Why RPA Bots & Chatbots/Live Chat are natural partners in automation

While RPA robots automates a series of steps which are somewhat predictable in terms of application and data, chatbots automates communication with live chat acting as human-takeover when the chatbot gets questions not trained for.

RPA & Chatbots are natural partners

Symprio is a UiPath Gold partner and delivers automation solutions for customers and also provide chatbot solutions leveraging both our own (BotExpress.ai) as well as other platforms. We see more and more where automation flows are being combined where RPA robots executes processes on top of legacy applications and chatbots and live are being used to automate or simplify communication.

Modern chatbot platforms like our own (BotExpress.ai) detects intents (essence of what you want) as well as entities (data variables) which provide the specifics for a specific request.

More traditional live chat solutions only handle the chat process (and in essence fully unstructured data) but with Artificial Intelligence and richer features in live chat (or chatbot) applications we are able to extract the necessary entities (data variables) and turn this unstructured data in to structured information which are required as inputs RPA robots to executed a process.

Chat sessions can extract in basically two ways:

(1) By leveraging NLP entity extraction process chatbots can find and identify information from unstructured messages to convert for example the phrase “tomorrow” to a specific date.

(2) As part of chat sessions instead of just using text we use something we call SmartForms which increases the reliability of these inputs.

This includes text fields, date selectors, dropdown lists etc. to be able to capture and validate input fields within a chat sessions.

By being able to either select or validate input fields in the chat sessions the entities (or data variables) are more reliable parameters which can be used to trigger RPA automation flows.

Reliability of these data inputs is key for reliable automation flows.

Scenario 1: Triggering RPA Robots to retrieve information or perform transactions from chat

A chat session captures the necessary information (either through live chat or a chatbot) and triggers and an RPA robot to either go to web applications or legacy applications to retrieve information or execute transactions.

A key advantage of RPA robots such as UiPath is that they are not dependent (though also possible) on integrating using API’s and can work on both older type applications (even AS/400 green screens) to modern web applications and even visual changes in the screen. With UiPath’s powerful image recognition engine even Citrix-based environments, which are purely image-based, processes can be executed.

This can be used both with internal and external customers. Internal chatbots can offer employees information or requests (i.e. leave request) about HR, IT, Finance, Supply Chain or Sales & Marketing team which in turn can launch UiPath robots via Orchestrator and once complete return with results/information back to the chat sessions.

Another example are Level 1 Helpdesk chatbot which can capture the necessary information, guide users through troubleshooting for common issues which also can be supported by robots to perform troubleshooting and resolution (below is a scenario on robots doing the IT support)

External bots provide support for customers or suppliers in sales, support, procurement

Scenario 2: For Live Chat agents

The typical Live Agent uses pure chat for the purposes of communication but based on the information captured and (copied/pasted) in to other applications to check on status, retrieve information or to make changes. When you look at the time an agent spends to deal with a customer upwards of 45% of the time is spent on transferring information from chat sessions and in to other applications (this is the time when you sit and wait for a response from the agent) and back.

Leveraging more intelligent data capture mechanisms such as AI entity extraction or embedded forms in the chat sessions which is stored as variables in the session which in turn can be sent to the UiPath Orchestrator to execute processes via robots, saving time from the agent having to transfer data (copy/paste) as well as actually executing the process or retrieval from third-party systems.

Once the information is retrieved this in turn is sent back to the chat sessions and automatically be embedded in response messages from the agent. This effectively lets the agent have robots at their finger tips to execute processes at will.

Even in cases where you are using a simpler live chat platform unable to extract and orchestrate robots, the data can still be captured in to a spreadsheet and agent can launch the robot manually to execute transactions or retrieve information much faster than manually logging in to the applications.

This significantly increases the capacity as well as speed of resolution for agents, while at the same time ready the process for complete automation where a chatbot executes the same process an agent does.

Scenario 3: Leverage chatbots (primarily internally) as a Human-in-loop process

When a robot executes a process it may reach a point where either additional information, a decision or evaluation is necessary. Similar to how UiPath Action Center (as part of Orchestrator) can be used to create tasks which are assigned to people within the organization to act on.

Once the assignee makes a decision or provides the missing information to Action Center the robot takes over and continues the process to the next step.

Similar to Action Center, internal chatbots can also be the medium to engage internal business users for quick decisions/approvals or missing information for bots set up on internal messaging platforms such as Slack, Workplace by Facebook or Microsoft Teams.

Given that all these platforms are mobile enabled the speed of decisions and resolution can often be faster than when relying on emails.

Originally published on LinkedIn

Symprio is a UiPath Gold partner with a strong delivery team located in USA, Singapore, Malaysia & India. Symprio, leveraging our own platform called BotExpress.ai, provide internal and external facing chatbots integrated with UiPath robots to automate end-to-end processes.

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Why RPA Bots & Chatbots/Live Chat are natural partners in automation was originally published in Chatbots Life on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.