RPA IN MANUFACTURING: The Role of Automation in the Manufacturing Sector

James Dyson once said:

“Manufacturing is more than just putting parts together. It’s coming up with ideas, testing principles and perfecting the engineering, as well as final assembly.”

From the vehicles we commute in to the clothes we wear and the device you’re using to read this blog, every product and service around us is here thanks to the manufacturing sector. With the growing demands of an ever-growing population, it is important for the manufacturing industry to come up with innovative creations that can survive the cut-throat competition, and establish its place in the global market.

And in order to attain new benchmarks in any industry, it is important to get rid of the rule-based tasks that tend to hold one back. We have already discussed the role of RPA in the supply chain. We’re back with a blog, and today, it’s time to look at the various business processes that can be automated in manufacturing:

1. DOES THE ‘BILL OF MATERIALS’ LOOK HECTIC AND IMMATERIAL?

Well, the ‘bill of materials’, which is one of the most important documents in manufacturing, is also one of the most tedious tasks for the manufacturing employees. This list consists of important manufacturing details, including the required raw materials; where these are available; when these should be purchased and so on. However, gathering and consolidating the required information can be time-consuming and repetitive. It is here that RPA enters the picture. With RPA, the entire formulation of this list can be automated; thus resulting in more accurate results in much lesser time.

2. TOO MANY RULE-BASED TASKS IN ADMIN? WHY NOT ADMINISTER A BOT?

Admin is often filled with data entry and back-office tasks. These tasks tend to bog down employees, and prevent them from achieving the more significant organizational goals and aims. RPA seeks to relieve employees and organizations of these monotonous tasks, by sending out your bulk messages and emails; gathering and consolidating information; and…well, ensuring you go places in your career!

3. IF IT’S A WEB, WE’RE THE SPIDERS!

The larger the manufacturing company, the more its branches across different regions. As a manufacturing industry, it is very important for a company to ensure it stays well-connected to major global hubs, and thus set up branches at various important junctions.
And as the organization spreads its wings in readiness for its unparalleled flight, a number of systems and sub-systems of information are often created specific to the particular branches. While the web ensures the integration of these various systems, it often becomes tedious for employees to constantly update these annuls of information from time to time. With RPA, software bots can efficiently update information and reduce communication time between the various branches!

4. DATA MIGRATION? RPA CAN BE THE TEMPO!

As a manufacturing company grows globally, it follows that data also needs to be shifted from older systems to newer ones, and policies updated constantly in accordance with these changes. While this aspect may not seem a great hurdle, it can pose an obstacle to employee and organizational growth when the company begins to spread itself in different domains. As an employee invests excessive time and effort in data migration, the employee resource utilization may go down considerably. With RPA, things can take a turn for the better. Process bots can perform data migration efficiently, thus enabling employees to focus on their primary goals instead.

5. IS SIMPLY CREATING A PRODUCT ENOUGH?

Yay! The product has finally been created as per the requirements of the current market. But is that it? To ensure that the finished product reaches the market (and eventually lands in the buyer’s hands), transportation is a very important aspect of the manufacturing sector. Besides ensuring efficient transportation of the products manufactured, it is also important to track the delivery status of the product to ensure it reaches the destination. And with an increase in the number of products being traded, it tends to become difficult to track the statuses of multiple products at once – leading to human errors. RPA is here to make tracking a piece of cake! With RPA, a manufacturing company can now track multiple delivery statuses.

6. YOUR BOT CARES FOR YOUR CUSTOMER, TOO…

A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all,” says Michael LeBoeuf.
Without customers, the entire purpose of a business is defeated. And so, it is very important for organizations to cherish and support their customers. While bots cannot match humans in their personalized interactions with customers, it can automate some rule-based tasks. These include repetitive front-office voice process tasks and online chat services. Moreover, chat-bots can win over customers in no time!

The manufacturing industry has constantly expanded, adapting itself to the various technical advancements and striving to meet the ever-changing customer expectations. Let’s welcome RPA into the world of manufacturing and witness the growth of this industry!

RPA IN FINANCE: The Integral Role of Automation in the Finance Sector

“Money is not the only answer, but it makes a difference,” says Barack Obama.

