together with my colleague I am working on SAP Intelligent RPA. We are trying to identify utility specific use cases. In this blogpost I will give a broad overview about the technology of RPA, its fields of application and show a demo we developed for handling charging data.
SAP Intelligent RPA is a technology that helps you to automate business processes by emulating human actions with software applications. We often call the field of application last mile automations, because similar to the last mile in logistics the task automated by RPA are usually very expensive and laborious. Even though the major steps of an End2End processes are often already automated, it is the various small side tasks that lack of automation. SAP Intelligent RPA offers an opportunity to close this gap and thus to enable End2End automations.
Since these processes have a great variety and follow individual workflows, it is necessary being able to develop them in a fast and easy manner. A Low/No-Code approach helps you to Drag and Drop all the needed activities on to previously captured screens to build an automation.
Developed automations can be called bots when they are executing tasks. Those bots can be run in two different modes. Attended and unattended mode. In the attended mode bots are triggered by a user to work in parallel and speed up the operation. Unattended bots are triggered by API’s or start at a certain time and run in the background without human attendance.
Fields of Application
Suitable processes are manual tasks and fulfill the following criteria:
- Repetitive Execution
- Rule-based Decisions
- Standardized Input Parameters
- Stable Workflow and Applications
Generally, those processes can be found in all kinds of industries and in various departments of a company. The telecommunication as well as the banking & insurance industry are currently the leading users of RPA. Comparing these two industries with the utility industry many similarities can be found. They all have a great number of customers, thus a high-volume billing business, strong bureaucratic requirements, and many competitors. In addition to that the system landscape of many companies working in is this field is fragmented. These fundamental conditions create an environment where the use of RPA is very beneficial. It allows to create quick ROIs, automates the tedious tasks, meets regulatory goals and acts as an interface between systems.
Utility specific use cases can be found in the areas of
- Meter data procession,
- Customer support,
- Master data management,
- Billing and invoicing,
- Payment procession
and several more.
E-Mobility Use Case
The use case of this blogpost concentrates on a process that takes place between the charge point operator (CPO) and the charging service provider (SCP). When electric vehicles are charged information about the charging process are tracked by the charging station. This data belongs to the CPO and needs to be transferred to the corresponding SCP who is responsible for Billing the electricity consumed.
The charging data is captured in an excel file is sent to an inbox of the SCP. From there on the bot takes over the task. The excel file is downloaded and stored in the company’s folder structure. Data from the excel file are being extracted and transferred via SAP S/4HANA to the SAP Subscription Billing system where further steps are being initiated.
Executing processes with a bot is roughly 20 times faster than doing it manually. The time freed up can be invested in other value-adding activities. First bots can be built with the SAP Intelligent RPA trial version that needs to be subscribed in the SAP Cloud Platform. The trial version has no limitation in functionality so feel free to put your hands on building you first bot.
SAP also set up a bot store with out of the box bot content. Utility specific bots can be found here.
For further information do not hesitate to contact me. Do you have other utility specific use cases in mind? Feel free to comment them below.
enmore is one of the leading IT consulting partners in the energy market. The focus of its consulting services is on addressing the impact of the liberalized energy market on organizations, IT landscapes and software solutions used in the areas of customer management, billing and communication. In addition, enmore offers comprehensive SAP IS-U consulting and assists in the design of business process flows.