What SAP Offers for Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) sounds futuristic, but it is the same sort of business process automation functionality that has been around since the 1990s. Back then, RPA was known as “screen scraping” and “macro” technology. In simple terms, RPA allows you to automate laborious tasks and is especially good in scenarios where you copy and paste information between different business systems.
SAP has offered RPA since late 2018 when it acquired Contextor, a pioneer in the field of RPA. To distinguish its offering, SAP coined the term Intelligent RPA (IRPA) as it combines RPA with machine learning functionality that can recognize document content (invoice number, etc.) based on scanned images and offers out of the box content for SAP’s Intelligent Enterprise suite.
What Can SAP Intelligent RPA Do?
To evaluate the capabilities of SAP IRPA, Rizing’s Innovation team solicited input from our HCM Line of Business. Rizing HCM previously assembled a requirements document for the automation of SuccessFactors tasks that ended up being the scope of implementation. The implementation itself was performed by our digital development team, which did not have any prior knowledge of the SAP IRPA technology. Even without prior knowledge, the team learned and successfully implemented the scope within four weeks. The implementation provided valuable intelligence in the SAP IRPA tool and the required implementation patterns that are outlined below:
- Compared to other RPA tools, SAP’s IRPA requires a little more technical knowledge, but at the same time seems to be more functional than its competitors. Our recommendation therefore would be to form joint functional, technical teams for an IRPA implementation.
- At present we believe IRPA should be considered if other proven integration/automation methods (such as Cloud Integration or integration applications using API’s) are not feasible.
- RPA can simplify end-user processes. The business scenarios that are immediately ripe for IRPA applications are:
Getting Started with SAP IRPA
If you are considering using SAP IRPA, you’ll need to build a business case by identifying processes within your organization that could benefit from intelligent automation. That’s the first step, after that there will be designing of your new automated processes, implementing the SAP IRPA technology, and integrating it with the rest of your systems and processes. SAP IRPA doesn’t have to be limited to SAP SuccessFactors, it can be utilized across the SAP suite.
For help with SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation, reach out to Rizing to get started.