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How does Business Process Automation (BPA) differ from Robotic Process Automation (RPA)? It’s really a question of bigger picture versus smaller picture.

Business Process Automation is the broad umbrella term that encompasses all of digital process automation – that is, automating business processes that businesses run digitally (as opposed to physical work, like filing paperwork in physical file folders). BPA can be simple or complex. Setting an Out of Office message on your email when you’re on vacation is an example of simple BPA. Automation can get much more complex from there.

Robotic Process Automation is a tool that is used for completing Business Process Automation. RPA specifically uses metaphorical bots to complete digital processes in a way that’s similar to how a human worker would. For example, a “bot” could watch an inbox for emails that specify “invoice” in the subject line, download the invoice, and then input the listed data into QuickBooks or another financial software. Most RPA processes are custom built for a client’s specific needs, but some BPA can be done with software like Zapier.

Both BPA and RPA can incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning for tools like predictive analysis or text recognition. Both RPA and BPA virtually eliminate human error, greatly improving accuracy of processes. And both RPA and BPA free employees from the monotonous work that they hate, letting them focus on things that require creative thought and problem-solving skills.

BPA & RPA: The Future of Work

The future of work is business automation solutions. With today’s labor market crisis, automation is key to getting monotonous work done efficiently and accurately, leaving human resources free to strategize and think creatively. According to the World Economic Forum’s “The Future of Jobs Report,” the percentage of office work done by software bots increased by 29% between 2018 and 2022. In 10 years, businesses that still have humans doing monotonous data-entry jobs will be rare.

Is automation stealing jobs from the human workforce? Absolutely not. Humans are best equipped for creative problem solving and brainstorming, things businesses always need more time for. Humans are not equipped for long, repetitive tasks that require someone to do the same things over and over and over again – tasks where accuracy is key. Humans lose interest, get bored, need breaks, and make mistakes. Software robots do not. But humans excel in tasks that bots are not able to do. Bots can’t think strategically or make a plan.

So Do I Need BPA or RPA to Automate Tasks and Processes?

The easy answer is that it doesn’t really matter. If you choose to work with a process automation company, they may choose to use RPA for certain elements, just like a software company may choose to use various tools to get their jobs done.

The longer answer is that if your process needs “human interaction” – for example, clicking on buttons or interacting with the interface of software – you’ll likely need elements of Robotic Process Automation. Sometimes using RPA is simply the best way to get the job done. Other times, process automation technology companies can work behind the scenes, using things like the software’s API, and can avoid the user interface altogether.

Contact RoboSource for Process Automation Services

Is your company ready to simplify and streamline processes by implementing process automation services? If so, set up your free consultation with a RoboSource representative today. Founded in 2012, professionals at RoboSource are passionate about tech and automation, and we are confident we can help your business grow by revolutionizing your existing business processes with RPA or BPA software solutions.