Next Step: Give Your RPA Bots The Brain

In the previous blog: “RPA Robots Are Dumb”, you might be aware that RPA bots can only deal with simple, structured data. So they are often labeled as “dumb”. But the truth is, their intelligence could be leveraged with some advanced technologies to enhance the sophistication of automation. After attending the Intelligent Automation Summit 2022, I realized that organizations are embracing a move toward Intelligent Automation. So, in this blog, I would like to guide you through the journey of making your bots smart, and explain the fundamentals of Intelligent Automation – the key to the digital transformation of your businesses.

So, your bots need some intelligence

As we know, RPA bots are pretty rigid since they often deal with rule-based processes, making it hard for businesses to scale, move forward with Hyperautomation and obtain the best values. But surprisingly, RPA can be significantly flexible in a way that its intelligence can be leveraged by using AI technologies, including ML, NLP, OCR, IDP, and Computer Vision.

  • ML: Focus on the use of data and algorithms to imitate the way that humans learn, and make predictions with minimal human intervention.
  • NLP: Enable machines to understand human speech in text or voice form to communicate with humans in our natural language.
  • OCR: Scan characters and handwriting from a variety of image documents and convert them into characters that are readable by computers.
  • IDP: Collect and extract data from semi-structured and unstructured data and convert them into structured data for use.
  • Computer Vision: Enable computers and systems to derive meaningful information from digital images and videos.

RPA itself can accurately execute by mimicking humans’ activities and performing tasks. Meanwhile, AI is capable of augmenting human thinking and conditioning logic and its intelligence can be improved over time. 

Back to the invoice processing example in the previous blog. Now with AI added to RPA, the bots can not only process invoices of different formats but can also identify the figures with the “$” symbol in the front indicating a sum of money, thereby adding them to the right data field. How cool is that!

The combination of RPA and AI is called Intelligent Automation (IA). By enhancing the scope of automation with RPA and incorporating the ability to think with AI, IA can perform more complex tasks requiring judgment, reasoning, and decision-making, enabling end-to-end process automation.

IA integrates RPA and AI capabilities to boost automation. (Source: cloudfront.net)

How your Intelligent Bots look now

Of course, your bots are much greater now as they can perform a variety of tasks and help your business save a tremendous amount of work and time.

Here’re some use cases in which businesses fully take advantage of the IA power to strengthen operational productivity and achieve the optimum results.

Healthcare: 

  • Health insurance processing: Intelligent bots can determine whether a healthcare service or a medication is necessary and make vital updates to the electronic health record.
  • Customer service and scheduling: Bots can extract patient information from other systems about suitable physicians and time slots, send reminders, allowing rescheduling and canceling appointments.
  • Regulatory compliance: Bots can allow healthcare providers to automatically log every action, track and document the activity log, predict potential fraud, and prevent intended or unintended data breaches, ensuring compliance. 

Manufacturing: 

  • Supply chain management: Bots enable end-to-end document automation by extracting data such as shipping documents, and inventory lists from different types of documents with an understanding of the context, integrating data into a centralized database.
  • Order fulfillment: Intelligent bots can identify order emails, extract relevant data from the files, create orders in the ERP system, and notify customers about product availability and shipping options.
  • Predictive maintenance: Bots can predict upcoming failures and alert staff when checkups and maintenance are required.

Financial service and banking: 

  • Know your customer (KYC): Bots extract relevant data from customer documents with OCR and IDP for rapid onboarding.
  • Loan processing: Bots can process and extract relevant information from customers’ documents, and consolidate data to prepare due diligence for the loan decision.
  • Anti-money laundering: Bots can automatically collect customer data from several watchlist databases that contain money launderers, fraudsters, or politically exposed persons for timely handling.

Intelligent Automation has been the choice of business leaders

Data plays a pivotal role in every business. Combining automation and cognitive capabilities, IA can deal with not only structured but unstructured data, which accounts for 80% of business data. It demonstrates the power of IA in further exploiting the data resources. Especially in the age of Big data, IA ensures that all valuable insights do not go to waste and are actionable. By digging deeply into the data source and significantly “understanding” data, IA enables businesses to capture customer insights to improve more customer-centric products tailored to the customer’s demands. This also increases customer experience and opens up desirable opportunities for businesses.

