Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) by RoboRana

When automation started to move to the forefront of most industries by now, many businesses felt reluctant to implement any automation technology or platform during their digital transformation journeys. Rather than focusing on the enormously broad and undeniable benefits of utilizing automation for business process improvement, business leaders feared change, big investments and a complex process landscape. However, with tremendous progression in the automation technology, trends like Intelligent Process Automation (or what Gartner calls “hyper-automation”) are solving the integration gaps, mitigating the process bottlenecks and diminishing the repetitive and often manual activities. The automation capabilities are ever expanding and have reached a critical and mature level ready to tackle any challenge leading to a fully integrated and flawless solution.

At RoboRana, we believe it is time to rethink the future of automation. We need to act now (even more after an economical or health crisis like we are suffering from today) and move forward towards an automation mindset enabling smart, flexible and integrated solutions while paying attention for a people-centric workplace and customer centric approach.

Exciting times don’t you think?

The constant evolving technology has steered in a new era for business operations that rely on technology and automation tools to maintain a competitive edge. Gartner announced its tech trends for 2020, with ‘hyper-automation’ (= Intelligent Process Automation) at the forefront.

Enterprise architecture (EA) and technology innovation leaders often get pressured by their business partners to focus on the tactical needs of routine process automation with RPA. Indeed, a virtual workforce may provide a quick relief as a non-invasive form of integration. However, processes are not always simple, routine, repetitive and stable. They may be long running, and they often involve intelligent automated decision making and optimization. Many of the business procedures are an uncontrollable heritage from earlier decades, they simply were not designed to last. We often hear these processes were just created within the growing organization and didn’t follow the technological revolution. For many organizations, it provides an incredible opportunity to rethink, streamline and redesign these processes taking into account new technologies. Bottom-line: the real challenge — to scale beyond the initial few low-hanging fruits of routine processes — cannot be solved by a single tool or with siloed strategies.

What Is Intelligent Process Automation?

As defined by Gartner, hyper-automation “deals with the application of advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), to increasingly automate processes and augment humans. Hyper-automation extends across a range of tools that can be automated, but also refers to the sophistication of the automation (i.e., discover, analyse, design, automate, measure, monitor, reassess.)”

In simple terms, hyper-automation refers to the mixture of automation technologies that exist to augment and expand human capabilities. At RoboRana, we call this principle: Intelligent Process Automation (IPA).

Is it something like an Automation toolbox full with special gadgets?

When we think of automation, terms like Robotic Process Automation come to mind. But, Intelligent Automation takes an ecosystem of technologically advanced tools and combines them to create a new way to work.

It means that low-value tasks are optimally performed with automation tools, machine learning and advanced artificial intelligence so that outputs can be produced automatically and run efficiently with little to no human intervention. Then, together with humans, hyper-automation can create a workplace that is always informed, agile and able to use data and insights for quick and accurate decision-making.

Ok… which technologies do we need in our automation toolbox?

Gartner refers to RPA and surrounding tools collectively as “Complemented RPA” (CoRPA). They think that alongside RPA, we should consider intelligent business process management suites (iBPMSs), integration platform as a service (iPaaS) platforms and decision management systems as part of what they call “Hyper Automation”. Here is their view:

Evolution from task-based to complemented RPA (CoRPA) to gidital Ops Toolbox

RoboRana’s Vision And Mission

Based on the emerging trends and taking into account the concept from Gartner “Hyperautomation” (see above), RoboRana provides the perfect Automation toolbox that enables true Intelligent Automation. RoboRana sees, when the different puzzle pieces (as sort of plugins) are brought together, it generates a powerful and future proof digital process automation. This flexible and scalable principle of bringing the right pieces together while considering the automation maturity of the organisation, brings exceptional productivity and process efficiency organisation wide.

To embrace our Intelligent Process Automation strategy, RoboRana created 4 connected pillars that cover the different pieces needed in the enterprise automation toolbox (aligned with the Digital Ops Technology toolbox suggested by Gartner).

