RPA Can Utilize Artificial Intelligence

TechVibe Radio – the media outlet for the Pittsburgh Tech Council – interviewed our Digital CIO Lead, Paul Taylor, and Matthew Creegan, a Senior Manager and Application Architect in our Application Development Practice.

They discussed topics around Robotic Process Automation (RPA). You can listen to their interview here or read a recap below!

Let’s Talk RPA: If you have questions about this modern approach to automation, or how RPA can utilize artificial intelligence for more efficient, profitable and error-free processes, contact us.

PLUS, see the bottom of this news blurb for access to a complimentary Gartner report updated in December 2017 on RPA, titled “Market Guide for Robotic Process Automation Software.”

What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

Robotic Process Automation includes the use of automation tools, often with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities, to process high-volume, repeatable tasks that previously required a human to perform.

The key difference between RPA and other automation methods is that RPA can achieve a better, more consistent level of automation without the need to modify the systems being automated — often requiring little to no coding.

Why is RPA important now?

“C-suite leaders face pressure to reduce the total cost of operations and speed time-to-market while improving the customer experience. We have leveraged traditional automation techniques to achieve those goals, however, ‘old style’ automation is harder to sustain and yields less benefit for the cost,” Paul Taylor shared.

As business process engineering and lean experts, Paul and his team saw the potential for RPA to address the challenges, and opportunities, presented by traditional automation.

Enter the SDLC Partners RPA Lab

Located in SDLC Partners’ Solution Center in One PPG Plaza, downtown Pittsburgh, Paul and his team created an RPA lab in August 2017, to address this growing need.

“Clients want to improve efficiency and eliminate waste. RPA, leveraging AI, is a reliable way to go,” stated Matt Creegan.

How will RPA be used and how can it help?

The US RPA industry grew from $271M in 2016 to $443M in 2017, and is projected to reach $8.75B by 2024. Large and mid-size enterprises are standing up RPA functions to improve throughput (i.e. increase revenue recognition), reduce operational cost (i.e. improve ability to tackle innovation initiatives), and/or reduce errors (i.e. improve customer experience and employee satisfaction).

“Clients want to do things better — faster — cheaper,” stated Paul, “RPA lets us utilize AI to enhance automation as a pathway to reach the next level of efficiency, profitability and market share.”

In essence, RPA addresses many problems organizations face with turning laborious tasks across multiple people into a more profitable, less costly, and faster operation.

Paul gives an example, “Take, for instance, how health plans manage membership. They have thousands to millions of members whose data management and processing can be fraught with waste and errors.”

RPA is an appropriate solution when manual or inefficient automated tasks require too many resources, too much time, and harbor too many errors.

Kickstarting RPA in Pittsburgh

The RPA Lab team at SDLC Partners is identifying candidates for RPA kickstarter projects. Paul adds, “We start with a visioning or white boarding session to identify repeatable, heavy — but useful — tasks that are, either, automated inefficiently or still being processed manually.”

If a client has an efficient, robust process, Matt stated, “We can move right into RPA workflow planning. If, however, the process is disjointed and inefficient, it’s best for our team to use lean thinking and business process analysis to improve the process and prepare it for Robotic Process Automation.”

According to Paul, “Automation applied to an efficient operation magnifies efficiency. Automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify that as well. We want to ensure that the best processes are in place before we ramp them up for maximum benefit.”

About SDLC Partners

SDLC Partners, L.P. is an essential leader of the Pittsburgh technology and business ecosystem. As a consultancy focused on delivering high-performance solutions for connecting business and technology, we have grown into a 400-person firm, garnering awards and attention from the Pittsburgh Technology Council, the Inc. 5000, the Pittsburgh 100, and E&Y’s Entrepreneur of the Year.

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