From times of barter system to gold and silver and copper coins being traded, the world is now ascending from the physical form of currency (i.e. notes and coins) to digitized modes of transaction. With the advent of online payment, the idea of money is not necessarily tangible anymore. Thus, it follows that the finance sector is also ascending in its attempt to catch up with the ever-growing demands.
So, what should prevent the finance sector from pursuing its relentless flight?

In today’s world, there is no place for monotony and repetition to seep into the day-to-day business processes of any domain. But it is unfortunate that a number of rule-based tasks continue to be performed manually in most of these sectors. Finance is no different.
In our previous blog, we spoke about the integral role of RPA in insurance. We’re back with a blog, and today, let’s look at RPA in the domain of finance:

1. TIRED OF INVOICE? MAKE THE RPA CHOICE!

Manually processing different customer invoices and indexing each of them can be very time-consuming and tedious. Moreover, it is also extremely monotonous. It is here that RPA can step in and automate the entire invoice process. Software bots can now perform invoicing to perfection. They can carry out tasks such as organizing the gathered information, placing the same in ERP templates and sending out confirmations.

2. YOUR BOT ‘KNOWS YOUR CUSTOMER’

The Know-Your-Customer procedure helps the company verify the customer’s basic background. However, the lengthy process – which consists of steps such as data collection, identifying risk factors and Enhanced Due Diligence – can take up precious time and effort. RPA can bring about a change in the KYC processes. With the help of the ‘KYC Utilities’ technology, customer information can be easily gathered, verified and updated in the existing CRM systems, thus reducing human intervention in the process.

3. ACCOUNTS PAYABLE “AUTOMATABLE!”

Since time immemorial, accountants have been performing the monotonous task of maintaining “accounts payable” records. Automating the processes in the accounts sector can bring about considerable reform in business performance and enable employees to think about the bigger business challenges and commitments.

4. ARE YOU PAYING THE PRICE FOR UNPREDICTABLE MARKET PRICES?

The global market is largely an unpredictable place. So, it is important to ensure that one is up to date with the latest trends in the rise and fall of product prices. Thus, financial companies need to work closely with suppliers and compare product prices. However, this ‘comparison circus’ can often become quite hectic. Allowing RPA to take over can result in accurate results in much lesser time!

CONCLUSION

While money cannot buy everything, it is difficult to imagine life without finance. Money acts as a strong pillar that ensures security and system in the world. And so, RPA seeks to take over the unproductive, rule-based financial process, so that the finance sector can continue to perform optimally.

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. From grocery and furniture to 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 fulfilling 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. 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 process of shipping has become so much easier, 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! These include 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 is 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

CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE – Walking the Extra Mile in RPA

“Excellence is a continuous process and not an accident,” said Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

While it is a great idea to apply RPA to business processes and ascend in your business, automation is certainly no cake-walk. Without proper planning, development and testing, an RPA framework is incomplete, and might face countless obstacles on its way to success. In our blog on RPA development framework, we told you about the various stages and phases that an RPA project has to pass through before it may be deployed to automate the process in question. However, is RPA framework independently sufficient to ensure efficient functioning of the bot?

We’re back with a blog; and today, let’s talk about a unique RPA feature, Centre of Excellence, that goes beyond the technicalities involved in Robotic Process Automation, and seeks to establish a healthy environment for the process robot, so that it can continue to thrive in the respective industry in which it has been deployed. Moreover, XLNC Technologies consists of its very own Centre of Excellence, which has been certified by Automation Anywhere!

1. WHAT IS CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE?

One of the main concerns for a lot of automation software providers as well as their clients is the fear of failure of the RPA project due to faulty design, poor governance and so on (you can check out our blog for more dope on this). If the poor bot is surrounded by unsupportive infrastructure and untrained staff, no amount of perfection in the implementation process comes in handy when the bot is actually deployed into such a setting.

So, if there are failures, do we do nothing about them? There are certain methodologies that can help you to effectively counter these RPA failures. All of which are packaged in the Centre of Excellence. The Centre of Excellence is a unique RPA feature that consists of various long-term strategies, which establish a strong infrastructure for the process robots to be deployed; as well as strive to mentally prepare different individuals and groups to easily welcome RPA into their organizational structure.

