What is RPA?

A modern enterprise is a fully automated enterprise.


The pace at which industries progress, especially after digitization, has increased significantly. While manpower can keep a company going, there is no guarantee that manual labor can keep up. Tasks that require monotonous steps, or tasks that must be completed the same every single day can lead your workforce to burn out. If not, then your team members lose precious time doing repetitive tasks as opposed to focusing on other aspects of the business. 

A fully automated enterprise eliminates the tedious process of completing the same tasks over and over again. By successfully leveraging automation and AI to streamline work across existing systems, automation revolutionizes the speed at which businesses evolve. That is why robotic process automation (RPA) is a crucial component for businesses.

RPA mimics and automates business processes and tasks exactly as if they were being carried out by humans. It simulates the human work of logging into applications, entering tons of data, sending emails, and doing other repetitive tasks. Additionally, it richly interweaves automation into its processes and operations, and it puts automation tools into the hands of both ordinary people and RPA professionals.

What does RPA do?

RPA software creates robots, or ‘bots’, that learn, mimic, and execute rule-based business processes. This is accomplished as these user-created bots observe human digital actions, and copy them to complete tasks.

Simply put, show your bots what to do and then watch them do the work.

RPA mimics human work to:

  • Conduct complex business processes
  • Interpret existing applications
  • Activate responses for a better customer experience
  • Control and measure data in real-time
  • Communicate with other digital systems

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    Benefits Of RPA

    What are some Benefits of Robotic Process Automation?

    The biggest benefit of RPA is that these software bots can interact with any application or system the same way people do, except that RPA bots can operate much faster than the typical human workforce; they work nonstop, around the clock, and with complete reliability and precision.

    • Increase accuracy of repetitive human activities
    • Reduce risk with improved compliance
    • Execute routine transactions faster
    • Reduce costs significantly
    • Increase productivity of employees
    • Make intelligent data-driven decisions

    Which Tasks Qualify for RPA?

    As mentioned above, any tasks that are repetitive, occur on a consistent basis, and require a lot of effort and time are tasks that can be completed by an RPA software bot.


    Business Rules-Based

    Repeatable Processes

    What sets RPA apart from other automation tools?

    Unlike other IT solutions, RPA is absolutely non-invasive. It leverages your current infrastructure without any intervention or disruption to the underlying systems.

    While saving costs, it is also much faster to set-up as compared to other software solutions.

    • Highly scalable and adaptable
    • Zero disruption of underlying systems
    • Minimal upfront investment
    • Hits accuracy goals with reliable consistency
    • Increases security
    • Non-disruptive
    • Quick ROI

    Which industries are compatible with RPA?

    If your RPA implementation team has partnered with leading RPA providers (like Bista Solutions has), they can easily implement and integrate this powerful technology with your current systems. 

    These tools are pre-integrated software that enables you to design, build, and run intelligent applications, digital workforces, and automation services. Moreso, you can do this on any cloud platform with minimum coding experience.

    • UiPath
    • Microsoft Power Automate
    • Microsoft Dynamics

    Automation can benefit every industry. As such, RPA is compatible across all industries. See the image on the right to understand its compatibility with your particular industry.

    Robotic Process Automation

    Can we integrate your ERP with RPA?

    While ERP systems are there to automate your processes, the power of RPA can tremendously boost those systems and speed up the processes manifold. Since RPA is platform agnostic and operates at the user interface level, it can do anything that a trained software user can do.

    If you look at the symbiosis of NetSuite and RPA from a larger ‘process automation’ lens, you can say that robotization will be managing your end-to-end digital value chain and conducting all repetitive tasks.

    RPA can fill any ERP system gaps and usher in another level of resource planning known as automated resource planning.

    Why RPA for my Business?

    As stated previously, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) bots can mimic almost any human action. The following are some of the things RPA bots can do for you:


    In fact, RPA bots have the same digital skills as people do. Since these bots copy actions as given to them. The only difference is that the RPA bot can do everything humans can do—and then some more. They can work around the clock with efficiency and eliminate the concept of human error in the process. The best part about RPA bots is that they can adapt to any interface or workflow; there’s no need to change business systems, applications, or existing processes in order to automate. Furthermore, RPA bots can be scheduled, cloned, customized, and shared to execute business processes throughout the organization.

    Now that we have discussed the benefits of RPA, let’s shift our attention to intelligent document processing (IDP). As an emerging technology solution, IDP enables businesses to automate document processes even when it involves unstructured data (i.e. PDFs and images). IDP is also known as is IDP RPA because most IDP solutions tend to leverage RPA in order to automate the documentation processes.

    Now that we know what it is, how exactly does it work?

