Appian RPA augments amalgamated automation array

Low code heavyweight Appian has augmented its core platform with an amalgamated (i.e. integrated) automation offering focused on Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

The ingeniously named Appian RPA by Appian augments Appian’s low-code Automation Platform.

It augments it with the ability to govern cloud-native Appian software robots in a unified automation stack.

For Appian, full-stack automation means integrated RPA, BPM, AI and case management designed to provide the right automation technology for the right use case.

The company says it also includes powerful governance tools to centrally manage, monitor and deploy robots across an organisation to increase scale and performance.

The entire technology proposition runs on Appian Cloud, a service that the company says is secure, globally available,and trusted to run mission-critical enterprise applications.

So once again and in summary, Appian’s approach to full-stack automation now combines AI, RPA, workflow, decision rules and case management – all via low-code, obviously, becuase that’s the Appian way (pun intended).

What is case management?

For the record, case management in this context means the action (by employees) to source, identify and collate information (relating to workflow tasks, business objectives, issues, targets or other commercial or operational needs) from a variety of different sources and then, subsequently, to assign responsibility to resolve, progress, nullify or complete those tasks through a number of decisions (some human, some increasingly automated) as the case is then progressed onwards through to the point of resolution. A case (to be managed) could be anything from an IT service desk request to an employee workplace change issue all the way through to a fully-blown business operation in its own right such as a ‘simple’ sales execution, an insurance claim, a pricing anomaly… or all the way upwards to some larger element of work that forms part of an entire departmental shift.

So – case management definitions done and dusted then – this means that using Appian’s current stack, businesses should be able to apply the right technology for the right use case to automate any end-to-end process.

Magical analyst house Gartner’s November 2019 “Automate Business Operations to Scale Your Digital Business” report conjures up a spell to suggest that, “Application leaders responsible for application and product portfolio governance should combine RPA and low-code platforms to optimize and transform business operations.”

Appian says its RPA delivers full stack automation. So this is business automation where value comes from the effective workflow orchestration of today’s modern workforce, including people, software robots (bots) and AI.

“Appian RPA completes Appian’s automation stack, uniting people, bots, and AI across business processes, and enabling centralized management of all enterprise automation technologies on a single platform,” said the company.

The RPA on offer here also has governance capabilities to centrally manage, monitor and deploy bots across an organisation at scale. Appian supports an Automation Center of Excellence by collecting and prioritising automation requests from across the enterprise; managing and tracking all activities from request to completion; and enabling impact and value analysis for RPA and other automations deployed in production.

“Automation is not about any single technology; it’s about how technologies work together. Achieving value at-scale requires a smart strategy for how to combine RPA, AI, and workflow, and seamless execution of that strategy,” said Jorge Arahuetes, partner, business process management, Deloitte Spain.

Additional accoutrements

As additional Appian automation accoutrements here, the company has reminded us that there is baked-in security because Appian RPA runs on Appian Cloud, a service tuned for mission critical enterprise applications.

There is also intelligent image recognition of objects on a screen, reducing errors in bot actions. Bots can be deployed on a scheduled basis for common back-end processes or can be invoked on-demand by business users as needed for customer-facing interactions.

Detailed RPA audit trails show screenshots of robotic actions for visibility, control, and reporting.

Finally then, “Human in the Loop” optimisation means bots can increase productivity through the automation of daily tasks, while keeping people engaged for rapid resolution when there are exceptions to straight-through-processing.

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