Robotic process automation (RPA) continues to be the shining star for many organizations trying to achieve digital process automation (DPA) excellence, and it makes sense because RPA can quickly automate many routine tasks and to do it at scale without a developer – delivering rapid ROI.
RPA automates the manual steps in processes via bots, which perform the same actions as human workers. Those bots can perform routine tasks at high speeds, from mouse clicks and keystrokes to parsing thousands of data cells in an Excel spreadsheet.
There’s a difference between RPA and workflow automation
Some organizations struggle by attempting to solely leverage RPA to automate more complex business processes. To be successful in an enterprise, RPA needs to work with a larger quantity of simple scenarios, including leveraging APIs and desktop apps. The key to achieving broad efficiency with RPA is leveraging it in tandem with advanced workflows to automate more complex business processes.
Understanding the difference between RPA and workflow is a vital part of understanding how they work together to improve process efficiency and effectiveness. Nintex is the only platform that offers the entire end-to-end, integrated process automation experience – delivering powerful, yet easy-to-use capabilities.
What is RPA?
RPA bots, like human workers, are “trained” to perform work via an application’s user interface rather than through APIs that must be integrated into an IT environment. Tasks that entail multiple interactions with multiple systems of record are therefore common targets for successful RPA projects.
RPA can be used for a wide range of everyday business tasks and processes, including:
- Opening emails and attachments
- Moving files and folders
- Copying and pasting
- Filling in forms
- Collecting statistics
- Making calculations
- Extracting structured data from documents
- Reading and writing to databases
Processes involving email, attachments, and folders are present in everyday business interactions, and RPA has a strong foothold in departments like finance, accounting, procurement, customer service, and call centers. From scraping websites and Excel documents to processing payroll, claims, registering patients, and more – RPA is extending its reach to all manner of industries.
What is workflow automation?
Rather than automating the individual components of a task, workflow automation uses technology to streamline and connect tasks as part of a holistic process. It is the canvas on which automation technologies join together – whether it is a task performed by an RPA bot, a new file or form created with DocGen®, or automatically sending an email – to make the flow of work as efficient as possible.
Combining RPA with advanced workflow
Adding RPA to the mix you can extend the power of workflow automation to a broader range of enterprise processes that address sophisticated automation opportunities. Nintex is the first to bring to market integrated workflows and RPA in a comprehensive, no-code, drag-and-drop automation platform. While some vendors claim RPA is a one-size-fits-all automation solution, Nintex understands that enterprise processes often have diverse components that call for different types of automation.
By leveraging Nintex Gateway, workflows can delegate tasks to an RPA bot that can interact with apps, systems, services, and websites, through their existing screens and user interfaces, by mimicking human keystrokes and mouse clicks.
Nintex Gateway allows enterprises to leverage the accessibility of the cloud while running RPA Botflows® on-premises. Nintex Gateway helps organizations:
- Integrate Nintex RPA and Nintex Workflow Cloud making it easier to automate enterprises processes that have multiple components
- Connect NWC workflows with Nintex RPA Botflows®
- Enable customers of Nintex on-premises capabilities to leverage cloud workflow capabilities while protecting their on-premises investments.
Nintex RPA and Nintex Workflow Enterprise Edition Entitlements
Nintex customers who have a current subscription agreement for Nintex Workflow Enterprise Edition have access to Nintex RPA within their workflow subscription. Through a shared capacity entitlement – customers can use any combination of automated Workflows or RPA Botflows®
Nintex provides the flexibility to customers to choose the right automation for the job. Nintex platform capabilities include workflow, RPA, document automation, digital forms, eSignature and more. All capabilities can be used independently or in combination to address any enterprise automation challenge.
To learn more about why RPA should be a tool in your automation toolbelt, request a demo!