Here are three specific ways that an automation approach that combines BPM and RPA can streamline and improve business processes
Robotic process automation (RPA) and Business Process Management (BPM) are designed to automate repetitive human tasks and end-to-end business processes respectively. However, businesses pouring all of their automation efforts into a single automation strategy will eventually realize that there are limitations with that approach.
Truly visionary organizations are turning to a combination of RPA and BPM to create a well-rounded digital strategy that inevitably results in an effective, streamlined process and, ultimately, increased revenues. Even software vendors are recognizing the value of these complimentary tools, as leading RPA and BPM vendors are forming partnerships to tackle the end goal of end-to-end automation and thus providing a more comprehensive solution for clients.
Here are three specific ways that an automation approach that combines BPM and RPA can streamline and improve business processes:
- BPM handles exceptions- When it comes to managing data, exceptions are inevitable. And when exceptions do come along (and they always do), they typically require case management or an exception path in the process that can seamlessly hand off to a human for review and resolution – capabilities that are better handled by BPM. Net net, you end up with a flexible solution that not only processes the happy path, but accounts for how exceptions will be dealt with, so that the overall process moves forward regardless of data quality.
- BPM is better designed for approvals- There are certain aspects of a business that will always require a human eye and human decision-making capabilities. Approvals is one such area and without automation, the approval process is often riddled with inconsistencies, obstructions, and the inevitable human error and oversight. With BPM, the overall approval process along with some of its decisions can be automated and logged for compliance requirements.
- RPA can act as an API for legacy applications- In cases where there is no easy way to integrate with an application, either because an API doesn’t exist or the application doesn’t support webservices (often because it’s an old application or built in-house), BPM can leverage RPA to have a bot perform that task in the same manner that a human would. Sometimes, the cost of building an integration is prohibitive and in other cases, an application maybe sunset in the next 1-2 years and it’s not worth investing in building a more robust integration with that application. An RPA based integration can be built and tested in a matter of days/weeks.
The truth is that both BPM and RPA tackle automation from different perspectives and neither automation solution alone can maximize business process automation. But the combined promise of RPA and BPM can deliver a more end-to-end automated solution than either one alone.