What is Robotic Process Automation?

For years, robots have played an important role in manufacture and production. Now, robots have come to the back office, but you’ll never see them! Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the application of technology to manipulate existing application software in the same way a person works with those systems and the presentation layer to perform a specific task. Unlike traditional software, RPA can operate multiple software applications though a separate user interface.

This article aims to provide a picture of the Robotic Process Automation based on our real project experiences.

Why is RPA important?

There are a lot of request processes of customers that are being handled manually. These are repetitive works that take up a lot of efforts of customer’s personnel.

Introducing RPA to the system could not only offload a lot of efforts on repetitive tasks, saving customer’s personnel time to accomplish more efficient ones; but also put the automating tasks under control, allowing for easier management, audit and update

The RPA can bring the customer much benefits

  • Optimize back office resources: For enterprise, BPOs requires large scale, high-volume human labor. Robots free them for more high-value activities
  • Cost saving: Process automation allows to generate significant savings in personnel costs. Intelligent robots can work 24x7x365 continuously without rest or any payment
  • 24/7/365 Productivity: Robots can work around the clock, on nights and weekends, and they don’t need the break like humans.
  • Speed: Robot can work much faster than persons, improve the productivity
  • Accuracy: Robots are easy to train and see the interface like human. They don’t make mistakes or judgment calls

According to a new report by Grand View Research, the global RPA professional services market is expected to reach USD $8.75 billion by 2024, grow at a CAGR of over 60% from 2016 to 2024. BFSI and Healthcare are 40% of total market, growing at CAGR of over 65% per year.

The RPA market and technology landscape are rapidly evolving and becoming a future trend.

How does RPA software work?

Here is an example of how RPA software work to automate the business process

In above example, Ops Team is a Robotic Operating Team. This team consists of a set of clearly defined roles and responsibilities and is charged with implementing and managing the automation as quickly, as efficiently and as safely as possible throughout the enterprise

Virtual Robot Workforce is designed to cooperate with employees in business activities where human intervention is required. It resides on the employee’s workstation, triggered when needed by direct command or specific workflow events.

The robots are managed, monitored by a highly scalable RPA server platform. Via this server, administrator can audit and monitor robots activities, schedule all types of processes, and manage work queues.

Core Enterprise Applications is set of computer software which robots will work on. It may consists of one or many applications which need to be automated.

FPT Software Strategy for RPA

FPT Software, with the capabilities of technology and domain knowledge in RPA area, has proposed solutions that increasing the profitability and productivity of customer business. We have started working on RPA program externally and internally for many years to approach our clients.

Currently, we have many strategic areas of robotic process automation

  • Robotic Process Automation: Our solution allows employees in a company to configure automation robots to capture and interpret existing applications for processing a transaction, manipulating data
  • Business Process Automation (BPA): By RPA, we provide the way to take out the complex, most redundant steps from customer business process.
  • Accounts Payable Automation: We help business to cut their operational cost on processing invoice manually.
  • Claims Processing Automation: It is the heart the business of insurance. It has many challenges to efficient and error such as manual inputs, data retrieval, legacy applications …etc. RPA helps the customer to deal with those challenges.
  • Intelligent Process Automation (IPA): A set of new technologies that combines fundamental process redesign with robotic process automation and machine learning
  • BPO Automation: By RPA, we accelerate BPO innovation, more BPO activities are becoming targeted for minimal or no human involvement at all
  • Back Office Automation: We trained and deployed software robots to automate repetitive, rules-driven tasks in the back office
  • Call Center Automation: By enhancing chat bot technology, we provide the solution to replace the call center agents by the robots, free them from having to process repetitive, manual tasks

We also use the latest RPA technologies to improve efficiency, reduce costs and bring new revenue stream to our customers.

  • Desktop Automation: Data integration and desktop automation capabilities on desktop application (Both windows app and web app)
  • Web Automation: Most of application today are developed on web-based system, this technology allows user to automate the repetitive tasks such as form filling, screen scrapping, data extraction… etc.
  • GUI Automation: This is the process to  simulate mouse and keyboard actions on windows, human activity on user interface
  • Screen Scraping: This technology is to take data coming from legacy application to new user interface.
  • Citrix Automation: Citrix is a virtual environment which can be accessed remotely. RPA also provides technology to automate virtualized applications
  • Mainframe Automation: Mainframe is a computer used by large enterprise, organizations. RPA automated data entry on mainframe, integrated into the business.
  • SAP Automation Software: SAP is a well-known enterprise software that manages business operations and customer relations. Using SAP automation technology, we can streamline data entry and reduce labor costs.
  • Excel Automation: Working with excel may face some challenges in storing, manipulating data, time-consuming, RPA Excel automation can free yourself for higher-value tasks, saving time.

