RPA Tutorial for beginners – A Guide

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RPA is a simple way to automate Business Processes without building new IT Systems and without re-engineering the processes. It is becoming popular because of the ease of automation without process re-engineering. The way RPA works is, tool can record your actions and replay those actions. Till the time your actions are repetitive, you can automate the process. With time RPA tools have become sophisticated – integrating with various IT systems like Databases, Excel, SAP etc.

Normal Automation Vs RPA

Software robot simulate manual clicks with records actions and business logic. Normal automation requires new systems to be built for automation; Normal automation is usually costly and time consuming. Develop new enterprise system: This is usually most complex – requires high time and high cost. Optimize the process with Business Process Management Systems: This usually may be less complex than developing new IT systems but costs & time required are almost same as developing new enterprise system.  RPA is much easier than both above mentioned automation approaches. It doesn’t require one to re-engineer process or build new IT system.

Examples of RPA:

RPA can not only automate SAP transactions. It can be used to automate many business and IT processes. Here are a few more examples:

Customer On boarding. Creating new customer accounts as well updating them

Finance & Accounting. Automation of accounts payable and accounts receivable

Human Resources. Automation of Employee on boarding activities, payroll

Access Management. Unlocking accounts, resetting password credentials

System Administration. Automate repetitive tasks like daily checks

Do you see the wide array of tasks RPA can do? Most of the tasks that a human does at a computer and is well defined, can be automated with RPA. The processes that can be automated are only limited by your imagination.


How does RPA work?

There are mainly two kinds of RPA automation based on how the software helps you automate. One of them is like an assistant that you call upon to help you complete the tasks and the other kind of automation is mostly for back office work.

Attended automation

These are the assistants that run on your computer and help you complete a part of the tasks that you are performing. For e.g., if you usually search and copy paste data from one application to multiple applications, you can invoke an attended RPA to take over just these set of activities. The control is then returned to you by RPA to carry out the next set of tasks. This type of automation usually helps agents at call centres.

Unattended Automation 

In this type of automation, workflows are self-triggered and run on servers. They run to pre-determined schedules or real time. And are available 24 x 7.  In the case of unattended automation, all you would see of an automated task would be the outputs. For eg. For invoice processing, all you would see is a report indicating the invoices that could not be processed automatically. You can review the report and only work on the invoices that need your intervention.

Benefits of RPA?

More and more CIOs are rooting for RPA because of its several benefits. Benefits and uses of RPA include the following:

  • Significant Cost Saving – RPA saves a huge amount of cost for any business. It costs much less than hiring an employee to do the same set of tasks.
  • Faster Processing – RPA works faster than a human employeeLess Error – Since RPA works on standard logic, the probability of making errors reduces to a great extent.
  • Better Regulatory Compliance – As said above, RPA works on the logic and data fed to it, hence there are minimal chances of not complying with the standard rules and regulations.
  • Better Customer Service – When a business deploys RPA, it frees many of its employees who can then work on customer related services. This is especially true for businesses that receive lot of customer enquiries.
  • Higher Quality – Due to all the reasons mentioned above, RPA ensures an overall higher level of quality for your organization, also giving it a competitive advantage.

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