Once the business case for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) implementation is approved and a decision is made to move forward, the next step is to understand RPA platforms available and find the right partner who can assist in the transformation. As discussed in the first article in this series, the combination of technological and business factors will help select the RPA platform.

The following are key features to keep in mind:

  • Intuitive GUI and easy-to-use drag and drop interfaces – The platform should have a visually enabled integration development environment (IDE) for developing integration flows by navigating an application or data source. This enables non-technical (business analyst) users to leverage robot designers to interact with live applications as they build out a process.
  • Rich analytical suite – The platform should have the ability to analyze a large amount of data and provide meaningful insights on trends and process bottlenecks to make informed decisions.
  • Script-less automation – The platform should allow business users with limited or no scripting knowledge to automate their business processes with minimum guidance from implementation teams to be more creative in automating their business processes.
  • Process structured and unstructured documentation – The platform should have cognitive capture capabilities to recognize machine-print characters, hand-print characters, checked boxes, bubbled fields, barcodes, signature images, etc. The platform should be able to integrate with scanning solutions.
  • Integration with the environment – The platform should integrate with other systems through web-service calls or APIs and easily interface with different data integration methods. The RPA platform should also integrate with legacy systems.
  • Batch processing – The platform should enable batch processing and schedulers to maximize the servers computing power and leverage scheduling so that work can be done over evening hours or weekends when more computing power may be available or limited network traffic.
  • Automatic data validation – The RPA platform should provide data validation capability to ensure high data quality levels and provide better feedback through machine learning algorithms. The platform should allow us to configure rules and set thresholds for automatic data validation.
  • Audit tracing – The RPA platform should allow critical activities to be auditable and traceable to satisfy regulatory and compliance requirements.
  • Versatile robot automation – RPA robots interact with virtually any legacy enterprise applications or modern business systems, web site, portal, database, and content (e.g., PDFs, Excel, …). Data is extracted, processed, and passed between applications, websites, portals, and databases, while business rules and logic apply throughout the workflow.
  • Management console –Role-based administration governs the functions that allow secure, granular control over integration projects, access rights & viewing of integration flow results. Active Directory or other directories should be able to leverage for authentication and authorization.
  • Automated process discovery – This process can record, map, and analyze business processes, applications, and activities performed by employees, allowing organizations to pinpoint top time-saving automation opportunities.
  • Unattended robots – Robots can schedule to run at a specific time or be executed by a user. A robot publishes with Java/.Net APIs or as a RESTful services interface that another application can then call. Robots can also schedule or initiate other applications, such as case management, business process applications, or any application via APIs.
  • Supports multiple data sources and types – All kinds of application environments and data sources are supported, including websites, portals, enterprise systems, legacy applications, Excel, Email, XML, JSON, CSV, and SQL.

Critical Success Factors

The following steps are critical to succeed in choosing the RPA platform.

Expertise – Success of RPA implementation often hinges on business process re-engineering, lean six-sigma process improvement knowledge, and intelligent automation. Hence having the right partner with a mix of all these skills and abilities eases planning, prioritization, and implementation.

Empower users – Organizations that rely on implementation partners to automate business processes are often not successful. We suggest training, upskill, and enabling users to automate their processes with minimum help from solution providers.

Lean governance – Business process automation should adhere to all the compliance, regulatory, and security requirements. Managing the implementation with checks and balances and prioritizing processes based on ROI should be governed appropriately. Best practices, libraries with reusable functions, and other coding standards manage the CoE model. Knowledge sharing across different business lines can better manage using communities of practice.

Agile management – Although business processes can automate in no time, we found managing the entire process following agile principles yields better results. Whole automation activities should adhere to enterprise methodology.

Metrics and measurement – We have observed organizations inflating robots’ ROI, leading to mistrust and confusion among stakeholders. Hence the governing body should set proper guidelines and define agreeable metrics so that productivity improvements and other benefits can be accurately captured and reported.

Continuous monitoring and improvement – The process metrics must continuously analyze for further improvements.

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About Radiant

Radiant specializes in delivering meaningful and measurable technology solutions that help customers navigate and succeed in the Digital Transformation journey. We have been helping our clients for nearly a decade in this journey in several ways: UI/UX modernization, Legacy modernization, Cloud migration, Business Process Automation, Platform modernization, etc., using a wide range of technologies and development methodologies. Through this experience, thought leadership, and conviction, Radiant formed the following four guiding principles to support our customers on their digital transformation journey:

  1. When we consider customer needs, Radiant considers all stakeholders: executives driving strategy, employees executing work, and engaging customers.
  2. Radiant knows that maintaining a competitive edge is not only about connecting with customers in new and innovative ways, but it’s also about continuously keeping them engaged.
  3. As companies embark on the digital transformation journey, it’s imperative for them to keep pace with the technological curve, at the same time quickly and efficiently integrating new systems, processes, culture, and customer experiences into all areas of the enterprise.
  4. Radiant knows that digital transformation is a disruptive shift, and it requires using the right technology effectively to help ensure business continuity as the enterprise transforms.

Connect with one of our experts at Radiant to learn more!