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29 Jul

In what ways can I use robotics?

We have already tried in the last articles to show and point out fundamental points as easily as possible, which can lead to more transparency and acceptance. However, in our everyday lives we keep hearing the question “How can I really use robotics now and implement it in my company?

As we have already shown, Robotics (also called RPA or Robotics Process Automation) is nothing more than a software that operates like a human user operating another software.

There are two main forms of robotics, which also have an impact on the practical use of robotics. For easier explanation and comparability we assume that in the following examples the data has to be extracted from an e-mail and be transferred to a CRM system.

Monitored mode (attended)

This is where the computer you are working on is used and usually your permissions and settings are used as well. Here you can start the process on your own, see the execution on your PC and can continue working directly with the result.

Advantages

  • You don’t need to wait, because the process starts directly by pressing “Start” or at a unique starting point (e.g. when an e-mail with a certain subject is received)
  • You see immediately if something is not working as desired
  • You can directly watch what is selected and follow all steps
  • Especially when a process requires intermediate inputs or decisions, it is very easy to implement with this mode

Disadvantages

  • You are locked by robotics while the process is running and cannot/may not continue to work parallel (e.g. answer an e-mail while the data is being transferred to the CRM system)
  • Your authorizations and your user name are in use
  • For intermediate entries, the system waits until an entry is made and usually “blocks” your computer (although there are workarounds)

Especially in very short processes, where input may be necessary (e.g. in a call center or other processes with direct customer contact), monitored bots can help to take over input very quickly. In the meantime, you can, for example, continue to talk to the customer or perhaps already carry out initial consulting services or preparatory activities.

This mode can also help you with application-related orientation aids, especially when it comes to training or support in process management. This mode is particularly suitable for processes that individual employees do not carry out very often or have to take over as a substitute.

In simplified terms, one can also speak here of a kind of personal assistance, which can be called upon independently if necessary.

Unsupervised mode (unattended)

There is a separate (virtual) machine that works completely independently and autonomously. This machine will log in and work with its own user name and its own credentials. The processes are started by an event (such as an e-mail inbox), or a schedule (e.g. on the 15th of each month). When the software robot has time (usually one activity after the other is performed) the next process is started. The processes are completed either by informing you about the result (e.g. via an “I’m done” e-mail) or by providing you with the information generated by the process, e.g. at the start of work, so that you can continue working immediately.

What exactly is a “machine”?

This can be just about anything from a desktop PC to a notebook to a server or a cloud solution. What you can use depends essentially on the provider of the robotics software you use and their requirements or performance. A list of almost all relevant vendors can be found in the article „What is Robotics and how does it work?“.

We will also be happy to advise you on the best solution for you, since robotics is at its best when the desired range of functions, the processes to be automated, your infrastructure and the corresponding software solution are perfectly matched.

Some solutions are very well suited for programmers and require some prior knowledge, other solutions are very well suited for end users without special programming skills and rely on low code with highly standardized components. More details, however, in one of our next articles or gladly in a personal meetintg.

Advantages

  • You can continue working on your own PC and are not locked
  • You can actually have a kind of virtual worker that is available 24/7 (or as long as your machine is available for robotics)
  • All authorizations and user names are clearly assigned to a software robot. Therefore it is clearly visible who or what has made entries in the system or edited files)
  • The system logs itself in automatically when it is needed
  • Especially for very long, complex and/or frequent processes, background processing offers great potential

Disadvantages

  • You do not know exactly when a process will actually be executed, because usually one activity is executed after the other
  • You do not see “live” what the software robot does, but only get the result
  • It requires monitoring by an administrator to see if an error occurs
  • Especially exceptions and notifications in a process and what should happen in case of an error have to be programmed much more precisely here, because you cannot see exactly where and when an error occurs or an exception applies.

We hope to have given you again a general overview of the implementation possibilities of robotics and what has to offer for you. We would be happy to support you in the implementation of a pilot project, the selection of a suitable software, accompany you in the selection of suitable process candidates for automation, and even help you set up effective reporting.

As always, if you have general questions about robotics, its implementation, integration into your process landscape, or how to deal with overt and covert resistance when introducing robotics, please contact team@workanizer.at and we will be happy to help.

Your WorkAnizer Team

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