The Customer Service Journal
Volume 4 March, 2018
Knowledge for the world of customer service & support
In this section we will be looking at both hardware and software technology that can be employed to reduce cost of service, and/or improve service delivery and profitability. In this issue we profile Business Process Automation (BPA, Robotics Process Automation (RPA).
Some might question why we are looking at Business Process Automation (BPA) separately from Robotic Process Automation (RPA). It is easy to think that they are the same because they both automate processes, but our experience and research have led us to believe that there are a few very subtle and distinct differences between the two.
BPA for the most part occurs at the server and with the exception of a few products such as Pega and Sterling Commerce they are typically embedded or attached directly to specific software applications such as Oracle, SAP, or MS Dynamics. BPA is often linked to Business Process Management and has been very successfully deployed in the Healthcare, insurance, and financial marketplace. to improve the management of customer transactions.
RPA on the other hand can be thought of as the creation and execution of software Avatars that mimic the actions of a person at a workstation. And in fact companies such as IPSoft tout that they can create avatars that can in essence "learn on the job". I have seen avatars effectively deployed to support a Sales and Fulfillment operation in a fraction of the time it would take for you to build the same functionality on a server. So another aspect of RPA and avatars is that they can in some instances support an Agile approach to adding new functionality to a customer service operation.
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