Reducing Dev Time with the Intelligent RPA Store
Robotic Process Automation is about reducing the repetitive actions you do in carrying out your job. In order to automate those repetitive actions, you need to develop some kind of bot. But what if you didn’t even have to do that? What if you could just automate a long and error-prone process with one click?
That’s where the Intelligent RPA Store comes in.
The Store provides automations that have been proven to work for other people in similar roles.
But how do you know if there is already a bot on the Store ready to automate your task?
Gartner estimates that, for example, only 29% of RPA adopters have used the technology to automate financial reporting. And in RPA’s youth, this relatively low turnout is likely true for many areas. Why? Because in a certain sense, just realizing that something that you are doing could be better done with a tool already requires a special way of thinking.
So how can we simplify finding the right tool?
The descriptions, media and tags in the Store do just that. We like to call these tags and descriptions “metadata.” Metadata is all the content that orbits around your main content. In this case, the main content is the automation, and the metadata is the content that you use to describe that automation so that people can find it.
Imagine you write an amazingly useful automation that creates purchase orders from a long Excel sheet, but you put it on the Store with no description. How could it possibly help anyone? It’s not likely to.
So here is a short survey of some of the content that is already on the SAP Intelligent RPA Bot Store.
Samples from Intelligent RPA Customer Enablement
The Customer Enablement team at SAP Intelligent RPA creates samples both to show off what Intelligent RPA can do, and also to guide you through tutorials of what you can do with it. A lot of the samples here can be used for onboarding and getting up to speed with the product.
To find these samples, just check the “development” category. This category contains bots that open Excel sheets, run an RPA challenge or perform OCR with a bot.
You can acquire these samples by accessing the Store from your Intelligent RPA tenant, and then you can download and open the code yourself in Desktop Studio to learn how it works.
Once you are familiar with the techniques, you can use them in your own bots.
SAP Best Practices Content for Intelligent RPA Integration with SAP S/4HANA @ Intelligent RPA Bot Store
The second type of content that’s making its way up the SAP Intelligent RPA Bot Store comes from the SAP S4HANA team.
This is content is more business-focused than the technical samples from Customer Enablement. SAP’s Best Practices content complements the Customer Enablement content as it automates large blocks of business scenarios around SAP S/4HANA to support the end to end business processes.
As of June 2019, SAP has successfully released over 100 bots in the Bot Store covering various Line of Business and Industries in both SAP S/4HANA Cloud and Any-Premise environments. The business scenarios include Upload General Entries, Purchase Order Confirmations, Purchase Requisition Creation from spreadsheets, Mass Production Order Picklist Printing, and so on.
The SAP Best Practices, where most of this prebuilt business content comes from, has a 20+ year history providing business-ready content that can be used instantly with minimal effort. For any additional requirement, you can easily customize the bots to fit your needs. Of course, many of these bots work like Lego bricks that can be orchestrated to work together.
You can recognize SAP S/4HANA content easily in the Bot Store as it always has a 3-letter code that represents the scope item ID, for example, the bot Create Product Master Data with Reference (SAP S/4HANA Cloud, ES) (4N1). If you are used to the Best Practices Explorer, you can directly search for the code you are used to.
The SAP S4HANA team is committed to providing more business content on the Bot Store. Please keep checking back for updates.
Sharing done right
If you take the time to describe the way your automation can be used precisely, and give it the right metadata, people will be able to search for it and use it.
There’s a balance to be found here. Computer science students learn how to describe their programs in ideal situations so that a machine would automatically be able to find the best program to use to solve a specific task. But when people share content with their coworkers, they need a quick way to describe what their bots do. Labels and descriptions make it easy to let people find the automations they need.
Imagine instead of you trying to find an automation for a specific task, a machine could make that search for you. And then intelligently suggest that there happens to be a cute bot that can do a task you are getting really bored doing. What would it take to build that kind of intelligent bot discovery?
Stay tuned for more intelligence to come in both the Intelligent RPA automations, and in the Store.
As a reminder (not that you should need one), here are some links to the Store and the content in it:
- SAP Best Practices for Intelligent RPA integration with S/4HANA
- SAP Intelligent RPA Store
- Hello World sample
- Filter by “Development”