Imagine you gain the privilege of having a limitless number of assistants at your job any time you want. Irrespective of your role or level of responsibility. The assistants that can take the most tedious, unpleasant tasks which typically eat the lion’s share of your or your employees’ productive time.
One can reasonably argue: ‘Great. Unfortunately, I don’t have such a privilege’.
But what if we say you do? Just consider an invisible force that can adapt to your needs and take the uncomfortable scope of work from you or your employees without stealing anyone’s jobs any time you wish. The thing is it is not just mystery or mere imagination. It is nowadays’ reality. These invisible assistants, they are real and even have a name. In the tech world, they are called a Digital Workforce.
In this article, we will reveal the term ‘a Digital Workforce’ by giving a clear definition of it, showing the differences between a Digital Workforce and bots, providing real business cases, and guiding you through the first steps of implementation.
What is a Digital Workforce?
A Digital Workforce is a term used to describe software robots that assist your team in executing routine tasks. It is generally used to describe automated or robotic solutions that augment operations and business processes performed by human employees. A Digital Workforce is a comprehensive tool with the main goal to assist employees in their daily routine.
In a nutshell, there are 3 distinctive features of it.
A Digital Workforce executes tasks systematically just as humans do. This may include, for instance, complex sequences of tasks within regular end-to-end accounts payable or receivable processing in accounting, or employees onboarding and offboarding in HR.
A Digital Workforce typically comprises multiple functions including operational, cognitive, and analytical capabilities that are linked and interconnected to maintain the flexibility of the solution.
Depending on the scope of human intervention a Digital Workforce can adapt to processes and improve performance over time. In some areas such as billing, for instance, it can execute tasks with almost no human intrusion right after the initial learning period.
The technology behind a Digital Workforce: RPA
According to Deloitte, the evolution of a Digital Workforce can be represented by 3 tech categories based on the complexity of solutions: Robotic Process Automation, Cognitive Computing, and Artificial Intelligence.
In this article, we will mostly focus on Robotic Process Automation since nowadays RPA-based Digital Workforce is the most widely embraced tool in organizations irrespective of their size and industry.
Why? First of all, it is due to the ease of use and functionality that puts RPA in the first place when it comes to building a Digital Workforce.
An RPA-based Digital Workforce is a non-invasive assistant that works on the surface of the systems automating repetitive tasks with the use of no-API/GUI functionality.
The main advantages of a Digital Workforce built with RPA are fast ROI reached in several months, and tangible effects of automation that are visible within the first weeks i.e. lowered human error, increased productivity, reduced operational costs.
Areas of use
The most popular areas and tasks where a business can leverage a Digital Workforce based on RPA technology are listed below:
- Accounts receivable and payable
- Client onboarding
- Investment management
- Financial planning and forecasting
- Operational finance and accounting
- Employee onboarding and offboarding
- Payroll and compensation management
- Expense and reimbursement processing
- Data entry and validation
- Credit card processing
- Mortgage processing
- Fraud detection
- KYC procedures
- Account closure
- The strategy of sales and strategic planning
- Identification and qualification of leads
- Quotation and pricing
- Order management
- Reporting, training, and analysis
Differences between bots and a Digital Workforce
What about ‘bots’? Isn’t it the same as ‘a Digital Workforce’?
There are several aspects that these 2 terms have in common:
- The nature of tasks: repetitive and rule-based
- Human role: both are programmed and monitored by a human employee
Nonetheless, there is also one thing that makes them quite different:
While bots are task-centric and perform tasks mostly on specific simple areas one-by-one, a Digital Workforce is a scalable solution that can provide end-to-end automation and in addition to simply taking a task, it can enhance an employee’s role.
To put it even simpler, from a technology perspective bots are more similar to macros. They are good at executing straightforward tasks in Excel, simple spreadsheets, or Microsoft Office Suite. At the same time, a Digital Workforce is a more standalone software that can perform complex tasks in multiple applications and enhance performance using cognitive capabilities.
Using RPA to build a Digital Workforce: 3 use cases
Now let’s see how a Digital Workforce created with RPA can help in streamlining complex processes.
Use Case 1: Invoice Processing
Challenge: A large accounting firm is daily stuck with invoicing procedures implying processing hundreds of invoices of various formats and from various sources.
