Case studies are one of the most effective methods to learn about a new technology. RPA is no different. Therefore, we decided to aggregate case studies about RPA from numerous sources so you can filter them by industry (e.g. telecom, financial services) or business function (e.g. marketing) to identify how your company can implement RPA, the reported benefits and the partners those companies worked with.
As with any software, there are efforts to create open source RPA (in case you have open questions about RPA, check out the most comprehensive article on the topic). Though there’s already some open source RPA providers, open source RPA ecosystem is currently quite immature. We do not expect this to change in the near future because we do not see major for-profit entities supporting no-code RPA yet. In all cases of strong open source adoption, for-profit companies heavily supported open source code development. For example, you can see share of contributions to Linux Kernel by for-profit companies in the featured image above.
RDA, also called attended RPA, is Robotic Process Automation (RPA) for the masses. RPA includes:
- Attended RPA which enables most knowledge workers to automate their work
- Unattended RPA which runs in the background, completing tasks in batches
- Hybrid: A combination of attended and unattended RPA tasks.
Read our RPA article’s types of RPA section for more on definition of different types RPA.
Just for clarity, we have seen the terms “RDA”, “attended RPA”, “personal bots” or “software assistants” used to mean the same type of program. We’ll refer to this type of program as “RDA” in this article but we also refer to it as “attended RPA” in other articles.
RPA, as we explain in detail, is possibly the most flexible automation platform and as a result, rolling out RPA solutions require significant programming and customizations. Since RPA companies can not possibly build a custom solution for every process or task that will be automated, they rely on vendors to provide customized reusable solutions. Benefits of reusability include:
- Reduction in implementation time
- Reduction in RPA programming effort
- Process improvement: These plugins/bots are built for common, well optimized processes. Modifying your process to match these templates can simplify and increase the efficiency of your processes.
- Reduced maintenance cost: Though most bots do not offer this option, the future of bot stores will likely include maintained bots. Regulatory changes like GDPR impact all companies in similar ways and necessary changes could be rolled out to many companies automatically via bot updates. This would reduce maintenance costs and process disruptions. A single bot codebase would be prepared by an RPA implementation company in case of a regulatory change. This code base would be used by numerous other companies which report bugs, reducing programming errors for all.
These reusable solutions are provided in marketplaces built by leading RPA companies:
Short history of RPA marketplaces
Automation Anywhere rolled out the first bot store which included ~200 bots as of July/2018 covering business processes in major business functions such as finance & accounting, HR, IT, inventory management, manufacturing, sales, distribution, supply chain management, support, business applications by major tech vendors such as Adobe, Atlasssian, CyberArk, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, SAP, ServiceNow, Twitter, Zendesk, Zoho, categories such as artificial intelligence, collaboration, insights, productivity, security and utility.
RPA development in most cases still takes months and requires costly maintenance. To improve this situation, RPA tech providers are building an RPA ecosystem:
- RPA companies develop the RPA software and build RPA marketplaces to attract developers who extend capabilities of RPA
- Software developer publish reusable plugins on RPA marketplaces to monetize their software
- Consultants and system integrators implement RPA solutions using RPA software and RPA marketplaces
This guide aims to explain each part of the ecosystem so you know the full range of tools at your disposal as your company implements RPA solutions.
Why is an RPA ecosystem required?
It’s no surprise that RPA tech providers are building an RPA ecosystem. As in any successful technology such as automative, operating systems, smart phones or cloud computing, RPA also requires an ecosystem to gain mainstream acceptance.