Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is an innovative software solution that automates existing business processes. This eliminates manual, repetitive and time-consuming tasks, while lowering the process costs. Here we show you the specific applications and advantages offered by RPA.
Text: Rüdiger Sellin (technical journalist, MAZ/SFJ), Image: Unsplash,
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) consists of the automated processing and handling of structured business processes. Digital software robots, known as RPA bots, form the core of this innovative technology.
The strengths of RPA are reflected in clearly structured, repetitive or rule-based processes and tasks that were previously performed by humans. The RPA bots have access to graphical user interfaces (GUI) or other interfaces and can execute almost any process.
The RPA bots take over the roles and tasks of users and interact with other software systems. The spectrum of robots used ranges from simple procedures such as editing Excel sheets to the use of complex software on virtual machines.
Although RPA is still a relatively new technology, Swisscom has already implemented over 400 RPA applications both for customers and within the Group, and therefore has extensive experience of this technology.
For example, thanks to RPA, Swisscom was able to significantly improve and simplify its interaction with Internet service providers (ISPs). ISPs use Swisscom’s cabling infrastructure and depend on exact information to make sure that faults and administrative requests can be dealt with quickly and efficiently. Every day, around 100–150 tickets are raised in this area, which are precisely recorded and processed by the RPA bots. Each ticket goes through a systematic triage process in order to determine the cause of the error by querying various IT systems and assigning it correctly.
Success proves Swisscom right: Whereas previously only 50% of the manually performed triages established the correct cause of error, thanks to RPA this has now increased to more than 98% of all cases. In addition, triage via RPA only takes about three minutes, which saves time and money but also significantly increases customer satisfaction.
There are almost no limits to the applications of RPA and they also offer immediate practical benefits. Almost every large company maintains a pool of company vehicles. There are around 3,000 vehicles at Swisscom. If a driver is given parking or speeding fines, for example, this quickly results in a large administrative burden. But the solution is simple: RPA bots scan the documents and invoices, assign them to the relevant driver and deduct the amount owed from the employee’s salary. This solution is now also being used successfully by other companies.
Whether share trading, exchange rates or interest rates – there’s a lot happening here. Keeping all key figures constantly up to date previously required monotonous work that was also prone to transmission errors.
RPA bots automatically upload the current mortgage interest rates to various platforms such as comparis.ch or moneypark.ch on a daily basis. First of all, the current reference interest rates are loaded from an internal system and then transferred to the various platforms. Finally, the RPA bot creates a summary and sends it to the responsible employee, who can then focus on more demanding tasks.
What is learned from this implementation has a double benefit. On the one hand, bank employees are relieved of monotonous work. On the other hand, it has shown that even larger use cases do not always require extensive business cases. This is because the implementation of RPA does not require high investments in new platforms or specialised interfaces in IT systems. What’s more, RPA does not affect any existing business processes.
Overall, the implementation of RPA leads to:
Swisscom has extensive experience in planning and implementing RPA bots in companies. Get in touch – we’ll be happy to help you automate your business processes.
Head of Analytics & Data Consulting