What a Digital Workforce does:
- Leverages Optical Character Recognition to recognize data from digitized invoices
- Outputs the necessary information from invoices and inputs them into the relevant fields in the system
- Reconciles errors and inconsistencies
- Sends email notifications to employees when processing is completed
Use Case 2: Price monitoring and competitive analysis
Challenge: A mid-sized manufacturing company marketing department daily updates spreadsheets on competitors’ prices, offers, and new items. It takes hours of work and leads to the entire team lost productivity.
What a Digital Workforce does:
- Compares prices from various vendors across all the web accordingly with the pre-set filters and criteria
- Compares offers, product characteristics, and quality
- Sends notifications on large price fluctuations and changes among competitors offerings
- Forms analytical reports regularly
Use case 3: HR
Challenge: A large enterprise HR team daily faces the challenge of complex hiring processes and storing and processing all the candidates and current employees related data.
What a Digital Workforce does:
- Collects and sorts out all the HR-related data: candidates history, reimbursements, payrolls, onboarding, and offboarding details
- Executes web scraping and picks the relevant candidates accordingly with the pre-set criteria
- Performs credibility checks on candidates
- Forms reports on the interviews conducted and results
- Sends notifications to stakeholders
Hey, Google. How to get most out of a Digital Workforce?
Apart from the examples above, there are many other areas where a Digital Workforce can have a positive impact on your operations. The question is ‘What does it take to have a Digital Workforce for all your business needs and what are the investments?’.
To make it clear let’s jump right into the RPA licensing models.
Typically RPA vendors offer a Studio license, which once purchased, allows you to build Digital Workers. Additionally, you purchase the rights (licenses as well) on each Digital Worker you have created in the Studio. This model has been adopted by a majority of vendors. But let’s be frank: it does not make sense, since the model is based on the principle of charging you twice: once for technology and secondly…again for technology but at scale.
The good news is that as the RPA market is growing, this model is changing as well. ElectroNeek is the first RPA vendor in the market that does not charge you the second time and allows you to scale up as much as your business requires.
Therefore ElectroNeek grants businesses a Digital Workforce with limitless potential for:
- scaling at no cost
ElectroNeek charges only for using Studio. Users can develop and share hundreds of Digital Workers with no license fees linked to the number of such workers
- holding Digital Workers on the users’ side (forever)
Even if a user stops using Studio, a Digital Workforce he/she has created remains fully executable on all machines
This model has already been dubbed ‘disruptive’ since it takes RPA technology closer to business while allowing for the full embracement of automation fruits.
Isn’t it something we all have been dreaming about?
Creating a Digital Workforce: 3 steps to start
For many business users creating a Digital Workforce sounds like building a new IT ecosystem that requires a bunch of tech-heads and months of training.
In reality, the process would not require a massive effort. Moreover, with ElectroNeek your RPA journey would start in 3 simple steps:
Step 1. Booking a demo
To start a set-up process you would need to book a demonstration call between ElectroNeek experts and your IT specialist. You do not need an IT department to start building your Digital Workforce. An IT professional or a manager with strong technical skills will be enough to build the first digital worker.
Once you have walked through a demo and purchased a Studio license your IT professional may start building a Digital Workforce. Building the first Digital Worker would take from 30 minutes to 3 hours depending on the technical proficiency of your team member.
Step 3. Maintenance and scaling
ElectroNeek’s Online Academy, extensive knowledge base, Customer support, and Care would make the process of maintaining a Digital Workforce the smoothest. Start small with straightforward tasks and then scale up, improving your Digital Workers, making them an invisible superpower which takes control of the mundane and time-consuming tasks.
See? No hassle and fuss. Just countless benefits in a matter of days.
The bottom line: RPA adoption made easier
We have observed the capabilities of a Digital Workforce and showed several ways it can help your organization in reaching business goals.
As we see, a Digital Workforce is not something you should be confused about. The new world expects businesses to be extremely fast in actions and super impressive in performance, and the truth is that only humans cannot achieve this high bar. Here is when a Digital Workforce becomes the right hand, especially when it comes to excellence driven business strategies.
There is no denying that a Digital Workforce built with RPA is one of the most affordable ways to start digital transformation smoothly.
So why miss the chance to become a business champion if the victory is so feasible? Start your RPA journey with the ElectroNeek Digital Workforce, scale it up using the disruptive licensing model, and enjoy the results at all levels within your organization.