VARs can help clients automate business processes and speed digital transformation with RPA technology.

August 8, 2019

5 Min Read
Artificial Intelligence

By Bill Galusha


Bill Galusha

By Bill Galusha, Director of Product Marketing, Abbyy

The trend toward digital is the main reason more than half of the companies on the Fortune 500 have disappeared since the year 2000, according to former Accenture CEO Pierre Nanterme. As more companies who still depend on legacy systems are now ready to embrace new digital technologies, value-added resellers (VARs) can tap into this market and enhance their competitive edge by embracing innovative and disruptive technologies that significantly enhance the way businesses operate.

Robotic process automation (RPA) is one key technology fueling digital transformation across enterprises of all sizes and industries. RPA is a powerful force in transforming business processes, maximizing internal resources and enhancing customer experiences. Interest in RPA has increased rapidly, growing more than 10 times in popularity in less than two years. Resellers seeking ways to remain ahead of the curve in a competitive market can benefit from integrating RPA into the solutions toolkits.

What is Robotic Process Automation?

RPA – also referred to as software robots and the new digital workforce – is a form of process automation software that automates repetitive tasks such as data capture and data entry.

From a functional standpoint, RPA has the ability to:

  • Connect legacy systems

  • Apply business logic

  • Eliminate repetitive work that humans often perform

  • Automate rule-based processes that were previously limited to manual intervention

  • Connect content from multiple sources such as a website or email

Resellers can incorporate other technologies that work in concert with RPA and apply to internal processes that involve documents, text, images and other content-centric systems. It also enables companies to significantly transform the customer experience by streamlining activities such as online applications, onboarding, purchasing and communications.

Over the past several years, companies of all sizes with legacy IT systems have successfully leveraged the power of RPA to fundamentally transform business processes and revolutionize customer experiences. According to the Gartner Market Guide for Robotic Process Automation Software (registration) from December 2017, “robotic process automation tools cut costs, eliminate keying errors, speed up process and link applications.” RPA has grown in importance and popularity as it has the potential to save substantial time, money and valuable personnel resources, especially when deployed at scale.

Because content is often central to what an enterprise wants to automate with RPA, such technology further enhances the value of RPA and makes the solutions more effective. Technology that can understand unstructured data is important to achieve new levels of efficiency and profit.

What’s the Role of Content in RPA?

As the complexity and quantity of content continues to grow, VARs have the opportunity to leverage the value of information from disparate content pieces for clients to remain competitive. Simply extracting relevant data isn’t enough — businesses need to understand and leverage meaning from that data.

To enhance the value of RPA for clients, software robots must become more intelligent to understand and interpret differing content pieces and translate this content into structured, actionable information. The process of extracting data from content employs problem-solving capabilities, intuition skills and learned judgment. Several technologies are used, including OCR, machine learning and cognitive understanding, to create meaningful, structured information from unstructured content and then apply this intelligence to …

… a variety of business processes.

As RPA by itself works specifically with structured data, such technology enables RPA to be applied to a greater quantity and variety of content, expanding the types of processes and systems these technologies can be utilized for within an organization.

For VARs, leveraging RPA and other content technologies provides new opportunities to deliver greater value while gaining a competitive edge.

To Partner or Not to Partner with RPA Service Providers?

When incorporating RPA into your solution toolbox, a VAR’s staff can become certified in RPA, or opt to partner with an RPA vendor for initial implementations. Choosing the right RPA service provider is critical to a successful project, as much as selecting the right tool, according to Wonderbotz, a global professional services firm. Determining what factors to evaluate can be challenging for companies not previously familiar with RPA technologies. Wonderbotz offers the following guidelines for steps partners should take as they ramp up their RPA practice:

  • Standardization: Solution providers that develop and maintain rigorous coding standards are able to maximize both time and money. These standards later enable streamlined testing, code reuse and make automation significantly easier to support.

  • Sophistication: One of the most difficult aspects of RPA is training the robots to navigate and use applications as a human would use them. A target application suitability assessment is one key tool sophisticated solution providers will use to effectively identify which mapping techniques to deploy.

  • Training: One key factor clients consider in evaluating a prospective solution provider is the quality of their training and mentorship opportunities. A provider who is serious about enabling its client’s team to become self-sufficient will offer robust training solutions, periodic audits of automated solutions and comprehensive support for its client’s team as members are learning. It will have the ability to train, teach and support and will help its client’s people become great.

The Value RPA Delivers for Channel Partners

According to McKinsey & Company, RPA offers a potential return on investment of between 30 and 200% — in the first year alone. Content intelligence and RPA have the power to transform businesses in a variety of ways.

When coupled with content intelligence, RPA digital workers can help companies:

  • Automate an array of clerical tasks

  • Eliminate the need for manual, mundane tasks

  • Activate customer experiences

  • Extract meaning from data that would otherwise be overwhelming to evaluate by hand

  • Increase efficiency and productivity

  • Develop new ways of implementing business processes

  • Substantially reduce operating costs

  • Optimize profit margins

Robotic process automation and intelligent content already have made a powerful impact on companies in sectors as diverse as banking, insurance, manufacturing, transportation, government, finance, accounting and other verticals. RPA and content technologies, when implemented together, can provide value to businesses of all sizes, structures and industries and help resellers transform clients’ businesses.

Bill Galusha is director of product marketing at Abbyy, a global leader in content technologies and solutions. Bill leads Abbyy product strategy, leveraging his years of experience in enterprise software and technology marketing. Follow him on LinkedIn or @bgalusha or @ABBYY_Software on Twitter.

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