Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has gained lot of traction in most sectors. The possibilities afforded by RPA are limited only by one’s imagination, and it provides fantastic value proposition by automating manual and repetitive tasks, reducing incident tickets and improving productivity overall, so the client can focus on its core business.
Opportunities to tap the true potential of IBM Maximo and RPA would ideally be more in a Managed Services environment where we look for maximum value to customers. However, automation imagination has no boundaries. Our systematic approach would be:
- Identify prospective areas of automation
- Define and develop flowcharts and sequences
- Test & deploy
- Maintain and Improve
Many Level 1 activities like password resets, new user registration for native logins, activate/ deactivate users can be automated. These can be enabled via email interactions and automated notifications can be sent back to users. Manual triggers required for LDAP synchronization can also be subjected to automation. These tasks look trivial, but once automated help us to focus on our core competency of business processes. Data loading is another key area where RPA can be leveraged in a multi-vendor setup. The tasks can be simply un-monitored where users can email the data load spreadsheets and get a response back with status of the data load. This end-to-end flow reduces dependency on external vendors and shortens turnaround time. Swivel chairing of manual steps can also be avoided using RPA where the mundane task of replicating data from an external application to Maximo can be handed over to automation.
RPA can also be used for tasks that may have to be triggered by mimicking a human action…for example, interacting with UI cannot be executed by scripting or by automated OS scheduling. That said, the recording and scrapping techniques available in RPA provide scope for automation in application environments where human interaction is considerable. Integration Monitoring is another area of focus where message tracking can be monitored for any errors and XMLS can be downloaded and sent to users. This helps us to avoid logging to Maximo for frequent monitoring of queues and reporting them. Smoke tests can be carried out to replicate manual steps of a user to login to Maximo and validate the basic functionalities, saving time during production deployments. RPA could be an alternative to Selenium in areas where Selenium would not be a best fit.
Creation of standard repetitive transaction records can be looked as a potential area where RPA can help us to save some professional hours spent during operations. Some tickets that has standard operational procedures for closure can be brought under the umbrella of RPA. Any auditing and compliance reporting needs that requires frequent data scrapping and extraction can also be defined in RPA and the full potential of data preparation, validation, consolidation and distribution can be leveraged.
Thus, we can see how combining the power of RPA with IBM Maximo can help us focus on business core capabilities, increase automation and provide maximum value to customers, making it that much easier for clients to march towards digital transformation needs.