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Analysis of the possibilities of using RPA to automate routine operations related to corporate functions

May 2020

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Analytical Report (full version)

Analysis of the possibilities of using RPA to automate routine operations related to corporate functions
Analysis of the possibilities of using RPA to automate routine operations related to corporate functions
May 2020

Analysis of the possibilities of using RPA to automate routine operations related to corporate functions

May 2020

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The aim of the new study by J’son & Partners Consulting was to analyze the possibilities of using robotic process automation (RPA) to automate routine corporate functions in various vertical markets. The study analyses the existing RPA technologies on the Russian and international markets, RPA platforms and platforms based on open-source software. The analysis results were systematized. The report examined 24 RPA platforms offered by key international and Russian vendors.

 

Definitions, research objectives, RPA classification, capabilities

 

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is software that can perform standard and repetitive operations in IT systems and applications instead of the user-based ones on predefined rules. RPA uses standard data input and output via user interfaces like keyboards, mice, touchpads, scanners, monitors, etc. or via API/CLI.

 

At the same time, there is Intelligent Process Automation (IPA). These are RPA systems using:

 

- Cognitive technologies (OCR, machine vision, analysis of unstructured data and texts, search/discovery/automatic design of processes),

 

- Machine learning, chats, virtual assistants, business rule management systems

 

-  As well as other digital tools for automatic decision-making in robotic processes when detecting exceptions to the rules, which allows to increase their autonomy, reduce downtime and human involvement and increase the value of robots.

 

Robotic Service Orchestration (RSO) is an automation area for orchestrating end-to-end business processes involving people and/or RPA robots to increase organizational productivity and efficiency. Unlike RPA orchestration, RSO manages not only robots, but also the collaboration of people and robots and focuses on end-to-end processes to serve internal or external clients. By now, we can already see a large number of examples of cooperation between manufacturers and integrators of BPM, RPA and RSO on the world market.

 

RPA classification:

 

1) By programming methods

 

- Low-level programming required

 

- Coding (using elements of visual development and drag & drop, low code)

 

- Recording user actions (recorder)

 

- Visual development (no code)

 

- Self-learning robots

 

2) By use cases

 

- Controlled robots (unattended)

 

- Autonomous robots (attended)

 

- Hybrid model (combination)

 

3) By cognitive abilities

 

- Not supported

 

- Basic (OCR)

 

- Advanced (text comprehension, computer vision, machine learning, decision making)

 

What RPA is and is not

Basic RPA features:

 

- Opening emails and attachments

 

- Logging in to the application under a user account

 

- Reading/writing databases and Excel files

 

- Transferring files and folders

 

- Copying and pasting

 

- Filling in form fields according to the rules

 

- Making calculations

 

- Making calls through the API

 

- Collecting social media statistics

 

- Executing “if/then” commands/rules

 

- Extracting structured data from documents

 

- Receiving data from the Internet

 

Classic RPA uses structured data, static rules and robotic repetitive tasks. In order to work with unstructured data and dynamic changes in rules and applications, the RPA technology is developing towards the addition of cognitive functions based on machine learning.

 

Characteristics of processes that are optimally suited for RPA, examples

 

In order to successfully implement RPA, the right choice of robotic processes is crucial. Key prerequisites for implementing RPA are:

 

- the presence of a large number of long repetitive routine operations performed by users in one or more applications according to a standard set of rules and not allowing the performer to make “intuitive” non-standard decisions;

 

- the need to automate the transfer of data from one IT system to another in the absence of the possibility or high cost of integration using traditional means. It is typical for legacy systems in which there are no APIs or connectors and the only way to exchange data is through the user interface;

 

- the need for regular processing of a large array of structured and (using AI technologies) unstructured data in a short time and routine mass customer service.

 

Good candidates for robotization among business processes are most often found in the following divisions of medium and large organizations, regardless of industry sector:

 

1) Supporting units (back office):

 

- HR management

 

- Security and audit

 

- Accounting and finance

 

- Supply chains and logistics

 

- Administration and project management

 

2) Units are responsible for marketing and sales, including connecting and customer support.