    In a nutshell, IDP RPA solutions leverage different technologies to produce optimal results. These technologies include:

    • Optical Character Recognition (OCR): to extract data from unstructured documents and convert it into machine-readable formats.
    • NLP: to understand the language and meaning of the extracted data.
    • Machine learning algorithms: to classify and validate the data.
    • RPA: to automate data processing and manipulation processes (i.e. entering the data into excel sheets, and generating reports from the extracted data).

    Now that we have an idea of how it works, why is it important for your organization?

    Across all industries, businesses are facing pressure to do more—and do it faster—with fewer skilled resources. At the same time, more organizations are focusing on improving experiences for customers and employees as a key to improving revenue, margins, and retention. Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) can deliver significant benefits on both counts. By applying document skills in a way that closely supports the way humans understand and manage content, IDP saves time and money while also reducing the risk of costly errors. From an experience perspective, employees are freed from the tedious tasks of reading and manually processing documents, while customers benefit from greater efficiency in document-based

    As you may see, IDP looks good on paper. However, it’s fair to wonder how it will bode during real-world applications; where content is processed to change experience-drive outcomes. Businesses across industries have successfully implemented IDP for content-centric processes, such as:

    • Supply Chain: accounts payable, invoice processing
    • Logistics: route optimization, shipment tracking, back-office processes
    • Financial Services: trade finance, mortgage loan processing, KYC compliance
    • Insurance: claims management, policy administration
    • Healthcare: patient registration, revenue cycle management

    Even though we mentioned software integrations above, it is worth mentioning that RPA can also be integrated with SPS Ecommerce, Python, Microsoft Azure, etc.

    When it comes to Microsoft Azure, RPA is integrated in a way that facilitates data extraction and record creation within Odoo. This results in time saved without the need for any human intervention.

    1. Robotic Process Automation (RPA): Use Azure Cognitive Services Form Recognizer to create invoice or receipt processing RPA workflows. For example, organizations can run invoices through an invoice processing workflow to generate accounts payable or accounts receivable reports.
    2. Cognitive search indexes: Use the General Document API in Azure Form Recognizer to build intelligent search indexes for knowledge mining and extract more relevant pieces of information (important clauses, purchase amounts, totals, etc.) from documents like insurance claims, contracts, tax forms, and product specifications.
    3. Industry-specific applications: Use Azure Form Recognizer to train models to process custom forms for specific customer apps or common workflows within particular industries.

    Bista helps clients leverage the Azure Cognitive Services Form Recognizer as part of Microsoft’s Azure Applied AI Services to automate data extraction and turn documents into usable information with significantly lower time and cost. As such, we use the best of Microsoft’s AI, machine learning, automation, and cloud computing technologies to redefine information orchestration and support intelligent analysis and operations for organizations across industries. The Bista team has built various best-in-class AI and automation solutions, like the Invoice Automation Form, which uses Form Recognizer to extract, identify, classify, and validate data from paper-based forms based on configured business rules with 100% accuracy.

    Task mining utilizes user interaction data (AKA desktop data) to assess the efficiency of a task within a larger process. This type of data is inclusive of keystrokes, mouse clicks, and data entries that occur as part of completing a given operation. This technology then uses optical character recognition (OCR), natural language processing (NLP), and machine learning algorithms to interpret and analyze this data, which in turn enables analysts and other stakeholders to identify operational inefficiencies.

    Task mining tools start by collecting data from users’ machines (i.e., keystrokes, as mentioned earlier, or clicks, user inputs, recordings, and more). From there, optical character recognition (OCR) capabilities can add additional context about what the user is doing. For example, it might look at the timestamp data to help assemble a general timeline of activities in a subprocess. Once that data is structured appropriately, machine learning algorithms can be leveraged to cluster data into specific tasks within the sub-process (ex: “submitting a purchase order”). The data can then be combined with event log data to help contextualize performance. This view of the data allows businesses to discover bottlenecks and fix them accordingly.

    Now that we know what task mining is and how it works, let’s go over some of its benefits and use cases.

    Task mining enables organizations to track KPIs for individual, often overlooked tasks. By analyzing user interaction data, businesses can track task productivity and make data-informed process improvement decisions. This also ensures increased compliance. Additionally, organizations can also spot RPA automation opportunities easier than ever. Manual, repetitive, and error-prone tasks are identified with ease, building an ideal foundation for automation.

    Combined, process mining and task mining solutions set up your business for success! Both approaches have their own space and distinct capabilities, as seen above, but it is important to highlight that task mining and process mining should be seen and used as complementary techniques.

    Businesses can use a combined process mining and task mining approach to unify process variants by identifying the most productive users. The most common use cases for task mining are:

    1. Improve process and task efficiency
    2. Increase customer and employee satisfaction
    3. Discover automation potential
    4. Unify process variants

    Process mining is a technique to analyze and track processes. In traditional business process management, it is done with process workshops and interviews, which results in an idealized picture of a process.

