RPA (Robotic Process Automation) is a concept that refers to a software robot in a computer that replaces intellectual workers to automatically perform desk jobs (mainly jobs with fixed logic).

The RPA concept began to be used in Japan in 2016, and in 2017 created a great buzz thanks to its ease of understanding and its ability to bring about quick results. Up to now, along with AI and IoT, RPA has become one of the common IT words that everyone has heard at least once. However, at present, there are still many people who do not understand deeply about RPA or do not know about the difference and relationship between AI and RPA… For readers to understand the essence of RPA – a promising solution to help cut down. costs, eliminate errors and promote reform of the way of working, this article introduces the whole content from basic knowledge, how to apply RPA, to the difference with AI and how to apply it effectively when combined with AI.

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Table of contents

1. What is RPA (Robotic Process Automation)?

2. RPA . Automation Trends and Efficiency

3. Difference between RPA and old technology

4. Causes of RPA . Fever

5. How RPA . Works

6. 5 benefits of applying RPA

7. Examples of RPA application and effectiveness

8. How to Apply RPA

9. 3 things to watch out for when using RPA

10. Product development combining RPA and AI technology

What is RPA (Robotic Process Automation)?

RPA (Robotic Process Automation) is a concept that refers to a software robot that uses a rule engine (Rule engine) and artificial intelligence (AI) to replace brain workers to automatically perform desk jobs (mainly). weak is work with fixed logic). These software robots are sometimes personified as “digital workers” or “digital workers” (virtual knowledge workers).

The tool that implements this RPA concept is called an RPA engine. Currently, the concept of RPA is being used with many different meanings. In it, the broad meaning is RPA – a total reform, and the narrow meaning is the RPA tool.

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To make it easier to understand, RPA is broadly defined as “equipped with rule engine technology and AI”, while narrowly means “operates on rule engine technology but does not include AI”.

In Japan, in RPA tools, Office Robot/WinDirector – a product developed by NTT corporation – currently holds the largest market share. In the second half of the article we will compare, classify and rank RPA tools.

※ According to the survey of RPA Bank

Trends and effectiveness of automation with RPA First of all, let’s see how RPA replaces humans to do the work automatically

With the arrival of RPA (Software Robot)

Factory/site Office Level 3 Workers Office workers Level 2 Manufacturing Application Robots RPA (Software Robots) Level 1 Production Equipment (Conveyors) Systems (ERP)

A factory consists of 3 levels of performance. The basic level is large production equipment such as conveyor belts, surrounded by industrial robots that perform fast and accurate production jobs, humans will do tasks such as maintenance of robots and other jobs. What robots can’t do.

The office only includes 2 levels of implementation, the basic management system ERP and the office staff operating on it. If using ERP is too difficult, in the past people solved it by customizing the ERP, or increasing the number of office staff (or outsourcing the work). With the arrival of the RPA software robot, office work will be more efficient thanks to 3 levels of execution. Accordingly, office workers will switch from desk jobs to robot maintenance and complex jobs that robots cannot do.

So what is the difference between RPA tool in the narrow sense and Excel Macro?

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The difference between RPA and Excel Macro is that anyone can build a script to run the robot without programming knowledge, the content of the script is easy to understand, so it is not put in the “black box”, can be automated. all applications including ERP and Web. However, this cannot be considered a difference of nature.

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Causes of RPA . fever

The concept of RPA software robot itself If someone asks you “Does your work have redundant operations? Can you do it more efficiently?” You may think, “I worked very well, there were no redundant actions”. But if they ask you “Do you have a job that you would like to have a robot do for you?”, you will surely come up with many points to improve your work “I would like to ask a robot to do this, it is better not to do it myself.” too ” .

With RPA without programming, non-IT professionals can still use IT proficiently. Previously, IT technology was usually only for IT people, so if you want to improve something, you must ask the IT department to do it. With problems that exceed the budget of the IT department or have a low priority, they are often excluded from the list of IT technology applications, so office workers have to do it manually. As for RPA, professional staff can Automate the work yourself so you are not limited to the IT department. Moreover, it is also welcomed by the IT department because automation frees them from the burden of being caught up in the professional work of the departments.

Industrial Revolution 4.0 (Full automation by AI)

Currently, we are entering the industrial revolution 4.0 with the development and application of many technologies such as AI (artificial intelligence), IoT (Inteof things) or RPA. In particular, compared to AI and IoT, RPA is applied more quickly thanks to the ease of understanding and the ease of evaluating the rate of return.

Besides, there is another reason that the development process of RPA is divided into 3 phases. The first stage automates work with fixed logic using a rule engine. Phase 2 raises the level of automation with the initial involvement of the AI ​​element, and phase 3 fully automates by developing complete AI technology. Currently we have only entered phase 2, but from the latest expected to the first half of the 2030s, 49% of workers must be automated, then we will have to enter phase 3.

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Unlike IT applications and innovation activities with no clear destination, we already know that in about 10 years the world will have to be fully automated. Therefore, we are under pressure to automate with RPA today so as not to be left behind by the automation trend.

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Free experience

How RPA works Simply put, RPA is robotic software that enhances productivity and automates desk jobs by simulating computer operations of office workers. For example, if you want to ask RPA to perform an operation on the computer, RPA will remember execution rules called scripts that describe the sequence of operations. Later times, RPA will do this work based on the scenario. You can think of this activity as a job training for new employees.

The feature of RPA is very easy to understand because users do not need programming knowledge, the content of manipulation as well as the workflow can be built and edited on the screen when creating a script. This is not simply a convenient way to operate, but because anyone can build a script and anyone can read and understand the script, non-IT professional staff can also automate it. can be made. Besides, unlike Excel Macro, RPA does not create unmanaged content scenarios.

RPA scripts are also known as “workflows” or simply “robots”. If you’ve ever heard someone say “I made 100 Robots”, it means that they have created 100 different types of scenarios.