RPA as a Service

RPA as a Service

  • Author
  • July 25, 2019
Category: Robotic Process Automation, Intelligent Automation

How Does RPA Work?

Robotic Process Automation is a rapidly emerging technology in today’s world. It easily eliminates repeatable tasks carried out by humans, leaving them free to do other valuable tasks. Basically, it is a user level software that can be programmed to do basic tasks across applications as a human would do. RPA technology as used in business process automation is based on business logic and structured inputs.

A RPA robot or bot is a software that is configured to execute repeatable, structured human activities using RPA tools. It is trained to carry out a workflow with multiple steps and applications. For example: reading incoming forms, sending an acknowledgement email, checking the form data, filing it in a folder and updating a spreadsheet with the data.

This robot runs on a physical or virtual machine with a defined set of instructions. Being robots, the interactions are error free, can support high volume and execute at high speed.

RPA as a Service

The concept of moving away from a traditional software license structure to a SaaS based model is coming up in the RPA space as well.

If you wish to implement a business transformation in your organization without the associated risks and high costs of the implementation of RPA, you can find a vendor that will not only build an automation application in the cloud for you, but also run and maintain the robots. Going further, you need to pay only for the actual use of the robot, flexibly related to the volume of the process.

When RPA is offered as a service, typically it has a cloud-hosted RPA stack. Software robots execute automations either in the public cloud or on the customer’s servers or virtual machines. Ready-made automation processes are available to integrate: accessibility, control injection, screen OCR, and UI element manipulation are some typical components.

RPA as a Service involves:

  • A bot” or a configurable piece of software
  • the platform to build and run the bot
  • most importantly: human skills and capabilities required to design and build the bot

Such a RPA service vendor will have consultants who will completely develop and implement the process. A successful implementation of RPAaaS involves skilled people in the methodology and tooling required to combine automated processes with existing business practices. For example, Fujitsu offers consultants to work with you to create roadmaps of your processes and build an RPA plan for on premise or in their data center. You do not need to pay till the robots are up and running, leading to very predictable costs. Any enhancements to the robots also becomes cost effective.

Engagement Models

RPA as a service can be a simple subscription-based engagement model that allows services to be delivered and controlled remotely. (However, it has the following risk: It involves automating and integrating internal systems which may have security concerns.)

The service model for RPA makes it far easier for businesses to quickly adopt the RPA technology. Most of the RPA vendors offers RPA as a Service (RPAaaS), with a “pay-as-you-use” subscription. Customers can bypass the need to buy, deploy, and maintain hardware and software.

When choosing a RPA as a service vendor here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Your vendor must have the business and automation skills to design, build and run bots
  • Check the complexity, compliance and governance of your process
  • Length of time bot will operate and execute the process
  • Avoid Vendor lock-in

“Pay as you go” bots

In another RPA service model, you can just pay for the usage of a robot or automated engine rather than paying for a robot. There are no license costs involved. Many service providers have launched a “pay-as-you-go” service for RPA, which lets businesses scale up or down automation cost by paying per second.

For example, Automation Anywhere has launched something called as a “Bot Farm”; this farm allows you to rent RPA tools on a usage basis rather than on a capacity or license basis.

Customers can deploy Fujitsu’s new pay-as-you-go service which will record how many hours the automation is being delivered and charge for it. This model brings cost reduction to businesses, making costs transparent and proportional to the benefits they get from RPA.

With only one bot the work queues up for its turn. If one launches all the robots one needs, work can be completed immediately in a compressed cycle. Customers also pay for that usage.

If you don’t want to use a SaaS model for your RPA needs, you can have robots resident on an internal server, but you would still pay only for usage of the robot. This is a consumption-based model allowing easier adoption and removes the constraints with licenses.