Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
ISSI continuously leverages new automation technologies that can save our clients time, money and energy while enabling them to be more responsive and focused on their critical business needs. One new technology is called robotic process automation (RPA).
Actually, we’ve implemented RPA-like processes for years, but everything was custom built, leveraging optical character recognition (OCR) in third-party software like ABBYY FlexiCapture and AnyDoc OCR. Data was automatically extracted and populated into document management software like Hyland OnBase.
The current RPA revolution is bringing these automation capabilities to users who are not programmers. Click-to-configure is becoming the standard.
Today, RPA comes in a toolkit with robots that come in three flavors: web, process and content robots.
According to Domo’s most recent Data Never Sleeps report, 2.5 quintillion bytes of information are created each day (90% of which was created within the last two years), your challenge is in finding, filtering and interpreting the critical market intelligence you need to create and keep a competitive advantage. Web robots help you unlock and act on valuable insights by automating the acquisition and integration of data—including pricing, competitive intelligence, investment research, and more—from any website or portal around the web.
HR Onboarding Example
The most common application we’ve seen for web robots is HR on-boarding. We’ve built web robots that go to external websites, to conduct a background check for example.The web robot logs in, does a search for a person’s name or driver’s license, downloads a PDF, and uploads the document into the HR system.
AP Invoice Processing Example
We helped to build a web robot for an oil company that automatically logs into their supplier’s customer portal, navigates through the menu structure, finds current invoices, downloads them, and uploads them into OnBase every morning at 6am. As employees log in, all invoices are queued up for them to process right on their desktop.
Process robots are one type of RPA robot that automate manual, repetitive, information-driven processes where data and electronic documents need to be accessed and acted on as part of critical business processes.
By leveraging RPA process robots, organizations can quickly and easily deploy and customize integration flows regardless of whether existing APIs are available or the data is locked in applications. This includes Excel, websites, web portals, databases, and legacy ECM applications. Enterprises can also build intelligence into processes so more automated decision-making can occur – even with real-time, high-volume and unstructured data.
Information critical to the business is now acquired, enhanced and delivered across the enterprise ecosystem to be used in innovative ways to achieve competitive advantage. RPA uses include:
- AP invoice processing automation
- The entire procure-to-pay process
- Financial close
- Trade finance
- Claims processing and appealing claims
- Legacy ECM migrations
RPA for AP Automation
RPA process robots are the most useful for AP invoice processing automation.
If you receive the majority of your invoices via PDFs emailed to your AP department, RPA can be an excellent solution. Invoice PDFs are machine readable and an ideal scenario for process robots. Invoices can pass through cognitive RPA using optical character recognition (OCR) and matched to both purchase order and proof of delivery (POD) – without the cost and complexity of older document capture technology.
While a minority of those received today, paper invoices still need to be scanned and document capture software is still the ideal technology to automatically extract and route information for processing. Advanced document capture software takes it a step further by eliminating the vast majority of data entry data entry tasks by automatically extracting information from any invoice, without having to set up OCR templates, including line item extraction and matching information with POs and PODs. Workflow processes can then route invoice information for approval, for exceptions to be investigated and resolved, and then for payments to be made.
The best part: RPA can be used to compliment advanced document capture of paper invoices.
You can now automate the migration of content and data from legacy ECM systems with content robots.
With RPA’s adaptable and versatile platform, enterprise organizations can quickly consolidate enterprise content from legacy web content and enterprise content management systems into Hyland OnBase, Microsoft SharePoint and other modern ECM platforms. Content migration tasks are automated to minimize cost, time and labor, and metadata can be applied across both new and legacy content to ensure a seamless and optimal search experience.
See for Yourself
The best way to understand RPA is to see it for yourself. Contact us to learn more about robotic process automation and to see a demo.
What Is RPA?
According to The Everest Group, the RPA software market overall witnessed a growth of 92-97% in 2017 to reach $480 million to $510 million. The market is expected to grow between 75-90% annually up to 2019. This impressive growth is because RPA is a faster and more efficient way than manual data entry.
While you might initially think of robots like R2-D2 and C-3PO from Star Wars, RPA instead refers to software that can be easily programmed to do basic tasks across data sources just as human workers do. Data sources include websites, portals, legacy document management software, desktop applications, and enterprise systems.
The software “robot,” also called a “digital worker,” can be taught a routine procedure or workflow with multiple steps and applications, such as taking received forms, updating a change of address, sending a receipt message, checking the form for completeness, filing the form in a folder, and updating a spreadsheet. Simply put, RPA software is designed to reduce the burden of repetitive, simple tasks on employees.