29 Apr New features of X1: Keeping RPA as simple, smart and efficient as possible
We are constantly enhancing our automation platform XceleratorOne (X1®). Our goal: to offer our customers the most successful and (cost-) efficient process automation. Here are a few current highlights from our RPA software forge, made in Germany: return-on-investment analyses, smart decisions, and a process recorder that simplifies the use of process mining. And yes, automation itself becomes even easier!
In January 2020, our blog introduced new features of X1 that significantly increase RPA efficiency. Now it is time for another update because a lot has changed since then. We want to leverage our automation platform to guarantee our customers success with RPA. To do this, we’ve integrated a special method covering RPA lifecycle management Right from the very beginning. This eliminates many of the usual stumbling blocks with RPA by reducing complexity, creating transparency, making RPA "manageable" and increasing effectiveness and efficiency.
Today we highlight a selection of features introduced in recent weeks, grouped into three clusters: transparency and cost efficiency, collaboration, and smart automation.
#1 Transparency and cost efficiency
Many RPA projects (still) fail due to lack of transparency. This also applies to the effects that RPA achieves. For this reason, we’ve now made extensive evaluations and analyses available. With regard to RPA costs, for example, we optimized the bot capacities and simplified maintenance.
Break-even analysis: In business administration, the break-even point is a classic performance indicator. X1 now offers a break-even calculation. The break-even analysis shows the point at which the investment in automation pays off and the profit or benefit threshold is reached. From then on, automatic implementation is more cost-effective than manual implementation.
Net Profit Analysis: Once the break-even point is reached, you naturally want to know how much net profit you will achieve through automation. This key figure can be calculated using net profit analysis.
Optimization of bot utilization: Making the best possible use of existing capacities saves resources and reduces costs. Previously, a session was reserved for each automated process during configuration. However, this sometimes ties up too much bot capacity and leads to underutilized time. The introduction of our new procedure means there is no longer a reservation on sessions. The X1 bots take as many processes for execution as there are sessions available and process them. This optimizes the workload.
Execution Plans & Deployment Map: Executing automation affects the number of processes, sessions, and bots. New execution plans and timetables and a deployment map are now available so that you can easily keep track. The following is made transparent by these plans:
- Number and utilization of licensed sessions
- Number and utilization of bots
- Capacity utilization of the hardware
- Number and overview of executed processes and configurations, etc.
Lack of cooperation is also one of the five most common reasons why RPA projects fail. And we have been committed to this issue from the very beginning: X1 allows companies to easily manage all users, entire teams, and their collaboration, authorizations, and responsibilities (more about the roles of collaboration and cooperation in RPA projects).
Of course, who is responsible for which task is often unclear in the planning stage or at the beginning of the project. To ensure that these to-dos are not forgotten, tasks can now be assigned to teams (user groups). This ensures ownership of specific tasks, which is, in turn, crucial for the progression of the project.
#3 Simple, but intelligent: Smart automation
Initially, the focus of RPA was often on relatively simple activities and processes. It is, of course, possible to automate longer, more complex processes – especially when RPA is combined with other technologies. Gartner coined the term hyperautomation in this context.
For us at Servicetrace, the automation of complex processes has been a focus for some time now. And our X1 platform already supports automation of longer, more complex processes. This is why we integrated a process engine into our RPA platform, for example. Many RPA manufacturers offer a tool for process modeling, but not an integrated process engine. A process model is initially only a static, graphical representation like a kind of blueprint. Our Process Engine makes the process model interactive, so to speak. The Process Engine enables you to assign actions to the process blueprint.
We have extended our Process Engine with what are known as link and timer events. What sounds technical at first, leads to two great advantages, namely:
Scheduled decisions: The Process Engine enables you to make decisions within a process. Users can now set a stopwatch for process steps that require a human decision: If the person in charge does not make a decision within a certain time frame, the Process Engine can follow an alternatively defined process. This could be a sending a standardized alert e-mail to the employee, or another method. The timer events reduce delays in the process flow and enable spontaneous absences such as illness to be better managed. This contributes to the stability of the automation.
Simplify complex process models: The link events are connectors within a BPMN process model (Business Process Model & Notation, a standard graphical language for business process models). The link events are especially important for extensive and very complex process models, because they help to reduce the complexity of the model. Link events thus make a complex process model clearer, reduce its susceptibility to errors, and simplify its maintenance.
The X1 Process Recorder simplifies process mining: The X1 Process Recorder is used to record a business process. The recorder automatically records all actions such as mouse clicks, keyboard entries and software applications used that the user executes. Additionally, you can add comments and variable information during the recording.
The recorded BPMN process model is automatically uploaded with the documentation after the recording. The special feature? Our X1 Process Recorder always creates an XES file, which you can easily import into process mining tools.
Intelligent Optical Character Recognition (OCR): Our new text and character recognition (Optical Character Recognition) is intelligent and very high quality. We rely on components from Google, among others. The OCR recognizes content even in poor renderings much faster and better.
Mail and PDF action steps for easier automation: New e-mail and PDF action steps simplify the automation of processes that access and work with e-mails and PDFs. Action Steps in the X1 Design Studio were specially developed to accelerate the creation of automation workflows and make this process more efficient.
For interested parties: Would you like to get to know our X1 platform? Schedule your personal X1 demo here.