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Shock the Monkey

  • On 30 September 2021

Apart from considering it one of the most brilliant songs of the end of the last century, I must also confess that I have infinite empathy for primates: I don’t know if you’ve ever interacted with them in nature … it’s a crazy experience !!! If you haven’t done so yet, make a note to go to Bali, or Congo, or Vietnam, or any other country where these incredible beings can act freely and you, just as freely, relate to them: you will get some tattoos. on the soul (in the face of those who dispute Darwin).

This is perhaps why I have always hated the expression “monkey work” …

Above all, I have always hated carrying out activities defined as such, or those repetitive, trivial, equal to themselves, without any added value and which, to be honest, any primate would refuse to perform.

How many times have we found ourselves spending hours on simple and repetitive operations, perhaps based on structured data sources (excel files, databases, other systems, internet, etc.), when instead we could have spent that time much more profitably, to train ourselves, to activities of greater intellectual value, or greater added value …

The Anglo-Saxons have a beautiful expression, swivel chair, to indicate activities that involve manually entering data into one system and then inserting the same data into another system; the term derives from the practice of the user who switches from one system to another using a swivel chair.

“Cui prodest?” someone said much wiser than me (and maybe I gave you the idea to discover or rediscover Cicero and Seneca).

Already at the end of the last century, information technology had faced the problem of finding solutions for the automation of repetitive operations (think of Excel and Access macros or all software, open source or paid, that allowed “Capture” the screens relating to an operation and then were able to repeat the operation countless times, in some cases also providing the possibility to modify some “parameters). In the last decade there has been a more structured approach to the problem, which has led to the birth of RPA, Robotic Process Automation, which indicates the class of technologies designed to automate repetitive tasks and whose main advantages can be summarized in greater efficiency, lower costs and reduced errors, all by replacing human effort with bots.

In the last five years there has been a strong specialization within the RPA, which has led to the birth of the BPA (Business Process Automation), which is located within the BPM (Business Process Management), and the generic term for define the full range of process automation technologies, and DPA (Digital Process Automation), which “automates a process from start to finish”, as stated by Craig Le Clair, vice president and principal analyst of Forrester Research and author of “Invisible Robots in the Quiet of the Night: How AI and Automation Will Restructure the Workforce,” adding that DPA technologies are used for longer and more complex processes than activities that can be effectively managed by RPA or BPA.

We also mention the RDA (Robotic Desktop Automation), which describes a small-scale RPA specific for desktop applications, born with the specific intent of making investments in automation more efficient (the principle is the classic “do not use a bazooka to shoot a little bird, and I apologize to the animal rights activists).

In very recent times, Artificial Intelligence (the AI ​​imagined by the great Asimov more than 70 years ago) is becoming more and more preponderant in the world of industrial processes. In this context, the RPA presents the limit of not integrating, by its nature, with the AI. Hence, IPA (Intelligence Process Automation) was born, what Gartner defines as iBPM and which is increasingly seen as a complement to RPA, with the extension of the scope of Robotic Process Automation with AI technologies.

IPA covers a broader scope than RPA: it can handle multiple types of data formats and can enable new types of smarter decision-making. Getting the best out of an IPA strategy requires IT and data science teams to collaborate more closely.

“RPA is purely robotic in nature and does not require intelligence to function,” said Banwari Agarwal, Global Market for IPA leader at Cognizant. Consequently, it is a good technology for automating well-defined and rules-based business processes.

On the contrary, the IPA is used to automate the most complex business processes that benefit from the capabilities of artificial intelligence. This involves combining intelligent data acquisition, natural language processing, machine learning, and operational analytics with RPA. “Both RPA and IPA are useful in different types of situations,” Agarwal said.

A complex and varied world of process automation, but extremely interesting and which, today, benefits from a strange ally: Covid.

Coronavirus pandemic forces organizations to shift IT budgets quickly. According to a survey of IT professionals conducted by Evaluator Group, 50% of companies expect cuts in their IT budget. This means less money for innovative software solutions as organizations care more about business continuity.

It will also change the way companies spend their budgets: “Low-risk investments are favored when operating budgets are limited,” said Gurmeet Mangat, digital strategy analyst with DDB Consultants. “When shopping happens in uncertain times, people want to be sure that the return on their investment is almost guaranteed.”

Therefore, analysts argue, the investments that people will be willing to risk will be those that simplify manual and repetitive tasks: “As more and more employees choose to work from home, organizations are looking for new ways to automate. activities commonly performed in the office, ”said Sal Pece, senior software analyst at Xennial Consulting.

What will be the long-term effect of Covid-19 on the IT sector? Time will tell, but there is no doubt that the time-saving tools that allow employees to work from home will become more common.

SAP, one of the main global players in the IT field, immediately declared itself ready to take up the challenge and is ready to run with its partners.

For several years, SAP has been offering RPA solutions, obviously optimized for the numerous products of its solutions.

But SAP could not limit itself to this: as is customary, it wants to raise the stakes. In order to allow a better orientation in the complex world of automation, it provides its SAP IRPA solution, Intelligent Robotic Process Automation, modular and scalable, as per SAP tradition, essentially conceived as SaaS (Software as a Service) on its platform. BTP (therefore with the possibility of avoiding any investment in IT infrastructure) and which collects all the above facets of process automation, obviously including the interaction with AI.

It is time, especially for the Italian market, to exploit the new potential made available by technology, to optimize and make investments and business processes more effective and efficient, increasing the quality of work, at 360 degrees.

Pl3 & Partners is ready for the challenge. Thanks to our decades-long collaboration with the SAP Academy, we are becoming familiar with the training aspect provided by the IRPA; moreover, we are specializing with the use of the tools, knowledge and skills useful and necessary to analyze the current reality of our Partners and plan with them the optimal development to be efficient and competitive in using the new opportunities made available by process automation technologies, also offering us a compass for orienting oneself in the complex world of IRPA; we use the most different methodologies but always careful to follow SAP standards, so as to offer solutions that can meet everyone’s needs and possibilities.

 

PL3 & Partners, does not offer only theoretical expertise: what we propose is exactly what we use for our internal systems.

PL3 & Partners is the ideal partner to identify the best solution for each specific case: we are a System Integrator who aims to be able to support its partners in the best way to seize the increasingly varied opportunities offered by SAP, whether it be for implement the new, whether the need is to adapt the existing one.

As usual, we are not looking for the ideal solution, but for the ideal solution for You.

For any information you can contact us at marketing@pl3group.com

Giorgio Morlacchi

SAP System Administrator