What’s the difference between Attended and Unattended RPA?

Attended RPA is Defined by Human-bot Collaboration, While Unattended RPA Runs Independently

Today, Intelligent Automation bots come in many forms. While they can all work with any application the way people do, depending on the kind of work, and how they’ll interact with people, bots fall into different categories.

Attended Attended

Attended RPA bots are like virtual assistants, helping an individual employee with their tasks to boost productivity. Legacy Attended Automation is confined to a single employee’s desktop.


Unattended Unattended

Unattended RPA bots run automation that works on its own. The aim for many business processes is end-to-end automation, where bots are enabled to execute entire processes independently.

Assists with front-office tasks by collaborating with employees and teams.


Automates back-office processes at scale.

Employees trigger a bot and interact with it as it helps. Managers can orchestrate tasks between people and bots and coordinate across internal resources.


Unattended RPA bots work independently, following a rules-based process to completion.

Attended RPA bots are ready and waiting to be activated by employees whenever they are needed to help the process along.


Unattended RPA bots operate on a preset schedule, or as triggered by logic in the process flow.

Attended bots can run on workstations or private servers or in the cloud.


Unattended bots can run on workstations or private servers or in the cloud.

  • Increases productivity
  • Reduces average call handle time
  • Enhances customer experience
  • Increases compliance


  • Reduces operating costs
  • Increases productivity
  • Eliminates errors
  • Frees employees from repetitive work
  • Improves compliance

How do people and bots work together?

Error-free data processing
Error-free data processing

An employee starts a data-intensive task, triggering a bot. The bot logs in and collects data from multiple systems. The employee reviews the results and authorizes the bot to generate a report or update the data. Error-prone data processing tasks get a speed and quality lift.

Human-bot teamwork
Human-bot teamwork

Employee starts an Attended Automation 2.0 bot for help with getting credit risk approval. The bot searches relevant databases and suggests questions and corrections in real time. When a risk assessment requires manager review, the bot reaches out to the manager on its own, obtains manager approval, and updates the agent to proceed.

Virtual assistant
Virtual assistant

An employee starts a task - such as dealing with an unsatisfied customer, the bot suggests questions for the agent to ask. As the agent and bot gather more information, the bot keeps making recommendations for the next best action. The bot helps the employee provide better service, and keeps the interaction aligned to your policies and processes.

Guidance and assistance
Guidance and assistance

When an employee starts a task, they can trigger a bot to collect data from different databases and systems relevant to the task. Employees check the results and let their bots perform an action. When exceptions occur, employees easily take over control. Agents now can focus on the customer and provide better service.

Hands-free automation

Unattended bots enable the organization to get much more done by taking on repetitive processes—eliminating errors along the way and enabling employees to work on value-add activities. Significant reduction in costs and increased ROI make it ideal for back-office tasks. Unattended automation is often controlled by CoEs or is driven by IT; unattended bots can run on free or virtual machines to get the work done.



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Step into the future of Attended Automation

Leaps beyond attended automation by enabling human-bot teamwork. Attended Automation 2.0 bots work with anyone and everyone, collaborating across back-office and front-office to get the job done. And bots never fail–instead they ask for guidance on next steps, and can work iteratively to ensure success.

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