2. PRESENTING CENTRE OF ‘XLNC’: NOW ENDORSED BY AUTOMATION ANYWHERE

And now, let’s look at the various exciting features that our very own Centre of Excellence by XLNC Technologies encompasses. We are delighted to inform you that our esteemed Centre of Excellence has been certified by Automation Anywhere! With our COE, we strive to build a solid foundation on which to set up this unique world of automation. Come, let’s check the various features that XLNC’s Centre of Excellence possesses:

a. The train of RPA can run only if you ‘train’ the passengers…

“Job training empowers people to realize their dreams and improve their lives,” says Sylvia Mathews Burwell.
And that’s why our Centre of Excellence incorporates training as an integral part of the RPA process. Right from the planning to the delivery stage, trainers try and loop every relevant team member, from executives to the topmost management, and train them about the various aspects of RPA. These persons discuss the purpose of this RPA project, the logic behind a particular solution, how it should be developed, and the possible benefits that the organization as a whole, as well as specific individuals, will achieve once the solution is deployed. Such training helps employees to shed their inhibitions with regard to the ‘alien’ automation technology that is about to impact their organization in a major way, and instead contribute to facilitating a conducive automated environment.

b. Solution Groups as a Feasible Solution

Yes, we are always there for our clients, constantly supporting and guiding them through the topsy-turvy journey of automation. But, hang on. Is it always good to depend on an external source in order to introduce a change to the business setup? XLNC Technologies strongly believes that it’s always a good idea to have your internal support-systems in place, rather than investing on external services.

Having said that, it is but natural for individuals and departments within an organization to be unaware of and sceptical about this rather upcoming and new technology of automation and process robots.  In such a situation, isn’t it the most logical idea to get in touch with an automation software provider? XLNC’s COE understands your dilemma and provides you with the perfect solution – solution groups.

Following the detailed planning and the chalking out of an end-to-end process, we begin the actual development stage. Here, different team-members can buddy up with the automation software provider or consultancy and understand the technicalities and whys and hows of things. With this knowledge sharing taking place, it is possible to educate them about the limitless possibilities of RPA, not just for the organization, but also for themselves. This makes employees independent enough to carry out their own project without the help of a third party should they wish to go in for another RPA project sometime in the future.

It’s always a good idea to consider life from a long-term perspective: and our COE does just that!

c. Knowledge is supreme; storing knowledge is even more crucial!

We all agree that it is knowledge which comes in handy during times of confusion and doubt. However, if this knowledge is not effectively stored and utilized, it ceases to hold any value. Enter, our Knowledge Management System. KMS is your one-stop database for all the information and repertoire of previous activity that you may require for all your future RPA ventures.
KMS helps you keep a systematic record of any obstacle that may come our way during the end-to-end RPA development process. This becomes a repository of sorts, which an organization can refer to, should it be met with any impediments in future. And that’s why it becomes your point of reference if you need to be reminded, at any time, about your previous RPA journey!

d. Who said labs must have test-tubes and chemicals bubbling on a burner stand?

RPA can have a lab, too – and a very unique and exciting one at that. Our COE ensures that the RPA labs consist of important tools and displays related to automation. New customer? No worries. He/she can instantly get a hang of your services by looking at the various props and tools displayed in your lab. New trainees? Bring it on! Your lab can be a training-ground for your trainees to grasp quality information about automation.

CONCLUSION

So, there we are, with the various features of ‘Excellent’ Centre of Excellence. It is always important to ensure that any project is not only supported by a good process and plausible implementation techniques, but is also backed by a strong infrastructure for it to perform effectively. And with XLNC’s COE, one can certainly ensure a smooth and hassle-free deployment of your process bots.

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

 

DATA SCIENCE IN YOUR DAILY LIFE: There’s a data scientist behind those movie recommendations!

Do you remember the last time you watched a Netflix crime thriller movie like “The Departed”, and in turn, received recommendations for other amazing movies such as “The Godfather”? Welcome to the world of data science and Machine Learning!

In the 21st Century postmodern world, every nook and cranny of the world is in the process of becoming connected through virtual reality. CDs, DVD players and even cable television are now being considered “worn out” and “old technology” in order to pave way for more upcoming and happening ones such as Netflix, Prime and YouTube. However, what’s even more upcoming is that this technology seems to understand our unique preferences. Not only, this, it also suggests other relevant TV shows and web series based on one’s viewing habits. The same applies to online shopping as well. It may have happened scores of times that Amazon suggested other cool Apple products based on your previous iPhone 6 purchase.