 

Corporate functions that can be automated by RPA

 

Supporting operations can be found in most existing industries. Client operations are typical for organizations of mass-market (retail, financial services, telecom, etc.). Thus, RPA technologies and platforms provide cross-industry solutions and find application in almost all existing industries.

 

Robotization business effect, implementation recommendations

 

Achievable effects:

 

- Reducing payroll costs in robotic processes, speeding up work and increasing productivity by shifting the routine load on robots that work 24/7, withal faster and better than people do.

 

- Reducing the number of errors caused by the human factor (fatigue, emotions, malicious actions).

 

- Improving employee satisfaction and customer service

 

The leading RPA products are mainly represented by foreign suppliers, but there are also some Russian solutions on the market, as well as several solutions based on open-source software.

 

RPA implementation recommendations

 

- Successful implementation of RPA projects is determined by a set of business and technological factors that must be taken into account even at the stage of choosing an RPA platform

 

- RPA platforms allow implementing an orchestration system for robots that perform only some of the needed operations and carry out end-to-end business processe

 

- In order to orchestrate end-to-end business processes, including collaboration between robots and humans, it is necessary to use a combination of business process management systems (BPM), RPA and orchestration process solutions (so-called Service Robotic Orchestration or SRO)

 

- It is desirable to formulate the requirements for orchestration of end-to-end processes before the start of a robotization project and select an RPA platform basing on them

 

The experience of numerous successful implementations in large organizations representing various industries around the world and in Russia shows the possibility of obtaining an initial effect within 4-8 months after the start of RPA implementation and a return on investment of up to 300%, but only if the selected processes for robotization are appropriate.

 

___________________________

This information note was prepared by the J'son & Partners Consulting. We work hard to provide factual and prognostic data that fully reflect the situation and available at the time of release. J'son & Partners Consulting reserves the right to revise the data after publication of new official information by individual players. 

 

Copyright © 2020, J'son & Partners Consulting. The media can use the text, graphics, and data contained in this market review only using a link to the source of information - J'son & Partners Consulting or with an active link to the JSON.TV portal

 

™ J'son & Partners [registered trademark] 

 

 

Detailed research results presented in the full version of the report:

 

“Analysis of the possibilities of using RPA to automate routine operations related to corporate functions”

 

Contents

Abbreviations

Key terms and definitions

History of changes

1. Introduction

1.1 Goals and objectives of the project

1.1.1 Current situation

1.1.2 Project goal

1.1.3 Project objectives

1.1.4 Summary of key findings, conclusions and recommendations

1.1.4.1 Definition of RPA

1.1.4.2 RPA classification

1.1.4.3 RPA platform market

1.1.4.4 Key features and components of RPA platform architecture

1.1.4.5 External integration capabilities, partner ecosystems and the estimated cost of leading RPA platforms

1.1.4.6 Background and objectives of the introduction of RPA in business processes 

1.1.4.7 Main application cases of RPA

1.1.4.8 Generalized RPA implementation results

1.1.4.9 Analysis of key problems and obstacles to RPA implementation

1.1.4.10 World and Russian practice of RPA implementation

1.1.4.11 Summary of conclusions and recommendations

2 RPA Technologies

2.1 Definition of RPA technologies

2.2 Classification of RPA technologies

2.3 Robot programming methods 

2.3.1 Robotics use cases

2.3.2 Cognitive RPA (Intelligent Process Automation)

2.4 Background and objectives of the introduction of RPA in business processes 

2.5 Key differences between RPA and more traditional technologies (web services, data bus, macros, etc.)

2.5.1 Definition of Application Programming Interface (API)

2.5.2 Definition of web services

2.5.3 Definition of data bus (Enterprise Service Bus, ESB)

2.5.4 Definition of macros

2.5.5 Definition of microservices

2.5.6 Definition of RPA

2.5.7 Features of RPA

2.6 Generalized RPA implementation results and key benefits of RPA basing on global experience

2.7 Analysis of RPA effectiveness compared to traditional tools

2.8 Analysis of key challenges and obstacles to implementing RPA

2.8.1 Robotization limits

2.8.2 Information security

2.8.2.1 Security threats to personal data relevant to RPA

2.8.2.2 General approaches to ensure information security in RPA systems

2.8.2.3 Responsibility of robots

2.8.3 Fault tolerance

2.8.4 Service and maintenance

2.8.5 Availability of specialized resources and requirements to the competencies of staff to provide support and adjustment.

