Robotic Process Automation
Due to improvements in AI and computing speeds we're now able to begin the robotic automation revolution.
For decades we've been promised advanced control and automation however software vendors have been loathe to add comprehensive programmability/APIs to their products so integration has been difficult.
Although not limitless RPA provides a mechanism for many repetitive jobs/tasks to be automated more efficiently and cost effectively.
How does RPA work?
RPA allows us to pretend that a human worker is performing tasks on a computer. This could be a Windows programme (like excel or access), an API or programming interface or even a webpage/web application.
Flows are created that map a human process like opening a website, searching for a person, finding their contact details and copying and pasting those into another system (see the examples part below).
RPA is powerful because the flows can be very complex and handle small errors without the process stopping. They can also use AI techniques to read images from screens (what we used to call "OCR" - Optical Character Recognition) to read text data that isn't directly computer readable.
Are there any Limitations?
Yes, due to the current state-of-the-art for AI and how we integrate systems, we can model most processes that don't require human evaluation or intrinisic knowledge. For example we can't accurately "fuzzy" match records as efficiently as humans or make qualified decisions like whether we should hire a new employee for example.
Also, some systems are full of difficult to process data and can be difficult to encode as a RPA process. As a rough rule of thumb if 80% of your process is automatable then it's a good candidate for RPA.
Lastly, not all APIs can be managed using RPAs efficiently because of the integration costs/difficulty or because the data volumes are too high (i.e. there is too much data).
We've used RPA to..
- Migrate data between systems (and synchronisation of two systems) without requiring either system to have specific import or export functionality
- Retrieve LinkedIn data for clients to integrate into their CRM systems
- Run and process importing of data from other clients (for example; digital codes are sent via email, these are automatically picked up and inserted for re-sale by the retailer - saving human costs and reducing a security risk for the product)
What if RPA isn't viable?
Code Wizards are a digital engineering team so where we can't use RPA for all of the requirement we can use our considerable experience to build other integrations directly into APIs or to retrieve data.
A number of our projects utilise a hybrid of RPA and dedicated integration engineering to allow the best efficient, cost-effective and scaleable solution for the customer.
How will I know the best solution?
Our preferred approach is to work with each client to understand what they truly need from the solution and what would be a great stretch target.
This discovery piece is usually enough to understand whether RPA is a good fit or whether other integration / automation technologies are better for you.
Usually we can have a good idea after a brief phone/video call. So, where you think RPA can help you, just give us a call.
Building Digital Workers
Rapid design and deployment of software robots
Advanced process automation
The software “robot” follows predetermined computer pathways across systems, conducts complex calculations and triggers downstream activities, often enabled by discrete AI capabilities.