The question that now arises is how these websites can be so omniscient as to recognize multiple unique viewing and purchasing habits so efficiently and accurately. Moreover, they can even crawl the database for other similar items and present it to the respective Internet users. We’re back with a blog, and today, let’s venture into the upcoming and exciting world of data science! This domain has been popularly termed by Turing Award winner Jim Gray as “the sexiest job of the 21st Century”. Let’s have a sneak peek into the world where data scientists are busy with their numerous algorithms. These allow machines to independently carry out these prediction tasks with ease:

1. SO WHAT’S SO SCIENTIFIC IN DATA SCIENCE?

While science and technology have ensured that machines and technical equipment make our lives unbelievably efficient and quicker every single day, there is still a severe direct dependence of technological equipment on humans if the traditional sources of science and technology be relied upon alone. It is also important to ensure that technology work by itself for a major part of its functioning, instead of depending on constant human intervention. Moreover, with the inception of modern-day software and myriad online platforms to ensure that the world is well-connected, there is a massive explosion of data produced every single day. Just as it is essential to ensure less clutter and more clarity in our external worlds, the online world also needs to be maintained and de-cluttered on a regular basis.

And in order to ensure that the technology of Machine Learning and organization of data may be incorporated to software systems, it is important to move one step beyond traditional science and technology, and embrace the world of ‘data science’.
Data scientists perform a world of algorithms – incorporating scientific techniques and systems in order to organize and store massive amounts of online information. If the internet world is a cobweb of information, data scientists are the spiders – venturing through the silk-threads efficiently.

2.WHOA! SO DOES A DATA SCIENTIST PERFORM THAT HERCULEAN TASK?

The job of a data scientist is seeped into statistics and algorithms. Data scientists apply predictive modeling, machine learning and inferential statistics in the course of their work. Applying these different tools and techniques, a data scientist then traces certain unique patterns that are characteristic of specific internet users; and systematically stores this information in the database.
However, the task of a data scientist does not end here. A data scientist also uses the technology of Machine Learning, and allows your software to become independent enough to implement these algorithms effectively, so that the machines do not have to depend on humans every time such predictions need to be carried out.
And that, my friends, is the mystery behind all those Amazon and Netflix recommendations that you receive when you’re on an online shopping spree, or when you binge-watch your favourite web series on that lazy weekend!

The ROLE OF A SOLUTION ARCHITECT: Here’s How an RPA Solutions Architect Plays an Integral Role in the Automation Process

“A good design will actually design the company,” says Donald Norman.

Especially so, when a company desires the company of bots. All along, we have been telling you how RPA is the need of the hour, and the various processes and trivia involved in the project framework delivery. It is no surprise that the actual development and deployment process in RPA forms an extremely integral part of the entire project; and any errors in these processes can result in the creation of faulty bots. However, are processes directly handed over to the developers in order for them to bestow life on the process robots? Just as a home needs an architect to design its various chambers, automation also requires one to carefully construct a systematic framework to be implemented in the project. Let’s welcome the architects of automation, solution architects! In our earlier blog, we’ve already discussed, in a nutshell, 5 different job profiles in the RPA domain. We’re back with a blog, and today, it’s time to dedicate a few minutes and paragraphs to the persons who form the pillars of automation.

1. HAVE WE PLANNED OUT OUR PLAN ADEQUATELY?

While planning is a crucial step, one must ensure that the plan addresses all important and intricate phases and aspects of the venture, so that the implementation can be smooth and hassle-free. It is the responsibility of a Business Analyst to study the various processes of a business and then decide which of these processes may be automated. It is here that the Solution Architect steps in. The role of a Solution Architect begins when this automation idea needs to be put into practice, but requires a systematic approach for this implementation to be carried out.

