Robots are now fully integrated in our everyday life, we see them everywhere: in our smartphones, on websites, in factories, etc. Did you know that robots are also very accessible for everybody in a work-related environment?
We hear the term IRPA more and more, and it’s becoming a very hot topic. But what is it exactly and how can it help you enlighten your daily to-do list?
What is IRPA?
Well to put it simply IRPA stands for Intelligent Robotic Process Automation, it essentially means robots that help automate repetitive tasks. These robots replicate exactly what humans are doing and they do it at a much faster pace because they remember the exact steps they need to perform to complete a task. The other reason they are much faster than us is that they can do multiple tasks at once, let’s imagine we are trying to find a matching field from 2 tables: a human would have to check each field one by one, but the bot checks all the fields in one go.
When talking about IRPA the idea of robots replacing humans always comes to mind, what is important to remember is that the main goal of this solution is not to get rid of employees but allow us to focus on jobs that demand more attention and let the robot handle the simple stuff.
Why should you use IRPA?
There are four main benefits that IRPA gives you:
- It helps improve your way of working by removing repetitive tasks
- It helps improve your efficiency by doing jobs that weren’t beneficial to you in less time
- Additionally, by teaching the bot how to do a job correctly it will continue doing it the same way without making mistakes
- Lastly, it is an easy way to enter the machine learning world
IRPA is becoming a hot topic and there are several solutions to choose from. Which one should you go for? Of course, we are an SAP partner so you can imagine what we are going to propose here. But there are some very good reasons why.
SAP has included iRPA (Intelligent RPA) in the product portfolio and although competition is quite tough in the market with important players like Blue Prism and UiPath, SAP has a major differentiator when it comes to interaction with SAP applications: it delivers instant business value. There are many functions that are prebuilt and follow SAP’s best practices. Regarding the matter of security, the solution is a combination of on-premise and cloud components making sure that the vulnerable data is kept in one safe place. Lastly, the way the pricing works is very simple compared to other RPA vendors, you only pay for what you use. No matter how many bots you develop, only the ones in production are charged.
How do you go from thinking to defining a use case?
Bots replicate exactly what a human does, wherever you click on a screen the bot clicks, when you type something into a field it does it as well. Having this in mind, it really does help in understanding what kind of use cases are possible.
In order to build a successful bot, you first must know what you want your bot to do. IRPA works best when replicating very simple yet repetitive tasks.
The building process is done in different steps. Firstly, you need to choose what tasks you need to automate. Then you need to teach the bot what he needs to do, after you inevitably need to do some testing before ending up with a bot that works perfectly. To fully answer the question of going from thinking to defining a use case, we are here to help guide you. We have gained experience in this field and have defined our own clear steps to success.
Some of our IRPA use cases
The first use case is one that is becoming more and more relevant. One of our customers is migrating from SAP ECC to SAP S/HANA. The goal of the bot is to help verify that the migration of the data from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA is successful. As S/4HANA offers many more functionalities than its predecessor, it is crucial to match all the data. As you can imagine, migrating to a new system is a long and often painful process but thanks to IRPA some of this pain is removed.
After migrating to S/4HANA a lot of manual tests need to be made. These tests are necessary to make sure that your (financial) reports still have the same result as in the previous S4 version and don’t contain any errors. Due to the complexity of the landscape at our customer, these checks needed to happen multiple times. After some calculations they realized that manually testing these reports would be a full time job for a single person for almost a year. A long and daunting task with a high probability of human mistakes. To make these checks in a more efficient way, we have developed an iRPA bot that will handle this task. The full development of this bot took around 2 weeks. The ROI is obvious, 2 weeks or work compared to a full time employee for almost a year.
Another customer project we worked on was to help the finance department. When a company needs to pay their subcontractors, they first have to verify that these subcontractors correctly pay their social and fiscal taxes in Belgium. To do this, there is a website provided by the government. First you must enter the tax number and the system will do the verification, if everything checks out then the payment can be done. This procedure may seem like a small task, but in the end it requires a lot of time to the finance department when you have hundreds of subcontractors.
So, we created a bot that does all these checks. The bot reads the vendors VAT number from an excel file, it copies the number and navigates to the verification website. It then copies the result of the search and pastes it into the excel file making the life of the accountant much easier. We even went a step further, the customer gave us a list of vendors that they never check. It is silly to make the bot do something that we never do, so we simply filter out the vendors that don’t need checking.
What can Amista do for you?
To get the most out of IRPA you have to identify the areas in which it will work best. You already have some specific use-cases in mind? Great!
But that is not easy when you are only discovering the solution. This is where Amista can help. We have developed our personal way of implementing IRPA solutions and are trained in detecting interesting use-cases and scenarios where RPA brings added value to your business.
An IRPA project is done in different steps. The first phase is the discovery phase, in which we start with a conversation and see where and how we can help. We organize a design thinking session in which we guide you step by step. Next, we analyse the daily tasks of you and your team members or across departments. Our approach is based on a method to detect cases that you would have never thought of. We help you map repetitive and time-consuming processes. We calculate the ROI and make an analysis. Our goal is to help you identity the most interesting cases. Then we do the development, we build the bot from start to finish and get it running in your system. Finally, we support you in using the bots.
To help you discover the power of SAP Intelligent RPA, we have developed a number of "Challenge Accepted" proof of concept packages. These give you the opportunity to quickly implement and test your own use cases. Of course, we can also develop software bots completely tailored to your business needs.