RPA vs BPM, what is the Difference?

RPA vs BPM, what is the Difference?

RPA is drawing serious attention in enterprise circles. A tech category which no one had heard few years ago is taking center stage in all conversations related to enterprise transformation and digitization.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) often gets compared to Business Process Management (BPM), Process being the common denominator.

In this post we will look at what each one can do and if they have anything in common.

RPA vs BPM

RPA as the name suggests enables you to automate business processes using software bots. The idea is to create BOTS that mimic human behaviour thus automating tasks, activities as well as complete processes.

For instance, if you had a business process which required you to fetch and verify customer data by logging in to multiple disintegrated systems, then you could do that by training a software bot which would deliver the verified data in a predictable manner.

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But isn’t it the same as Auto Activities or System Activities offered by BPM Platforms?

Well there is a difference. Auto Activities use programmatic interface to integrate with external systems on the other hand RPA leverages User Interface to perform the tasks as would be done by humans.

So in essence, RPA Platforms do not need backend access to talk to various systems and is the most natural way to mimic human behaviour.

Modern RPA Platforms automate complete processes and even use cognitive capabilities such that the bots can apply Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning techniques to improve decision making based on data.

How are they different?

RPA Platforms are built to automate individual tasks and activities which are currently performed by humans. It enables you to create a consistent, high throughput automated process environment.

On the other hand if you are looking to streamline your processes, identify process gaps, implement SOP and fundamentally transform the way you operate, then BPM provides the tools and approach to do it.

Both RPA and BPM try to achieve similar objectives but they employ different approaches to do it.
Most modern enterprises will need both to have a successful operating environment.

Have you experienced both RPA and BPM working in tandem?
Would love to hear your thoughts and experience on each.