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“A software bot is a configurable software designed to perform a task by learning, mimicking, and then executing rules-based business processes.

It interacts with other applications and software systems to complete these business processes, just like a human would,” explained Prince Kohli.

In theory, RPA allows employees to spend less time punching data into Excel spreadsheets, processing documents and pulling information from CRM systems, and more time fulfilling the aspects of their roles that computers are (currently) unequipped to handle.

Although it’s easy to imagine how all businesses could benefit from the ability to automate tasks in this way, the earliest adopters have typically been large enterprises hailing from sectors required to perform the most repetitive administration, such as insurance, utilities, financial services and healthcare.

Asked for specific examples that illustrate how RPA will change the lives of employees, the companies we spoke to explained the technology can be applied in any situation in which information is siloed or employees are burdened with data-handling tasks.

And in a human resources context, software bots can handle tasks such as approving annual leave and logging sick days, while staff focus on “relationship building and critical problem solving”.

The main role of agents is to engage with customers, but too much time is currently wasted seeking out and inputting information across multiple disparate systems, something a software bot can handle with relative ease.

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