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What is Robotic Process Automation?

¿Qué es Robotic Process Automation?
22 October, 2015

In this blog, we have spent months writing about Robot Software, RPA, automation, etc. But we still haven’t devoted a post to solving the million-dollar question: What is Robotic Process Automation?

If we look at the Institute for Robotic Process Automation’s definition (yes, Robots Software have their own institute), it would be something like: “the technology that allows a software or a “robot” to be configured to control existing applications in order to be able to capture and process information and communicate with other systems”.

We could say that RPA is the technology that aims to reduce manual intervention in the use of programs and computer applications, automating administrative functions and tasks, mechanical and well defined, to leave in the hands of humans those issues that require interpretation or analysis.

We are not talking about machines made up of gears and nuts. We are talking about robots made up of lines of code.

Traditionally we associate robotics with heavy industrial machines that carry out the same actions as humans did in production lines but adding new levels of productivity and quality.

Like their physical “brothers”, Software Robots take on tasks the same way humans would. They interact with the application windows, read the data and images that appear in them, use the keyboard and mouse to enter data, etc.

We are not talking about machines made up of gears and nuts, we are talking about robots made up by lines of code. Simplifying the concept, we could say that “Software Robots are programs that control other programs”.

At this point, you may wonder what the difference is between Robotic Process Automation and other software automation solutions that companies have been using for years, such as the well-known “macros”.

The difference lies in the “human touch”.

The vast majority of automation solutions simply repeat very basic actions over and over again. If an exception appears during execution, the whole process fails.

Robotic Process Automation is a new paradigm in the human-robot pair. One of its distinguishing features is to bring a “human touch” to automation. Software robots can handle processes involving different applications and systems. When the robot meets an exception, it turns to the human agent to decide what to do in that case, at which point the process is updated. From now on, it will know what to do in the appearance of  this scenario.

This way, the robot collects answers that allow it to face the different cases that may arise in a business process. As the robot “learns”, the process improves with it, reaching levels of productivity and efficiency never seen before.

The differences go much further, and the ways in which software robots can revolutionize business processes give us content to create many posts. For now, we’re happy to bring a little light to the question “What is Robotic Process Automation?

If you want to know more about RPA and Robots Software, we invite you to visit our website, www.jidoka.io where you will find answers to many of the questions that are hanging around your head right now.

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