RPA IN TRAVEL AND TOURISM: How Automation can Enhance the Tourism Industry’s Journey

“If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet,” said Rachel Wolchin.

As the world spreads its vast expanse before us, the sky is really the limit when it comes to travelling. From unimaginable heights tens of thousands of feet above sea level, to depths where even the sun-rays cannot penetrate, our earth has it all. With such diversity and uniqueness surrounding us, it seems quite an idea to leave our mundane existence behind and retreat on travel sprees every once in a while – relaxing and ‘detoxing’ from the stress and strain levied on us by our otherwise fast-paced lives.

While this idea certainly sounds exciting, there are certain industries that exert tremendous efforts to ensure that our travel plans are a resounding success. Last time, we spoke about one of these industries – namely, hospitality. We shared with you some of the ways in which RPA and AI can help this industry ascend in its journey by doing away with repetitive and rule-based tasks. We’re back with a blog; and this time around, it’s time for us to look at some ways in which RPA can help the broader domain of travel and tourism:

1. DIFFICULTIES IN REGULATING THE REGULATORY COMPLIANCE? ALLOW RPA TO STEP IN!
As more and more previously untouched places are now being unearthed, explored and frequented, it is also of supreme importance for any nation to ensure the safety and security of its citizens, and make sure that its tourists comply with the requirements pertaining to the same. However, organizing and maintaining a systematic record of thousands of tourists can become cumbersome and time-consuming. While it is natural for humans to commit errors, it is not advisable to risk security by not keeping track of the validity statuses of passports, visas and other legal documents. That’s where RPA steps in. With automation, it is now possible for software bots to organize all security-related documents and information. Moreover, this stored data is also easily accessible and updatable in case of any changes in regulations. Why worry, when your software bots can act as your guards and ensure security?

2. DO WE HAVE AN EFFICIENT PROCESS TO PROCESS THOSE PAYMENTS?
With the expansion of any industry comes the massive responsibility of processing payments and orders at a large scale. While this process is extremely integral in any domain, it can become extremely tedious for employees to carry out the processing. Allow RPA to run its magic wand over this business process, and all your payments and orders can be efficiently processed while eliminating errors.

3. MEET YOUR AWESOME CHATBOT BUDDIES, AGAIN!
Chatbots or virtual assistants are emerging as the embodiments of an intelligent and efficient digital world. As in several other domains, they play an extremely vital role in the travel industry, too. Today, with several travel websites and online booking portals, not only the ease of travel by itself, but also the paraphernalia of planning and organizing of the trips has become truly efficient and unbelievably quick. Now, with virtual assistants entering the picture, you can now receive suggestions pertaining to the best plans and modes of travel right at your fingertips. Plus, these virtual assistants also come with exciting features such as the sentiment analyzer, which identifies the customer’s emotional states based on their calls or messages, and intimates the customer care department accordingly.

Wait…that’s not it! Virtual assistants are also capable of much more. Take Hello Hipmunk for example – the official smartie virtual assistant of Hipmunk, the reputed travel website. Try adding Hello Hipmunk on CC in your emails concerning travel, and sit back as this virtual assistant derives all the key details about your excursion and provides you with relevant suggestions!

4. UPDATING PNR STATUS HAS NEVER BEEN EASIER!
Passenger Name Record, or PNR, is one of the most crucial documentations in the domain of travel and transport. Stored in a repository called Computer Reservation System (CRS), this record consists of important passenger details including his/her name, contact information and ticket details. With thousands of passengers booking their tickets to different locations on a daily basis, it becomes an extremely meticulous and time-consuming task for the staff at the back-end to document such comprehensive information. And so, RPA enters the picture to help out. Software bots can efficiently enter and store the PNR information of more number of passengers in a day than humans manually can. Moreover, any change in the PNR information can be instantly updated by the bot without any hassle. Moreover, automation also makes this process quicker and error-free!

5. CANCELLATIONS CANNOT BE AVOIDED, BUT MONOTONY CAN!
Plans change, unexpected events occur, change is the only constant. Okay…the bottom line is that ticket cancellations are bound to happen. And on a daily basis, they happen in large numbers, especially in airways and railways. Manually documenting these cancellations can be repetitive and unproductive for the staff to whom this task has been assigned. You guessed it…RPA is our solution! Process bots can easily update any ticket cancellations on the system, and automatically declare the vacancy of the specific seats in the transport. Moreover, refund transactions can also be carried out without hassle via automation software.

It has been scientifically proven that travel leads to a number of health benefits, including lowered stress levels and reduced risk of heart disease. However, without the adequate amenities and facilities, the travel experience can turn out to be disastrous. So, we owe it to the heroes of our travel adventures, i.e. the travel industry personnel, to help them get rid of monotony and stagnation and help them ascend in their professional journeys. Let’s welcome the automation revolution today!

Sources:

  1. UiPath
  2. NIIT Technologies
  3. WNS

RPA AND AI IN HOSPITALITY: 6 Ways in Which AI and Automation Have a Bright Future in the Hotel Industry

“True hospitality consists of giving the best of yourself to your guests,” said Eleanor Roosevelt.

