Top-10 Essential Features to Look For in an RPA Solution
December 20, 2022 – Scott Eddleman, Head of Product Marketing, Robocorp
Digital transformation is a popular term. It gets Googled 13,000 times a month, just in the U.S. When enterprise leaders talk about digital transformation, it too often means “upgrade all our technology so we can work more efficiently”.
This isn’t a good approach, though. Customer service, delivery, and enterprise support teams usually work within a mixture of legacy platforms, productivity tools, and SaaS solutions. So simply upgrading doesn’t drive productivity.
What is true digital transformation?
True digital transformation requires a strategic assessment of business processes, employee work, existing technologies, and longer-term corporate objectives - resulting in a plan that drives smart software and automation adoption.
Many software vendors promise to optimize operations but fail with point solutions that address bespoke challenges and add complexity to your technology stack. Traditional robotic process automation (RPA) solutions offer a means to connect systems and processes to increase productivity and cost savings but don’t truly transform your business. There are two main reasons for this:
- Companies don’t think holistically when purchasing and implementing RPA solutions, which limits the scope of their effectiveness.
- Most RPA vendors cannot connect to and automate processes that involve homegrown platforms and legacy systems.
The latter is typical with enterprises that adopted early “Gen1 RPA” software - however, there is a solution. A new generation of open-source automation solutions known as “Gen2 RPA” has emerged since 2020. Robocorp is the leader in Gen2 RPA because we can automate virtually any use case or end-to-end process 3x faster and at ⅓ of the cost of traditional Gen1 RPA providers.
Top-10 features to look for in an RPA solution
Gen1 RPA sales and marketing teams do a good job of showing you the magical benefits of their solutions. Unfortunately for buyers, there are a lot of unseen pitfalls that they encounter after the contract is signed and implementation starts.
We created this list of 10 features you should consider when evaluating a traditional Gen1 RPA provider. It’s based on warnings we received from our Fortune 500 customers regarding their old Gen1 RPA bots - and the reasons why they transitioned to Robocorp’s Gen2 RPA solution.
1 - Doesn’t cause broken bots
Gen1 RPA providers are notorious for causing broken bots. Gen2 RPA improves success rates and reduces maintenance by automating deeper into application layers (UI, locators, API, data) and providing detailed audit logs to help users pinpoint and quickly fix errors.
2 - Maximizes your existing RPA investments
If you’re already using a Gen1 RPA provider, you’ve likely already made significant investments in RPA. A Gen2 RPA provider won’t require you to replace existing bots if you don’t want to. Instead, Gen2 digital workers seamlessly complement and extend the functionality and value of your existing automations.
3 - Accelerates bot development
Gen1 RPA vendors offer drag-and-drop development tools lacking the modularity needed to build bots quickly. Gen2 RPA empowers you to build rapidly, and reuse components across multiple bots and developers. For example, Robocorp offers free, open-source Python / Robot Framework-based tools that give users a composable way to build, copy and extend automations through centralized libraries and keywords.
4 - Processes work in a flash
Your digital workers should complete their workloads without delay. Unfortunately, Gen1 RPA struggles to do this. They typically process work in a single stream - one task at a time. For example, if you have 1,000 rows of work items that need to be processed, they chip away at them one by one, which can take hours or days. Conversely, Robocorp’s Gen2 RPA approaches the same job by running 1,000 bots in parallel, so the same amount of work is processed instantly. You get more work done at hyperspeed and at no extra cost.
5 - Controls bots, environments, and work items centrally
Look for a provider that lets you manage and monitor your attended and unattended bots in the cloud, on-premise, or in hybrid environments. You should be able to toggle between bots, work items, and environments from a single location.
6 - Scales bots dynamically; on-demand
Gen1 RPA clients are frequently limited in their ability to scale bots due to fixed infrastructure arrangements. You don’t have this problem with Gen2 RPA by Robocorp. We offer elastic processing that dynamically scales up and down, based on workloads, without runtime limits or licensing overheads.
7 - Charges you only for what you use
Most Gen1 RPA providers charge bot licenses and fixed infrastructure fees to run bots. This means you’re paying a lot for resources you don’t use. Robocorp’s Gen2 RPA allows pricing flexibility to align processing capacity with workload demands. No bot licensing fees, and you only pay for computing resources.
8 - Provides full traceability and audit trails
Robocorp enhances visibility, governance, and compliance through tight version control and advanced event logging that pinpoints errors so you can fix them quickly. Gen1 RPA vendors don’t offer this level of traceability without paying for expensive add-ons.
9 - Delivers performance insights at a glance
Gen2 RPA includes analytic tools to help you prove that your investment is paying off. You need dashboards with real-time performance data to measure SLA adherence, ROI, and TCO at a glance. Gen1 RPA vendors usually make you buy an additional module to get this level of insight.
10 - Gives you peace of mind
At a minimum, look for an RPA solution that offers role-based user management, separated workspaces, Secure Vault, SOC 2 Type 2, GDPR, and HIPAA compliance out of the box. Gen2 checks these boxes and more.
Get in touch to learn more about open-source Gen2 RPA.
Selecting an automation platform to improve your business outcomes is a serious decision. Of course, you need to consider features and benefits but also think about speed to value, sustainability, and flexibility. Gen2 RPA offers critical advantages over traditional robotic process automation - like expanded use cases, rapid development, lightning-fast processing, and unlimited scaling - at a fraction of the cost.
Robocorp is the leader in open-source Gen2 RPA. We’d love to show you how our solutions work and see how we deliver meaningful digital transformation to our global enterprise customers.