    Back in the day, process mapping had to be completed by teams of people who met for several days to figure it out on a whiteboard or spreadsheet. In other words, it was a complete slog.

    Thankfully, however, we can leave all that painful, people-driven process mapping in the past. Because today, process mining’s powerful algorithms and advanced data transformation make discovering and optimizing your processes fast, data-driven, and complete. And slog-free.

    Some of its benefits include:

    1. Survey processes everywhere across the enterprise—at a high scale and low human effort
    2. Analyze processes fully and accurately based on the facts
    3. Zero in on bottlenecks, deviations, and inefficient processes that should be rethought or automated
    4. Continuously monitor processes and measure improvements
    5. Simplify compliance, with full audit trails
    6. Use in any industry: financial services, telecommunications, manufacturing, healthcare, or consumer goods and beyond
    7. Analyze virtually any process in any functional area: contact centers, purchase-to-pay, order-to-cash, and many more

    Excel is a powerful, efficient, and user-friendly application for data storing, calculating, organizing, and generating reports. There is no doubt that this application has become very popular from small-scale industries to corporate organizations as there is a continuous need to access, analyze, retrieve, calculate, manipulate, and report real-time data daily. However, sometimes integrating Excel with other applications isn’t all that intuitive. 

    So if you are bound to daily repetitive tasks like data retrieval, extraction, migration, import and export, and more, automation is key to avoid this tediousness in activities.

    Automating Excel spreadsheets is not only easy to learn but will have a significant impact on your team’s productivity level. Let’s say you need to update your inventory or your sales commission figures regularly. These processes are just some of the many you can automate in Excel.

    Some examples of the most common tasks you can automate in Excel can be seen below:

    • High-volume data input
    • Data entry forms creation
    • Data format and style modifications
    • Refresh data
    • Copying and pasting data between worksheets
    • Extracting data from a website to store in Excel 
    • Manipulate data and text 
    • Create new documents 
    • Communicate with text files, databases, etc.


    Once you get the hang of Excel automation, you’ll immediately recognize its various benefits, including: 

    • Reduced errors 
    • Better and more streamlined reporting 
    • Save time
    • Potential to decrease costs because of saved time 
    • Prevention of key person dependencies 
    • No need for coding or programming
    • Potential to boost employee retention because there’s less need for repetitive, draining and monotonous manual work

    As the name suggests, chatbots are computer programs built to simulate human conversations—whether on a website, a messaging app, or a virtual assistant. With today’s customers expecting immediacy and personalization in their interactions with brands, the addition of chatbots as a communication channel has become critical to business growth.

    The purpose of a chatbot is to improve the productivity of customer-facing teams and reduce the workload caused by live chat. This can be achieved by training an AI-enabled chatbot to spot patterns and language intent and identify the most appropriate response without human involvement. 

    Chatbots are a one-time investment that can offer instant self-service, deflect a significant number of inquiries, and quickly scale as your requirements grow. So if you are evaluating the implementation of chatbots for your customer service, here are a couple of reasons to get started:

    • Chatbots can increase customer satisfaction through frictionless support. 
    • They can offer precise answers to questions and point customers in the right direction.
    • Smart chatbots can offer contextual advice and escalate conversations to a live agent when necessary.
    • Chatbot Use Cases in Customer Service
      1. Automate your website support
      2. Handle internal helpdesk support
      3. Bots help in order confirmation & tracking shipping
      4. Support customers inside the mobile app


    • Chatbot Use Cases in Sales
      1. Automate sales and lead generation
      2. Better lead nurturing
      3. Chatbot eases appointment bookings
      4. Bots help to place online orders

    We know the importance of a centralized island of information. That is why we implement ERPs for companies across all industries. Additionally, we are aware that not one size fits all. That is why our team leverages ERPs to create tailored solutions for your business.

    Bista Solutions knows the value of automation in the 21st century, especially for companies that don’t just want to keep up but also excel in their industries.

    So in addition to implementing robotic process automation software, you can rest assured knowing our team handles it all. And we do mean all. Whether you are looking for management, upgrades, maintenance, or anything of that nature for your tailored solutions, our team will take care of it. This way, you can continue working on your business, knowing the back end is optimized and taken care of.

    The Bista team has over 2 decades of ERP experience, with over 250 resources at your disposal. These include certified developers as well as functional and technical ERP and AI automation consultants. Our expertise stretches across ERP implementation, business analysis, AI automation, and digital transformation. Connect with our experts today to see how RPA can benefit your business, regardless of the industry you are in.