Travelling and exploring new foods and cultures and cuisines certainly unfolds a new and exciting world before us. The diversity in this planet affords plenty of room for discovering and re-discovering the world around as well as within each of us. However, while having a wonderful time exploring new places and cultures, have we paused to consider the efforts involved in establishing a world conducive to our various adventures? The hospitality industry is definitely the ‘behind-the-scenes’ domain that leaves no stone un-turned to ensure that this process of exploration and discovery is hassle-free and comfortable for every enthusiast. From providing accommodation and transportation, to food and beverage and luxury facilities for its clients, the hotel and hospitality industry works round the clock to ensure we make good memories.
And with the unimaginable growth and expansion taking place today, nearly every nook and cranny of the world is accessible to its eager tourists. Hence, it applies that the hospitality sector must work doubly hard to ensure that these tourists are comfortable in course of their ventures. In such a scenario, it often becomes tedious and time-consuming for humans to be everywhere, shuffling tasks and being superheroes. And that’s where your new-age superhero, Artificial Intelligence, steps in and takes matters forward!
We’re back with a blog; and today, it’s time to consider some brilliant ways in which AI can work wonders in the hotel and hospitality sector:

1. NEW GUESTS? ALLOW AUTOMATION TO LAY THE RED CARPET…
Welcoming new guests into the hotel premises and ensuring their comfortable and peaceful stay is every hotel’s primary responsibility. However, the bigger and more luxurious the hotel, the more the number of clients; and consequently, the more the amount of efforts exerted by the staff. That’s where automation and AI technology step in to make life more efficient. With the guestroom automation feature, hotel rooms can now be automated to adjust room-temperature levels in accordance with the ‘occupied’ or ‘vacant’ status of a room. Moreover, with the Guest Automation System being applied in leading five-star hotels today, it is possible for guests to automate all electrical appliances (including the A.C., fan and lights) using the ‘master switch’. The Shangri-La hotel in UAE famously applies guestroom automation in providing day-to-day hospitality services to its guests.

2. ENTER, GUESTS! SO…ENTER MORE DATA?
The entry and exit of your esteemed guests often translates into the entry of a massive amount of data pertaining to the same. And undoubtedly, this task induces monotony and stagnation, and prevents professional growth for the hotel staff. The good news is that this data entry task is very much ‘automable’! With automation, that whole chunk of data pertaining to the occupancy status of the rooms as well as extremely integral information to promote sustainable living – such as data on energy saving and staff responses to guest calls can now be taken care of.

3. BECAUSE THE ENVIRONMENT HOSTS US EVERYDAY…
Just like a hotel hosts its guests on a daily basis, the environment around us also continues to host us every single day, providing us with the necessary resources and space. And so, it follows that we, as a society, owe it back to nature. A report by Energy Star states that 47,000 hotels across America incur an annual expenditure of $2,196 per available room, which amounts to 6% of all operating costs. This alarming statistic is reason enough for the hotel industry to begin to consider environment-friendly alternatives on priority. AI is here to help you out in your journey towards a sustainable living. AI enables all electrical appliances in a room to be automatically switched off when the occupancy status of the room changes to ‘vacant’. What’s more, the electricity automatically switches to standby mode when the guest is not in the room, but still somewhere in the vicinity (for e.g. at the balcony).

4. KNOCK, KNOCK! CHATBOT SERVICE…
Like in many other significant domains, chatbots and virtual assistants can play an indispensible role in the hospitality industry, too. These virtual friends are available to your guests 24/7, answering any questions and providing constant assistance. These allow for more efficient and quick customer service, preventing any delays in attending to your guests while also providing a much-needed respite to the hotel staff.

5. NOW, YOUR MOBILE PHONE IS LITERALLY THE ‘KEY’…
No, the word ‘key’ isn’t just a metaphor. With the digital transformation attaining unimaginable heights, your phone can literally act as the key to your hotel-room! Now, high-end five-star hotels have successfully enabled digital check-in for their guests, wherein the guests can check into their hotel rooms using the hotel app instead of queuing up at the reception to acquire the room keys. This is not only a major time-saver for the guests, but also paves way for the hotel staff to engage in more productive tasks pertaining to hospitality and hotel management.

6. “HOW DID WE FARE?” NOW, YOUR HOTEL GUESTS CAN FEEL FREE TO SHARE…
Guest reviews are extremely important sources of constructive feedback for any hotel. However, it often happens that this feedback is not very comprehensive owing to dearth of time on part of the departing guest. Moreover, hotels are often apprehensive to directly approach guests for their feedback. With digitization, the entire feedback process can be transformed into a more efficient and convenient one. Automating the guest review process ensures that guests who have recently checked out of the hotel receive custom emails requesting their feedback. This allows for the guests to fill up the feedback forms in a hassle-free and relaxed manner while also increasing the possibility of a more in-depth feedback.
So, here we were, with the 6 major benefits of deploying AI and automation technology into the hotel and hospitality industry. While digitization is certainly the way to go for any hotel to increase its efficiency and productivity, it cannot replace the concern and care provided by human staff. The key to successful automation in this industry is to identify the processes that are indeed monotonous and rule-based, and to automate these in order to increase overall efficiency and promote employee growth.

SOURCES:
1. HospitalityTech
2. Revfine
3. Energy Star
4. Pacific Controls

RPA IN SUPPLY CHAIN: Is Automation the Next Big Thing in the Supply Chain Industry?

“Supply always comes on the heels of demand,” said Robert Collier.

