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.

Why is RDA relevant now?

RDA facilitates human/bot collaboration. Sadly or luckily (based on how you view AI), cognitive capabilities of bots are quite limited when compared to humans. Therefore most of the time it’s not possible to completely automate a process, there are parts of a process that need to be evaluated by humans. With RDA, bots perform their tasks and then allow the human to make the necessary judgement calls/communication after which the simple parts of the tasks can be handed over to the bot.

What are the benefits of RDA?

Benefits of RDA are not much different from benefits of RPA which we explained in detail. RDA’s primary benefit is that it helps knowledge workers become more efficient, allowing them to outsource simple tasks to bots.

Who uses RDA?

RDA is suitable for any knowledge worker. Most common area of application is call centres because call centers have highly consistent processes to ensure that customer experience is consistent. Consistency is automation’s best friend.

As reps work on sales or customer service, they need to access various systems like CRM and need to undertake actions that would take them multiple clicks and switching between screens. With RDA, they can complete these actions with a single click.

How does it work?

Once the steps to be automated is decided, RDA program is prepared (possibly without coding, only using a user interface).

Launcher for RPA can be setup in 3 main ways to facilitate employee’s access to the tool. Launcher can be

  • on an RPA client tool where the customer service rep select the bot to be launched
  • embedded on the personnel screen when certain conditions are met (e.g. when the rep is talking to a customer)
  • auto-run when certain conditions are met. For example if some KYC check needs to be performed on newly acquired customer phone numbers, bot can be launched as soon as the phone number field is filled. In this manner, RPA bots can be launched automatically with no intervention from the employee.

What are the right tools for RDA?

While we already provided a comprehensive list of criteria for RPA tool selection, there are a few aspects which are especially important for attended automation solutions:

  • Ease of programming: Since these are simpler processes, no code solutions are advantageous against more complex solutions
  • System requirements: Since these bots get programmed/run on end user devices, system requirements are important

Ease of programming

No code RPA solutions that we explored previously make sense to use in RDA.

RDA tends to be simpler than unattended RPA because it is used in areas where there’s frequent handover between bot and human, leading a high number of simpler programs. No code solutions are ideal for preparing such automation solutions because:

  • they are easier to use and can enable the workforce to build the automations they need
  • faster to implement. As your workforce becomes familiar with the tools, they’ll take over some of the programming tasks and your company would not need to procure with implementation partners. Procurement process can be a major cause of delay for simple automation programs.
  • easier to maintain

System requirements

Slowing down workstations can be quite a drain on productivity and could reduce the benefits of bot/human cooperation through RDA. We compared various RPA tools in terms of system requirements with support from various RPA companies. Please feel free to contribute or leave a comment on this, the dramatic differences also surprised us.

RPA solution providerOSFree disk space (GB excluding free space used by OS)Memory (GB)CPU (GHz)Installed size (MB)
Automation AnywhereWindows
Windows Server
Argos LabsWindows
Windows Server
Mac OS
Blue PrismWindows Server1082.6Free version N/A
Nissho Electronics Bizrobo! BasicWindows
Windows Server
553.3Free version N/A
Windows Server
Windows Server
222.5Free version N/A
Windows Server

Now that you know about RDA, you may want to

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