FPT’s achievements in RPA

The following are progress of return of investment so far for both external and internal

External

For external, we got some achievements

  1. From Japan, we got 2 PoC projects with 5 RPA resources for each with 2 big customers in insurance and telecommunication, after that the team could be up to 20. There are a lot of pipelines need to automate after PoC projects from other customers in JP.
  2. From US, we have some movements until now:

We completed partnership with Kofax, Kapow, and Arago to help enhance our capabilities and support presale. UiPath, Blue Prism is our next target partners. We got 5 UIPath certificates and continue to get more ones in the future.

  • UPS: A submitted proposal to automate 10 finance Accounting process: $300K
  • Ecolab: Working on AMS proposal for Ecolab by proposing digitalization AMS using RPA. This will make us different with other vendors.
  • UHG, Qualcomm: Talking about initiatives on RPA program next year.
  1. From APAC, Starhub asked us to propose a PoC on RPA at back end process.

Here the latest RPA offerings including the PoC, case study in FPT Software.

Automate the data entry in vendor management system

Business Needs

The Client would like to automate the data collection and entry in the manual creation process done using the “Order Entry” UI in the Vender Management System VMS. There are about 20% of orders coming to VMS system this way

Solutions

FPT proposes a PoC project which automates the manual order entry process using RPA. The automated process will be as follows

  1. Customer places an order by sending email to VMS System or contacting (speaking or chatting) with a Virtual Agent (Chat Bot). Older Information will be extracted and analyzed by using Natural Language Processing Technique (IBM Watson). A CSV file contains the Order Information is exported as the output.
  2. A Robotic Process Automation tool (UIPath Studio) is used to read the Order information in the CSV file, open the “Order Entry” UI of the Vender Management System and then input the Order information to the corresponding fields in the “Order Entry” screen and submit the order.
  3. We replace the traditional desktop agent with a chat bot VMS Digital Assistant to do the repeated task, free them to higher-value tasks and save cost as well.
  4. By using IBM Speech to text technique, the system collects the order information from the conversation between customer and VMS Digital Assistant

The benefits

  • Reduce FTE Costs, improve employee performance by focusing on enhancing Customer services.
  • Higher quality by reducing human errors. Capacity increase by robotics virtual workforce and refocus of staff on customer services

Internal

For internal, we also have an investment program to develop another robotic process automation tool name JAVIT (Just Another Very Intelligent Tool). Because the existing RPA software in the market is not free of charge and the cost is too high. In some cases, business doesn’t need all the features of this software. We need a better solution in RPA.

JAVIT is a Robotic Process Automation tool to help organizations efficiently automate business processes and has features like UiPath but cheaper, lightweight.

Following figure describes the architect of our JAVIT tool

JAVIT Studio

Design your automation visually, without code, in JAVIT Studio, drag & drop widget and best practice templates to model your robotic process

  • JAVIT provides the industry’s most intuitive and feature-rich automation development environment
  • Highly visual process designer equips employees for fast and easy configuration of robotic workflow
  • Visual interface allows business users to easily drag and drop process activities, with virtually no learning curve, so you are not limited by time and availability of your in-house developers or external resources.

JAVIT Robot

JAVIT Robot will take over and execute all processes automatically with perfect accuracy, reliably. JAVIT Robots execute your rules-based business processes, just as if a person was completing the task themselves. Once deployed, JAVIT works 24/7 with amazing accuracy at a fraction of your current costs.

JAVIT Server

Your entire robotic workforce is managed, controlled and monitored by JAVIT Server, the web application that centralizes in one secure place your entire operation

  • Real-Time Monitoring & Control: JAVIT web base app enables real-time monitoring, remote configuration, scheduling and management of your robotic workforce anytime, anywhere.
  • Intuitive and interactive dashboard: Makes it simple and effortless for anyone in the organization to deploy and manage Javit Robots

Conclusion

RPA is an advanced technology which makes use of automation program in performing certain highly repetitive and high volume business process with great precision. It has positive impact on business operation and brings a great benefits to the enterprise.

Do Trong Nguyen – FPT Software

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