It’s no secret that goods and services offered in the global market are what enable our day-to-day functioning in a bustling world. From grocery and furniture, to ultra-modern technical equipment and professional services, the interplay of demand and supply prevails at every level. While availing of the products and services offered, one seldom considers the tedious and lengthy supply process involved in ensuring a hassle-free fulfilment of customer demands. While the basic structure of the closely integrated supply chain remains the same, the process has also gone through a number of changes over the span of the past century, owing to large-scale technical advancements. Thus, it follows that it is extremely important for those involved in the supply chain to be up to date with the various developments in technology and communication. In such a scenario, should rule-based supply chain tasks such as payment processing, barcode verification and transportation, hold the supply industry back?
We’re back with a blog, and today, let’s look at some ways in which RPA can transform the face of the supply chain industry:

1.FROM SHIPS, TO AIRPLANES…AND MANUAL TRACKING TO AUTOMATION!
When the very process of shipping has become so much easier and more efficient, why should shipment tracking continue to be old-school? It’s not uncommon for customers to demand constant updates on the whereabouts of their shipped or to-be-shipped products. However, one seldom considers the monotony involved on the other side of the communication process. In order to track the shipping status of a product, the employee manually checks the request mails and enters each tracking code into the ERP software; and then reports back to the concerned customer with the shipping status. Enter, the age of RPA, where your process bot not only satisfies the customer by providing the accurate shipping status, but also relieves the overworked employee and paves way for more productive activities.

2.“YOUR ORDER IS BEING PROCESSED…” BY A HUMAN?
With the advent of online retail websites and virtual, efficient modes of transaction, placing orders has become extremely customer-friendly. However, it is also important to ensure that this ease of transaction holds good at both ends of the business. While a lot of leading retailers have managed to install relevant software to process and confirm orders, it is unfortunate that some of them continue to adhere to age-old manual transaction systems. With RPA, retailers can automate a host of extremely repetitive transaction-related processes, including processing orders, sending confirmation mails/messages, and back-office tasks such as data entry and certain customer-service processes.

3.COMMUNICATION IS THE KEY – BUT WHY SHOULD MONOTONY BE THE LOCK?
Communication, by itself, is a largely dynamic and an inseparable aspect of business. However, certain aspects of professional communication, such as sending automated emails and messages, can be repetitive and monotonous. And so, automating these processes can relieve the employees of manually sending out the same communication to a hundred different customers; and instead, focus on enhancing their communication skills in order to uplift their business.

4.NECESSITY IS THE MOTHER OF INVENTION…BUT MONOTONY IS THE BARRIER TO INTERVENTION
Throughout history, innumerable inventions and discoveries have emerged owing to the ever-growing demands of the human race. As a result, we have been able to progress to unprecedented heights, and achieve seemingly impossible endeavours. With invention, it is also important to keep track of the manufacturing process in order to ensure that there is enough supply in proportion to the demand. RPA helps employees by alerting retailers when the stock for a particular product diminishes. In this way, RPA has made the inventory management domain extremely efficient and profitable.

5.THE ‘DEMAND-SUPPLY’ DYNAMICS…
Needless to say, supply of any product or service is directly proportional to its demand. Thus, it follows that for any retailer, it is of paramount importance to possess a thorough understanding of the market, along with the latest trends in consumer demands. The collection of data for this process can be tedious and time-consuming; and thus, tends to bog down retailers with monotonous tasks. Advancements in data science and machine learning have improved this situation to a great extent, by predicting consumption patterns of customers, and accordingly providing relevant recommendations pertaining to the same. Thus, retailers now typically spend much lesser time in deciphering consumer patterns and making predictions.

6.NOW, SUPPLY CAN BE DRIVEN BY SELF-DRIVING VEHICLES!
Last, but not the least, RPA can do wonders in product transportation. From transporting raw materials from one industry to another, to delivering the finished products to the market or directly to the customer, the transport system literally forms the backbone of the supply chain. However, the drivers of these vehicles are often subjected to long hours of travel, often without any respite. Self-driving vehicles can ensure efficient supply of the products, while also eliminating the hectic schedules of those involved in the process.
Besides the above listed processes, RPA and AI can also bring about a world of change in the supply chain in terms of automating a host of other business processes, including vendor management, supplier performance management, logistics operations, distribution and sourcing.

As long as there is demand, there will be supply. And this permanence of the supply industry makes it all the more a good candidate for RPA.

Sources:
1. UiPath
2. Maruti Tech

RPA Training: In a Nutshell

John F. Kennedy rightly stated: “The human mind is our fundamental resource.” However, what happens when the limitless, dynamic capabilities of the human mind are confined to repetitive, static and rule-based tasks?

The modern-day technological revolution has brought about significant advancement at various levels, giving rise to a much more efficient world. But…hang on. Is it really that hunky-dory?
If technology is to continue to function at an optimal level, it is extremely essential to bring about a transformation in the way we utilize our human resources. Let’s not forget that it is our human intellect that has brought about this technological revolution in the first place! And that’s exactly why it’s important to eliminate those vacancies for rule-based and monotonous tasks, and pave way for our software robots to take over.
We’re back with a blog, and today, let’s discuss, in depth, the need for our current working generation to shed certain stagnant practices, and re-skill itself to contribute to a more efficient and automated world. But…wait. In case you haven’t checked our earlier blogs on RPA Foundation and RPA Advanced certification courses, you can check these out to establish the context. And now, let’s carry on:

1.OKAY GREAT. BUT HOW WILL I BENEFIT AT WORK WITH THE ADVENT OF AUTOMATION?
Contrary to popular belief, RPA doesn’t take away your job. Rather, it replenishes various organizational sectors with increased efficiency, and paves way for more intellectually challenging jobs to be brought to the table. Here are some benefits that you, as an employee, can avail of by adapting to RPA:

