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RPA marketplace trend has bots in store

 

RPA background

RPA technology can handle a broad range of functions. For instance, a bot could check and automatically copy and paste customer information from one document to another in a personal loan application.

“A few areas where RPA has been popular are applications that translate data between Outlook and Excel and from one email system to another,” explained Max Mancini, executive vice president of the digital worker ecosystem at Automation Anywhere, an RPA vendor based in San Jose, Calif.

Software bots streamline data capture and reduce personnel costs, sometimes quite dramatically. The technology also enables businesses to improve data accuracy “Companies find that RPA systems improve not just efficiency, but also accuracy,” Mancini noted. “In financial services, if someone misplaces a digit, it can be a very big problem.”

As a result, the market is booming. Worldwide RPA software revenue grew 63.1% in 2018 to $846 million, making it the fastest-growing segment in the enterprise software market, according to Gartner.

But RPA faces challenges as the market expands. One is the technology’s vast potential.

“Corporations are beginning to realize that they can use RPA to automate just about any business process,” Mancini said. 

Use cases include order fulfillment, mortgage processing, logistics management, compliance auditing and monitoring customer churn, according to Automation Anywhere.

While identifying use cases is easy, making the connections can prove difficult. Applications now are broken into components that can be mixed and matched via APIs in a free-form fashion. Software has to be written to tie components together. Enterprises want to spend as little time as possible on that work so they can focus on application improvements.

The RPA marketplaces include distinct API connectors, lines of code that link items that perform various business functions together in a Lego-like fashion. These apps enhance component reuse, a concept that has gained traction with the movement to Agile development and open source offerings. 

In most cases, any developer can build a component and add it to a store once the vendor checks it to ensure it is legitimate software and not malware. Businesses then download the connectors like they would from a mobile app store.

In addition to connectors, RPA marketplace offerings include prebuilt bots and digital workers, workflows and utilities, among other asset types.

 

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