Difference Between Robotic Process Automation vs. Business Process Automation

Organizations worldwide are leveraging major advances in technology, including RPA and AI, to succeed in the new digital era. With an exponential growth in digital capabilities, it’s only a matter of time when organizations will integrate these emerging technologies into their systems, creating a new standard. All in all, automation holds enormous promise for various industry verticals, helping organizations achieve significant benefits, delivering value, and stepping up their game.

Although process automation is not new, this blog post aims to explain the acronyms – RPA and BPA.

What is Robotic Process Automation?

Robotic Process Automation refers to a software or application that helps automate specific business processes that are repetitive and rule-based. Large organizations require human workers to spend time answering queries, maintaining data records, etc. that are manually intensive and time-consuming. With RPA bots, employees can bid goodbye to mundane clerical tasks, focusing on higher-value work, thereby adding value to the organization.

Advantages of RPA solutions:

What is Business Process Automation?

Business process automation automates entire workflows, focusing on end-to-end processes, thus improving an organization’s efficiency. It goes beyond automating individual tasks to optimizing entire processes by implementing advanced software systems that integrate all existing applications.

Advantages of BPA:

RPA vs. BPA – explained

Let’s dive a little deeper to understand the difference between these two approaches.

RPA BPA
Software robots automate rule-based tasks in a specific process by mimicking user interactions An end-to-end automation solution, it streamlines processes across an organization
Can operate within existing software/applications, without disrupting existing business processes Requires overhaul of existing systems to automate entire workflows
Used for: website scraping, copying and pasting, document generation, opening emails, order processing, and shipping notifications, etc. Used for: back-office processes, invoicing, document management, decision making
Requires repetitive tasks that follow simple business rules Requires in-depth analysis of business processes and inefficiencies
Accesses existing user interface on desktops, replicates user behavior, record information, and store data for later use Extracts information from diversified systems that require APIs, IT support, database access

Conclusion

Did you know that half of today’s work activities could be automated by 2055? 1 Various industries such as banking, telecommunications, healthcare, and manufacturing, among others, are taking advantage of the benefits of automation — RPA tools and Business Process Automation —to usher in a transformative change.

Automation helps businesses kick-start their digital transformation journey, setting the foundation for sustained growth and revenue in the long run. With the rise in the adoption of RPA, far-sighted leaders are realizing the potential impact of breakthrough technologies to streamline processes, transforming business in unpredictable ways.

RPA Software Spend will Increase in the Coming Years

An enabler of digital transformation, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) combines the power of technology with expertise to bring about sweeping changes across industry verticals, including banks, insurance firms, and telecommunication companies.

With top RPA vendors integrating Machine Learning and AI technology to bolster automation’s potential, it’s no wonder then that organizations worldwide are aggressively pursuing the benefits of Robotic Process Automation software, transforming their business in unpredictable ways. As RPA tools gain prominence, organizations worldwide are no longer on the fence and are geared to join the automation transformation revolution, setting themselves up for future success.

According to Gartner, Inc., global RPA software revenue is projected to reach $1.89 billion in 2021. The economic pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic too haven’t slowed the growth of RPA.1 In the next few years, large organizations are expected to grow their automation capacity, opening up new opportunities for scaling in ways we’ve never imagined before.

What does Robotic Process Automation mean?

Robotic Process Automation refers to using the power of bots to automate repetitive, rule-based tasks across functions that humans previously performed. From automating high volume tasks such as queries to the maintenance of massive data transactions and records, RPA solutions have got you covered.

Below are a few reasons why RPA software spend will undoubtedly increase in the coming years.

Decreasing RPA prices

The average RPA prices are expected to decrease by 10% to 15%.2 Having said that, it’s also predicted that 90% of large organizations will have adopted RPA in some form by 2022.3

This is an excellent time for RPA service providers in the market to build a strong relationship with diversified businesses looking to explore the untapped potential of automation. With organizations looking to stay on top of technology, leveraging automation for better business outcomes will help determine the best path forward.

This also means organizations are looking to adopt this breakthrough technology to support their digital transformation initiatives, fueling future growth.

Accelerates digital transformation journey

Today’s digital age requires organizations to leverage automation, laying a foundation for a new digital era. Automation assists enterprises in building their digital core and scaling in their digital transformation journey. Organizations across industries are investing in new digital capabilities in order to create a truly digital enterprise, thus maintaining a competitive advantage. Many Robotic Process Automation tools help enterprises navigate the digital landscape, addressing the challenges and bringing about incremental changes that were unthinkable in the past.

Today organizations are moving beyond mere automation by creating digital experiences in an ever-evolving industry landscape. Embracing Robotic Process Automation technology helps businesses deliver value to clients, effecting enterprise-wide transformation.

Creates meaningful customer experiences

Nurturing customer relationships is vital for the success of any business. Intending to maximize customer experience, contact centers are looking at deploying RPA solutions to engage with customers, reduce customer wait times, offer customer support by addressing key concerns, and resolve customer queries as quickly as possible. By deploying RPA bots, organizations can relieve human resources of mundane tasks, allowing them to interact with key customers, thus enhancing customer experience in the long run. Furthermore, RPA implementation automates repetitive agent tasks such as cutting and pasting, basic computations, etc., saving the time and effort of human workers.