2.CAPTURING THE AUTOMATION PROCESS FOR YOUR BUSINESS PROCESS

The Solution Architect devices effective process maps and comes up with relevant solutions that can boost the automation process to a great extent, and act as a framework for the RPA developers to easily step into their roles. The solution architect essentially designs two types of process maps or designs – PDD or Process Design Document; and TDD, or Technical Design Document. While the former design is aimed at addressing the ‘as-is process’ of the RPA project, the latter one attempts at capturing the ‘to-be process’.
Once the processes to be automated have been earmarked by the Business Analyst, the Solution Architect then carefully studies these processes, and determines how the automation can be carried out in order to meet the requirements of the company as evaluated by the Business Analyst. The Solution Architect has to constantly keep in mind the aims and objectives of the automation process that have already been agreed upon by the clients as well as the automation providers; while also presenting a tangible and plausible solution for automating the rule-based task in question.

3.PROCESS DESIGN DOCUMENT

The Process Design Document focuses on the overall automation process, from data gathering, process standardization and recommendations, to development, testing and deployment of the process robots. The solution architect constantly communicates with the Business Analysts and Project Managers in order to ensure that there is no disagreement between the persons involved in the process; and to bridge any discrepancies in the process.
It is after the development of the Process Design Document capturing the as-is process, that the Standard Operating Procedure or SOP may be devised in order to break down the complex processes and sequences of the plan and ensure easy programming. One also needs to design the process capture template, modeling standards and process maps, before the actual development procedures commence.

4.LET’S GET TECHNICAL!

Now, we have successfully completed the as-is process, and received a thumbs-up for the same from the clients, as well as the various other persons involved in the project. We have also successfully completed the recommendations phase, wherein the specific RPA processes to be carried out are earmarked, and the unnecessary ones are eliminated, with detailed analyses of cost benefits and feasibility. Now, our RPA developers are almost all set to take the RPA project to the next level by actually creating our bots. But…are we missing out on something?
The role of the solution architect does not simply end at producing the Process Design Document. While the PDD helps in identifying the various stages and phases of the project, this document is not sufficient in itself for the RPA developers to take over their herculean task. The Solution Architect now has to create and document another design specially dedicated to the RPA developers; namely, the Technical Design Document or TDD. The Technical Design Document focuses specifically on the guidelines to be followed by the RPA developers while developing the bot; as well as the technical specifications to be employed in the software. This document enables our able RPA developers to follow the plan through with ease, and with a systematic framework to fall back on during times of confusion or doubt. Along with the TDD, a Target Operating Model is also designed in order to chalk out the vision or aim of the RPA development project.

CONCLUSION

In this way, the Solution Architect acts as the backbone of the RPA development process; carefully setting up the foundation of the RPA project so that the construction may become easier and hassle-free. The solution architects ensure that the plan does not simply remain a shallow idea, but is made viable, plausible and accessible to all the persons involved in the project.

THE PROS AND CONS OF AI: A tightrope walk

With respect to Artificial Intelligence, the buzzword of the 21st Century, Dave Waters says:

“Artificial Intelligence is an infant at best. Once it becomes a teenager and believes it is smarter than its parents, will AI rebel?”

In today’s rapidly advancing world, the term ‘Artificial Intelligence’ is not uncommon to hear or read, in magazines and blog posts (such as those posted by XLNC!); at business meetings and on television. In our everyday lives, a lot of us apply AI technology to our mundane organizational as well as other personal tasks. However, a lot of individuals and groups are still very skeptical about this technology, and the idea of machines functioning autonomously.

While AI enthusiasts often sound gung-ho about the fields of Machine Learning and Automation – claiming these to make life more efficient and dynamic – a lot of others still struggle with getting over the apprehension that AI might take complete control of human life.
We’re back with a blog; and today, let’s evaluate AI’s benefits and drawbacks against the backdrop of the 21st Century world:

I.HEY! AI AIN’T ALL THAT BAD, AFTER ALL…

For those of you who are apprehensive and skeptical about embracing a technology as “frightening” and “overpowering” as AI, we’re here to break the ice between AI and you. Here we are, with the positive side of AI:

a.Artificial Intelligence does not recognize intellectual laziness

While human intelligence has managed to achieve leaps and bounds in various fields at different levels, it is always highly susceptible to spells of complacence and “intellectual laziness”. That’s where AI steps in. Siri, Alexa and Cortana do not tire of assisting you regardless of the time of day or night (check out our previous blog on chat-bots); and your personalized AI tutors will never tire of teaching you or helping you with teaching others. This is one of the reasons for Artificial Intelligence being promoted over manual task completion.

b.To err is human, so humans created Artificial Intelligence.

