Robotic process automation concept with person using a laptop on a white table
Robotic Process Automation (RPA), which allows for the automation of the tasks of workers, has been one of the hottest categories in tech. The reason is actually simple: the ROI (Return on Investment) has generally been fairly high.
Yet there are some nagging issues. And perhaps the biggest is the scaling of the technology. For the most part, companies max out with 20 to 30 bots within the organization.
But AI (Artificial Intelligence) is likely to help out. To see how, consider one of the leaders in the space, Automation Anywhere. Keep in mind that the company has been investing in AI for many years and has launched several interesting applications, such as IQ Bot. It essentially helps to process huge amounts of unstructured data by using Computer Vision, Natural Language Processing (NLP), fuzzy logic and Machine Learning (ML). Even more impressive is that there is no need for AI experts to use it successfully. It’s an out-of-the-box solution. Although, if you want, you can still embed your own AI models in IQ Bot.
Yet perhaps the most important AI system from Automation Anywhere is the Discovery Bot. It is currently in beta and will be rolled out in the coming months.
The Discovery Bot cuts through some of the biggest challenges with RPA. For example, the system can identify processes to automate, which is done by recording and analyzing the keystrokes from workers’ desktops.
Over time, the Discovery Bot will then find repeated processes that are good candidates for automation–and include other details like the estimated ROI. This makes it much easier for an RPA lead or CoE (Center-of-Excellence) to prioritize the efforts.
So how is the Discovery Bot different from process mining? Well, this technology–which has gained much traction in Europe with companies like Celonis–is focused on analyzing log events from ERPs, CRMs and other systems of record.
“Our approach is about observing human behavior to better automate end-to-end business processes,” said Prince Kohli, who is the CTO and Head of Products at Automation Anywhere.
Note that process mining is more of a complementary technology for the Discovery Bot. After all, Automation Anywhere is a partner with various players in the market.
But the Discovery Bot can do something else–that is, with just one click, it will create a bot! Because of this, the acceleration of the process automation journey can be increased by as much as 5X. This essentially means reducing much tedious work and allowing for the RPA team to focus on more value-added tasks.
Interestingly enough, Automaton Anywhere thinks that there is an Automation Law emerging, similar to Moore’s Law. It’s about how hours of work automated by software bots will double every 12 to 18 months. If so, then RPA and AI will certainly provide deep value for organizations.
The AI Factor
Of course, there continues to be intense hype with AI. The fact is that the technology is extremely complex, requiring highly technical talent. In the meantime, mega tech companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft are driving up the compensation levels.
This has made it tough for many companies to engage in true digital transformation. But sophisticated out-of-the-box solutions like the Discovery Bot should make a big difference.
“With over 3,000 customers, we are in a position to learn the interactions on many different platforms,” said Kohli. “This allows us to build strong out-of-the-box models.”
Tom (@ttaulli) is the author of the book, Artificial Intelligence Basics: A Non-Technical Introduction, as well as the upcoming book, The Robotic Process Automation Handbook: A Guide to Implementing RPA Systems.