Attended & Unattended RPA – Are you Missing Half the Story (and Half the Gains)
Blog 10/12/2018

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has been dramatically reshaping business, helping to improve productivity and driving innovation. However, some organizations are missing an important side of RPA. Many think of RPA as fully automated bots in major enterprise deployments working independently of human employees. In reality, it is a category that includes both attended (robots interacting with humans) and unattended (robots acting independently) solutions.

Attended RPA works alongside people rather than replacing them entirely. This allows even the most abstract and complicated tasks to benefit from the power of automation. By freeing up valuable time, human workers, especially in the front office, can spend more effort on value-added activities, solving problems, innovating and working with customers. These solutions can be delivered via a server or from robotic automation software installed directly on a machine, a deployment type that is also referred to as Robotic Desk Automation (RDA).

 

From Low-Value to High-Value Work

Even the US Government recognize the value of RPA to augment the human workforce. They are currently actively promoting RPA as a key to achieving their goal of shifting federal workers from low-value to high-value work. A memorandum issued on the 27th August states, “Not only will automation shift resources to the pursuit of mission outcomes, but it will also reduce human error and improve compliance with contracting protocols and financial analysis and reporting.” By coupling fully automated unattended and attended solutions, everyone from major organizations like the federal government to SMEs can optimize their efficiency, reduce costs and improve compliance.

 

Desktop vs Enterprise RPA Platform for Attended Automation

Desktop RPA can and should have the same power as a server-based version. The primary difference is that the desktop version does not require significant upfront investment in IT infrastructure such as servers and consultancy for integration. This makes desktop RPA ideal for enterprises that are more cautious, or for those who want to adopt an agile approach to RPA.

A strategic approach to RPA implementation is critical. Starting with a resources intensive enterprise implementation can stifle innovation and slow adoption. By using desktop RPA, companies can begin taking advantage of attended RPA without major investments. Once the value of these solutions has been shown, it becomes much easier to justify more significant deployments.  RDA or attended RPA via a desktop makes this possible. If every employee has their own robot on their computer, they can experiment to see what works and then share with others in an organized fashion to unlock the full potential of automation.

 

Not all RPA Solutions Are Equal

 Companies that are looking to take full advantage of automation in their organization should carefully vet solutions and providers. Some RPA vendors do not offer both attended and unattended options. Others have limited deployment options suited either to large organizations or small businesses. This can lead to missed opportunities, especially in the front office where interaction between human worker and bots is paramount.

Softomotive is the only RPA vendor to offer a desktop version, as well as server-based unattended and attended automation solutions. Both solutions share the same underlying RPA engine so at any point it is easy to make the transition from the desktop version to the full enterprise RPA platform seamlessly and without any disruption. This provides an ideal way for companies to begin taking advantage of RPA today while forming a solid foundation for scaling solutions.

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