Amplifies human intelligence and an AI-driven future

Automation frees human workers to take up new responsibilities, thus reducing the risk of errors and freeing up resources to focus on higher-value tasks and improving productivity. As the bots do not require any coding, they can take on new processes and tasks, enhancing employees’ efficiency.

The rise in the adoption of RPA products is also due to the shifting future of work — the unification of human-digital workforce. Robotic Process Automation technology complements or amplifies human capabilities, bringing about tectonic shifts in the future of work. Nonetheless, organizations and business leaders are leaving no stone unturned to invest in employee training programs that will help close the growing skills gap.

Conclusion

The impact of the COVID-19 crisis is expected to increase the adoption of Robotic Process Automation solutions as business leaders look for ways to thrive in a post-COVID world. The human-digital workforce not only automates mundane, repetitive tasks but also helps organizations navigate the operational challenges of a crisis, thus enhancing resiliency and responsiveness.

As organizations build new growth models and open up doors to innovative solutions, it’s no surprise that business leaders are keen on exploring all the possibilities that automation has to offer.

Performance metrics to measure the impact of Robotic Process Automation

Combining automation technologies with the core competencies of a business lays a strong foundation to build a truly digital enterprise. As RPA tools gain prominence, organizations from a plethora of industries are capitalizing on the benefits that Robotic Process Automation has to offer by rapidly developing new business models. The application of new technologies with an enterprise-wide road map that accelerates innovation, agility, and growth helps organizations surpass the expectations of their clients.

Undoubtedly, organizations that have an automation strategy in place have a competitive advantage. With the increasing adoption of RPA — software robots to automate high volume, clerical processes — businesses are navigating the operational challenges as seamlessly as possible. RPA software provides a wide range of advantages, from carrying out time-consuming rule-based tasks previously performed by human workers to streamlining, standardizing, and optimizing key processes. The outcomes gained by leveraging automation technologies help enterprises embark on their digital transformation journey.

A robust automation program or framework

Organizations with an automation-first strategy are indisputably making breakthroughs that were unthinkable in the past. A well-thought RPA strategy helps organizations differentiate themselves from their competitors. Below are a few questions that organizations need to answer before jumping into the automation bandwagon.

Interestingly, businesses are also looking for definitive actions and measuring performance metrics to invest in Robotic Process Automation technology.

How can you evaluate the RPA deployment in your organization? How can you measure the ROI and explore further opportunities? Let’s dig deeper into some of the key performance metrics necessary to assess or evaluate the benefits of RPA solutions.

5 key performance metrics:

Increased accuracy

One of the most common benefits of implementing RPA software is that it eliminates human intervention, resulting in reduced errors, thereby improving accuracy. To determine the value of this key performance metric, organizations can run a comparative analysis to measure the amount of rework required due to human error before and after RPA implementation.

Improved compliance

Errors inevitably lead to compliance issues, and that has devastating consequences in the management of data. Reduced errors eliminate compliance hassles, ensuring adherence to regulation criteria, thereby improving accuracy in the process.

Huge savings in labor cost

RPA software bots are programmed to perform repetitive tasks, improving speed, consistency, accuracy, thus freeing the human worker to focus on higher-value activities, which require creativity, competence, and expertise. RPA implementation unifies the human-digital workforce, rapidly changing the way we live and do business.

Increase in employee satisfaction

As RPA products automate processes and tasks typically performed by the human workers, they allow the employees to shift their focus on more creative activities, increasing productivity and employee satisfaction. Bots amplify human capabilities, providing opportunities for human workers to take on new roles, adding value to the organization’s overall goals.

Speed of processing tasks

High-volume tasks performed by human workers are time-consuming and daunting. In contrast, bots typically take lesser time or AHT to complete the task, ensuring speed and efficiency. This can be applied to completing requests and responding to customer needs or queries, which helps improve customer service in the long run.

Conclusion

Measuring the impact of Robotic Process Automation solutions is a challenge. With clearly defined metrics, organizations can track their automation journey.

In short, organizations across industry verticals can measure the value of RPA and the tangible benefits through a combination of well-conceived RPA strategy and overall results. An RPA automation program demonstrates the benefits and pitfalls, ensuring the company realizes its top and bottom-line objectives in the long run.

RPA performance metrics address current challenges and provide endless opportunities, accelerating innovation, while ensuring the success of a business’ digital transformation journey.

How is RPA transforming document processing?

Documentation has traditionally been a manual process wherein enterprises rely completely on paperwork. Most organizations follow this tradition even today, with industries such as Finance, Human Resources, Banking, Insurance, Healthcare, and Manufacturing leading the intensive document processing.

