Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a relatively a new breed of technology which is drawing serious interest in the Process Automation space.
We get this question very often.
What is RPA and how is it different from BPM Software?
Let me answer the first question with as much clarity as possible. RPA is a software platform which allows you to create software robots who mimic human behavior in a process environment, thus automating the process in question.
For example, If there was a Data Entry process where a user would copy data from a web form and paste it in relevant form control of a legacy system, then you could train a software robot to do it for you on a consistent basis.
But haven’t we heard this before? Isn’t Business Process Automation about this very same thing?
Well, there is a difference in how modern day BPM Platforms handle this scenario. If you have worked on BPM projects you would have heard of Auto Activities or System Activities. These activities allow systems to exchange information and handle scenarios where you would want to automate certain human task provided you have API level or Database level access to those systems.
It is a much more sophisticated way of automating human tasks, but what happens if the system you wish to communicate with doesn’t have any programmatic interface or is in an external network environment which makes it impossible to integrate with.
Here is where RPA Platforms excel; as they have a very sophisticated framework to configure software robots to intelligently capture and execute human activities non-programmatically.
Incase of BPM Platforms, you could still achieve the capabilities of RPA for certain scenarios. For example, you could use screen scraping tools to capture and perform keystroke and mouse actions, but it may not work in all scenarios.
Coming to the second part of the question.
How are RPA Platforms different from BPM Platforms?
Well, the answer to that question depends on what is the objective of your process automation project. If it is just automating specific human activities then RPA would be the right choice.
On the other hand, if you are looking to fundamentally transform your business by streamlining your processes, identifying improvement areas, reducing cost and ensuring best practices are followed then BPM Software is your go-to platform.
I would term BPM Software and RPA Platforms as distant cousins, as they both aim to achieve similar objectives, but have very different approach to accomplish them.
Do you have a use-case which may need an RPA or BPM Platform? Do ask for a Demo or take a Free Trial of iLeap Platform, we would be more than happy to build a Process Automation Application for your specific needs.