The following is a short interview with Succinctly series author Ed Freitas, whose new book, Robotic Process Automation Succinctly, was published recently. You can download this book from our ebook portal.
What should people know about robotic process automation? Why is it important?
As business processes rely more and more on integrations between different systems, platforms, and software applications, users often find themselves caught in a situation where they need to manually run tasks and wrangle data from different systems, often repetitively. These situations, which are becoming quite common in every workplace, can be simplified by applying automation techniques that save users valuable time. This is what robotic process automation is all about.
When did you first become interested in this subject?
I became interested in robotic process automation when I found myself having to send follow-ups to customers and update file repositories on a constant basis, often many hundreds of times per day. At that point, I asked myself these two questions: “Wasn’t the computer created with the goal to compute? If so, why am I manually computing (performing repetitive and tedious tasks) behind a computer?” So, this took me on the journey to discover process automation.
By writing this e-book, did you learn anything new yourself?
Yes, quite a lot. I managed to figure out how to use the knowledge gathered by researching this topic, and later writing the book, to automate a good chunk of my daily work, including following up with customers (automatically and without making them feel that I was using marketing email software), and also how to update file repositories and backups (I included my own backup script as a bonus, as part of the book).
How will robotic process automation change over the next few years?
This field is sexy and hot! Many software companies are trying to jump on this bandwagon and offer customers “digital assistants” that can help employees become more productive. Other software companies are going even beyond, by trying to replace clerk-related roles with a “digital workforce.”
This trend will continue to grow exponentially over the next few years. Just recently, Microsoft acquired a company that develops robotic process automation software and has integrated some of these tools into their Power platform.
Do you see robotic process automation as part of a larger trend in software development?
Oh, yes! If something can be automated, it definitely will be, whether it is related to software development or business processes.
What other books or resources on this topic do you recommend?
The honest and frank answer is that I don’t really know of any unbiased books that cover this topic that do not reference or make use of some form of proprietary robotic process automation tools and software. I believe Robotic Process Automation Succinctly is the world’s first book on robotic process automation that solely relies on open-source software tools and techniques that anyone can use to get started with the subject, quick and easy.
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