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RPA Software Robots: What Can They Do?

Many articles have been written about the benefits of Robotic Process Automation. One of them is the straightforward integration, since these digital robots operate using the frontend of other applications. But how exactly does that look like? What can these robots do?

The reason we talk about Robotic Process Automation is because these digital robots mimick human behaviour in many ways. Instead of a software that has to be integrated in the backend, RPA Robots log into applications with their own login-names and passwords. 

It doesn't matter what kind of applications a company useses, whether they are self-developed systems or comprehensive ERP systems. Because the robot works with them like a human, it can use all of them.

 
Data has to be structured

One caveat is that, unlike humans, RPA's digital robots cannot handle unstructured data well. Robotic Process Automation is not artificial intelligence. They work on the basis of a set process workflow. Therefore, they only have as much intelligence and decision making abilities as the rules set down in this workflow allow. 

As long as data is digital and structured, the robots can use it and work with it. This is why they may have problems understanding an email's text, but are capable of extracting information like the sender or the customer ID from that e-mail.

What can robots do?

 
 
How the Robots use the User Interface

Lika a human user, robots can execute certain tasks. They can open programs or website, log in, click on links or buttons and fill out forms. They can copy & paste existing data or compare it with other data sources. They can extract data, update it and cross-reference it. The robots can also make decisions on the basis of predetermined business rules.

 
Conclusion

There is a reason for the robotic in RPA. They act a lot like humans, the biggest difference being a human's ability to handle unstructured data and the robot's ability to always follow a process exactly and error-free, no matter how often it performs the task.

Sara Gebhardt      26. April 2016

Author

Sara Gebhardt

Sara Gebhardt

Sara started working as Marketing Manager at ALMATO in 2015.

She has a M.A. in International Cultural and Business Studies. As part of a Double Degree Programme she spent a year in Scotland and wrote her thesis on What Would Bond Buy? An Investigation Into Young Consumers' Attitudes Towards Product Placement in Films.

After her studies, she moved to Belgium and worked for a software company as Business Developer for Germany and Spain, before moving back to her beautiful home city of Stuttgart. In her free time, she reads obsessively across all genres.