Whether you are taking your first look at automation options, or are a seasoned automation expert, there are RPA terms, acronyms, and—of course—buzzwords, that need explanation. This comprehensive intelligent automation glossary aims to provide clear, unbiased, definitions, and context, to help empower everyone to succeed in their automation journey with clarity and confidence.
As per Encyclopedia Britannica, AI is the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings.
Attended RPA refers to automated processes that involve human intervention for a portion of the tasks. The bots are usually deployed on the user’s machine to work in the background, and the human intervention triggers are activated due to a condition programmed by the user being met. These are commonly used in front-office environments and Tier 1 customer support.
A blueprint that takes into consideration every process that can be automated within an enterprise along with its associated rollout requirements to improve the overall productivity.
A bot is a piece of software that performs automated tasks to help relieve human employees from the need to perform manual and repetitive procedures. Bots can be simple or complex, employing cognitive technologies including things like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and other intelligent automation techniques. Bots are the core component of any modern RPA solution. Thousands of ready-to-deploy bots are available in the Automation Anywhere Bot Store.
Business Intelligence is utilizing technology-driven processes and practices to compile and analyze data to help managers, executives and company leaders make informed decisions.
BPM focuses on streamlining organizational processes by employing various techniques to learn, model, analyze, improve and optimize existing business processes.
An RPA Center of Excellence (CoE) is an in-house team/department that analyzes the automation requirements of the organization based on the desired business outcomes and formulates the RPA blueprint, implementation, and rollout plan accordingly. This team adheres to the RPA best practices, provides research support and is the RPA subject matter expert within the organization.
Cloud automation (or Cloud RPA) uses cloud-based bots to process tasks rather than deploying bots on a specific computer or location-based server. Cloud RPA can improve processing time for some automation tasks, freeing up local resources to handle tasks that require human intervention.
Cognitive automation utilizes specific AI techniques that mimic the way the human brain works. It learns in part by association. It takes unstructured data and uses that to build relationships and create indices, tags, annotations, and other metadata.
CLI is a text-based interface used to interact with a computer to perform various tasks.
CV is a subset of Artificial Intelligence that explores how computers can be taught to interpret, analyze and understand information presented in a visual format like images.
Dark data is data that cannot be easily extracted or acted upon, including unstructured data and semi-structured data. It has been estimated that up to 80% of all data held by a company is considered dark data. Cognitive automation solutions like IQ Bot can help businesses access such hidden information and make it available for efficient, error-free processing.
DL is a subset of Machine Learning where the algorithms are built to mimic the information processing techniques and patterns of a human brain. It relies heavily on pattern recognition.
A company undergoes digital transformation when it deploys an enterprise-wide RPA solution that saves significant amounts of time and money. Digital transformation can occur in individual departments or divisions of a company as well, which can have far-reaching impacts to other areas of the organization, even without a full company-wide deployment.
Digital Workers are bots that combine different intelligent automation technologies—including artificial intelligence, machine learning, and Robotic Process Automation—to achieve higher levels of productivity and innovation than ever before. Digital Workers are a major part of the new Digital Workforce, alongside standard bots and automation techniques.
ERP is a Business Process Management technique that uses automation software to manage multiple business processes and operations and gain insight from a centralized location. A few of the common processes managed via ERP include Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Supplier Relationship Management (SRM), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), etc.
Enterprise Robotic Process Automation refers to the suite of automation tools that allows companies to build scalable RPA solutions as they grow. Key components of an Enterprise RPA platform include transparent processes, flexible deployment, and easy-to-deploy bots.
FTE refers to the ratio of the total number of paid hours of work put in a week to the number of work hours in a week.
GUI is the visual interface used to interact with a computer to perform various tasks and processes.
A practice followed by organizations where employees do not have fixed terminals and instead are free to use any available machine. Such environments usually employ VDI and thin clients ensuring data security and portability.
Intelligent automation integrates traditional RPA with artificial intelligence to build sophisticated solutions for end-to-end business processes. AI-enabled bots learn from human workers to identify the best ways to accomplish various tasks and then suggest the best way to automate them. Intelligent automation is particularly good at identifying ways to handle unstructured data inputs and adapt to emerging needs over time.
