Many companies operating in various industries worldwide are willing to process automation on its much-deserved pedestal.
How can Microsoft’s Robotic Process Automation benefit a company? Is it applicable to every business, regardless of industry? Does it really deserve all the laurels that have been laid on it? We’ll answer all these questions in this post.
What Is Microsoft’s RPA?
Robotic process automation is one of the automation solutions available in Microsoft – the other is the digital process automation or DPA. It’s often ideal to use both types via Microsoft’s Power Automate solution since they complement each other by helping overcome the limitations of either one.
This is evident in how RPA performs its primary function. Essentially, Microsoft’s RPA relies largely on bots that are able to imitate how humans interact with a typical GUI (graphics user interface) in a computer or any other related workstation or machine.
That capability is significant in two big ways as it means:
- It’s able to deliver effective automation solutions even without an API (complex or otherwise), which is typically what DPA is limited to.
- It’s flexible enough to automate any kind of legacy system your company may be using. This means you won’t have to alter your present IT infrastructure just to enjoy process automation.
At best, Microsoft’s Power Automate RPA software is entirely desktop or browser-based, and this applies to both Attended and Unattended RPA.
- The ability to run desktop flows using unattended mode in Power Automate proves this. The flow runs in the background while the device’s screen is locked.
- In attended mode, on the other hand, the same desktop flows can be created to automate manual, repetitive tasks. Only, it all runs under human supervision. Intervention is necessary when making decisions and changes.
The icing on the cake is that RPA relies a lot less on code.
What Kinds of Automation Solutions Can It Deliver?
Now that we’re aware of how an RPA works, let’s shift the focus to actual implementations. Since most business processes nowadays are increasingly becoming more digital, so are our tasks. Digitization paves the way to automation, right?
Before we answer that, let’s first take a look at how RPA delivers its solutions through Power Automate’s UI Flows. Basically, it can be summed up in two steps:
- You’re able to record valid user interactions done in a desktop app or web app.
- They can be played back when a specific task or step needs to be done after executing the workflow.
The beauty of Microsoft’s Power Automate RPA as a whole is that you can use more than one UI Flow concurrently in order to create more complex automation that’s completely code-free.
So, coming back to the previous question, the answer is certainly yes, especially if you’re able to use the RPA to its fullest capabilities. Microsoft RPA’s magic is evident in how it’s typically applied to heighten the productivity and efficiency of a company:
- Lot of companies out there rely on endless spreadsheets for their data entry. RPA can actually take care of this for you and is even suitable if you need to perform data entry between different apps.
- It’s also highly applicable for project management, especially for smoothening and shortening the approval process for stakeholders.
- Other copy-paste tasks not related to data entry can be done completely without manual effort.
Ultimately, Microsoft RPA truly shines the most once it works in synergy with other tools in Power Automate such as DPA, AI Builder, and Process Advisor, to cite a few. For example, UI flows can work with DPA’s on-premise, thereby, unifying a company’s cloud and on-premise processes.
Better and more sophisticated automations are further unlocked by its integration with AI, making almost any company future-ready and futureproof in the process.
Proven Benefits of Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
Robotic Process Automation is not all about efficiency, as most people tend to think. It’s also concerned with optimizing the entire business process as a whole, as proven by this list of advantages:
Reduces the time needed to complete back-office tasks, thereby, boosting productivity.
These pertain to the repetitive activities mentioned above as well as posting on social media, opening and replying to emails, updating profiles, submitting time sheets, and even onboarding and offboarding employees.
Companies have been proven to save as much as 45 minutes daily with the help of multiple flows running in a browser, unattended during most times. More time can definitely be saved with the correct number of flows applied to a given task/s.
Being able to cut the time to complete these tasks and freeing up time for your staff to finish more important ones ultimately paves the way to better productivity.
Security in a digital setting is hard to guarantee. By relying on automation software, you help mitigate these risks by relegating most of the work to RPA bots.
Reduces operational costs.
Time is money, and whatever time is saved with the help of automation software adds to that. The real perk stems from being able to have more control over the outcome of your business processes. You’re able to take the unpredictable human element out of it, after all, which allows you make better, more accurate outcome predictions.
Prevents human errors.
Humans always have a chance of making a mistake, which can only be further worsened by having to perform tedious, routine tasks every day.
On the contrary, bots are almost always near-infallible and highly accurate when performing them once properly programmed. This is all the more reinforced by the bots’ ability to send notifications in the event of errors, perform retries, and conduct alternate executions.
Boosts scalability and analytics.
Microsoft’s RPA is designed in such a way that you’ll be able to easily know how efficient each bot is, all thanks to activity log files they automatically create as they work. This only allows you to identify weaknesses in your process that you can remedy without much delay.
Such an optimized state in your business process only, in turn, sets your company up for better scalability and growth. The fact that you can even duplicate bots when the need arises and scale down when not pretty much works further in your favor.
Is Your Business a Perfect Fit for Robotic Process Automation?
As you can see from the automation examples we’ve shared here, Robotic Process Automation’s advantages are highly universal in its scope. Still, much like any prospective software, it pays to know 100% whether your company will be able to make the most out of its benefits.
RPA in the Power Automate suite is a great fit for companies that:
- Are in need of a more efficient, less costly way to perform repetitious, back-office tasks daily. If these activities are less frequent, then you should reconsider.
- Want to optimize key facets of their organization such as customer service, human resources, and quality data acquisition and migration.
- Want to enjoy more much-needed cost savings as a result of not having to hire additional personnel or investing in building your IT infrastructure to get optimal results.
Related Reading: Choosing Microsoft Power Automate for RPA | Is It the Right Choice?