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Why are businesses so excited about robotic  process automation?

Hi, everyone. My name is Carolyn Rogers.

I'm a product manager for business automation at IBM.

Today, I want to give you four reasons why businesses find RPA so compelling.

But first, let's talk about what is it?

What is the problem that we're trying to solve?

And I want you to think about all the times that you spend

doing repetitive tasks on a computer,

whether that's copying and pasting information from Excel files into an application,

or filling out forms, or moving files between folders.

And now think about all of the departments full of smart people all around the world

doing those kinds of repetitive tasks.

That's time and energy that they could be spending on more business-critical work,

and it's also demotivating to have to do all  those repetitive tasks day in and day out.

So that's what we're trying to solve with RPA.

The first reason robotic process automation is really compelling

is because of the way that it works,

it works by emulating human clicks and keystrokes on an application user interface,

and that really makes it a bit of a copycat.

But because of that, the possibilities are  really endless. It can then interact with a user  

interface the same way that a human can, which  makes it really flexible. So that brings me to my  

second reason why RPA is so compelling is because  it's a flexible tool, it really has broad benefits  

across different departments and places in your  organization. So consider customer service.  

You might be updating account information  processing customer requests, consider financial  

departments that are dealing with receivables,  payables, calculations, generating reports.  

Think about HR. You're dealing with on-boarding,  off-boarding, payroll or supply chain.  

Monitoring your inventory, for example. Now,  what do all these processes have in common?  

Well, they're often routine, meaning they're  happening in the same way at the same time  

or on a predefined set of triggers with the  same applications, et cetera. They're are also  

rules based. So you have a predefined set of  inputs and outputs that gives a really clear  

set of instructions to the bot. And finally,  they're dealing really with structured data.  

So dates, names, dollar amounts, these are the  types of information that we're manipulating  

and working on across applications and in these  documents. So with RPA we can automate these  

really highly manual error prone processes broadly  across the business. But not only does have broad  

applicability, but it's also highly adaptable. So  with RPA, you can adapt and grow in complexity as  

your needs grow. So let's give an example,  let's say you're in a procurement department  

and you are processing invoices, they're coming  in several during the week and you've got a bot  

that is automatically taking these invoices and  uploading them to a central folder. That's great.  

Now you're able to also use a bot to monitor  that folder. And periodically you're extracting  

specific information, let's say dollar amounts or  names, dates. And you've got to input that into  

a management system that you're using, maybe it's  SAP, and the bot can extract specific information,  

interpret it the correct way, and put it in the  correct fields for you. And then finally, let's  

say that every so often, maybe for specific types  of invoices, you need to email a report, email  

the invoice to a department for further approval  and review. You can have a bot do that as well.   

Now, this looks like a fairly simple process, but  it actually adds up to a lot of manual labor over  

time, that can be done much more quickly and with  less error with RPA. And in fact, in a real life  

example, we had a client that was able to reduce  their invoice processing time from one week down  

to one day using RPA. And you can expand the  scope of this process and increase the complexity  

by adding more context. And what I mean by that  is adding capabilities like optical character  

recognition or intelligent document processing,  meaning it enables you to extract data from  

from paper documents, bring it in, classify  that information and use it in your process.  

You can also use business decision engines which  allow you to tell your RPA bot what to do and  

when to do it. So, for example, auto-approving  a loan or rejecting a loan or incorporating AI  

and natural language processing and being able  to, say, trigger a bot from a chat interface in  

your natural working environment. So all of these  capabilities together, the combination of things,  

puts you on the path to intelligent business  automation, sometimes called hyper automation.   

So this brings me to the final and maybe most  compelling reason for RPA, which is the fast ROI.  

So RPA is fairly simple and low cost to implement,  and the results are apparent so quickly. So we've  

had clients implement thousands of tasks per day,  reduce processing times by 60 percent or more,  

and generate millions of dollars in business  value every year. But not only that, but you  

end up with employees who are happier and more  satisfied because they're able to do higher value  

tasks like talk to customers. And that means you  have customers who are happier. Because they're  

being served more quickly and efficiently and you  also can gain an edge against your competition.  

Because you're operating with more speed,  efficiency and less error and reduced costs.   

So, to summarize the reasons why RPA is so compelling,  it starts with the way that it works

because it's a copycat of human clicks and keystrokes. It's a  very powerful and generalized tool that provides  

broad benefit across various areas of the  business. It also means it's highly adaptable  

and you can also grow it in scope and complexity  with added capabilities as you need. And finally,  

you can implement it fairly quickly and at  low cost, which means you have a fast ROI.   

So, thank you so much for watching and I hope you  continue your learning journey with RPA.