2.9 Defining a place for RPA in the general IT landscape of companies

2.10 Basic RPA application areas regarding types of business processes, industries and users

2.11 Basic functionality of robotized business processes

2.12 Analysis of related technologies used while implementing RPA solutions

2.12.1 Documentary support of management and business process management (BPM)

2.12.2 Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

2.12.2.1 Solution 1

2.12.2.2 Solution 2

2.12.2.3 Solution 3

2.12.2.4 Solution 4 (Open source project)

2.12.2.5 Solution 5

2.12.3 Cognitive platforms

2.12.3.1 Cognitive platform market

2.12.3.2 Solution 1

2.12.3.3 Solution 2

2.12.3.4 Solution 3

2.12.3.5 Solution 4

2.12.3.6 Solution 5

2.12.3.7 Solution 6

2.12.4 Virtual Digital Assistants (VDA)

2.12.4.1 Virtual assistants’ market

2.12.4.2 An example of a high-level VDA architecture implementation

2.12.4.3 Solution 1

2.12.4.4 Solution 2

2.12.4.5 Solution 3

2.12.4.6 Solution 4

2.12.4.7 Solution 5

2.12.4.8 Solution 6

2.12.4.9 Solution 7 - Personal virtual assistant for managers and meetings

2.12.4.10 Solution 8 - The world's first Meeting Optimization Platform (MOP)

2.13 Key Programming Languages Used in RPA

2.14 RPA technical architecture (schematic)

2.15 The process of developing a prototype robot and its implementation (schematic)

2.15.1 Automation Anywhere

2.15.2 Robin

2.15.3 SAP

3 RPA Platforms

3.1 Global market for RPA platforms

3.2 Leading global RPA implementation service providers

3.3 General comparison of key RPA platforms for the Russian market by key parameters

3.4 Additional parameters of key RPA platforms for the Russian market 

3.5 Cost of components of key RPA platforms for the Russian market

3.6 Leading international and Russian RPA vendors

3.6.1 International suppliers of proprietary RPA systems

3.6.1.1 Company 1

3.6.1.2 Company 2

3.6.1.3 Company 3

3.6.1.4 Company 4

3.6.1.5 Company 5

3.6.1.6 Company 6

3.6.1.7 Company 7

3.6.1.8 Company 8

3.6.1.9 Company 9

3.6.1.10 Company 10

3.6.1.11 Company 11

3.6.1.12 Company 12

3.6.1.13 Company 13

3.6.1.14 Company 14

3.6.1.15 Company 15

3.6.2 Russian suppliers of proprietary RPA systems

3.6.2.1 Company 1

3.6.2.2 Company 2

3.6.2.3 Company 3

3.6.2.4 Company 4

3.6.3 International suppliers of Open Source RPA systems

3.6.3.1 Company 1

3.6.3.2 Company 2

3.6.3.3 Company 3

3.6.3.4 Company 4

3.6.3.5 Company 5

3.6.3.6 Other examples of Open Source RPA systems

4 World practice of implementing RPA, effects and results achieved

4.1 Examples of implementing RPA in business processes of vertically integrated oil companies

4.1.1 Company 1

4.1.2 Company 2

4.1.3 Conducting a property inventory in an oil company

4.1.4 Company 4

4.1.5 Company 5

4.2 Examples of implementing RPA in business processes of large manufacturing companies

4.2.1 Company 1

4.2.2 Company 2

4.2.3 Company 3

4.2.4 Company 4

4.3 Examples of implementing RPA in business processes of leading companies in other sectors of the economy

4.3.1 Company 1 (bank)

4.3.2 Company 2 (telecom operator)

4.3.3 Company 3 (telecom operator)

4.3.4 Company 4 (retail)

4.3.5 Company 5 (telecom operator)

4.3.6 Company 6 (logistics operator)

4.3.7 Company 7 (commodity broker)

4.3.8 Company 8 (state-owned company)

4.3.9 Company 9

4.3.10 Company 10 (bank)

4.3.11 Company 11 (bank)

4.4 Typical scenarios, best practices, effects and results obtained while using RPA

4.4.1 Typical scenarios of business process robotization by business functions

4.4.1.1 Robotization of personnel operations

