software product to work on. However, RPA could be applied to anything except a product.

> Conceptually, the two processes are similar as they both involve “automation,” and offer same advantages of reducing manual intervention and delivering quality.

> Test Automation is applied only to the product and its features. However, RPA
could be applied to other business processes like:

. Data Entry
. HR Department Onboarding Process.
. Customer Order Updates
. Customer Complaints Processing
. Dispute Resolution in Financial Services etc…
> Other differences that are seen are that test automation works across different environments, i.e., QA, UAT, Prod, etc. whereas RPA runs only in the production environment. While Test Automation is limited to QA, RPA systems could be used by all individuals across the firm in terms of creation and usage.

4) Advantages of Robotic Process Automation

> It is considered to replace the data entry and the data rekeying jobs with its
automated tools and techniques. Also, repetitive jobs of data assembling,
formatting tasks that use a set of rules to follow the process can be easily
performed using RPA

> Almost every type of computer-aided process that uses a set of protocols for its operations can be performed using RPA.

> Further with the advancements of the tools and techniques of robotics science, it is expected that during some point of time RPA will be able to perform all those operations that a human does today.

> The growth in the field of RPA is sure shot and thus will provide higher technological potentials towards significantly reducing the risk of inaccurate regulatory reporting’s along with improvised analytics and higher data accuracy.

Introduction to Robotic Process Automation

5) Robotic Process Automation Life Cycle

> RPA life cycle is similar to Software development Life Cycle with some minor
differences of work, stages…

Phases of RPA Life Cycle:

i) Analysis

> Life cycle in RPA begins with analysis phase. Business team and RPA strategist/Architect work together to identify a business process for RPA development.

> Most of the development follows an agile methodology that to is customized
(some modifications) agile.

> The core intent of this analysis is to identify processes which are feasable for
automation, as awell as can save manual effort and bring RoI.

> Once after finalizing the process, planning of work that includes resources and time identification is being formulated with the help of an RPA lead.

> A formal approach is being documented and after approval from all stakeholders development is started.

ii) Bot Development

> RPA developer(Team) starts working on requirement in their environment possibly a separate development environment.

> Most of the development is wizard driven, with limited or no coding/scripting
effort required.

> However there are cases where RPA tools have limitation and coding needs to be done.

iii) Testing

There are two approaches on which testing is being carried out-

a- Separate Testing Team
b- Testing done by RPA dev team only

> Some of the organisation believe that Unlike SDLC-software development life
cycle in RPA testing is not that extremely critical part in most of the
organization, therefore, script correctness is verified by the development team
usually, with a peer review and once it is done same is ready for deployment.

> While other few have a dedicated testing team which perform a dedicated QA like normal SDLC flow.

> Best Practice is to have a dedicated testing team which perform QA of developed bot.

iv) Deployment and Maintenance-

> After the Dev and testing closure, a bot is ready for deployment and enters
maintenance phase.

> Whenever a change comes in a process script/bot is updated or in a case, any issue is being caught in a bot same is being re-deployed by following the development-test process again.

6) RPA Tools…

RPA Tools in the Market…

The Popular RPA Tools in the market are:

i) BluePrism
ii) Automation Anywhere
iii) UiPath
iv) NICE
v) Pega
vi) Workfusion etc…

Also Read:

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