• As per Statista reports, the RPA industry will be worth $3.1 billion by 2019, and $4.9 billion by 2020.
• According to Automation Anywhere, 75-375 million people will re-skill themselves to be employed in the RPA sector.
• Automation Anywhere reports also suggest that 52% experts agree that RPA will create more jobs by 2025.
• In Europe, significant RPA growth is expected in the domains of manufacturing and logistics.
• As per Transparency Market Research, RPA is expected to experience a worldwide annual growth rate of 60.5% by 2020.
• The RPA industry is expected to pave way for nearly 2 lakh jobs in India by 2021 (source: Economic Times)

2.BUT…WHERE CAN I LEARN AUTOMATION?
Hello, there! You’ve come to the right place. At XLNC Academy, we offer you extensive RPA Foundation and Advanced training in partnership with Automation Anywhere. Are you a beginner about to take baby steps into the RPA world? The RPA Foundation course can usher you in with ease.
Are you an RPA professional looking for career advancement and better salary prospects? Then the RPA Advanced course can take care of the rest.
Here’s a recap of the trademark features of our RPA courses:

• 3 days’ courses
• Over 20 modules per course
• 21 hours’ instructor-led online live training
• Tailor-made foundation course for beginners
• Easy finance options (EMI/cash-wallets)
• Post-course support
• Trainers with industry experience
• 1-year free access to 80+ courses, including Six Sigma, Big Data and more
• World-class curriculum
• Certification by Automation Anywhere upon completion of the Advanced course
• Guaranteed internship on passing the Advanced course*
• Opportunity to work with XLNC*

*Conditions Apply

3.“SOUNDS GOOD! MAY I KNOW A LITTLE MORE ABOUT YOUR ACADEMY?”
By all means! Since its inception, XLNC Academy International Pvt. Ltd. has been dedicated to providing highly specialized online training and educational courses, including Lean Six Sigma, Prince-2, Big Data, Robotic Process Automation etc., that helps improvise business processes and strengthen the workforce. As a premier training institute, XLNC Academy ranks among the top 10 Asian training institutes, offering over 50 international certification courses across the globe with the help of various media, including e-learning, online virtual training and traditional classroom training.
Here are some of our unique accomplishments:

• It’s official! – We’re official implementation and training partners with Automation Anywhere
• Take your pick – We administer more than 113 classroom and online live training programs.
• XLNC worldwide – Our training programs have been internationally accredited.
• Top 10! – We’re amongst CIO’s list of top 10 automation companies in the world.
• Centre of ‘XLNC’ – Our Centre of Excellence has been endorsed by Automation Anywhere.

So are you ready for an enriching and elevating 2019? Then what are you waiting for?
To enroll for our courses, visit us here:
1. RPA Foundation
2. RPA Advanced
Or, call us toll-free on 1800-212-9562

RPA FOUNDATION CERTIFICATION: Here’s Everything You Need to Know About our RPA Foundation Training Course

Robotic Process Automation is the new buzzword in town. A number of high-end companies are looking to adopt software bots to perform repetitive manual tasks that prevent vertical mobility. According to McKinsey Global Institute, 75-375 million people will reskill themselves to be employed in the RPA sector by 2030.
Thus, it follows that possessing sound knowledge of automation and process bots can open up a whole new world of opportunities for the learners with respect to better salary prospects and a promising career. What’s more, the learner also gets officially certified by the automation software giant Automation Anywhere at the end of the RPA Advanced certification course!

1. “BUT…HANG ON. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I’M HEARING THIS TERM ‘RPA’…” – REST ASSURED!
The RPA Foundation Training course is a preliminary course on Robotic Process automation. This course seeks to set up a strong foundation of RPA, and helps to clarify basic RPA concepts. By the end of the course, even total beginners in the field of RPA will have a fairly detailed understanding of the field of RPA; and will be able to create and apply process bots with ease. Moreover, successful completion of the course ensures the learner’s eligibility for the Automation Anywhere certified advanced RPA training course.

2. SO ARE THERE ANY PREREQUISITES TO TAKING UP THESE COURSES?
The RPA Foundation Certification course is open for persons hailing from any industry or educational background. By the end of the course, even RPA beginners will have sufficient knowledge to build a basic bot.
All you need is a keen interest in the domain!

3. WHAT ARE THE FEATURES OF THESE RPA COURSES?
We understand your need to understand every aspect of the RPA course before going ahead with enrolling for the same. Here are some exclusive features of our RPA courses:

• 3 days’ course
• Over 20 modules
• Tailor-made for RPA beginners
• 21 hours’ instructor-led training
• Preparing for advanced level certification
• Easy finance options (EMI/cash-wallets)
• Post-course support
• Trainers with industry experience
• Free additional six-sigma courses
• World-class curriculum
• XLNC Academy certification

So what are you waiting for? To know more about our RPA Foundation Course (and then enroll!), visit us here!

References:
Automation Anywhere

 

CHANGE MANAGEMENT IN RPA: What if my already automated process has to go through a change?

“Change is the only constant. Hanging on is the only sin,” says Denise Mcluggage.

