Nobody can deny, that when used correctly, RPA has the potential of providing a great ROI. Specially in situations where we are trying to automate manual no value added tasks as well as used as a mechanism to integrate with systems of information that do not have headless way (for example no APIs or Adapters if you are using an integration broker tool) to interact with them.
I would like to start this article with a simple example. Imagine for a second, an approval business process where a Statement of Work (SOW) needs to be approved by several individuals within an organization (consulting manager to properly staff project, finance manager to make sure project is viable). Once the approvals are done, the SOW should be uploaded and associated to an opportunity in this company's CRM application (where all customer information is centrally located). At the core of this business process, there is orchestration that coordinates people approvals and should also integrate with the CRM application to upload the SOW to the customer opportunity. The diagram below illustrates the happy path of this orchestration using BPMN as the modeling notation to map this business process (screenshot from Oracle Integration Cloud - Process).
Process Automation tools can easily manage the human factor of these orchestrations. Different tools manage integration to applications differently. Depending on the integrated system, the task of transacting against this system may be simple, complex and at times not possible at all. If we take a closer look at the step in which we need to upload the SOW document to the opportunity, then we have the following options:
Option a) If the CRM application has an API that allows uploading documents and link it directly to an opportunity, then this transaction can be invoked from the orchestrating business process and automated in a headless manner. When available, this is the preferred way as it is more scalable and it does not come with the overhead of transacting via the application User Interface. Read the complete article here.
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