What is the difference between attended and unattended automation?

by Josh Biggs in Tech on 27th February 2020

A research firm predicts that the RPA software spending will reach $2.4 billion in 2022. Achieving digital transformation with Robotic Process Automation can push enterprises to disrupt the norm.

Enterprises today are leveraging automation to drive change and take a fresh approach to utilize technology. What then is RPA? What are the types?

RPA deploys software bots to automate simple, mundane tasks that follow a pre-defined set of rules and logic. From improved productivity to scalability, robot-led automation provides a host of benefits enterprise-wide. The software bots are programmed to imitate human actions to simplify processes across verticals/functions.

There are two types of automation — attended and unattended automation.

Let’s understand these two types and how enterprises can benefit from them.

Attended automation requires humans to work alongside bots to give and receive data inputs in complex processes. Suitable for front office tasks, for instance, the attended bots help call center agents to find customer data easily, helping the agent solve customer problems in a snap. They help the human worker to focus on high-value tasks that require creativity and decision-making. 

It involves the human worker switching between multiple screens/applications wherein access is limited to a human worker performing a specific task in a particular workflow.

Unattended automation, on the other hand, is the automation of back-office tasks that do not require human intervention. Suitable for bulk operations, they follow a set of instructions, thereby automating methodical, repetitive processes such as scraping data, opening emails, copying and pasting, and reading databases, among others.

How can enterprises benefit? 

Are you looking to utilize real-time data? Feel you’re perpetually away from your ambitious goals? RPA is the answer.

Enterprises today are embracing digital technologies faster than ever, thereby getting rid of legacy systems, improving customer experiences, and assisting organizations in their digital journey. Those that adopt RPA technologies benefit greatly, and those that do not risk losing out on massive opportunities.

Attended automation benefits

Enhances customer service: As attended bots sit on a user’s desktop, it significantly reduces the time taken to attend to customer queries, switching between various applications quickly, and providing real-time guidance to the customer in a call center setup in a bank. It saves the agent’s time accessing multiple systems, therefore addressing the customer query as quickly as possible.

Helps take over human workload: Robots work alongside the human worker, offloading human workload, thus ensuring swivel chair operations are completed in a specific workflow without human intervention. Robots provide the human worker a considerable time to perform high-value tasks that focus on resolving customer issues.

Plays a huge role in an enterprise’s Intelligent Automation journey: The use of cognitive technologies such as AI, ML, Computer Vision, and OCR redefine automation capabilities. For instance, the use of advanced OCR technologies assists in invoice processing by scanning/reading printed documents and images and converting them into text.

Unattended automation benefits

Does not require manual intervention:

The most significant advantage of deploying unattended bots is that they can work independently, without any human intervention. They can be scheduled, self-triggered, and can automate back-office processes that are repetitive by definition, thus freeing up the human worker to concentrate on tasks that require decision-making, judgement, and creativity.

Bots can work 24/7

As bots operate 24/7 without any interruption, they are suited for industries such as hospitality, healthcare, telecommunications, and banking, among others. They work on an organization’s server and can be scheduled and controlled by IT teams.

Which automation type is right for your enterprise? How can you choose?

Robotic Process Automation is more than a fad; it’s here to stay. Since RPA is implemented across industries, both attended and unattended RPA technologies, are undoubtedly sought out after by enterprises. Business and IT departments must work closely and support each other, do away with legacy systems, and build a cohesive RPA platform that enables enterprises to scale. Both attended and unattended automation are complementary, can be deployed in back-office and customer-facing processes without any modifications to the applications or underlying systems.

Choosing a also helps as an attended bot performs tasks that assist the human worker (call center). In contrast, the unattended bot runs on virtual servers automating repetitive tasks (invoice processing).

Categories: Tech