18 Sep Citrix Automation: RPA & Virtualization – What You Should Watch Out For
The business is the main driver for RPA. Nevertheless there are important IT questions before choosing an RPA solution: Does your IT rely on virtualization, for example with Citrix XenApp? The idea of virtualization is similar to streaming. Software is no longer installed on a PC. A central server merely makes them available as images. Therefore, your RPA solution should have high-quality image and character recognition (OCR).
Virtualization not only affects individual software programs. Nowadays, you can virtualize a complete desktop interface. Virtualization is a common approach these days, as Citrix figures show: More than 400,000 organizations worldwide, including 98 percent of the Fortune 500, rely on Citrix solutions.
1. Are you still installing or already streaming?
Before an RPA project, and especially before deciding on an RPA product, business should talk to their IT department. Do they use virtualization? If so, to what extent and with which provider?
A few examples of why virtualization can be a challenge for RPA:
- The “streaming” approach can lead to longer loading times. Hence, clicks or keystrokes are recognized too late and the automation is not carried out correctly.
- For virtualized desktops, graphics settings (such as screen resolution or color) may differ. As a result, image recognition fails and automation hangs.
- If the server connection is weak, Citrix switches to a different display mode for performance optimization. This can interfere with automation.
So you should check with your IT department to see if there are any other technical requirements you need to consider.
2. How well is your RPA product capable of image and character recognition?
In technology, we differentiate between image recognition and optical character recognition (OCR). Some manufacturers advertise the speed of their image and character recognition. Don’t let this fool you. Such specifications depend on the size of the area, respectively the text length. The smaller the image area or the shorter the text, the faster. Much more important is the aspect of how good and stable image recognition and OCR work.
For text recognition, the simultaneous use of different languages is important. For example, if you write your invoices in English and enclose letters in another language. In such cases the OCR technology should be able to recognize and process different typefaces simultaneously.
3. Is RPA in virtualized environments more expensive?
If an RPA product has a weak image recognition and OCR technology, Citrix virtualization can be a black box. This has above all two negative consequences: Limited scope and high costs.
- The possibilities of your process automation are limited. You cannot automate processes for which image or text recognition is required.
- Some RPA providers treat virtualization as a complex special case. This delays projects and leads to high additional efforts and costs.
In such cases, it is essential that you obtain alternative offers.