How feasible is the growing marketplace for pre-built RPA models?
How pragmatic is this modular approach to automation?
The demand for RPA models pre-engineered for businesses to work with other employee technologies and skills has increased. However, the feasibility of this practice is still up for debate.
“Ready-made bots are extremely effective in solving a common problem across the market – such as identifying duplicate customer data across systems, ingesting data from Excel, and identifying and matching image patterns,” said Sathya Srinivasan, vice president, Solutions Consulting (Partner) at Appian.
“As usage increases and divisions across departments become more widespread, patterns will emerge that will help create common sets of pre-built components in a shared library to meet a customer’s needs.”
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Arpit Oberoi, RPA specialist at delaware, commented: “During the industrial revolution, the focus of technological endeavors was on developing machines that could perform more activities than humans in a given time. In today’s digital age, the focus has shifted to a few steps.
“Now it’s about how machines that are designed for efficiency can be connected to one another and automated in order to minimize human intervention and make it more efficient.”
With that in mind, let’s take a look at how feasible pre-built RPAs are in today’s tech industry and beyond.
Peter Walker, CTO EMEA at Blue Prism, believes the digital workforce can speed up operations while reducing errors.
“We believe automation needs to be delivered quickly and managed by the business people who best understand their process challenges,” said Walker. “We also believe that any robot that requires coding efforts will soon experience the same delays and problems as traditional IT projects. Hence, our digital workforce is an out-of-the-box, AI-enabled processing resource that can be easily used by non-staff-technical business people, with no coding.
“It’s a workforce that is ready to automate any process much faster, smarter, and safer than ever before. It’s also a diverse, trustworthy workforce that works with total integrity, accuracy, and hundreds of times faster than humans.
“This digital workforce is getting closer and closer to people by learning from and imitating them. It’s a workforce that business people can easily train and deploy while working seamlessly with people – giving people the freedom to do more work that works best for them too.
“Digital workers are also being deployed to easily leverage the latest artificial intelligence (AI), deep analytics, and a growing number of cognitive platforms. Natural language processing (NLP), speech recognition, sentiment and risk analysis, machine learning (ML) and reasoning, and more. These functions are expanded by digital employees to carry out increasingly complex end-to-end activities. “
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Reduce development time
Pre-built RPAs not only reduce the time spent on tasks, but can also save time developing automation, which means faster availability.
Gopal Ramasubramanian, Senior Director, Intelligent Automation and Technology at Cognizant, explained the benefits of being able to enjoy the occasional customization constraint.
“There’s a lot of hype around pre-built RPA bots right now, especially about being able to download them from a bot store and use them in a similar way to a mobile app,” said Ramasubramanian.
“In many cases it is not possible to use pre-built bots directly without customization, which is usually required. However, pre-built bots can definitely cut the time it takes to develop automated business processes, and many RPA vendors are already exploring options to monetize them in their bot stores. “
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Lack of customer benefit
“Many RPA vendors have a bot store or marketplace where you can buy pre-built RPA components,” said Porter. “Typically, these RPA components deliver a small amount of activity within an end-to-end business process. However, it must be configured for this customer, for this business process and for their systems.
“These bot stores are often free, and there is a reason – they don’t offer significant customer value and are still focused on RPA. As a result, it’s not very flexible or scalable. It provides a benefit to the developer, but not a great benefit in terms of business value.
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“Many companies are looking for ready-made solutions for end-to-end business processes. These don’t focus on technology, but on results. For example, we can automate all of your invoices, all of your email classification, all of your payroll, or customer onboarding. It’s very valuable to the business. Why? Because it is difficult to introduce new technologies and develop specific solutions to certain problems.
“With this use-case approach, customers can sign up for a more flexible licensing model. For example, we offer Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or Pay-as-you-go – transaction-based or usage-based licensing. The traditional RPA vendors can’t do this when selling bots because they sell unit or resource-based licensing models – bots as a fixed processing time resource. A more flexible model offers significant added value without having to invest in upfront licenses to kick off your first automation project. “