Navigating through the intriguing world of Digital Process Automation (DPA) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA), this article illuminates how they are transforming the spheres of sales, marketing and IT. With DPA focusing on the deployment of low-code development tools for automation across multiple applications, this revolutionary approach forms an essential aspect of modern enterprise digital transformation. Using DPA not only brings about efficiency gains and cost savings, but it also enhances customer experience by streamlining business processes. The article outlines how DPA can be combined with RPA and other tech advances like AI to foster Intelligent Process Automation (IPA). It wraps up by discussing the practicalities of implementing DPA, its categorizations, and even provides examples of notable DPA tool providers.
Understanding Digital Process Automation (DPA)
Digital process automation, or DPA, is a strategy used in enterprise digital transformation that aims to streamline various business processes and customer journeys using low-code development tools. While this strategy is employed across multiple applications, its primary benefits are most evident in key areas including sales, marketing, management, IT, and production.
Evolution from Business Process Management (BPM)
DPA is considered by many as a natural progression of business process management (BPM), a systematic approach to making company workflows more effective. However, where BPM ends, DPA begins. It not only manages business processes but take it a step further by automating them, thereby reducing manual intervention and increasing efficiency greatly.
The concept of DPA as coined by Forrester Research
In 2017, an industry analyst firm, Forrester Research, coined the term DPA to describe this next-level shift in business process management. It recognized the ability of DPA to transform disjointed methods and processes into streamlined, automated workflows, bringing about a significant change in the way businesses operate.
Key areas of utilization – sales, marketing, management, IT, and production
DPA has found substantial adoption across various functions in an organization. Sales teams use DPA to automate and track the customer journey, from lead generation to conversion. Marketing departments utilize DPA to automate content distribution, report generation and more. In management, DPA helps in decision-making and meeting compliance requirements. IT departments employ DPA to automate testing, reporting and incident management. Meanwhile, production units leverage DPA to automate repetitive tasks in the manufacturing process.
For effective implementation of DPA, it’s necessary to identify automation candidates, such as repetitive tasks and rule-based activities. Next, coordination with IT is essential to ensure seamless integration with existing systems and applications.
Identifying automation candidates
The first step to implementing DPA is to identify processes that can be automated. It is crucial to be methodical and detailed in this phase to guarantee that the most beneficial tasks are earmarked for automation.
Coordinating with IT
Clear coordination with IT is essential to ensure compatibility with already-existing systems and applications. The IT department can evaluate the feasibility of DPA tools and help in their integration to existing workflows without causing disruptions.
DPA adoption also requires effectively managing changes to your organization’s business processes. This includes clearly defining roles, setting permissions, and maintaining a careful record of automated tasks.
Starting small to scale up
When it comes to DPA implementation, a gradual approach is advisable. Start small with less complex tasks to understand the new system and then scale up as your organization becomes more accustomed to DPA.
Understanding DPA deep and DPA wide
DPA tools are generally segregated into two types, DPA deep and DPA wide. DPA deep focuses on automating long-running, complex processes whereas DPA wide is used for rapid development of automated process platforms. Understanding these categories will help you better decide which solution is right for your specific needs.
Benefits of DPA
The key benefits of implementing DPA are time savings, cost reductions, efficiency gains, and a vastly improved customer experience.
By automating repetitive tasks, businesses can save valuable time that can be used to focus on more complex and critical issues.
In the long run, the reduction of manual and mundane tasks via automation results in substantial cost savings for businesses.
With DPA, not only are processes made faster, but they are also made less prone to errors, thus improving the quality of outcomes.
Improved customer experience
The automation of customer engagement processes like onboarding allows for a more seamless and efficient experience for the clients, thus improving customer satisfaction levels.
Use Cases of DPA
Various businesses have leveraged DPA in their operations. Among the most common use cases include customer onboarding, procurement, order fulfillment, and other business applications.
Processes involved in customer onboarding can be easily automated, streamlining the entire process and therefore improving customer service and experience.
Automation can accelerate and streamline procurement processes such as supplier selection, purchase order approval, invoice matching and payment, among others.
