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Dispelling the Top Myths Around Robotic Process Automation

Dispelling the Top Myths Around Robotic Process Automation

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Like all cutting-edge technologies, RPA is surrounded by myths and misconceptions. From early proponents who tout RPA as the ideal enterprise solution to the naysayers who fear the amount of increasing automation in the workforce. In this white paper we’ll dispel the confusion and get to the bottom of some of the most prominent myths surrounding RPA. RPA as an industry is projected to grow from a meager $250 million in 2016 to nearly $3 billion by 2021. A survey conducted by Global Market Insights Inc. further reveals the RPA market will likely exceed $5 billion by 2024. We’ll explore the benefits of RPA and how they justify such significant investment.


M Y T H 1 RPA Is the Ideal Solution for Every Business Although RPA supports many business cases, RPA is not a panacea to solve process automation issues. Before you leap into RPA with both feet, you should clearly understand that simple tasks are typically defined differently for humans and RPA. RPA neither involves reasoning nor contains any ability to make conscious decisions. RPA handles uniform, static, unchanging processes.

RPA struggles with handling changes in processes or tasks, no matter how minute, without reprogramming. Therefore RPA is the ideal solution where applications, processes and tasks do not change—even the data formats must remain constant. If the process can deviate from established rules and requires any human discretion, RPA could cost more than any automation would save. When the costs of RPA are equated to the human labor hours it is supposed to replace, a detailed analysis must consider all the real costs of RPA.

In fact, it’s best to consider RPA a tool to augment humans, rather than a self-contained solution. RPA needs human programming to succeed as a worthwhile tool for humans. Workers must grasp the programming mindset that will provide them with tools that free them to accomplish their goals.

Workers must grasp the programming mindset that will provide them with tools that free them to accomplish their goals.
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M Y T H 2 Robots Are Replacing Human Workers RPA is software that completes the menial tasks that workers perform nearly every day but it’s no replacement for a worker. Many workers already rely on “bots” that auto-fill forms or filter email based on rules established without interaction from them. RPA is a more advanced tool to enable workers to outsource their low-value tasks to software while they focus on higher-value tasks.

As machine learning and artificial intelligence continue developing rapidly, the need for more developers will emerge to support RPA. RPA is growing and will continue to grow as more people are needed to make real decisions. RPA frees up people to make the real decisions that RPA cannot make, even with extensive programming.

Typically, RPA will require a human to direct aspects necessary for maintaining them. Without any means of accountability, RPA must have a responsible agent to ensure that RPA stays on track and doesn’t derail. When RPA derails, breaks down or fails, only human interaction can restore the processes.

When RPA derails, breaks down or fails, only human interaction can restore the processes.
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RPA technology is changing the way people work, but if anything changes with the interface, the data, or any other aspect of the legacy app, RPA’s efficiency suffers. Because RPA usually interacts with user interfaces, even minor changes to those interfaces may lead to failure.

Even the most sophisticated robots cannot respond with human judgment or reasoning, or apply that “gut feeling.” Technology is shifting the types of skills that professionals have needed for decades. More freedom will give workers time and resources to manipulate data and transform data into business decisions.

RPA requires human involvement in order to program the robots, feeding them automation tasks and managing them. Multiple humans interacting together can complete tasks that cannot be factored into single RPA processes without extensive coordinated programming. RPA systems are extremely efficient and avoid defects beyond human capability. A digital workforce that augments your human workforce is much more advantageous and efficient.

M Y T H 3 Implementing RPA Is the Same as Any Other New System Although RPA is remarkably effective, its implementation requires investments in time for both implementation as well as learning curves. Small adjustments that are easily made and intuitive compensations from experience to accomplish a normal process could shut down a robot. The slightest deviation or unexpected glitch that drives the RPA out of bounds of the rules requires immediate attention.

RPA needs to be integrated with other related technologies to create an automation solution. Many believe there is no requirement to change back-end legacy systems. Changing back-end legacy systems may significantly speed up your deployment and training process. However, legacy applications could require workarounds that will ultimately delay development.

Another important consideration when implementing RPA is developing an exceptionhandling process. While RPA can process high-quality data very efficiently, it struggles with suboptimal data as we saw in Myth #1. Since RPA implementations can often be implemented as a black box process, it’s important to set up exception handling processes and train a human team to operate them. When your RPA implementation struggles with inaccurate data you need to have simple, accessible processes for identifying the erroneous data and fixing it without interrupting your RPA.

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Vidado: Combine AI with RPA for Optimal Efficiency

How do you expand the effectiveness of RPA while still maintaining the cost efficiencies it brings? Many enterprises are choosing AI to get the best of both worlds. Adding an AI component like Vidado to the front of your Automation Tech Stack enables you to greatly reduce the amount of effort put into preparing your data for RPA and improves efficiencies throughout the process, meaning greater straight-through processing and less time spent handling exceptions.

Vidado Vision

The Vidado process begins with Vision. Vidado builds templates from your commonly used forms. Each time you submit a new form to Vidado, the system automatically sorts and categorizes it. Then Vidado locates the correct data fields and also rotates, de-skews and repairs any missing field data. Once the Vision step is completed, your data is sorted and prepared for optimal data extraction.

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Your documents become digital in the Read step. Vidado uses the largest proprietary data set in its industry to process text more accurately than any competitor—from machine print to handwriting to low-resolution scans and faxes. This means you can feed Vidado your real world data and get RPA-ready data back. When more of your data is digitized the first time around, you will reduce turnaround times, increase straightthrough processing and achieve significant cost reductions in accessing data.

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Review turns your data entry staff into data validators. You can set individual confidence thresholds to flag fields for human review. Information of higher importance, such as claim amounts, can have higher thresholds, ensuring they are flagged for review more frequently; while lower value fields can have lower thresholds so that they are more cost-effective to process. Establishing the proper thresholds will allow your information processing to balance the levels of speed and accuracy that are right for your business.

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Finally, your data becomes automation-ready in Transform. The Vidado extensible plugin architecture connects first and third-party sources to validate and enrich your data. This ensures that you have valid, actionable data, not just what’s printed on the page. Transform can automatically normalize dates, telephone numbers and other data so that your RPA implementation can process them most effectively.

Extensible Plug-in Architecture

Digitized Data



Automation Ready Data

Data Validation and Enrichment with 3rd-party providers

1st-party app and database Validation and Data Transformation with support for real-time Integration.

The Vidado Platform

Taken as a whole, Vidado’s 4-part AI platform bridges the gap from the real-world data you receive: scans, faxes, and handwritten forms, and the automation-ready data that RPA requires.

Paper Mailroom Manual Inputs Digital

VISION Automated Document Identification

READ Intelligent Data Extraction

REVIEW Customized Exception Handling

TRANSFORM Data Validation and Enrichment

Downstream Systems ECM BPM RPA CRM

Adding Vidado to any RPA implementation results in greater-straight through processing, more accurate automation, and the automation of additional workflows—without significant hardware or IT costs. Reach out for a demo to see how Vidado can help optimize your business.

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