What Is Intelligent Process Automation?

Intelligent process automation (IPA), also known as hyperautomation, uses robotic process automation (RPA) with process mining, artificial intelligence (AI) and OCR to automate processes and make them more intuitive. 

According to IEEE Standards Association, intelligent process automation (IPA) is defined as “a preconfigured software instance that combines business rules, experience-based context determination logic, and decision criteria to initiate and execute multiple interrelated human and automated processes in a dynamic context.”

Learn More:  What is Process Automation?

Benefits of Intelligent Process Automation (IPA)

In business, automation refers to the use of technology to complete pre-identified steps or processes with little to no human intervention. For example, you can set up payroll systems to automatically disburse payments to part-time, full-time, and contingent staff at the end of every month based on the hours put in and the leaves availed.Deloitte notes that companies adopting intelligent process automation can save $50 million and create over 100 FTE work capacities. But to get started with intelligent process automation, organizations must first examine their process landscape and find where AI intervention would be most beneficial.The benefit of using intelligent automation versus RPA is that IPA learns through cognitive technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).Some of the technologies used in intelligent process automation are:
  • Process mining: To capture data from systems of records and visualize business processes

  • Computer vision: Computer vision uses technology such as OCR to scan documents

  • Machine learning: Machine learning uses AI algorithms to find common patterns in structured data and make predictions

  • Natural language processing (NLP): NLP is a branch of artificial intelligence that uses software to understand language whether it is spoken or written such as in the case of chatbots  
Learn More: Process Discovery and Hyperautomation: the Hype is Real     

Components of Intelligent Process Automation Tools

To understand precisely how IPA works, let us look at its key components:
  • RPA bots: RPA still forms the foundation of intelligent automation.

  • Artificial intelligence: AI enables IPA solutions to mimic human thought and intelligence.

  • Machine learning: Machine learning algorithms identify patterns and make predictions based on data.

  • Computer vision: The role of computer vision in intelligent automation is extremely important. It is a subset of AI technology that recognizes visual input, like recognizing a person from video feeds (facial recognition) or recognizing text from a photograph (optical character recognition or OCR). Computer vision in intelligent automation allows IPA tools to read and understand a vast range of data, both structured and unstructured.

  • Process mining: Process mining reveals the as-is state of business processes, the inefficiencies, and variants in workflows. After assessing the automatability of a process, a RPA bot is deployed to automate the workflow.

Intelligent Process Automation Examples

Intelligent process automation is widely used in customer service. For example, chatbots with AI capabilities don’t just respond to queries with a statement from the FAQ list. They also use OCR to capture data from screenshots, natural language processing to understand the customer’s mood, and AI to analyze the customer profile. This helps make the response to service queries as accurate and efficient as possible.To identify the best use cases for intelligent process automation, organizations need to look at three factors:
  • Manual tasks: Tasks and processes that are highly manual and repetitive (i.e., employees performing the same steps repeatedly) are good use cases for IPA.

  • Volume: Tasks that occur in high volume are good candidates for intelligent process automation tools.
Learn More:  4 Reasons You Can’t Scale RPA Without Task Mining

Bottom line 

Today, over 60% of the teams’ workday is spent on unstructured interactions in documents, emails, communications, custom applications, and websites – outside of ERP, CRM, and other systems of record. This massive unstructured and undocumented interaction dataset between people and software is untapped and contains a goldmine of insights that could give a significant competitive edge to enterprises. Traditional task solutions used for identifying and building automation pipelines have significant privacy, accuracy, and scalability issues and fail to capture work done outside the systems of record, such as EPRs and CRMs.  

Through Soroco ScoutTM, powered by the world’s first work graph platform, organizations can unlock this data source to discover processes where inefficiencies occur and are prime candidates for intelligent process automation. 

Request a demo of Soroco ScoutTM today!    

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