RPA (Robotic Process Automation) is a technology that can automate human actions and hence can be used to automate manual and repetitive business processes. Today, many businesses are taking a plunge and going for RPA to automate their business process, thus increasing productivity, efficiency, and cost-cutting. Many tools available in the market can help you build automation for your business, like UiPath, RPA Blue Prism, Automation Anywhere, etc. RPA is designed to work with business applications to automate processes typically taken care of by manual intervention.
This article is focused on achieving automation using RPA technology on top of Oracle EBS robotic process automation. Oracle EBS is widely used across industries for various business processes that can be automated using RPA
Challenge in achieving automation with Oracle EBS is due to its unique design – for example, it has applet-driven forms – that adds to the complication of achieving automation. A small change in UI may require modifications to the recorded flow to adjust to the new UI design. Apart from UI-related challenges, there are other challenges like slowness, timeouts, unnecessary pop-ups, etc. Also, achieving concurrent flow is a challenge. Addressing such risks proactively is one of the critical success factors to achieve high-level of automation with Oracle EBS.
We faced multiple such challenges with our customers as our automation portfolio grew over time. In such a case, we had to change our automation strategy from hefty UI based to backend integration-based – calling APIs, calling a stored procedure, etc. A middle path looks excellent; however, accessing all functions of EBS through backend integration while complying with security constraints and SoX compliances can still be challenging. Another challenge that remains is to achieve high transaction execution efficiency.
We leveraged the best practices from both technologies to achieve the best solution. The manual and repetitive tasks of reading the data from structured/ unstructured document was handled by BOT, drastically cutting down the person-hours spent. To keep the sensitive transactional data of customers unexposed from a third-party tool, we let Oracle run the validations on it based on the setups in EBS by calling stored procedures and using database triggers. Oracle APIs and interface programs were used for creating the data in Oracle. One of the significant aspects while designing the solution was to manage the error handling part. The exceptions raised were communicated to the user via email, and users were also provided a platform to take corrective actions if necessary. Also, the BOT generates fallout reports which users can use to track the transactions. This approach helped us automate business processes in an optimized way complying with the security and SOX compliances, and helped us achieve transaction execution efficiency as the load was distributed.
To showcase, one of the automation processes we did within Oracle EBS robotic process automation is the application of cash receipts to transactions sent by the bank to the customer as payment advice. The current process followed by businesses is to receive payment advice from the banks and manually apply the customer invoices with the payment. It is evident that there was much manual effort involved as there can be hundreds of transactions for one customer payment. Also, the process of application differs from customer to customer. The solution designed would let BOT capture the data in the payment advice, let Oracle run the set of validations, and finally, create data using Oracle APIs. Along with reducing manual effort, this solution required minimal process change.
To conclude, RPA and Oracle EBS can reduce manual effort, speed up business processes, and helps reduce cost.