CODE SPORT

In this month’s col­umn, we dis­cuss the topic of ro­botic process au­to­ma­tion.

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Hcus­tom macros. Well, the dif­fer­ence comes from the fact that such sim­ple au­to­ma­tion scripts fail when there is a de­ci­sion to be made and when there are a set of com­pli­cated steps to fol­low in or­der to achieve a task. Typ­i­cally, desk­top au­to­ma­tion is limited to defin­ing func­tions or macros that op­er­ate within an ap­pli­ca­tion. Let us con­sider an ex­am­ple from the fi­nan­cial ser­vices, namely, the ac­counts payable process. This is a crit­i­cal func­tion in all or­gan­i­sa­tions. It in­cludes rec­on­cil­ing the state­ments sub­mit­ted by the ven­dors against the state­ments of Ro­botic process au­to­ma­tion (RPA) is defined by the the in­ter­nal buy­ing de­part­ments of an or­gan­i­sa­tion. In­sti­tute for Ro­botic Process Au­to­ma­tion (IRPA) as An or­gan­i­sa­tion can buy goods and ser­vices from ‘the ap­pli­ca­tion of tech­nol­ogy al­low­ing em­ploy­ees out­side ven­dors. The pur­chase process is typ­i­cally in a com­pany to con­fig­ure com­puter soft­ware or a car­ried out by means of pur­chase or­ders. When ‘ro­bot’ to cap­ture and in­ter­pret ex­ist­ing ap­pli­ca­tions the goods and ser­vices are re­ceived, the buy­ing for pro­cess­ing a trans­ac­tion, ma­nip­u­lat­ing data, de­part­ments cre­ate the ‘re­ceived’ re­ports. The trig­ger­ing re­sponses and com­mu­ni­cat­ing with ven­dors or sell­ers of these goods and ser­vices then other dig­i­tal sys­tems.’ In other words, it in­volves sub­mit in­voices for pay­ment by the or­gan­i­sa­tion. The au­tomat­ing cer­tain tasks or pro­cesses that ma­nip­u­late rec­on­cil­i­a­tion is car­ried out by a three-way process data. While the def­i­ni­tion of RPA as defined by be­tween the ven­dor in­voices, re­ceived re­ports and IRPA is very broad and uses the word ‘ro­bot’, real the pur­chase or­ders. life RPA has noth­ing to do with ro­bots. Though While this ap­pears to be a rou­tine task, the term ‘ro­botic process au­to­ma­tion’ con­jures up mis­matches be­tween these three data sources can vi­sions of an army of ro­bots do­ing some hu­man re­quire hu­man in­ter­ven­tion and de­ci­sion mak­ing. tasks, such as mov­ing things or car­ry­ing out some A typ­i­cal mis­match could be where the ven­dor other such phys­i­cal labour, RPA does not have shows the in­voice as un­paid whereas the in­ter­nal any­thing to do with ro­bots them­selves. It is a form of de­part­ment sys­tem shows the in­voice as paid. The au­to­ma­tion where in­tel­li­gent soft­ware pro­cesses take ac­counts payable process then needs to iden­tify over cer­tain tasks that have typ­i­cally been per­formed the root cause of the mis­match, and so car­ries by hu­man be­ings. out one of the fol­low­ing three ac­tions. If it finds

The read­ers may now be won­der­ing how this is that the in­voice has al­ready been paid, it needs to dif­fer­ent from nor­mal soft­ware pro­cesses in­volved send the pay­ment de­tails to the ven­dor. If it has in desk­top au­to­ma­tion, which typ­i­cally do many been pro­cessed and marked as not paid, it needs to tasks such as gen­er­at­ing bar charts from data, pro­vide the rea­sons for non-pay­ment to the ven­dor. or performing ac­count­ing cal­cu­la­tions in Ex­cel Or if the in­voice has not been re­ceived, it should spread­sheets, typ­i­cally per­formed by defin­ing send a no­ti­fi­ca­tion to the ven­dor to send a du­pli­cate appy New Year to all our read­ers! As we start a new year, this month’s col­umn also is about a new topic. One of our read­ers had re­quested me to cover ro­botic process au­to­ma­tion (RPA). Hence, this month’s col­umn pro­vides a brief over­view of this in­ter­est­ing and im­por­tant trend in in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy. We will also ex­am­ine how nat­u­ral lan­guage pro­cess­ing and ma­chine learn­ing play a role in RPA.

What is ro­botic process au­to­ma­tion?

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