4.4.1.2 Employee recruitment

4.4.1.3 Dismissal of an employee

4.4.1.4 Recruitment

4.4.1.5 Checking counterparties

4.4.1.6 Payroll processing

4.4.1.7 Robotization of accounting and financial processes

4.4.1.8 Parsing primary documents

4.4.1.9 Acts of reconciliation with counterparties

4.4.1.10 Customer debt control

4.4.1.11 Purchasing, supply, logistics

4.4.1.12 Registration and customer service

4.4.1.13 Sales and marketing robot

4.4.1.14 Secretary robot, workflow robot

4.4.1.15 Robotic assistant for a project manager

4.4.1.16 Creating standard documents

4.4.1.17 Reference information management

4.4.1.18 Internal control, audit and reporting

4.4.1.19 Robotization of IT processes

5 Conclusions and recommendations

6 Applications

6.1. Analysis of data from the Russian government procurement website regarding projects for implementing solutions based on RPA technologies, chatbots, virtual assistants

6.2 Access system to corporate services (chatbot) in one of the state corporations

 

List of pictures

Pic. 1. Classification of RPA technologies

Pic. 2. Process characteristics of good candidates for robotization

Pic. 3. Key RPA implementation results, Accenture

Pic. 4. Eight factors for successful RPA implementation

Pic. 5. Key tasks while implementing and operating RPA

Pic. 6. Classification of RPA technologies

Pic. 7. Current and future RPA capabilities

Pic. 8. Current and future RPA capabilities

Pic. 9. Benefits of RPA technology, PwC

Pic. 10. Everest Group: rapid implementation and ROI (Return On Investment) for RPA

Pic. 11. Sensitivity of the IRR in an RPA project from the initial number of employees in the automated process and the Competency Center

Pic. 12. Separation of duties and security role model in Automation Anywhere RPA

Pic. 13. Secure sessions in Servicetrace RPA

Pic. 14. Key automatic features of RPA systems

Pic. 15. Terms “Documentary support of management” and “Business process management”

Pic. 16. Corporate search capabilities for all data sources in solutions by Company 1

Pic. 17. Stages of work of Solution 1

Pic. 18. The Forrester New Wave: Conversational Computing Platforms, Q2 2018

Pic. 19. Solution 2

Pic. 20. The Forrester New Wave: Conversational Computing Platforms, Q2 2018 - Conversational Computing Platform Market, Q2 2018

Pic. 21. Results of Solution 3. Analysis of Oprah Winfrey’s Twitter profile (@Oprah)

Pic. 22. Results of Solution 4

Pic. 23. Results of Solution 5 after training by the user

Pic. 24. Results of the computer vision by Company 2

Pic. 25. Life cycle of bots in Solution 6

Pic. 26. Volume of the market of corporate virtual digital assistants (VDA) in the world from 2016 to 2025 by segments (mln dollars)

Pic. 27. Volume of the market of software for creating corporate virtual digital assistants (VDA) in the world from 2016 to 2025 by segments (mln dollars)

Pic. 28. Key participants of the market of interactive platforms (Conversational AI), according to Just AI

Pic. 29. Logical architecture of a virtual voice assistant

Pic. 30. Identification of intersections and contradictions with other documents (Solution 7)

Pic. 31. Search and analysis of scientific and technical information (Solution 7)

Pic. 32. Comparison of document versions (Solution 7)

Pic. 33. Application areas of intelligent text processing systems (Solution 8, 2019)

Pic. 34. An example of a dialogue in Solution 9

Pic. 35. Operation schematics for Solution 10

Pic. 36. Operation schematics and capabilities of a virtual voice assistant by Company 3