The reconciliation of documents, invoices, and purchase orders typically involve manual process of outlaying hours glancing through numerous documents and putting things down in a general ledger/records. It often leads to bottlenecks and delays in the process. Gartner research has found that the average amount of avoidable rework in accounting departments can take up to 30% of a full-time employee’s overall time. This equates to savings of 25,000 hours per year at $878,000 for an organization with 40 full-time accounting staff. It is quite obvious that the question arises in your mind if this repetitive process can be done more efficiently, with less wastage of paper, human effort, and time.

Automation of document processing is a mounting area of Automation Intelligence and the simple reason for that is that document processing can be easily integrated with significant benefits. In this article, we explore automation for document processing, and the use of text analytics to transform unstructured information into structured data with some use cases.

What is automating document processing?

Document processing is a process of extracting organized data from documents automatically and processing them. It includes both reading the document text with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and understanding its context (identifying and classifying the document). ​ Automation helps delegate all the tedious tasks to the robots helping human workforce focus on more creative and strategic work. These robots are digital assistants who are configured/programed to process documents.

The automation of document processing through Robotic Process Automation has emerged as a disruptive innovation. RPA redefines business processes including document management to read, extract, understand, and act upon data from these documents using Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Leveraging AssistEdge RPA for document automation – AssistEdge RPA enables create customized solutions. While paperless technology isn’t new, AssistEdge RPA takes it a notch above and revolutionizes the document processing workflow. One can leverage AssistEdge RPA to do more than just converting documents into digital format. The process of automating document processing can be fragmented into 3 steps:

Automating document processing can create a massive impact on the organization in terms of customer satisfaction, regulatory benefits, financial benefits, and employee satisfaction. RPA offers capabilities that enable intelligent document processing within automation workflows. Out of the several automation solutions, AssistEdge RPA provides Computer Vision, which is an Intelligent capability (AI) used as a subroutine in the process automation. ​ It is a native capability that identifies the object or area of interest within the digital document (pdf) through machine learning. ​ Computer Vision is not an OCR or Advanced OCR capability. It complements the usage of any OCR or advanced OCR. When combined with OCR tools, it increases OCR efficiency and reduces the overall effort and cost. ​AssistEdge offers out-of-the box Computer Vision capabilities using another offering from AssistEdge – NIA vision, which is an AI-based product. NIA vision is used to identify the correct location or position of a given data on a document. ​

Through this automation journey, AssistEdge offers out-of-the-box intelligent document processing capabilities with the help of all leading solution like Abbyy, Microsoft, Google. This offering helps you with:

Process Automation – With the help of OCR and text analytics, you can automatically take these invoice images, extract data from them, extract the values of available fields, correct the errors, match it with your approvable inventory, and finally process the claim.

Increased efficiency with reduced cost – By automating invoice processing, several processes can be made quicker, and smoother compared to what humans can do. An invoice which generally passes through the hands of many reviewers to ensure there are no errors, reduces to one. The process includes verifying the invoice quality, accuracy, and information. It also includes migrating the data manually into a database or specified storage, perform analysis, and finally processing the payment.

Improved storage – Since the data is automatically saved into the database post-processing of each invoice, you can retrieve the information anytime. One of the challenges in automating invoice processing is to provide structure to the extracted text. This is made easier by embedding OCR that automatically extracts all the necessary fields with the values and puts them in a table or a particular format for you to access and build upon easily.

AssistEdge RPA strives to make automation and AI ubiquitous and to achieve that, our goal is to provide a solution to any business problem that requires minimal human supervision and budgets in the future.

Let’s see how our client, Event Cinemas leveraged the AssistEdge Enterprise RPA Platform to drive efficiency and accuracy in operations at reduced cost.

Event Cinemas leverages AssistEdge RPA for Inventory Management

The AssistEdge RPA tool has helped streamline the ordering process for Event Hospitality and Entertainment. The tool has made the entire process very simple by analyzing historical data of output orders each week across all the vendors. Using AssistEdge RPA, virtual Kanban system was introduced, which allows them to ensure the right levels of stock at the right time. The predictive analysis was applied across the business for forecasting customer demand levels of the supplies. The AssistEdge RPA platform has provided the business with valuable insights into customer needs, allowing them to effectively transform business practices. It helped them to reduce the KPI performance.

About Us

AssistEdge provides a cohesive automation platform through its products like AssistEdge RPA, AssistEdge Engage, and AssistEdge Discover.

AssistEdge RPA offers a platform for automating various processes, bringing about sweeping changes across an enterprise. It provides the capabilities to build and execute both “Unattended” and “Attended” intelligent automation. Powered by Albie, the cognitive engine, AssistEdge RPA 18.0 empowers enterprises to embark on the journey towards Automation Singularity.

AssistEdge Engage helps organizations in reimagining their contact center and achieving superior customer experience. Customers benefit from faster query resolution, reduced hold time, increased first call resolution, and suitable offers, thereby improving brand connect and loyalty.

AssistEdge Discover is a leading process discovery product that captures and leverages user’s digital interactions to create business process maps and transformational insights that aids organizations in process improvement, automation, and efficiency. Powered by empirical data, the outcomes are free from human biases providing a powerful foundation for operational excellence and continuous improvement.

Start digitizing documents with AssistEdge using our pre-defined skills.