Einstein famously said, “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.

As living beings, mistakes have always been a simultaneous process alongside the successes. But Artificial Intelligence is definitely not a blunder (okay, hang on…we’re coming to the cons!). When programmed accurately, an AI technology is less likely to commit errors; and is usually flexible across different platforms.

c.‘Cause humans are so quick, they find themselves too slow…

Today, the world is now resorting to quickness in whatever it does – so much so, that the natural speed of humans is sometimes too slow for this world. And so, AI bridges the gap between the fast progressing world and the people residing in it. It provides faster and more efficient ways of reaching the desired ends. AI is being widely used in almost all sectors today, including healthcare, education, transportation and communication, and defense and military. It ensures speed and accuracy with minimal compromise on either.

d.Your AI is sensitive, but not emotional.

While chat-bots and GPS may be courteous and sensitive to your needs, they certainly do not possess deeper emotions and mood-swings; and you can rest assured that they will not complain of overwork and fatigue. And such a detached concern for the customers ensures that they can be reliable, diligent and caring, even when the work is strenuous and hectic.

II. AI AIN’T ALL THAT GOOD EITHER!

But, are we headed towards utopia? Is AI really so perfect that one can totally overlook possibilities of disadvantages? Most definitely not! Just like everything else on this earth, AI, too, has two sides. And a lot of people are skeptical about applying this technology for this reason. Come, let’s evaluate the various drawbacks of AI:

a.Yes, my processes will be more efficient, but at what ‘cost’?

Once we install and apply AI to our day-to-day lives, Artificial Intelligence can certainly be quite viable and cost effective. However, in the first place, it is important to install it to our already existing systems and ensure that it functions independently. And these processes are not exactly economical. Designing the specific tool of AI and then training the machine to operate without human intervention can be an expensive task, and one needs to be prepared to incur the expenditure in order to enjoy the results later.

b.Your AI is emotionally intelligent, but sometimes not intelligently emotional

Yes, AI may have been designed to understand human emotions and analyze sentiments. AI may also be able to carry out complex tasks that humans may never be able to undertake. However, there is a certain depth in perception and perspective that no machine has ever been able to touch, at least till now. And so, AI ventures can sometimes turn into not-so-pleasant adventures.

For example, in 2016, Microsoft’s Twitter chat-bot created havoc when it began abusing, and passing pro-Nazi comments such as “Hitler was right.” While this experimental chat-bot, Tay, was only imitating some humans who had been playing mischief, the situation was certainly alarming. Had the AI device been entirely controlled and mediated by a human, the situation may have probably been handled better.
We may consider AI as an innocent child whose active mind is a clean slate. It is the responsibility of humans to ensure it doesn’t waiver from the right path.

c.“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” Einstein meant this only for human intelligence.

AI apparently can’t have fun beyond a certain extent – intrinsic creativity does not figure anywhere here. That’s a faculty exclusive to humans – and processes sans human intervention can, well, only do so much to help matters.

d.While taking the help of machines, are we becoming machines ourselves?

This is one of the greatest concerns that the modern world is having to face. There is always a threat that AI can replace human intelligence in a big way; however, a lot of us don’t realize that as creators of AI, it is we who have the upper-hand over our creations. As users, one must realize that machines and technology are not meant for encouraging intellectual laziness and procrastination; but rather, for facilitating increased efficiency and application of one’s intellect. And any device, when misused, can be detrimental to society and individuals. AI is no different.

Source:

Infoworld

MEET YOUR CHATTY CHATBOTS: 5 Ways in Which Chatbots are the Best Virtual Assistants

“Chatbots are the new websites, and messaging platforms are the new browsers,” someone said.

Whether it’s typing out a letter or sending out invites for meetings, personal secretaries have done it all. While these jobs have been creating employment, we can all agree that these jobs are far from lucrative. The rule-based, repetitive tasks often tend to reduce people to two hands performing uninteresting tasks without applying their intellect.
So how about a personal assistant who is ever-willing to help – whether it’s setting your alarms or informing you about today’s weather; or simply raising your spirits with a joke or tongue-twister when you’re under the weather. Welcome to the world of chatbots, your 24/7 personal assistants!