Pic. 37. Some customers of Solution by Company 3

Pic. 38. Forming a summary of a meeting in a virtual assistant by Company 4

Pic. 39. Platform architecture. Solution 11

Pic. 40. Architecture of platforms by Company 5

Pic. 41. Architecture of Solution 12

Pic. 42. Typical RPA architecture

Pic. 43. World RPA market leaders, according to Forrester, K4 2019

Pic. 44. World RPA market leaders, according to Gartner, May 2019

Pic. 45. Comparison of three solutions according to the user rating

Pic. 46. Dynamics of changes among participants in the global RPA market 2018-2019

Pic. 47. World leaders in RPA implementation services, according to HFS

Pic. 48. Staff motivation to work by day of the week

Pic. 49. Components of Platform 1

Pic. 50. Architecture of Platform 2

Pic. 51. Architecture of Platform 3 

Pic. 52. POT SDK of Platform 3

Pic. 53. Example of interface of Platform 3

Pic. 54. Architecture of Platform 4

Pic. 55. Processing unstructured data in Platform 4

Pic. 56. Architecture of Platform 5

Pic. 57. Interface of Solution 13

Pic. 58. RPA architecture of Platform 13

Pic. 59. Shop for robots, plugins and additional applications of Solution 13

Pic. 60. Solution 13

Pic. 61. Architecture of Platform 6

Pic. 62. Architecture of Platform 7

Pic. 63. Architecture of Platform 8

Pic. 64. Architecture of Platform 9

Pic. 65. Solution 14

Pic. 66. An example of interface of Solution 14

Pic. 67. Solution 14

Pic. 68. RPA architecture of Platform 10

Pic. 69. Secure sessions in Solution 15

Pic. 70. An example of interface of Solution 16

Pic. 71. Platform architecture

Pic. 72. Life cycle of robotic corporate business processes and RPA products by Company 6

Pic. 73. Architecture of Solution 17

Pic. 74. User interface of Solution 17 2019.10

Pic. 75. Architecture of Platform 11

Pic. 76. RPA architecture of Platform 12

Pic. 77. Schematics of interaction between applications/modules of Platform 12

Pic. 78. Stages of a typical project on implementation of Platform 12

Pic. 79. Solution 15

Pic. 80. Schematics for data processing in Solution 16

Pic. 81. Components of the integration process in Solution 16

Pic. 82. Integration via UI + RPA with Solution 16

Pic. 83. Architecture of Platform 13

Pic. 84. Architecture of Platform

Pic. 85. An example of a scripting environment interface of Solution 17

Pic. 86. An example of a bot designer interface in Solution 18

Pic. 87. An example of a bot designer interface in Solution 18

Pic. 88. Use of RPA in Company 1

Pic. 89. Implementation results of Solution by Company 2

Pic. 90. Use of RPA by business functions

Pic. 91. Invoicing and certificates of work completed without the use of RPA technology

Pic. 92. Invoicing and certificates of work completed with the use of RPA technology

Pic. 93. Saving time when preparing collection reminders using RPA

Pic. 94. Key tasks in the implementation and operation of RPA

 

List of Tables

 

Tab. 1. Abbreviations Used

Tab. 2. Key terms and abbreviations used

Tab. 3. History of changes

Tab. 4. International and Russian RPA vendors considered in the report

Tab. 5. Key features and components of the architecture of RPA platforms

Tab. 6. Rough estimate of the cost of licensing RPA systems for 10 robots

Tab. 7. Opportunities for integration with external systems, partner ecosystems and approximate cost of leading RPA platforms

Tab. 8. Examples of collaboration between manufacturers and integrators of BPM, RPA and RSO in the field of orchestration of end-to-end business processes

Tab. 9. Examples of functional applications of RPA

Tab. 10. What is RPA?

Tab. 11. The difference between managed and autonomous robots according to Automation Anywhere

Tab. 12. Key features and capabilities of RPA tools and application testing automation according to Gartner

Tab. 13. Metrics to assess RPA effectiveness and development level (Company 1)

Tab. 14. Key indicators for calculating the economic effect of RPA introduction

Tab. 15. Labor costs before robotization

Tab. 16. Labor costs after robotization

Tab. 17. Costs for purchase/rental, implementation and operation of robots

Tab. 18. Operating costs for 1 robot per year

Tab. 19. Costs for the RPA Competency Center

Tab. 20. Budget of an RPA project

Tab. 21. Benefits from the implementation of an RPA project

Tab. 22. Investment indicators of an RPA project

Tab. 23. Sensitivity of the IRR in an RPA project from the initial number of employees in the automated process and the Competency Center

Tab. 24. Security threats to personal data in the Bank of Russia model.

