The rise of RPA

Srikanth RP, Editor, Express Computer |
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RPA is today at a stage where the cloud was a decade back. The adoption of RPA is now fast gathering momentum with companies in the BFSI sector leading the charge. Research firm, Gartner predicts that by the end of 2022, 85 per cent of large and very large organisations will have deployed some form of RPA. In India, organisations have been quick to realise the huge opportunity in RPA by automating repetitive transactional processes. Take the case of HDFC Bank, which uses RPA to do eyeballing credit applications. Similarly, Yes Bank has used RPA for automation of payment processes where more than 5 lakh transactions are automated on a monthly basis. At ICICI Lombard General Insurance, RPA has been used to automate quote issuance, policy issuance and claims processing. This has resulted in an increase in operational productivity and an improvement in turnaround time for policy issuance.

With automation as the goal, RPA is now being used to solve some unique issues. For example, Vodafone Idea uses RPA to set algorithms that identifies exceptional situations. For instance, in case of a power failure, the firm has created an algorithm which identifies the nearest technician using geo-locations and dispatches the work automatically. This ensures that the site gets restored in the minimum time possible. At Mphasis, RPA is being used to automate and complete the accounting process across Mphasis legal entities spanning across countries where the firm has a significant footprint. Automating intercompany transfer, invoicing and collections by deploying a bot to complete all accounting tasks, has helped its finance and accounting team in saving time and effort, and at the same time, record 100 per cent compliance. At Emcure Pharmaceuticals, RPA is being used for the posting of bulk GST invoices. SBI Cards uses RPA for its transaction dispute follow up process. Besides standardisation of the process and elimination of human dependencies and errors, RPA has been able to save close to 700 hours of efforts per day across processes. Online Pharma firm, Netmeds uses RPA for onboarding of suppliers and interacting with their systems.

With automation as the goal, RPA is now being used to solve some unique issues. For example, Vodafone Idea uses RPA to set algorithms that identifies exceptional situations

As user confidence in RPA systems has grown, firms have scaled up the deployment of RPA to multiple processes. ICICI Bank, which started from deploying RPA for 200 business processes in 2016, is now running 1350 business processes on RPA, which is currently being used in processes such as customer on-boarding, transaction processing, post transaction servicing, reconciliation, and loan processing. Similarly, HDFC Life which started out with 8 bots in 2016 is now using running 154 bots across 24 functions. From simple tasks, bots have now progressed to handle complex queries. In the case of HDFC Life, 40 per cent of the bots handle complex tasks.

In the future, one can expect more use cases of RPA combined with AI and analytics. As business confidence grows, we can see business processes being re-imagined and re-engineered to create a significant shift and improvement in customer experience and business outcomes.

Srikanth RP
Editor, Express Computer

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