We’re back with a blog, and today, let’s dedicate a blog post to our dedicated, diligent, and sometimes quite eccentric, virtual assistants. These virtual assistants have been around for quite some time now, starting with the first of their clan, Apple’s Siri. According to Go-Gulf, the number of people using virtual personal assistants may reach 1.8 billion by 2021. Today, we have a handful of virtual assistants; including Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google’s Google Assistant for smartphones and Google home; performing a world of tasks for every day:

1. YOUR CHATBOTS DON’T SLEEP AT WORK. AND THEY’RE AT WORK ALL THE TIME.

Let’s face it. Human assistants must not be overworked under any circumstances; and they deserve their 7 hours of sleep and timely breaks. Ever observed Cortana or Alexa not in their seats owing to tea-break or simply because they have already finished the given hours of service? Your chatbots are never, ever exhausted. Whether you want them to carry out extensive research for your business, or entertain you with a poem on one of those insomniac nights, they are available 24/7.

2. HUNDRED QUERIES, ONE ASSISTANT

Life can certainly be chaotic and confusing sometimes. And don’t we all look for that go-to person to consult during times of confusion? But how many queries can even the most learned and well-informed person answer at once? Yes, let’s face it – humans do have their own limitations, and it’s alright. And that’s why we have designed chatbots who can perform tasks that humans generally can’t – such as processing, with unbelievable accuracy, hundreds of queries asked at the same time from a thousand different devices; and providing suitable, spontaneous, and sometimes even witty responses to every individual. That’s the beauty of Artificial Intelligence.

3. CHATBOTS ARE LIKE CHAMELEONS – THEY CAN ADAPT THEMSELVES TO EVERY SCENARIO!

As discussed before, humans cannot be everywhere; and different online platforms have been designed by us in order to facilitate easier and more efficient communication across the globe. With chatbots having entered the scene, the question arises as to whether these awesome assistants can be integrated to the vast repertoire of systems and platforms built by us over the years. The answer is a resounding YES! Your chatbots are like chameleons – they can easily change colour in order to adapt themselves to the environment they are exposed to. Thus, they set up shop at practically any domain; helping you with your queries and organizing sprees; your chaotic moments and phases of boredom.

4. NO, THERE ARE NO ‘PAY-DAYS’ FOR YOUR CHATBOTS!

While the job profiles of customer service executives and personal assistants have always ensured employment generation, these occupations, needless to say, function on salary basis. You cannot, and must not, hire a person with dismal or no income provided to him/her. However, chatbots do not need three square-meals a day. They are more than happy to reside in the software platform in which you place them, making it their forever home; and when you ask Siri or Google Assistant whether they have families of their own, their ultimate happiness is in serving you! Other virtual assistants and chatbots are no different. It is quite economical to maintain your chatbot; updating it from time-to-time and modifying it to meet the requirements of the given platform.

5. HUMAN SPONTANEITY MINUS HUMAN IMPATIENCE = CHATTY CHATBOT

Your chatbot can converse with you about almost anything under the sun – keeping the to-and-fro nature of human conversation intact, while also eliminating the negative aspects of the same; such as boredom and impatience. This gives customers a near-perfect interaction experience, where they are helped by the chatbot with great precision, regardless of the time of the day/night, and the complexity level of the question.
And last but not the least, chatbots can even be customized to entertain you in whatever rational way you deem fit – right from playing games with you, to reciting poems or jokes, and engaging in occasional situational comedy during the course of your conversations.

Artificial Intelligence can certainly make life more efficient in every way; and the ‘chatbot’ wonder is probably the best example of the same. However, chatbots go one step beyond the macro level of Artificial Intelligence, to include the benefits of AI’s subfield, Machine Learning; which enables them to carry out their tasks independently, without human intervention. In a lot of ways, having bestowed life on AI and ML, humans have created forces that are capable of performing unbelievable feats that humans are either totally incapable of, or require to invest excessive amounts of time and effort to complete. However, it is important to keep in mind that it is, after all, the human caliber and intellect that has led to such an invincible creation in the first place; and so, it is our responsibility to use our creations in as optimal and secure a manner as possible.

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