Post by : Akshay Thakur
Even in our digital era, many business processes are still carried out by people. Yet these processes commonly rely on one or more applications, with human beings providing the driving intelligence. For example, think about a back office that handles customer orders. Each order might require getting a customer’s name, then looking up and validating the customer’s shipping address. Once this information is available, the next step is to calculate the shipping cost and place the order. In a typical back office environment, people execute this process, often relying on multiple applications to complete it.
RPA can have a transformative impact on organizations, bringing lower costs, increased reliability and faster process execution. Later, it can also let IT and business people work together to implement and change automated processes quickly. This paper introduces RPA, then describes how it’s provided by Blue Prism, a leading vendor in this market. The goal is to explain what RPA is and how Blue Prism supports it.
Doing more with software is the essence of digital transformation. An important part of this transformation is automating business processes, using software rather than people wherever possible. Robotic process automation (RPA) is an increasingly popular approach to doing this.
Automating a process using RPA is usually less expensive than using API-based automation. Because of this, you can automate more business processes for less money. And while API-based automation is typically used only for very high-value processes, RPA can provide a return on investment even for processes with lower business value. For example, maybe an application’s transaction volumes don’t justify the effort and expense of API-based automation. Using a lower-cost RPA approach can make this automation viable.
Once a structured development process is in place, RPA can let business people create their own software robots. This frees the business from total reliance on IT for process automation. Just as important, RPA can let business people change their automated business processes without making every change request go through the IT bottleneck.
Overview of Blue Prism
The company was founded in 2001 and introduced its first RPA software in 2008. Their offices are currently located in UK and US. Blue Prism software robots are developed to operate their work independently and orchestrated through cloud platforms. Hence, a robot has an ability to interact and connect with software apps, data centers and any other required sources which are built by JAVA, CITRIX and HTML without an integration through APIs. Blue Prism tool provides a configuration language which allows business users designing a specific automated process by clicking and dragging or using configured objects. Building up a strong partner’s network is their long-term development strategy. One segment of that is to corporate with smart machine firms which specializes in different high-tech industrial aspects such as optical character recognition (OCR). Hence, Blue Prism solution can be a more competitive advantage than other RPA vendors. Blue Prism provides their license of minimum 10 robots for 3 years.
Blue Prism is a set of tools, libraries, and runtime environments for RPA. Blue Prism has built-in support for connecting business objects to various kinds of application user interfaces, including browser-based HTML interfaces, Windows interfaces, and mainframe applications accessed via terminals, and interfaces built using Java. Each business object implements a particular set of actions against an application’s user interface. For example, a single business object might be capable of logging in to an application, entering a customer name into a particular screen, retrieving a result, then logging off. A developer or business analyst uses a Blue Prism development tool called Object Studio to create these objects graphically—writing code isn’t required. The creator of this robot also uses another Blue Prism development tool, Process Studio, to graphically define the steps in the robot’s process. Each step in a process invokes actions in business objects to interact with an application, and once again, writing code isn’t required. In a very real sense, a process acts like a human user accessing each application to carry out the business process. To store business objects, processes, and other information, the product provides the SQL Server-based Blue Prism database. IT and business people can use Blue Prism’s management tools to schedule when robots run, view information about running robots, and more. These tools also allow configuring users, viewing audit logs, and performing other management tasks. And to make life simpler for the people using the product, all of Blue Prism’s client tools are provided as tabs in a single application called the Interactive Client (IC).
Blue Prism’s cognitive strategy centers on partnering with cognitive technology specialists. The company has announced a partnership with IBM Watson, with the goal of integrating cognitive technologies into process flows.
Blue Prism offers a genuine 3rd sourcing option – a scalable Enterprise Robotic Process Automation (RPA) platform that works alongside humans, increasing productivity, improving experience and delivering true operational agility. With over 400 customers, leveraging best-of-breed technologies to provide a flexible, secure, digital workforce that is intelligent, connected and easy to control.
- Intelligent: Blue Prism’s Smarter Robots understand context, derive meaning and anticipate change to deliver better and faster business outcomes.
- Connected: Our Technology Alliance Program (TAP) spans across digital strategy to bring people, machines and processes together through a scalable fabric of “best of breed” technologies.
- Easy to Control: Our customers enjoy successful digital workforces with a flexible and dynamic 24/7 operational capability with full visibility and control, ensuring absolute compliance and security.