From order entry to inventory check, dispatch, tracking and delivery, every sub-process within order fulfillment can be improved with DPA, increasing efficiency and reducing the time to delivery.
Other business applications
In addition to these, DPA can also be used in HR for employee onboarding and payroll management, in finance for report generation and regulatory compliance, and multiple other business applications.
Understanding Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a technology that mimics human interaction with digital systems to execute tasks. It is primarily used to automate rule-based tasks that are high volume in nature.
Definition and explanation of RPA
While DPA focuses on automating workflows across the organization, RPA is more about automating individual tasks. Its ability to interact with any system or application just like a human user makes it ideal for automating data-intensive, repetitive tasks.
Key areas of RPA application
RPA has wide-ranging applications across industries and departments. Some of the key areas include finance, HR, customer service and IT, where functions like data entry, report generation, invoice processing and email communication can be automated.
Interrelation between DPA and RPA
Despite their differences, DPA and RPA are not mutually exclusive. Rather, they are complementary to each other and can work in sync to facilitate end-to-end process automation.
Key Differences between DPA and RPA
The primary difference between DPA and RPA is the scope of their application. While DPA is used to automate complete processes, RPA is generally utilized to automate specific, individual tasks within those processes.
How DPA and RPA work together
RPA can be used to automate tasks within a broader DPA strategy. As DPA orchestrates the process, RPA bots can perform tasks, making the entire operation seamless and efficient.
Combining DPA and RPA with AI for Intelligent Process Automation (IPA)
Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) is achieved by integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) with DPA and RPA. AI adds cognitive capabilities to automation, allowing it to perform complex tasks that need decision-making abilities.
Key Players in the DPA Marketplace
Application of DPA is widespread and is manifested in the growth of many DPA tool providers. Some of the established and emerging players include Appian, Bizagi, Bonitasoft, Genpact, IBM, Kofax, OpenText, Pegasystems, AgilePoint, Axon Ivy, Creatio, JobRouter, K2, Newgen, Nintex, and Ultimus.
These vendors offer a range of DPA solutions, each with unique features and capabilities, catering to varying business needs and requirements. Selecting the right tool for your business is essential to fully harness the benefits of DPA.
Revolutionizing Sales through DPA and RPA
Sales teams that adopt DPA and RPA gain numerous benefits including increased automation of manual tasks, improved lead tracking and efficient data management.
Benefits for sales teams
Automation saves sales teams a significant amount of time by taking care of repetitive tasks, allowing them to focus on strategy building and closing deals.
Impact on sales processes
By automating administrative tasks, sales processes become both efficient and accurate. There is also greater transparency in the sales funnel, thanks to the real-time tracking capability of DPA.
Examples of sales processes that can be automated
Lead assignment, follow-ups, reporting, data entry, appointment scheduling, and even market research are some of the sales processes that can be automated using DPA and RPA.
Revolutionizing Marketing through DPA and RPA
In marketing, DPA and RPA streamline data management and nurture leads more effectively, among many other applications.
Benefits for marketing teams
Marketing teams can automate tasks like campaign management, target audience segmentation, and SEO reporting with DPA, allowing them to focus more on creative and strategic tasks.
Impact on marketing processes
Through automation, there is better campaign tracking, customer segmentation becomes more effective, and personalized marketing becomes simpler.
Examples of marketing tasks that can be automated
Tasks such as email campaign management, social media posts, performance tracking, data analysis, and customer segmentation can be easily automated using DPA and RPA technologies.
Revolutionizing IT through DPA and RPA
In IT, DPA and RPA offer automation in service desk operations, system monitoring, and incident response, among many others.
Benefits for IT teams
With DPA and RPA, IT teams can automate time-consuming and manual tasks and focus more on strategic activities. This drastically reduces the turnaround time for IT-related tasks and provides a higher level of service.
Impact on IT processes
Process automation simplifies and accelerates IT workflows. It frees up IT resources, cuts down on errors, and enables faster, more efficient responses to issues.
Examples of IT tasks that can be automated
Tasks such as ticket routing, system maintenance, software installation, monitoring system performance, incident management and evaluation can be automated using DPA and RPA.