If there is any living example of the above idea, it is life itself. A caterpillar would most likely stagnate and destroy itself, if it decided never to break free of its comfortable cocoon. If a seedling remained under the soil in its most basic form, flora and fauna would never see the light of day. And last but not the least, had the caveman become complacent in the uncertain safety of the cave, we at XLNC wouldn’t be writing this blog, and you’d not be reading about Robotic Process Automation – a process that is rapidly changing the working of organizations.

We’re back with a blog; and today, let’s discuss what’s rightly touted as the most constant factor in the face of the earth – ‘change’. And in automation terms, change takes the form of a process known as “change management”. While RPA can change an employee and organization’s lives in very relieving and efficient ways, it can also prove to be a very unwelcome change to some employees and organizations, in that it pushes the workforce and its members out of the comfort zone of manually performing repetitive tasks. Coupled with this dilemma, there can also be certain sudden changes in the already planned end-to-end automation process, which can further lead to chaos and confusion, and a general animosity towards automation. But change management, when performed optimally, can change the entire scenario for the better:

1.What is change management?
Imagine you’ve spent all your valuable time identifying a certain business process that can be automated, and holding meetings with SMEs and automation software providers regarding the end-to-end automation process. Then, after the recommendations and other formalities, the RPA developers get to work, committing themselves to giving life to your bot. Then, suddenly, an organizational policy changes, and you realize with utter disbelief that the bot being developed for you no longer has a utility value in its original form. So now, are your time, energy and efforts all in vain? “Not at all,” replies change management. Change management helps you effectively modify the automation process, by performing the necessary alterations to the existing process, and adding or eliminating processes as and when required.

2.But…tell me more. Will it cause a hole in my pocket?
Rest assured. If an automation software platform offers change management, it should also ensure that the process is carried out efficiently, and in as cost effective a manner as possible. The automation software providers are typically prepared for any alterations or modifications that may take place at any point of time in the course of the process.
A typical change management process begins with the client disclosing the need for a change in the already planned end-to-end process. Thereafter, the client and the automation software provider sign an agreement with regard to the changes agreed upon between the two parties with regard to the ongoing project. Here, the client also specifies the priority and complexity levels of the change to be carried out; along with a Timelines matrix indicating the approximate duration of the project after incorporating the required changes. The client also notifies the provider about the changes via the Change Management module. The changes are then deployed in the bot, along with the Exception Management information; i.e., what the bot must do if the process cannot be performed, for some reason, in the usual manner.
Once the lengthy process of developing the bots based on the changes agreed upon is completed, a customer satisfaction survey is conducted, where the customer gives an account of whether the change management has been performed in a satisfactory manner, and if it is being implemented purposefully in the workplace. Then, the solution architect validates the Exception Management process, and the resolution percentage rate is evaluated. After this, customer satisfaction is gauged once again, and a report is drafted based on the same. Lastly, the change management module is drafted and updated, and the process is concluded successfully.
Change is a very integral part of any process; and regardless of the amount of planning that goes into developing a process, it is always important to be mentally prepared for any sudden need for a modification or even elimination of the project. And change management is the panacea to your RPA change requirements.

RPA AT WORK: What are some Business Processes that can be Automated?

“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all,”says Peter Drucker.

Comprising 2% of the total body weight, the human brain is said to be the most complexly designed structure in the universe. It comes as no surprise that the capabilities of the human mind are incredibly vast and almost limitless. In such a scenario, the only factor that prevents the mind from achieving its full potential is…humans themselves.
And when we rule-based tasks without engaging this mighty power within us, we are negating the immense potential that lies within us. That’s where robots step in, and relieve us of such uninteresting, repetitive tasks; enabling humans to utilize their mind to the best of their ability.
But the question that now arises is, how do we efficiently classify which tasks can be automated? And since there are innumerable domains across the globe, how can we dissect the tasks within each one and arrive at a conclusion? We’re back with a blog; and this time, we shall talk about the different processes that can be automated within various popular fields:

1.Let’s market automation to you, while you market your product to the world
Tom Fishburne says: “The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.”
You might have the best product or service in the world, but unless you know how to advertise it, the product cannot achieve its full potential. And if a domain as dynamic and stimulating as marketing be reduced to a bunch of monotonous and stagnant tasks, marketers cannot reach their maximum caliber either. And RPA helps you fly as a marketer, by breaking down and simplifying tedious processes such as client communication. While planning and executing out-of-the-box strategies may sound very exciting and upcoming, marketers often rightly begin to feel exasperated when it all ultimately boils down to sending bulk messages on social media, and e-mails to dozens of potential clients every single day, and boring notifications to your clients each time you’re done with that innovative and catchy blog post. Your software bots can jump in here, and perform all of these tasks for you. Whether it’s sending out pings, or answering those ‘tring-trings’, your bot is always at your service.

2.Who says sales doesn’t require creativity?
A lot of people misconstrue the sales sector to consist solely of ‘selling the product’. However, sales, when performed optimally, is nothing less than a creative art – right from sounding professional and convincing to the customers, to generating leads, the sales department has a lot of responsibility on its shoulders. So instead of bringing in something different to the table, and thinking of innovative ways to attract potential customers, why should the sales team settle for anything less?
Tasks such as manual data collection, and sending e-mail attachments and bulk messages can impede creativity, and lead to monotony. RPA is your magic wand to transport you to a far more dynamic world, where sales can be stimulating and challenging, as opposed to static and stagnant. Also, using the different lead generation automation tools, you can now not only automate your leads, but also rotate the processto evenly accommodate all platforms and sectors.

