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Robots in the Workplace

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Many of our blog readers have either already automated your financial processes with paperless automation software, like MetaViewer, or are looking for ways to automate. And if you’ve been enjoying the benefits of automation, you’re probably looking around like a kid in a toy store wondering, “What else can I automate!?!”

This article in the Harvard Business Review, “The 3 Ways Work Can Be Automated explores three unique types of automation: Robotic Process Automation, Cognitive Automation and Social Robotics. This may sound like all robotics to you (see what we did there?), so here’s the breakdown:

Robotic Process Automation

This type of automation is “used to automate high-volume, low-complexity, and routine tasks,” and tasks that are typically done by you guys. This includes things like transferring data from one software system to another; taking data from emails or spreadsheets, processing this information by applying specific business rules, then entering the information into another business system, like an ERP system. Sound familiar? Systems like MetaViewer fit into this category.

Cognitive Automation

Unlike Robotic Process Automation, Cognitive Automation sets out to “replace humans in nonroutine, complex, creative, and often exploratory tasks – in other words, systems that can automate human cognition, or cognitive automation.” Developments in IT are helping us make computers that are capable of recognizing patterns, as well as understanding and analyzing that elusive and ever-talked-about big data. Referred to as “recognition intelligence,” this includes voice recognition, voice-to-text, etc. You know that you look for those “Chat with a Representative” boxes before you pick up the phone and call customer service! Today, companies are using Cognitive Automation in the form of apps with image recognition intelligence and chatbots to provide on-demand customer service and advice to customers.

Social Robotics

These robots are much more similar to the sci-fi robots you are likely envisioning (R2D2, anyone?). According to the Harvard Business Review, “they are mobile and move around in our everyday world.” These include devices like drones; devices that are programmable and adaptable and can complete new tasks as they learn them. They combine the functionality of both Cognitive and Process Automation, automating both routine and nonroutine tasks. These robots are often used in the order fulfillment process but, in the case of Amazon, the robots haven’t replaced humans, but make them more productive by helping them complete tasks faster and more accurately. Think about all the things you could do (and delegate) if you had a robot co-worker!

Have you gone beyond document management to automate some of your other processes or aspects of your business? Comment with the results below!

 

Topics: AP Automation, 100% paperless, Big Data, Document Management