Expert interview

Interview with Txema Arnedo, CEO of Gamering. RPA expert

27 May 2024. 15:16
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  • SME maturity
    Middle
    Topic
    1. Robótica
    Scope to digitize
    1. ICT infrastructure

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RPA, or Robotic Process Automation, is a tool that will allow you to automate certain tasks in your day-to-day work. In this interview, Txema Arnedo, CEO at Gamering and RPA expert, reveals the keys to this technology for SMEs and freelancers.

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Descripción
  1. How would you describe RPA in a simple way?

It is a business process automation technology that uses an application or a platform, which we colloquially call "robot", to replicate the actions of a human being when interacting in the interface of an application of a system. Imagine you receive an email and it has a document and you have to save it somewhere, right? What do you do? You click to open the email, click to open the document, read it and then you say, "save as" and save it in a folder. Well, that can be done by a robot, because what we do is program it to do all those clicks.

 

  1. What are the relevant use cases of RPA for SMEs and freelancers?

The most relevant use cases will be found in human resources, accounting and logistics, but each company is different, and it may depend a lot on what the job is. RPA is also widely used, for example, in the automation of digital marketing tasks, where you have a lot of applications, and what you have to do is to unite them. In the end, what you're looking for are repetitive, high-volume tasks because those are the most economically automatable.

As we have advanced, the goal of RPA is to automate tasks that are repetitive and add little value to what the work is, so that you can free up users' time. Therefore, in general, any repetitive task performed by an SME or a freelancer using IT systems can be automated. Specifically in the human resources, accounting and logistics functions, there are many repetitive tasks that can be automated. The key is to identify them and make sure that they are tasks that have volume and frequency, that is, that they are done daily rather than monthly, so that they are economically automatable, so that it is profitable to automate them.

 

  1. What benefits can SMEs and freelancers get from these RPA systems?

To begin with, RPA is a flexible and scalable technology. What does that mean? Well, it is suitable for any size of organization, including the self-employed, and for any size of process. In addition, it is a non-invasive technology. That means that you don't have to touch the applications you are using, and normally these types of projects tend to be evolutionary; you start with a task and then you program more tasks until you complete a process. Normally, there are no end-to-end processes. The biggest benefit is the reduction of time.

 

  1. What are the first steps that an SME that decides to implement an RPA should take?

The first step for me is the support of the management; to put robots in a company of this type, in the end it is a cultural change and you need the users, who are the key to the success of this type of project. The second step would be to look for two or three tasks like the ones we have described (repetitive, with volume, with frequency). It is important that they are standardized procedures, that there is not a lot of decision making and that they have few exceptions. Based on this, we would contact a supplier who can help us define the best task for a pilot; after the pilot is when we have to carry out a more complete process of task analysis in order to decide, from the RPA point of view, where to go from there.

 

  1. What free or low-cost RPA tools could be recommended for SMEs?

Right now, the lowest cost tools available, depending logically on the process, are Microsoft tools, such as Power Automate. Free, there are open software platforms; we, for example, have one of them, but it does not have the usability that other types of tools have.

For freelancers, the big providers, such as UiPath or Automation Anywhere or Blue Prism, provide tools; in the case of UiPath, for example, StudioX, allows you to automate tasks if you are a freelancer or in a job and it is free.

 

  1. What future do you see for these RPA systems?

RPA is really a technology that is in an ecosystem that will continue to grow with the issue of artificial intelligence. The biggest problem with RPA robots is the lack of flexibility. If you incorporate expert systems, what you get is you increase the flexibility and resilience of the robot and it can operate in more changing environments.

Therefore, we are going to talk less and less about RPA and more and more about hyper-automation, which in the end is the integration of platforms or technologies such as artificial intelligence or document recognition, or other types of cognitive technologies, with RPA as a binder to be able to unite all these systems.

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