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  • Focus: Robotic Process Automation

  • Focus: Robotic Process Automation

October 2019

For decades, process automation has been such an integral part of industry that it’s hard to imagine life without it. Nevertheless, barely any other technology receives the same attention as robotic process automation – RPA for short. What makes this technology so special that it is often called a new revolution in automation?

What exactly is RPA?

RPA involves virtual robots that are programmed to automate human behaviors across systems and applications to reduce rule-based and repetitive processes.

What makes RPA special?

In traditional process automation, the automation is usually firmly integrated into the underlying systems and processes. The data exchange mainly happens through back-end interfaces that the user can’t see. This makes the automated processes rigid when it comes to changing the system and generally requires adjustments to interfaces, processes and many lines of code during development.

In contrast, RPA employs the user interface already established and thus navigates almost like a human through menu fields, input fields and login screens of web- and desktop-based applications.

With one important difference: The software bots perform these tasks considerably faster and more accurately than a human worker ever could. Because this approach requires no adaptations to the applications, it enormously simplifies the development process and thus allows much faster, more efficient implementation of automation projects. An intuitive development interface also allows the user to model and adapt the processes using predefined activities, without much code.

What is RPA good for?

At its core, the technology works strictly rule-based and is therefore especially suitable for standardized and repetitive processes like the ones found in finance and document processing, for example.

The upshot: Wherever rule-based processes have to be performed often, RPA can add value. Freeing workers of these simple, repetitive tasks allows them to concentrate on more demanding activities that create more value.

RPA and artificial intelligence – a perfect couple

RPA’s depth of automation can be crucially increased by linking it with artificial intelligence technology.

For example, using artificial intelligence, even unstructured data, such as images or voice recordings can be evaluated and processed by RPA in a structured format.

A good example of this link in action is what are called act bots. These are chat or voice bots that use RPA to automate back-end activities. With natural language processing (NLP), direct interaction with the customer can be automated. From the customer’s text or audio input, the technology detects his intention and can then trigger appropriate actions with RPA through an API call. For example, if a customer wants to change, view or delete his personal data, RPA can open the right CRM systems or databases in the background and make the appropriate adjustments based on the user’s input. Other applications could be e-mailing an offer, calling up information or even remote installation of software through automated IT support.

RPA at Mercedes-Benz Consulting: What we offer you

At Mercedes-Benz Consulting, we’re firmly convinced that in almost every field of business, there are applications whose efficiency can be enhanced and whose processes can be automated with RPA.

Our experts from the Analytics & AI department can analyze and define for you cross-technological processes and identify the best solution for your needs.

Then we can offer a valid assessment and recommendation that will help you make sound decisions. Together with our dedicated RPA team, we can accompany you through your automation projects from needs analysis all the way to development.