Tab. 25. Examples of security provision for some RPA systems

Tab. 26. Information security resources of leading international and Russian RPA vendors

Tab. 27. Roles, functions, number and qualifications of an RPA system operational personnel

Tab. 28. Required limit of RPA system development services by Company 2

Tab. 29. Participation rates of specialists’ roles of the contractor in RPA system development services provided by Company 2

Tab. 30. Business processes and the number of permanent employees involved in the project by Company 2

Tab. 31. Examples of functional application of RPA

Tab. 32. Examples of industry application of RPA

Tab. 33. Examples of fully automatic RPA operations

Tab. 34. Vendor 1

Tab. 35. Vendor 2

Tab. 36. Solutions based on the technology by Vendor 2

Tab. 37. Vendor 3

Tab. 38. Versions of the system by Vendor 3

Tab. 39. Vendor 4

Tab. 40. Key international suppliers of the market of interactive systems according to Gartner

Tab. 41. Comparison of key capabilities of 5 key cognitive platforms

Tab. 42. Platform 1

Tab. 43. Platform 2

Tab. 44. Platform 3

Tab. 45. Platform 4

Tab. 46. Platform 5

Tab. 47. Platform 6

Tab. 48. The most famous international virtual assistants

Tab. 49. Solution 1

Tab. 50. Solution 2

Tab. 51. Solution 3

Tab. 52. Solution 4

Tab. 53. Solution 5

Tab. 54. Solution 6

Tab. 55. Key features of a virtual assistant (Solution 6)

Tab. 56. Solution 7

Tab. 57. Solution 8

Tab. 58. Main components of the architecture of leading RPA platforms

Tab. 59. RPA software market share of worldwide revenue according to Gartner (mln dollars)

Tab. 60. World RPA market leaders and their product portfolios

Tab. 61. RPA products with open source (free source), free trial versions and Freemium versions

Tab. 62. General parameters of key RPA platforms for the Russian market

Tab. 63. Additional parameters of key RPA platforms for the Russian market

Tab. 64. Cost of components of key RPA platforms for the Russian market

Tab. 65. Leading international and Russian RPA vendors

Tab. 66. Vendor 1

Tab. 67. Vendor 2

Tab. 68. Vendor 3

Tab. 69. Vendor 4

Tab. 70. Vendor 5

Tab. 71. Robotization priorities in Solution by Vendor 5

Tab. 72. Vendor 6

Tab. 73. Vendor 7

Tab. 74. Vendor 8

Tab. 75. Vendor 9

Tab. 76. Vendor 10

Tab. 77. Vendor 11

Tab. 78. Vendor 12

Tab. 79. Vendor 13

Tab. 80. Vendor 14

Tab. 81. Vendor 15

Tab. 82. RPA products by Vendor 15

Tab. 83. Solution by Vendor 15

Tab. 84. Robot management subsystem by Vendor 15

Tab. 85. Vendor 16

Tab. 86. Vendor 17

Tab. 87. Vendor 18

Tab. 88. Vendor 19

Tab. 89. Vendor 20

Tab. 90. Vendor 21

Tab. 91. Vendor 22

Tab. 92. Vendor 23

Tab. 93. Information regarding lots

Tab. 94. Analysis of data from the Russian government procurement website regarding projects for implementing solutions based on RPA technologies, chatbots, virtual assistants.

Tab. 95. Procurement announcements containing the keywords “RPA” and “Robotic Process Automation”.

Tab. 96. Procurement announcements containing the keyword “chatbot”.

Tab. 97. Procurement announcements containing the keyword “virtual consultant”.

Tab. 98. Procurement announcements containing the keyword “virtual assistant”.

Tab. 99. Procurement announcements containing the keyword “cognitive”.

Tab. 100. List of software licenses for the chatbot subsystem