3.Don’t let those workflow processes hinder your ‘work flow’!
“The secret in business is creativity,” says Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. However, the door to creativity is often blocked with uninteresting and repetitive tasks involved in operating the business. When these tasks are taken care of, businessmen can typically begin to think out-of-the-box, and come up with interesting business solutions. RPA understands the predicament of businessmen, and works to perform all the manual tasks for them, thus paving way to a more dynamic and bright future. From efficiently managing reports and data, to digitalizing various business processes and handling client communication, your bot can do it all. Business Process Automation can lead to considerable cost reduction in business, and improve the company-client relationship to a great extent.

4.As an employee working in Human Resource, you, too, are an important ‘human’ resource.
From profile selection and recruitment, to employee contracts and documentation, and ensuring a conducive working environment, the Human Resource department serves as the backbone to any organization. However, while facilitating a workable and humane environment for other employees as well as candidates and potential employees, employees from HR often end up carrying out a number of robotic tasks themselves. These tasks include documentation of details of every candidate and employee; creating and maintaining employee records; managing and updating records pertaining to employee benefits, payrolls, transfer and retirement, etc.
What if your bot takes care of all the monotonous documentations and record maintaining, while you continue to focus on unravelling the full potential of your human resources? Yes, this is 100% possible with RPA. Process robots can manage a number of tedious tasks such as maintaining a record of employee onboarding and offboarding; keeping a track of when employees become eligible for benefits; sending out bulk messages to employees in order to intimate them of any organizational changes and new developments; leave requests and records (Paid Leaves, Sick Leaves etc.); performance appraisals; and maintaining a record of transfers, retirements and pension packages. Have you automated your HR processes yet?

5.Now, don’t tax yourself with tax anymore!
Filing tax returns and maintaining tax records can certainly be a taxing job. Let’s make it easier for you. RPA can be efficiently used to automate tax processes relating to computation, verifying tax returns, and conducting taxation comparisons. RPA can bring about a world of convenience and efficiency to both tax administrators as well as taxpayers, by making the processes of both collection and payment much easier.

Business processes require humans as much as they need bots. The human brain can be put to use in order to come up with extremely unique and innovative business ideas and solutions, while process robots take care of all the rule-based processes that have been bogging down humans all along. In order to optimally exercise the capabilities of a bot, it is important to consider whether a particular domain of business consists of ‘automable’ processes; and if so, the other paraphernalia surrounding it, including the end-to-end automation process, the duration, and the budget involved. With effective automation of relevant processes, one can certainly expect upcoming businesses to flourish in the years to come.

RPA PROJECT END-TO-END PROCESS REVEALED: From RPA Planning to Deployment, Here’s Everything You Need to Know

“It is the framework which changes with each new technology and not just the picture within the frame,” says Marshall McLuhan.

With the advent of the new wave of Robotic Process Automation, not only has the picture within the frame of the 21st Century world changed tremendously, but along with it, a systematic framework of planning, developing and applying the same has also been developed. Undoubtedly, the idea of developing and applying bots to various sectors and domains sounds exciting and interesting. However, is it feasible to apply RPA to every area, and for every task? More importantly, even if one were to correctly figure out the specific domains where RPA can prove beneficial, is it possible to directly begin the process? Are there any steps involved before and after the bot is designed and applied?
We are back with a blog once again; and this time, we shall discuss the ‘behind the scenes’ of automation – the amount of extensive planning and process that goes (and should always go) into the making of your brilliant bot:

1. Chase the plan! Umm…sure; but plan the chase first?
Benjamin Franklin rightly said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
The same definitely holds good for RPA as well. When an RPA project is intended to be taken up, its purpose and potential benefits need to be defined very clearly. Automation is advisable only when the task in question is repetitive and rule-based, and hence, a thorough evaluation of the nature of the concerned task is crucial right at the start.
Detailed end-to-end processes may sound extravagant and exciting, but these might end up causing a hole in your pocket if the budget is not estimated prior. Besides the rationale and budget estimation, one also needs to plan the time-frame within which the project needs to be completed; conduct a review with stakeholders regarding the scope of the project; and produce project charters, handbooks, a project scope template, and estimation template. Last but not the least, there has to be a formal intent between the clients and the RPA company that seals the deal between the two parties, taking the decided scope and budget estimate into consideration. Phew! Quite some work even before the work begins.

2. A good process is the way to progress
When there is a process in place, there is a framework you can always fall back on during times of doubt and uncertainty. Again, the same is the case with RPA. When the detailed plan of the RPA process is established, and the contract is approved, the Standard Operating Procedure, or SOP, which is a methodical sequence that breaks down and explains complex rule-based operations step by step, is established in order to ensure easy programming of the bot. The infrastructure necessary for the potential bot development is established, thus creating a conducive environment for the bot-to-be. It is also important to conduct business process workshops, and capture control points and handoffs in order to ensure that the results of the procedure can be clearly defined and set. In addition, the process calls for validating the business process map, as well as any exceptions to the same. One also needs to design the process capture template, modeling standards and process maps, before the actual development procedures commence.

3. Gathering the data
The next step is to extensively gather information that can be crucial during the development stages. One also needs to capture the attributes in data collection, including volume, processing time etc. Another important stage is process standardization, which involves the establishment of certain technical criteria or standard, based on the ideas and opinions of different concerned individuals or institutions. Process standardization ensures validity and consistency of the RPA development strategy. A gap analysis, concerning an analysis of the discrepancy between the stage in which the plan currently is, versus the ultimate desired goal of the project, is carried out at this stage. This data should be further validated in order to ensure credibility and authenticity of the same. Templates and databases concerning best practices should be formulated and analyzed; and the questionnaires and templates used to gather data, as well as the cost analysis template must be presented.

