What is RPA?
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the use of software robots, or “bots,” to complete repetitive, rules-based tasks within or between computer systems. The bots perform this work through existing user interfaces, so there is no need to construct original software integrations. With RPA, users train bots to operate software almost as a human would (not necessarily at the keystroke level, but using the same user interface and generating the same results). Processes that require multiple programs to complete can also be completed in this way. Once trained to perform a task, bots can then scale to meet changing demand.
Bots quickly perform tasks the same way every time, without any need for breaks or quality checks. They are smart to start with, but RPA bots can also learn as they go. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are built in for continuous improvement. For more complicated business processes, bots and humans can work together with great results.
Data-heavy, back-office processes are excellent candidates for RPA. Bots can take over data entry or migration between spreadsheets, for instance, or between emails, contact forms, or reporting platforms—though these are just a few examples of the many uses for RPA. Robotic process automation provides powerful benefits for any digital business workflow with defined inputs and consistent desired outputs. Here are 100 more uses for RPA, from vendor/client onboarding to payroll management to order processing and many, many more.
To sum up: What is RPA? It is a software solution for simple, repetitive tasks; it is a digital labor-saving tool; it is the key to freeing staff for higher-level activities.
How does RPA differ from traditional automation?
Digital automation traditionally required the development of custom software integrations—or even one-of-a-kind automated platforms. Enterprises had to hire developers to construct these systems, which carry significant costs and may take years to deploy. With RPA, bots learn to use the systems that are already in place, operating entirely on the front end of existing digital ecosystems. Automations built on the Nividous platform can be up and running in production within weeks rather than months or years.
As a result, RPA allows users to automate business processes at a fraction of the time and cost. RPA is compatible with all digital interfaces, using existing infrastructure without affecting the underlying systems. This avoids the most significant cost element of many automation projects. With RPA, businesses can rapidly modernize and scale their operations without the need for costly and scarce technology skills.