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What is Robotic Process Automation?

Robotic Process Automation is steadily gaining traction. But what exactly is RPA?

Robots have already conquered the factories. The term Robotic Process Automation was inspired by these classic robots. However, Robotic Process Automation robots are digital: a software that can carry out processes completely and by itself.

Definition

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the fully automatic handling of business processes by software - the digital robots.

Mode of Operation

As a software, RPA works rule-based. That is why it is important that processes to be handled by RPA are structured, offer clear choices and have little ambiguity. 

For these processes a workflow is designed in the Software Designer. In the case of ALMATO's RPA software, this is done with graphic elements. That way, it doesn't have to be done by IT but can be done by the business side as well. 

Once the workflow is defined, it doesn't have to stay that way. It can be changed at any time in the designer. That way, flexibility is guaranteed and you can quickly adapt to changing requirements.

Usually, a variety of applications are necessary to complete a process. Every company has different applications, covering a wide range of standard software and self-developed programs. RPA can deal with all of them, since it uses these applications like a human employee would: over the frontend. A backend integration of RPA and all the challenges and problems associated with such an integration are therefore not necessary.

RPA then continues to use these applications to fulfill the process. The robots can enter, save, copy and transfer data to name a few abilities.

The advantages are clear: the robots can work day and night, are faster than humans, make no mistakes and everything they do is documented.

Areas of Application

The areas of application are as varied as business processes themselves. Everywhere where there are structured process, RPA can be used. 

RPA is already being deployed in telecommunications, utilities, finance, tourism, customer service and shared services.

Sara Gebhardt      15. October 2015

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.