Getting Started with Cognitive Robotic Process Automation

Quick Guide to Automation

In the era of automation, machines complement human labor in the workplace. The advent of technologies transformed the nature of work and the workplace. More of the tasks that were earlier done by humans are now carried out by machines. Machines complement the work that humans do and even in some cases, perform some functions that where humans are not capable of giving accurate and on time results. As a result, some professions will fail, others will grow, and many more need to change.

Automation is transforming the way companies move towards building a digital workforce. Nowadays, Companies are using “robots” to perform everyday business processes by simulating how humans interact with software applications.

Bots can automate everyday tasks and eliminate inefficiency. Software, known as a ‘robot,’ is commonly used to analyze IT applications to enable processing of the transaction, data manipulation, and communication. Robots can also be used as a virtual workforce, i.e., works at a back-office processing center without the intervention of human resources.

The technology that allows companies to configure computer software called “robots” that automates human activities is known as Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

RPA software automates rules-based and repetitive processes that are performed by experts while sitting in front of computers. Software robots can open e-mail attachments, complete e-forms, records, and perform other several tasks that simulate human action. Robots can act as a virtual workforce while assisting with front-office staff—for example, helping call center agents during client interactions and automatically taking close call notes. This mode of robots is known as “attended automation.

There are substantial benefits of implementing RPA such as in terms of accuracy, consistency, audit trail, productivity, elasticity, reliability, staff retention, and right-shoring.

Cognitive technologies extending RPA’s reach

Computer Software “Robots” are rule-based, i.e., can perform only those tasks where rules are pre-defined. This means that processes that require human judgment and perception—cannot be automated through RPA alone.

RPA can be helpful in those cases where they have to work beside people, taking on simple exercises so that experts can focus on complicated exceptions.

The technology is developing fast, and the line between what humans and computers can do is shifting. Automation can be represented by three levels depending on the level of “intelligence” -

  • Rule-based Automation - Robots (RPA) that follow a set of predefined rules and work accordingly.
  • Enhanced/Intelligent Process Automation - Robots that can recognize unstructured data, understand human communication and draw inferences from data.
  • Cognitive platforms - Robots that learn from experience and perform complex tasks without any intervention of humans.

With the integration of cognitive technologies with RPA, it is possible to automate processes that require human judgment. With the addition of technologies such as speech recognition, natural language processing, chat-bot, and computer vision. Bots can deal with unstructured information (speech, audio, text, or images) and pass that extracted information for further processing.

Cognitive RPA can go beyond necessary automation to accomplish business outcomes such as increased revenues, customer satisfaction, lower churn rate.

Applications of Cognitive RPA

The following are the key areas where Cognitive RPA can make a notable difference in processes.

Monitor Application Health - Using Cognitive RPA, the health of the applications can be monitored easily by a variety of Software Robots during the development phase. BOTS can observe different data patterns, discover trends and use suitable models to predict the effect of specific changes on the application.

Optimize Software Testing - Conventional optimization techniques become inadequate when there is a frequent change to applications. Manual intervention is worthless, and the Quality Assurance process has to be compromised. With the use of Cognitive RPA, Test assets will be optimized to maintain a dynamic test suite that self-maintains the application life- cycle throughout the whole development process.

Self-Healing - Identification of abnormalities in a particular application and the efforts required to identify, isolate and fix them accurately is a time-consuming and tedious task. The system integrated with the development of self-service BOTS can do the defect management process intelligently. This results in the elimination of efforts that current Quality Assurance systems significantly require.

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