September 10, 2019
A post by Bas van der Pol, CTO & Co-Founder
Although RPA (Robotic Process Automation) is the fastest-growing area of enterprise technology, many organizations remain hesitant to adopt it or to expand their existing RPA. The primary reason? A lack of exposure to how today’s automation technology really works. Talking to IT departments and other stakeholders, even at innovative, tech-savvy companies, you’ll hear many outdated or generalized impressions of RPA from “big deal, I heard about that ten years ago” to “this will solve everything.”
As long as this issue continues to block organizations and people from achieving greater success, our team at Ciphix will be committed to addressing it. We know from experience that practical, up-to-date knowledge about this technology helps companies unlock enormous value—and that with the right information and tools, this process can start right away.
This article will summarize three of the most important realities the business world needs to understand about the current state of RPA. I’ll then explain why, when it comes to translating the facts into action, UiPath keeps winning out as the industry’s most effective platform.
If you’re reading this, you’re already familiar with the meaning and value proposition of RPA (or else, see RPA). Robotic Process Automation is a technology that can mimic human action, and thus automate any application that a human can interact with—has been well known for about a decade. However, while RPA has changed dramatically in recent years, many perceptions about it have not.
Several important qualities distinguish 2019’s RPA from the one we met ten years ago, each presenting new opportunities for impact. Of all these factors, the following three are particularly essential in helping businesses understand and leverage what RPA really is.
Current RPA technology uses GUI scripting as just one of many options, creating boundless possibilities for automation.
There is a common misconception that RPA is simply over-hyped GUI automation—that it’s just ”old wine in new bottles.” However, RPA has evolved miles beyond this definition. It now gives us the flexibility to use the right technology at the right time, whether it’s GUI automation or a more robust protocol.
In addition to GUI scripting, RPA can use a range of advanced technologies such as SOAP, REST API’s, and BAPI (SAP). These or other technologies can be implemented into C# (the foundation language of UiPath) and loaded into bots, allowing for the automation of end-to-end processes.
Less time spent building components from scratch has made RPA exponentially more efficient.
Everything you do with RPA, you can do with .NET scripting. The greatest differentiator and value of today’s RPA is that processes can be built in an easily reusable manner. For example, the following are a few components the Ciphix team built for a client’s process using SAP:
Because we built these components only once, the next SAP project can start right away from the specific process transaction screen (as all the parts leading up to that screen have already been created). That means while the traditional IT manager is still coding a PDF extractor, we’ve already deployed the full project. Pretty amazing, right?
Leveraging RPA doesn’t complicate your existing technology—it fits and enhances it.
Although RPA is a non-intrusive technology that runs on top of your applications and systems, it has even fuller potential when deeply interwoven into your existing landscape. Webhooks & APIs are therefore central to a successful RPA platform, as they enable full integration with your robot farm.
With today’s extremely customizable RPA, your favorite service desk tool or BPM tool can seamlessly join forces with your virtual colleague. This translates to even shorter lead times, easier deployment, and ultimately more effective solutions.
We can now start putting these benefits to use for your organization, starting with the right set of tools. Ciphix is highly selective when it comes to our clients’ RPA platforms, examining all angles to see how well each product aligns with the realities we discussed in the previous section. There are a number of impressive RPA development platforms available, but one consistently out-delivers across all our team’s criteria: UiPath.
An important note: While Ciphix takes great pride in partnering with UiPath and other industry leaders, we maintain an open, unbiased approach to vendor selection in order to ensure the best possible results for our clients. Stay tuned for our end-of-the-year update, where we’ll report whether UiPath has sustained its spot as our preferred platform.
So far, we’ve kept coming back to UiPath project after project because it offers:
When comparing RPA vendors, we evaluate a number of aspects—including the Robot (or “Worker”) and Workforce management component (or “Orchestrator” / “Control Tower”)—that are relatively similar across most platforms. A major deciding factor, and one of the areas where UiPath excels, is the Studio (or “Workflow designer”).
UiPath’s Studio is notable for its easy, intuitive user experience. We especially like its flexible combination of Flowcharts and Sequences. Flowcharts, designed for incorporating complex business rules, and Sequences, designed for linear, straightforward automation tasks, can be nested and intertwined to best suit your needs.
UiPath doesn’t build every component of their platform on their own. Taking advantage of the element of reusability we discussed earlier, they also incorporate the best pre-built components available. Whether the answer is a UiPath-built part or another vendor’s, the result is the most fitting, easy-to-integrate tool for the job.
As an added benefit, you can use your existing logging platform. UiPath uses NLOG, allowing you to use any logging platform (such as Splunk, Elasticsearch, or others). Instead of building their own scheduler, they incorporate proven technology such as Quartz Scheduler.
UiPath functions as more than a tool itself; it’s a space to exchange ideas and build connections with RPA innovators around the world. Ciphix has already benefited from this community in a number of ways, from valuable components gained from UiPath Go to their best-in-class academy. We love hiring RPA developers who have experience with UiPath, which we find correlates to both a strong skill set and a sincere passion for the technology.
The bottom line? The more decision-makers understand how RPA has evolved, the faster they can improve both efficiency and employee experience. Though this technology is changing every day, one takeaway remains clear to our team: especially with platforms like UiPath supporting it, RPA is on track to empower more organizations and people than ever before.
Ready to take the next step in your RPA journey? An RPA X-Ray is a great place to start. Through a deep dive into your department’s or organization’s processes, our team will uncover prime opportunities for you to build value using RPA.
Get in touch to talk about getting an RPA X-Ray, and how Ciphix can help power your enterprise in the new age of RPA.