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Intelligent Automation using intelligent tool – SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation

In large organizations, people spend a lot of time interacting with different applications in their business systems. They spend most of their time in tedious, mundane or you can say repetitive tasks that are time-consuming and reduces efficiency. To reduce repetitive tasks, we automate process flows and try to save time.

Being part of a Central Automation team, I have worked on many such tools. Few tools are available for automating SAP ERP flow, and few are available for UI or UI5 Fiori applications. Few of the tools require JavaScript or Java skillset.

Challenges faced in Real-time scenarios

As a member of the Central automation team I am required to work on 2 or more projects simultaneously. Each project requires different skillsets and requirements with regard to automation and testing. Few of the biggest challenges that I have faced are in the following areas:

  • End to End Flow(E2E) automation: Automating a business process flow from the start of a transaction / creating the first document in the process until getting the final response or last document completed is usually referred to as E2E test automation. In some projects, this chain of documents/transactions spans across multiple systems (SAP/non-SAP). These systems could be within or outside a customer’s landscape. Ex: Sometimes, it goes back and forth via some third-party systems or a government-owned system. The response from such systems could come back in a mail form or file form or via status APIs.
  • In such cases we used to automate posting the request in one script and then getting the response used to be a manual step and hence repetitive and tedious.
  • Time taken: If the process has several steps where we have to capture lots of request and response across multiple systems, then writing the script used to take a lot of time and making it work or maintenance of script becomes a tedious task.
  • Integration to the pipeline: If we use too many tools to automate then integrating those to the pipeline is a cumbersome task.

To address the above challenges, SAP introduced a tool that can resolve all such issues and therefore makes life easier.

In today’s world, we often talk about Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. Taking inspiration from these concepts “SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation” brings capabilities to automate multiple platforms under a single umbrella. It is an innovative technology, automating business processes using software robots.

SAP Intelligent RPA is a single unified Cloud-based solution. It includes “on-premise” automation tools as well. This is an end-to-end solution to automate business process steps. Most of us are familiar with “Macros and VBA Scripts” to automate certain tasks in Microsoft (MS) applications such as Excel. However, it can work only within a single application and cannot work across other Non-MS applications. This is where RPA overcomes such limitations. It can work with Non-SAP Systems and Legacy applications, as well as SAP’s solutions such as SAP Digital Core, Ariba, Concur, etc.…. In addition, RPA does not need any programming skills to build a “Bot”.

Key Features of SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation

  • Reduces the manual activities by developing bots which are error-free.
  • Brings a new level of efficiency and operational speed to respond to customer’s needs.
  • The creation of scripts and deploying it in the cloud factory makes life easy.
  • Efficient methods available so that manual steps or human intervention can also be automated.

My Experience with the SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation tool

There are many projects where we used to declare many of the process steps manuals and in every release while performing regression these steps had to be carried out manually. Let us take the use case of GST India, where we had to upload an excel file to be sent to the govt system with invoice data. To test this flow, in every upload, an excel file should have unique invoice numbers. This process was always manual and used to take a lot of time for each iteration to build the excel file. There were several other manual steps as well. Using the tool whole process was automated, and the execution time was reduced drastically.

In one of the projects for Document Compliance, where the E2E process had several suppliers and buyer process steps and the entire flow was lengthy. It took more than a month to create scripts for these scenarios in the past. However, using SAP Intelligent RPA I could finish the entire process within a day or two.

To reiterate on what helped with the above scenarios, using the tool I could combine our ERP backend and Fiori automation in a single script. Not only this I was able to integrate multiple applications like Win32, HLLAPI, OCR, local desktop, and many more.

I have automated a few of the GST flows and gave a demo to the stakeholders. The feedback of the tool was quite positive as they really liked the power of the tool and simplicity of creating scripts. I am now looking forward to using the tool in the future and to make the life of Test engineers and customers better 😊.

Stay tuned for my next blog post where I am going to talk about different available activities of the desktop studio and how can we start our automation with SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation.

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