Have You Met RPA?
Jane Alexander | June 20, 2018
Despite proven benefits, some organizations still struggle to switch from legacy applications to a cloud-based ERP (enterprise resource planning) system.
As explained by Dharm Sadasivan of the Plymouth, MI-based IT consulting firm Thirdware (thirdware.com), Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can ease the move by bridging the gap between old and new. Not familiar with RPA? Sadasivan elaborated on it in a recent blog post for QAD, Santa Barbara, CA (qad.com). Among his points:
• Think of RPA as a virtual employee who fetches and interacts with data from disparate systems, just like a human.
• RPA is a platform- and application-agnostic operation at the user-interface level, i.e., presentation layer, allowing RPA bots to do anything trained users can do.
• Since RPA doesn’t operate at a program level, it doesn’t require any code-level changes to user software systems, thereby leaving underlying applications and IT infrastructure untouched.
• Manual tasks that are often associated with access and sharing of data between two separate and unrelated systems are ideal for an RPA bot. Examples include logging into legacy applications; generating or downloading files and reports; entering and sorting downloaded data into spreadsheets; logging onto a cloud ERP; updating or creating account, item, customer, and supplier records; and sending notifications and updating legacy systems. In short, RPA removes the barriers of cloud-ERP adoption by automating tasks that would otherwise have to be manually performed on two or more applications.
• Incorporating RPA into an implementation, migration, or upgrade program on a cloud ERP can significantly amplify benefits of the new system. Including RPA during the ERP core model build or pilot project helps with the process of re-engineering or designing future-state business processes that can be automated. This can save significant rework, effort, and cost. RPA bots are also helpful for launches and rollouts, especially in areas of data migration and testing.
As they become obsolete, all legacy applications will need to be updated or replaced. Until then, RPA allows organizations to advance their technology with the adoption of cloud ERP while leveraging critical functions that legacy applications can provide.
To read Sadisivan’s complete blog post, “Could Leveraging Robotic Process Automation Help Move You to the Cloud?” go to blog.qad.com. EP
Key features of RPA include:
• speed: bots completing tasks faster than humans
• productivity: free of human error, and 24/7
• scalability: quick ramp up or down to match work fluctuations
• compliance: comprehensive audit trails.