RPA is dead, long live RPA
Is there a revolution, a significant evolution or at least a new generation of Robotic Process Automation (RPA)? This was the subject of a conversation with Claus Jepsen, CTO of Unit4. Unit4 recently announced ERPx, what it calls a self-driving ERP. The architecture of this new product is micro-services based and considerably different from anything than has been before. Jepsen explained how RPA is woven throughout the new solution with threads extending well beyond it to connect to other solutions and more traditional ERP and RPA systems.
Jepsen explains how the new generation of RPA can deliver what he describes as 10-second experiences. ERPx takes automation within the ERP to a new level. Effectively automating the automation where the system can provide a user interface to extract a missing piece of information. Jepsen noted: “It’s generated based on what the metadata tells us what it needs, what information it needs and where the field is, and then, hey I need this and then submit.”
Jepsen recently wrote a blog where he explored whether RPA is at the edge, at the core or both. He explains his thinking further. He explains how RPA, when embedded at the core, can deliver automation to both with consistency. At the edge, it will create interactions with users; at the core, it can provide automation for key functions such as security.
This new generation of ERP+RPA will change how we view enterprise applications according to Jepsen. He spoke about how users will continue to work in their chosen application such as Word, Excel, Slack or Teams. He commented: “in the future, they (the users) won’t really realise that they may be communicating with an enterprise application in the background.”