4. Recommendations
Here, the specific processes to be used in the RPA development project are earmarked, and the possible elimination of unnecessary procedures are carried out. One identifies the activities within the concerned domain that need to be automated, and detailed analyses of cost benefits, technical and general feasibility, and complexity; as well as prioritized and automation roadmap recommendations are carried out at this stage. Towards the end of the stage, an automation roadmap sign-off takes place, which is an agreement between the concerned parties regarding the mutually discussed plans and processes. Recommendation report templates and transformation roadmap templates are also carried out here.

5. And let the games begin!
The RPA development process begins once the recommendation report templates and transformation roadmap templates have been approved. The Target Operating Model, intended at providing a vision to the RPA project; as well as a Technical Design Document, designed by the solutions architect, consisting of the detailed technical process to be followed in developing the bot, is conducted at this stage. The Knowledge Management System (KMS), and Configuration Management Database (CMDB) are updated in accordance with the current RPA plan, so that any changes may be successfully documented for future reference. The bot report and KMS & CMDB updated should be validated, and the coding documentation is reviewed. Lastly, templates regarding TDD, coding documentation and KMS are created.

6. The proof of the pudding…is in its eating!
And for this reason, it is important to carry out User Acceptance Testing, where a person with expertise in the concerned domain applies the bot to perform the repetitive task, and gauges the benefits of the same. A ‘mock’ environment is created, and the test procedure is captured on a video. This is followed by exit criteria and reporting, and test closure. Next, a test suite, as well as an incident closure report and UAT report are prepared and validated. Lastly, templates on test-case, handover and incident report are prepared to culminate the stage.

7. And the bot can see light of the day!
With the validation of these templates, our bot is now ready to face the real world, where it is put to work, and allowed to contribute effectively to the workforce. Post this, the TDD and coding documents are handed over to the client, and constant back-and-forth communication between the clients and developers takes place in order for any faults in the bot to be reported instantly. A back-up of the bot is preserved on the CMDB for future reference. Feedback and Return-On-Investment report are carried out in order to measure the relative efficiency of the newborn bot, and customer satisfaction is also gauged. Lastly, the ROI template and customer satisfaction report are prepared.

The making of a process robot involves extensive planning and analysis, and the continuous contribution of a number of individuals and groups from different areas. This collaborative, intensive process is surely not cake-walk. But when the entire process is carried out with utmost care and enthusiasm, it surely helps to make some tasks a cake-wal

9 REASONS WHY YOUR RPA PROJECT MAY FAIL: Automation isn’t Always Perfect!

As more and more industries and sectors across the globe have begun to delegate repetitive computer-based tasks to process robots, the world is now extensively placing its trust on the efficiency and infallibility of these ‘software magicians’. While the same chore done by two different humans, or even done at different times by the same individual can lead to different results, a bot is often perceived to be (and rightly so!) an unmistakably consistent, faultless, almost utopian entity.
Having said that, can RPA bots be so unbelievably perfect as to surpass their imperfect human-creators? Can your process robot ever goof up? And if so, what are the possible reasons for these errors? And how can they be rectified? So we’re back with a blog, and all set to present to you the top reasons for the failure of RPA:

1. Have you designed your design correctly?
“Good design is good business,” says Thomas Watson Jr. And when it comes to RPA, good design makes sensible bots. In order to create good bots, it is important to visualize how and where your bot should function, and what purpose it serves in its domain of concern. When the end-to-end process of design and development, the change-management processes, and the desired end-result is etched out accurately, your process robot can then take birth as a perfect entity.

2. Are you missing the woods for the trees?
The Gestalt theory states that while the comprising parts are important to form the larger picture, the whole is much more than just a sum of its parts. The same holds good for your RPA development process. While it is important to ensure that every stage of the bot development is taken into account with equal importance, your RPA project can turn out to be lopsided and faulty if all other processes are overlooked for the sake of that one step performed to perfection.

3. Phew! Just created my awesome bot. My duty is now over. Err…is it?
Wait! Is it enough to simply create your bot and ensure it functions in the concerned domain? The world is evolving every day, and with the unstoppable changes constantly taking place around us, our bots cannot afford to be old-fashioned. For this reason, it is important to keep track of your bot even after it has been successfully implemented, and modify it whenever required, in accordance with changes in data systems, security aspects, or any other important facet that calls for an update of your process robot. Also, regular maintenance of the bot ensures that it continues to function effectively.

4. Are we all equally supportive of our bots?
More often than not, our innocent bots are feared and shunned by individuals or departments that can significantly contribute to its development and application. A lot of professionals, including accountants, do not provide extensive internal support in their fear of losing their jobs to process robots. It is important to bust these unemployment myths surrounding RPA, and garner their support for the development of bots.

5. Mentally ‘process’ your process. Too simple? Too complex?
The process to achieving the end-result should be microscopically examined before implementation. If your plan is too simple, you probably need to push the boundaries a little further. But don’t push it so far ahead that you have much more in your plate than you can chew! It is important to select a practical, manageable process for designing your bot.

6. On your marks, get-set…not going?
How efficient is your bot? While bots do not have mood-swings and Monday blues, it is possible that they might not be as efficient as you had intended them to be; for the simple reason that there have been errors in coding and designing of the same. With repeated verification and second opinions, nothing is impossible…including your bot’s perfection.

