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  1. Peter Schooff
  2. Sherlock Holmes
  3. BPM Discussions
  4. Tuesday, 04 December 2018
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RPA seems as popular as ever today, so do you see robotic process automation grower even bigger in 2019, or will another automation technology take its place?
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Flavors of the month/year always remain popular whilst they are popular.

The workflow/workload platforms that we roll out to customers have accommodated auto-commit tasks

1. 'key process point' in-line tasks (i.e. gatekeeper tasks),
2. 'ordinary' in-line tasks (where the performing resource is system),

for years.

The problem is the only way we have of engaging processing of a workflow template is to set the focus on a Case (i.e. a patient, an insurance claim, a legal case, a law enforcement case).

We don't have the wherewithal to run across thousands of cases\sessions and change "Detrot" to "Detroit" on one or more of 200 run-time Form templates.

RPA has the potential to greatly increase productivity if we could find an engine that could respond to "...watch me while I . . ." -

Most of the "good" use of RPA would involve one-time execution of a mentored sequence and since we would be looking for a no-code engine, there would be little interest in building up a library of RPA scripts.

Interest level in RPA: HIGH
References
  1. http://www.kwkeirstead.wordpress.com
Comment
Just in-

".. complimentary webinar hosted by the Institute for Robotic Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence" - Sponsored by Kofax Thursday Dec 13, 1600 Hrs GMT

"Understanding How to Scale RPA with Intelligent Automation"

https://go.outsourcing.com/IRPA/Understanding_How_to_Scale_RPA-Kofax_Webinar

  1. Lloyd Dugan
  2. 5 days ago
  3. #5837
Getting ready to use Kofax RPA in the very design pattern you mention, though the specifics of the "watch me" actions are more involved for us than what you've suggested for yours.
  1. one week ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 1
Jim Sinur
Blog Writer
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Automation is hot and RPA is the hottest poker in the fire right now. In order for RPA to stay hot and relevant, it needs to become smarter. This means the inclusion or bridges to the following:

AI in all forms, (ML, DL, Heuristics)
Process and Data Mining
Analytics (Predictive or Otherwise)
Knowledge Management
Digital Assistants
Sensory Integration
IoT linkage (controllers, sensors, fixed location machines)
Physical & Mobile Robots, Drones etc.

I like to call this Smart RPA these days :) See the link below for some logic behind my assertions.
References
  1. https://jimsinur.blogspot.com/2018/07/whats-future-for-rpa.html
Comment
@Jim looks like minimum requirements for RPA are "software that has the ability to adapt, self-learn and self-correct ".

My main need is "screen scraping" and I can see that if I ask the software to "watch me while I ..." it's a stretch to say that taking note of a sequence of steps and then merely replicating this across a number of database records qualifies.

The research I did has "screen scraping" ". . . . .as "the process of collecting screen display data from a legacy application so that the data can be displayed by a more modern user interface"

I don't see that as the main value of "screen scraping" - my issue is I want to open a Case (e.g. a patient), go to a form, navigate to a pick list, then, If I see a particular value and pick a different value, the software then needs to walk across 10,000 Cases, replicating what I illustrated so I don't have to do all of this manually.

The processing logic might be . . . . once at the pick list, is "if you see Detrot" then "replace with Detroit", then move on to the next Case
  1. Lloyd Dugan
  2. 5 days ago
  3. #5838
I love you Jim, but you're a natural futurist. RPA out of the gates has much more grounded aspirations, which is more messy and less sexy than the future stuff. Still, as they say, Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is RPA going to evolve into what it seems destined to become without simple steps and learning from failure along the way.
  1. one week ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 2
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
RPA will continue to expand and grow in importance. From what I see, this is mainly fueled by 4 aspects:

1. It's easier to understand and more intuitive to implement, when compared to a BPMS. This is despite or maybe even just because of being smaller in its "automation and continued improvement scope".
2. Key players in the RPA space seem to be heavily backed by substantial VC investments. From the past, one can observe this to be both - a good as well as a bad thing. An overexposure to a single or only a few VC's with a quick turnaround goal in mind, may lead to a push towards market consolidations and established vendors buying off the current layer of diversity.
3. Some of the current RPA leaders have a strong community license offering combined with a freely accessible and very mature, self-paced training & on-boarding program.
4. Most of the key players in the realm of BPM and consultancy firms have made sure to establish strategic alliances and (where it applies) pre-made "connectors" to the main RPA providers. I haven't seen ECM players doing the same, but they possibly will follow suit.

As long as RPA doesn't cannibalize the BPM market place, the surge of "micro automation" seems to be beneficial overall as it brings a lot of momentum and "new blood" to our sector.
NSI Soluciones - ABPMP PTY
Comment
  1. one week ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 3
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Too soon for something else to take its place in a year, these things have momentum and half-life and we haven't passed the tipping point in adoption yet...
Comment
  1. one week ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 4
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Agree with Jim S...... "Smart" is the driver, learning is the direction. RPA will get bigger just because more people will use it rather than a panacea. There are still plenty of opportunities to leverage quick wins with RPA but as I have commented before RPA is not a permanent 'application' solution in most cases, rather it is a permanent tool in the toolset and workbench.
Comment
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
If initial RPA design patterns are just screen-scraping or automated functional testing technologies repurposed and enhanced, then so be it. The goal with these initial outings, at least as it relates to BPMS applications or Case Management System applications, is to take the highly deterministic and algorithmic work that a human would do with a screen but take time and incur labor costs to do, and replace it with a virtual user that emulates all of that at a fraction of the time and the labor costs otherwise involved. This leaves the rest of the work to be more truly knowledge-worker-type-of-work that requires more situational awareness and cognitive processing by the user. However, it is only a matter of time until data pattern recognition and machine learning enhancements take on more and more of this type of work, but that is mostly in the purview of the future uses of RPA around BPMS/Case Management Systems. This progression seems inevitable and even self-sustaining over the next several years, so to answer Peter's question, yes and I'm banking part of my career on it (not to mention my leisurely existence after retirement). Also, we need to be nice to our future RPA Overlords while they are young and impressionable. :D
Comment
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
RPA is only one aspect of "automation" where it enables the user interface to access legacy data and be presented as required. With new Digital Business Platforms "DBP" now able to build without coding new adaptive applications based upon the BPM principles RPA is just one capability in managing legacy data. Some analysts see RPA as the bridging the automation gap between legacy applications and modern "cloud apps". Sure but "cloud" is only outsourcing infrastructure and business needs to ensure digital transformation remains in their control not IT or the outsourcers.

I see just focusing on RPA will be expensive and likely to fail to deliver that digital transformation. Adoption of a comprehensive DBP with well thought out architecture will open up many more automation opportunities. Not least is "automation" of build at a click once required configuration set up by business with no coding or compiling; it has to be the future?

Operationally as users gain confidence that their input is taken seriously then they will help identify many routine tasks which can be automated. Their input will also accelerate AI opportunities such as relating past actions/decisions to automate future ones. Whether process automation or machine outputs they all need to slot into the end to end business process. Will such bigger automation opportunities happen “soon” depends on business learning of such capabilities as DBP can deliver but until then isolated RPA likely to keep IT busy!
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