What is RPA?

31st July 2023

by Richard Farrell

Good question….What is RPA (otherwise known as robotic process automation)?

You map the process you want to create – including steps, actions and end points – and the software takes care of the rest. And once you have your low-code app, you can test, refine and improve it on an ongoing basis. These software robots create these action by watching a user perform a task in an application’s graphical user interface (GUI) — then performing the automation by repeating those tasks directly in the GUI.

And there are a few key features to look out for:

  • Integration
    Integration with enterprise applications is a must. The good news is RPA is extensible too, having the ability to integrate with enterprise applications through APIs, connectors into back-office systems and the use of AI services such as optical character recognition (OCR). RPA allows data to be handled in and between multiple applications. AI-power reduces failures, support and management costs while widening the scope of automation that can be addressed
  • Easy to use
    RPA should be simple for business users to use, yet have the power needed by IT users to govern. With easy, cloud-based, one-click deployment and rapid drag-and-drop process assembly you should be up and running in hours. The robot is simply installed locally on a Windows desktop and you are away creating a simple process flow. It’s also helpful to be able to scale up (and down) your robots quickly
  • Low-code capabilities to build automation scripts
    Combining AI-powered RPA with low-code opens up possibilities for entirely new ways of working and automating a far wider range of processes. Together they offer a platform for delivering even greater returns for organisations looking to automate processes at a much lower cost.
  • Management/insight and deployment efficiency
    You need a central point-of-management for controlling your robots, assigning them to tasks and understanding how they’re performing. This gives you the visibility and insight to scale up and down your capacity as you need to.
  • Dashboards
    Tools to create bespoke real time dashboards and reports based on user needs.
  • Central controller
    A central controller to support IT governance and have in-built security and encryption levels
  • RPA analytics
    Making it easy to look at your existing processes and identifying those that will benefit from RPA. Compare processes and their efficiency before and after deploying your robots.

The top 6 benefits of RPA for your organisation

As you automate more tasks, with the help of software robots, you’ll enjoy great benefits like:

1. Deliver great customer experience

Remove the pain points, streamline interactions and increase your response times. Your customers will thank you for a great customer experience, each and every time.

2. Improved quality

Detailed and repetitive processes are performed to a consistently high standard and speed to reduce the chance of manual errors. And that’s 24/7.

3. It’s faster

Fast-track processing times and throughput – and increase capacity to manage spikes of high transaction volumes

4. Increased security

Minimise staff exposure to sensitive data and whilst RPA manipulates data, no data is stored. Compliance and peace of mind with an audit trail that won’t land you in trouble.

5. Efficiency savings

Increase productivity and give hours back to the organisation. Free up the people who would have previously had to do those tasks to concentrate on higher value initiatives.

6. Happy, motivated staff

Liberate staff from mundane and repetitive tasks to work on more intellectually challenging, fulfilling work.

Back-office vs. front-office robots

RPA is commonly put to use in the back-office where well-established processes which are ripe for automation can be found, where on-screen interactions are frequently repeated.

The robot is operating entirely on its own, automating an on-screen process from beginning to end. These are commonly known as Unattended robots. There are also many other exciting use cases being opened up in the front office to deliver a better customer experience (CX). These are known as Attended robots.

Here’s how it works: people and robots work together. Repetitive tasks are handed off to the robots. When the robots need human assistance they pass it back to the agent. This is starting to be widely used for contact-centre agents to delegate repetitive tasks such as customer address updates for handling by a real-time request to a robot. This frees up the agent to focus on other requirements the customer may have.

Where you can use RPA

If you’re wondering about actual use cases for RPA in your organisation, here are a few examples where robots can really help you:.

  • Answer frequently asked questions, in an instant
  • Customer and employee onboarding and offboarding
  • Order processing
  • User setup and configuration
  • Scheduling and tracking
  • Data migration, entry and updates
  • Processing tasks – claims, loans, returns, complaints

Related articles

What makes great CX?

Discover what makes a good or great customer experience (CX) that delights customers with outstanding customer service.

Top secrets to competitive and effective customer care into 2023

Customer care is at an inflection point: demands are higher and resources are limited. According to a McKinsey survey, organisations’ existing capacities are being challenged by higher call volumes and more complex and challenging enquiries. Employers are also struggling to retain customer care agents, who are being poached by competitors or feeling dissatisfied in their work.

3 Top tips to avoid tech regret

Economic uncertainty, customer demand and a loss of staff form a potent mix for most organisations — where tech is often seen as the panacea for all customer service woes. Yet in reality, we’re seeing tech buyers regretting their decisions as they seek to deliver a great customer service.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Keep up with regular news from Netcall – you’ll hear about cut-through process automation and communications solutions to help you achieve your business goals faster.

Sorry, we couldn’t load the form. Please try refreshing your browser.

Thank you for subscribing!

Get the right tech

Learn about our flavour of RPA and how it can help you solve real business problems