Intelligent document processing uses cognitive automation to import, read, process, and act upon structured and unstructured documents. These can include both paper documentation and electronic files submitted through various means, such as email, upload forms, or automatically generated files.
IQ Bot is Automation Anywhere’s proprietary solution for handling unstructured and unclear data. Through a variety of cognitive automation techniques like Computer Vision (CV) and Natural Language Processing (NLP), IQ Bot provides insight into a company’s dark data to uncover hidden intelligence and find better ways to accomplish business goals.
ML is a subset of AI where the algorithms are trained to recognize patterns and connect the dots. Higher exposure to data of varied kind results in a more robust ML algorithm.
Microservices, also known as microservice architecture, is the methodology of building software systems by focusing on developing individual pieces that can work together as a whole. These pieces are capable of functioning on their own, or in tandem with other pieces when interfaced correctly. The highlight of this architecture is being able to build upon the individual pieces and improve their functioning without impacting the overall software system.
Multitenancy RPA is the architecture where a single instance of the RPA software runs on a server while serving multiple end nodes or tenants in various departments or teams. This ensures easier scaling of the automation processes and more straightforward maintenance requirements.
NLP is a subset of AI that is used to train computers to understand and interpret the human language in its spoken and written form.
A non-persistent VDI does not allow personalization of the computer system. Once the user logs out, the system reverts to its original state as set up by the administrator. Usually deployed in organizations which employs hot-seating infrastructure.
Object Cloning in RPA is specifically used to capture objects that use technologies such as Flex, Silverlight, Java or HTML. In Object Cloning, all the properties and associated data of the object is copied and recreated in its clone.
OCR is the process in which printed characters in an image are identified using photoelectric devices and accompanying software. The software then creates an editable document. OCR is leveraged by industries where most of the documents are scanned for processing and ease of storage, like health sciences or insurance.
A pilot program, regarding RPA, is a small-scale experiment with a limited scope held for a short duration to check the feasibility of using RPA to solve the business problem at hand.
A POC is a realization of the solution to the business problem at hand. It could involve detailed automation plans. The feasibility of POC is usually tested using a Pilot Program.
RDA is a type of automation that takes place on an individual user’s desktop computer, rather than as part of a centralized system. RDA applications can be a powerful tool to help human workers accomplish day-to-day tasks faster, and they can feed data to centralized RPA systems for additional processing.
Robotic Process Automation enables you with tools to create your own software robots to automate any business process. Your "bots" are configurable software set up to perform the tasks you assign and control.
RPA roadmap is the rollout plan that is conceived based on the Automation Design. This takes into consideration the RPA best practices, data integrity, security and other vital aspects of business processes.
RBAC enables an enterprise to assign access to functions, features and other software assets based on the role of the employee within the organization. This proactive assignment maintains data integrity and access to sensitive documents is available only to those employees who need it. For example, in an RPA environment, RBAC ensures that employee access is limited to the bot creation or bot administration environment based on their current role in the department and organization.
The RPA Operating Model would lay the foundation for the RPA Center of Excellence. This model takes into consideration the organization as a whole, the present governance, the RPA technology under evaluation, the processes to be automated and the people and roles this effort would impact such as IT, Human Resources, Finance, etc.
Screen scraping is the process of using software to copy data that is visible on the screen to an editable file format.
Thin Client is a computer with very low computing power. They are usually deployed in an enterprise that utilizes VDI technology to provide their employees access to software applications and data.
Unattended RPA execute repetitive tasks without any human intervention. These “bots” are capable of functioning 24/7 and can be scheduled or triggered based on events. All the activities performed by these bots are maintained in a log within the Control Room and can also be monitored by an Administrator as they are completing the programmed tasks.
Unstructured data is one that is not based on a pre-defined model understood by a computer. A few examples include text files, emails, reports, audio files, etc.
VDI is a virtualization technology that hosts an operating system on a centralized server and provides virtual desktops to end terminals or thin clients. Many enterprises utilize Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) to expose their business applications to their employees to ensure data security and unnecessary exposure. Usually, such VDI utilize "screen capture" methods to transmit or show information to the employees at their end terminals.
Workflow Automation refers to the practice of automating rule-based repetitive tasks and manual business processes using RPA. This results in lower processing times, and highly efficient and productive employees.
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