Robotic Process Automation

Pros and Cons from an Implementation Point of View

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) aims to automate business processes that are often repeated multiple times within daily tasks. With an abundance of use cases in well-known applications for industries such as healthcare, insurance, engineering, human resources, banking, logistics and general office functions, the technology has become an operational savior for many.

In this article, we will discuss our initial foray into RPA, test scenarios, as well as advantages and disadvantages that were encountered.

RPA Testing with Vee Technologies

While reviewing our own internal processes, we identified numerous tasks that could be automated to streamline performance. What better way to test out the impact that automation provides, than to upgrade our own systems and processes and then analyze the results in the end? Our goal was to utilize cutting-edge technology to automate routine, boring and repetitive tasks within our business processes to achieve increased accuracy and speed, with minimal costs.

From beginners to advanced users, our robotic process automation team was provided constant internal training mechanisms to streamline the design and testing process, so that deployment could be performed smoothly and efficiently. That training still holds true to this day and has been the core of our success.

Features Tested Within RPA

The bots we initially used for QA testing were in our healthcare and insurance departments, where numerous features like mouse and keyboard automation, scheduling, triggers, system monitoring, Excel automation, auto-login, desktop automation, SAP, web application and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) could all be tested in a secure environment. Throughout this process we could track all issues and identify the necessary steps to complete the task.

QA Test Plans Created for RPA

The QA process within RPA involves preparation that contains details about the bot configuration, monitor resolution, hardware and software configuration, licensed tools and unlicensed tools, features to be tested, resources involved, planned resource hours, test methodology as well as test & bug life cycle.

Test Scenarios Within RPA

Vee Technologies understood that data is critical to processes within just about every industry. Two of our client industries, i.e. healthcare & insurance, are among those. The test bot for them was analyzed for the following scenarios:

  • Database server up and down
  • Time zone verification for two different time formats in the Database server
  • Data validation
  • Date validation
  • Remote desktop connectivity
  • Citrix receiver connectivity
  • Various file formats
  • Monitor resolution
  • Amazon Web Services server (AWS)

Advantages of RPA

The advantages that RPA offered were vast. RPA requires little to no human intervention to process business activities, which increased the processing speed of multiple tasks within the operational lifecycle. Software bots execute tasks tirelessly in the background, they do not take breaks or have vacation time, increasing the scalability and productivity of the overall business function.

Additionally, large processes could be automated quickly and scaled across the spectrum of the organization. This would free up resources to allocate to other necessary functions within the business, which in turn could drive revenue.

Disadvantages of RPA

Once a software bot has been deployed in the production environment, any small change in the application would require a bot configuration update to function as intended. At times, bots could also get interrupted and not fully execute. This issue prevents bots from being completely user free, as some routine checks need to be implemented to maintain accuracy.

Robotic Process Automation is deployed within a software or web environment, it is unable to handle tasks outside of that spectrum. While many daily tasks can be automated, tasks outside of the technology environment must still be handled by a human resource.

In Summary

To fully understand the use cases where RPA could benefit an organization, Vee Technologies sought to upgrade their own internal operations. In doing so, productivity across the entire spectrum of the business increased exponentially, while providing a drastic increase in accuracy. Issues encountered throughout deployment were identified, tracked and resolved. These same issues have been encountered in client environments through the years and were quickly resolved by our experienced team who have been trained to spot these exact same configuration errors.

As businesses continue to grow and service a larger client base, operational processes need to be reviewed constantly in order to maximize productivity and reduce costs. Robotic Process Automation can be deployed throughout most technological environments and should be considered for any situation where automation can exist.

Robotic Process Automation - Pros and Cons from an Implementation Point of View