Robotic process automation, or RPA, is a software that has the ability to launch and operate other applications using robots, also called bots. Professionals across many industries have implemented RPA to automate both front- and back-office tasks. Some are manually executed (attended) while others work independently of human interaction (unattended). The primary purpose of RPA is to help businesses supercharge mundane, repetitive, and rule-based processes so employees can focus on higher-value tasks, such as serving customers and generating revenue.
While there are key differences between attended vs. unattended RPA bots, it’s important to note that both are helpers intended to optimize, support, simulate, and sometimes replace human work.
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The key difference between attended vs. unattended bots is this: Attended bots must be activated by employees while unattended bots operate on a preset schedule free of human interaction.
Here’s some more detail to help explain:
Attended robotic process automation works alongside employees directly on their computer, similar to a virtual assistant. It optimizes their repetitive tasks, increases their productivity, and improves their quality of work by providing real-time guidance and automated activities. However, the attended bot must complete each task before an employee can move on to any other activity.
An example of attended RPA is when a customer service specialist activates a bot to execute an address change request in a matter of seconds instead of making the updates manually, which could involve a number of steps and clicks.
Unattended RPA bots execute batch operations (a complex set of tasks) that do not require human interaction. They typically operate on a preset schedule or as triggered by logic programming (e.g., a predetermined set of facts and rules).
For example, an unattended bot can follow a predetermined workflow to identify vendor invoices sent via email, read those particular emails, store the attached invoices on the local system and prepare them for payment. Unattended bots can carry out this type of work around the clock.
Many corporate employees spend a considerable amount of time switching between programs and platforms while also trying to engage with their internal or external customers. Attended automation is useful in these situations because they:
Unattended automation gives companies the ability to scale quickly as they experience fluctuations in customer demand, which means they don’t have to hire more employees to do things like manage inventory, process orders, or handle payments. Here are a few benefits of unattended automation:
If you’re wondering which type of RPA is right for your business, we’ve got great news—you don’t need to choose. Both attended and unattended bots play an important role in an RPA deployment. In fact, when deployed simultaneously in an integrated platform like the one provided by Nividous, they can streamline all your key processes (even those that necessarily include humans) so you can work more productively and achieve more.
If you want to unlock the true potential of your workforce, we invite you to learn more about our Nividous Quick Start model, specifically designed to expedite robotic process automation for your business. Working closely with our experienced professional services consultants, you’ll typically have a solution to deploy within three to four weeks.
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