IA is the stepping stone of Hyperautomation – an advanced technology to elevate automation and harness the power to completely automate business processes. In the Hyperautomation journey, all bots automatically trigger one another to get tasks done, and every department in the business automates in order to create a complete process. This enables people and robots to automate together, hence encouraging better human and bot cooperation. 

Hyperautomation is more than just AI and RPA together. It allows more intelligence added to the automation process with many technologies integrated into all steps and stages, such as Process Mining, Task Mining, Low-code, No-code, Chatbot, Data Analytics, etc.

For example, you may feel that your business is not operating at its best but you cannot recognize problems, Process Mining can come to the rescue by identifying bottlenecks, and unstreamlined parts of your business while discovering the best candidates for automation (keep in mind that not all repetitive and mundane tasks should be automated). The output is a better “as-is” view of your business operation and how a task should be performed, now with the introduction of RPA, and yes, AI also.

IA is a buzzword, but not a fad. Based on a survey by Intelligent Automation Network, participated by over 400 intelligent automation, RPA, and digital transformation leaders, 64% of participants said they had already adopted IA and 42% are currently investing in RPA. Heading to 2023, 36% said they planned to implement IA while 58% said they focus on RPA investment. This proves that businesses are getting serious about business process automation and putting into place robust IA and RPA strategies for success.

IA and RPA adoption trend. (Source: 2023 Intelligent Automation Spends & Trends Report).

IA starts to receive more attention, particularly in Europe. The European Intelligent Automation market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 11.8% during 2019-2025. The major driving force behind increased market growth is the growing demand for automation-led transformation initiatives. 

The automation landscape in Europe has witnessed a transformation of technological innovations from RPA to flexible IA. Practical benefits like improved productivity, operational efficiency, customer satisfaction, and performance improvement are forecasted to encourage the implementation of IA over the coming years. In detail, the European Intelligent Automation Market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.8% (2019 – 2025), according to Research and Markets.

And you, are you ready to let Intelligent Bots help?

IA is one of the technologies that can transform the way businesses operate and deliver – increased operations, lower costs, lower risk of mistakes, greater productivity, and efficiency. In industry sectors like manufacturing, financial services, and healthcare, highly rules-based business processes have become less manual thanks to the implementation of automation and the increased advances since AI has been proven to bring greater intelligence and cognitive understanding to business workflows and processes. 

Because our workforce is evolving at an unprecedented pace, businesses should continue to innovate and leverage technology. Therefore, it’s necessary to start embarking on the IA journey to accelerate automation advancements and stand out in fast-moving markets.

In Vietnam, FPT Software’s akaBot is a pioneer in providing automation solutions, creating a premise for the journey of comprehensive business automation. The solution is recognized by Gartner, and so far, in the top 5 RPA Leaders by G2, seamlessly integrating RPA with AI applications, and more.

Have a further discussion with me on this topic, or if you are eager to embark on this journey right away, akaBot free trial will be the right choice. 

References

2023 Intelligent Automation Spend & Trends Report

Europe Intelligent Process Automation Market (2019-2025)

Intelligent Automation in Financial Services & Banking in 2022

Top 7 Use Cases of Intelligent Automation in Manufacturing

Top Use Cases & Examples of Healthcare Intelligent Automation

Editor’s note: This is a guest blog by Mr. Emil Figura, Director of Business Development, FPT Software Europe.

Mr. Emil Figura is currently Director of Business Development at FPT Software Europe. He have many experience working in IT for the last 18 years including Transformation Management, People Management, Managed Services, Software Development, Nearshore and Offshore development, IT Outsourcing and Sales. Mr. Figura also has a strong business development professional with a Master of Business Administration (MBA), strong Finance background and Masters in Enterprise Systems Development. Besides classical enterprise SW development and maintenance, he is now focusing on ‘game changing’ technologies and approaches in domain of digital technologies, e.g. , Automation/Robotization, Data Analytics, , IoT, Cloud Services, T Security and FPT Digital Kaizen.

akaBot (FPT Software) is the operation optimization solution for enterprises based on RPA (Robotic Process Automation) platform combined with Process Mining, OCR, Intelligent Document Processing, Machine Learning, Conversational AI, etc. Serving clients in 20+ countries, across 08 domains such as Banking & Finances, Retails, IT Services, Manufacturing, Logistics…, akaBot is featured by Gartner Peer Insights, G2, and ranked as Top 6 Global RPA Platform by Software Reviews. akaBot also won the prestigious Stevie Award, The Asian Banker Award 2021, etc.

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