7. Time and tide…you know the rest!
There are always enough instances around us that constantly teach us effective time management. Yes, RPA is a lengthy and time-consuming process. And yes, you would have to exert efforts. And…yes. It’s extremely rewarding. Since end-to-end processes may be exhausting and time-consuming, these must be carried out only when you’re assured of the resources of time and effort.

8. Scale ‘up’ your bot today.
Efficient development of consistent as well as flexible bots is the need of the hour. That’s where scalability comes in. When you make your bot scalable, additional bots can be developed in a cost-effective manner. Plus, new features may be added to the same bot with little inconvenience.

9. Automation for efficiency, or automation for laziness?
“Everything that can be automated, will be automated,” says Robert Cannon, internet law and policy expert. However, it often happens that everything that need not be automated also ends up being assigned to bots. In order to avoid this malpractice, it is important to clearly define the purpose of the RPA development process, and the nature of the task to be performed by the potential bot. Lastly, one must not forget that while bots can be made to perform a few monotonous tasks for humans, they are the result of the human intellect, and can never replace humans in any field.
While the idea of perfection seems utopian in itself, it is still possible to attain a perfect bot if a rational and valid purpose, a systematic process outlined from start to end, and the right amount of time and effort, are all taken care of prior to, during and post its development. A perfectly automated bot can significantly contribute to developing a monotony-free and dynamic future for the world, while faulty automation can pose obstacles to the economy. In the words of W.L.W. Borowiecki:

If you automate a process that has errors, all you’ve done is automate the generation of those errors.

THE RPA EMPLOYMENT DYNAMICS: 5 Lucrative Job Profiles in the Automation Industry

According to cielotalent.com, “Robotic Process Automation will help humans become more human at work.”

With the advent of the new ‘RPA revolution’ of sorts, the world is now readying itself to offer huge job openings…to bots. As Robotic Process Automation is rapidly developing process robots to perform various tasks in different sectors, these bots have become nightmares for a lot of humans. Since time immemorial, data entry and other ‘back office’ jobs have been a source of employment for thousands of working-class people. Thus, although extremely monotonous and repetitive, these jobs are still looked upon as indispensable and relevant.
However, contrary to popular belief, Robotic Process Automation actually opens up a world in itself, with relevant and upcoming job opportunities for persons from various backgrounds. By eliminating human-labour for certain ‘robotic’, monotonous tasks, RPA ensures more creativity, growth and upward mobility. So fasten your seatbelts and stay tuned, as our RPA flight takes off on a journey to a lucrative future! We are back with a blog, to present the top 7 most lucrative and well-paying job profiles in the promising world of RPA:

1) Business Analyst: Let’s face it. Even the most intellectual or out-of-the-box jobs consist of some repetitive tasks at some point or the other. What if these tasks were taken care of, while your head and heart continue to work together to produce more significant outcomes? An RPA Business Analyst begins this process for you.
As a business analyst, you become the stepping stone to a world of lesser and lesser monotony. A business analyst mainly handles the ‘discovery’ phase of an RPA project. Is this particular task repetitive? Can it be automated with positive results to the industry? Would there be any technical hitches? And most importantly, what are the steps involved in this automation process? Over to the business analyst!
Oh…and Glassdoor reports suggest that the average salary of a Business analyst is $57,010 – $62,069. So what are you waiting for?

2) Solutions Architect: Congratulations! We have now passed the ‘discovery’ phase of the RPA solution. Now that we have a plan in mind, we now need to redefine the process very precisely, and work on the development and application of the tools and techniques to achieve the desired automation. Enter the solutions architect. With an average salary of $1,18,593/- (as per Glassdoor reports), a solutions architect literally focuses on the ‘architecture’ of the process – designing and helping establish a practical and appropriate structure to it.

3) RPA developer: And now, to bestow life upon our bots, we have the ‘magicians of the RPA domain’ – the RPA developers. As an RPA developer, you have a huge responsibility on your shoulders, to design and develop the bots from the scratch, and test their impact on the given area of concern. You will also keep the business analysts and solutions architects on the loop all the time, ensuring that the process is implemented as planned.
Quora reports suggest that an RPA developer earns anywhere between $68,000 – $1,25,000 a year.

4) RPA management supervisor : An RPA management supervisor is responsible for managing and overseeing the RPA work atmosphere. S/he basically works on improving the allocation of resources, and enhancing overall functional performance of the process robots.

5) RPA service support: Customer service and one-to-one customer support can never go out of fashion, as long as humans and society exist. You can extensively contribute to the RPA world by working in the customer service sector, and resolving queries and answering questions of clients, including individuals and organizations, institutions and academies.
Now, on-the-job learning can never go out of fashion either. In order to bestow life upon your bots, you also need a supportive, active infrastructure. The customer service support team also designs and supports the infrastructure required to build process robots – assisting RPA vendor installations, helping in server builds and troubleshooting, etc.

“You have to understand technology. You don’t have to be a software developer, you don’t have to have any particular expertise as a starting point,” rightly says John Kidd, head of digital operations and robotics at Bank of Ireland.
Even as a fresher, or a novice in the field of automation, it is possible to learn the hows and whys even as you actually work on these. It is important to remember that at the end of the day, automation and bots are also designed by humans; and so, they can never assume so much authority over us that we become redundant.

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