  1. Process Insights
  2. Process Intelligence
  3. Robotic Process Automation
  4. Business Process Management
1. Process Insights

In this pillar, we apply different tools and methodologies to provide various insights in the end-to-end business process. The goal is to better understand and identify the activities/steps which are the bottlenecks within the organisational processes. With process mining, process analytics and business analysis, we generate full transparency of the digital footprint of the organization and the business performance. It can create the foundation for an optimization and automation roadmap or it can add extra input (via process discovery) and value to an already existing automation platform.

2. Process Intelligence

In Process Intelligence, we combine the power of process automation (RPA or BPM platforms) with the wonderful world of artificial intelligence (AI). We cluster the various AI capabilities (they act as a sort of plug-in skills) in three distinct categories, namely Data Intelligence, Document Intelligence and Conversational Intelligence. Combining these skills with structured process orchestration (that allows the processing of individual cases) vastly widens the automation possibilities within an organization

  • Data Intelligence uses Machine Learning skills and micro-service scripts to allow a better decision taking based on data.
  • Conversational Intelligence skills cover the understanding of natural language (spoken or text). This includes text-based chatbots as well as voice assistants like for example Alexa or Siri. They enable human-in-the-loop use cases whereby automated processes are triggered and handled by humans and bots. This interface will announce the new virtual assistants in a modern workplace. In addition, bots powered by Natural language processing (NLP) and Natural language understanding (NLU) along with RPA or BPM will completely change how organizations interact with different stakeholders (e.g. Customers, Employees, vendors, etc).
  • Document Intelligence is still very essential considering that by most estimates, more than 80% of data in organizations are still in documents and forms. Thus the ability to read (via OCR) and understand (classification and extraction) documents and forms are crucial skills in any modern automation flow. Applying machine learning on the processed documents permit a continuous learning and improvement of the automated document solution.
3. Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

RPA is the automation of repetitive, high volume, manual rule based processes or tasks with software robots that mimic human actions and connect multiple systems without changing the existing IT landscape. With RPA, the robot (or virtual workforce), produces outputs based on following a procedure (and script) repetitively. Gartner says, RPA adoption continues to grow at a substantial pace in 2019 and 2020. The RPA software market grew over 60% in 2018, making it the fastest-growing enterprise software segment. This growth magnitude and trajectory is the primary reason for the gigantic funding (more than $2 billion). Additionally, the term RPA has remained on the top five Gartner search terms for the last 16 quarters (end 2019).

4. Business Process Management (BPM)

BPM suites (iBPMS) have a solid foundation of tools for orchestrating processes and automating tasks within an end-to-end process. BPMS consolidate integration services, decision management, process orchestration, ad hoc processes and advanced analytics into a single platform. BPM tooling are perfectly suited to manage long-lived and cross-organization business processes that span people, machine services and things, as well as functional boundaries. They act as master orchestrators of processes and manage several task lists. They can easily collaborate with RPA bots to automate a task within a process. They also provide direct integration services/APIs to other enterprise platforms, applications, devices and AI services.

Road to Intelligent Process Automation

During our implementation journeys, we experience often that organizations lack a defined strategy to scale automation with tactical and strategic goals. This was also the outcome of the new RPA manifesto (Hfs’ 10 laws of RPA to create a thriving industry, dec 2019) that stated “Any Automation Strategy must be led by an overarching business strategy”.

In order to deliver end-to-end automations and move in the age of Intelligent Automation, we have to move beyond RPA and BPM by combining complementary technologies to augment business processes and to drive true digital transformation. Undeniable benefits are here to grasp.

Rather than being bogged down by low-level, repetitive tasks, your workforce will remain engaged with their jobs as they seek to resolve problems and provide creative solutions.

Intelligent Process Automation provides businesses and its leaders with obvious benefits:

  • Automated processes
  • Advanced analytics
  • Increased employee satisfaction and motivation
  • An educated workforce
  • Increased employee capacity
  • Instant and accurate insights
  • Greater compliance and reduced risk
  • Greater productivity
  • Increased team collaboration

We at RoboRana are true pioneers that install and reinforce your Intelligent Automation journey. Thanks to sustainable partnerships with leading technology vendors in the sector, our team offers any organization a full range of Intelligent Automation opportunities. Our mission is to deliver the best integrated solutions that fit your needs with the newest technologies and pushing boundaries of existing tools

Reach out if you want to know more about our broad expertise and implement a true and resilient digital and intelligent process automation journey!

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April 29, 2020

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