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Blog | Intelligent Automation

Intelligent Automation Glossary

Apr 4, 2022 | 6 min read

AS THE TERMINOLOGY RELATED TO DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION INCREASES IN BOTH COMPLEXITY AND QUANTITY, UNDERSTANDING THE KEY TERMS IS CRITICAL TO ACCELERATING YOUR INTELLIGENT AUTOMATION JOURNEY.

This handy guide will take you from automation newcomer to automation maestro in just a few minutes. Enabling you to harness the exponential power of Intelligent Automation and succeed at speed.

AT A GLANCE TERMINOLOGY

Software robots that mimic and integrate human actions within digital systems to optimize business processes. RPA captures data, runs applications, triggers responses, and communicates with other systems to perform a variety of tasks. 

Technology intended to respond to and learn from stimulation in a similar way to human responses with a level of understanding and judgment that’s normally only found in human expertise. 

HYPERAUTOMATION

Hyperautomation is the expansion of automation as we know it, going beyond the simple, repetitive task-oriented automation to AI-based advanced automation which enables organizations to automate highly complex business processes from end-to-end with a robust toolset that compliments the standard capabilities of RPA technology.

The application of advanced technologies like AI, ML, Natural Language Processing (NLP), intelligent Object Character Recognition (OCR), and Process Mining augments workers and automates processes in ways that are much more impactful that traditional Intelligent Automation capabilities.

Process mining is defined as solutions that leverage event logs that are generated by enterprise systems such as ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), CRM (Customer Relationship Management), HCM (Human Capital Management), and SCM (Supply Chain Management) to rebuild a virtual view of the business process. It helps organizations discover the as-is state of business processes as well as identify new opportunities for optimization and automation.

INTELLIGENT AUTOMATION (IA) / INTELLIGENT PROCESS AUTOMATION

Intelligent Automation is a combination of RPA, AI, machine learning, and other technologies that allow for a more custom and intelligent design of process automation that can be implemented across organizations. 


ATTENDED RPA

Attended RPA includes scenarios where decision making and/or user input is required, such as desktop automation. These robots work at an employee’s workstation and are triggered by two situations: a user’s command and instances were robots need input from the user to continue a task.

AUTOMATION DESIGN

The plan for how RPA and other automation technologies will be rolled out in an organization. As part of this plan, organizations identify a list of processes that are the best candidates for automation. The design can be developed as a short- or long-term plan. 

“AUTOMATION FIRST” ERA

An era of technology where people think to apply RPA and other automation technologies to as many processes as possible for enhanced productivity and efficiency. Our partner UiPath describes it as “working backward from desired business outcomes to construct the hybrid workforce to get you there. This gives companies the freedom to use software robots or humans wherever they fit best.”

AUTOMATION OPERATING MODEL

A model for how Intelligent Automation will be designed and rolled out. This model often involves process architects, technology experts/advisors, and ongoing maintenance and support staff. The model changes slightly based on company and industry to best suit their automation goals.

AUTOMATION ROADMAP

A structured plan that includes an organization’s strategic goals, key criteria for success and guidelines to meet their digital transformation goals. This includes a cost-benefit analysis of the processes selected for automation.

BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE

A system of technologies, practices, and applications that help companies collect, analyze, and present information related to business operations. 

The practice of using modeling, automation, and data insights to optimize business activities, enterprise goals, and employee operations. 

CENTER OF EXCELLENCE (COE)

An internal team which supports the implementation and ongoing deployment of Intelligent Automation solutions. The CoE team uses automation tools and technical expertise to identify and manage ongoing implementations.  

COGNITIVE AUTOMATION

Automation that goes beyond regular RPA that can work on semi-structured and structured data alike, leveraging cognitive capabilities. 

COMMAND-LINE INTERFACE (CLI)

A way of interacting with a software package by triggering actions with lines of text (command lines) directly to a program. 

COMPUTER VISION

The cognitive technology that allows automation software to recognize and interact with information from images or multi-dimensional sources that can be used for AI, Machine Learning (ML), and pattern recognition. 

DEEP LEARNING

A pattern-based processing method that is a type of ML. Deep learning allows Intelligent Automation robots to mimic human tasks like identifying images on a screen, recognizing language, or predicting outcomes. 

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION OR DIGITIZATION

The implementation of new technologies into an organization’s products, processes, and strategies.  

ENTERPRISE RESOURCE PLANNING (ERP)

A system that allows organizations to manage operations like accounting, project management, and procurement through software packages that enables enterprises to gain insight through a single database of shared information. 

ENTERPRISE RPA

An RPA scenario where an organization aims to automate and optimize the execution and rollout of RPA robots, not just the creation of them. This includes a strategy for how robots are deployed in relation to human teams throughout the organization, supported by a flexible process flow. 

FULL-TIME EQUIVALENT (FTE)

The amount of work a full-time employee does in a department, on a certain project, or on a certain task. 

GRAPHICAL USER INTERFACE (GUI) 

A form of human-computer interaction that allows users to trigger program actions with windows, icons, and menus. 

HOT-DESKING SCENARIO 

Working spaces where employees do not have fixed machines and they are free to use any machine in the working space. This is a common situation for office environments where people have more flexible/hybrid work styles. 

INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC PROCESSES 

Processes that are unique to a specific industry, such as fraud claims discovery in banking, claims processing in insurance, or bills of material (BOM) generation in manufacturing

MACHINE LEARNING (ML) 

The process that allows software robots and AI to learn new processes through pattern recognition rather than needing to be individually and precisely programmed for each new situation. 

NATURAL LANGUAGE PROCESSING (NLP) 

A part of Artificial Intelligence, NLP allows computers to understand, interpret, and mimic human languages. 

NON-PERSISTENT VDI

A generic Virtual Desktop Infrastructure that doesn’t save shortcuts or file settings that the user makes, instead reverting back to a uniform desktop each time a user logs out. 

OPTICAL CHARACTER RECOGNITION (OCR) 

Software that singles out letters and symbols in PDFs files, images, and paper documents that enables users to edit the content of the documents digitally. 

ORCHESTRATOR

Allows a company to schedule, manage, and monitor all robots in one secure place. An Orchestrator lets companies deploy and scale their automation solutions as well as audit and monitor both robot and user activities.

PILOT PROGRAM 

A test of the Intelligent Automation solution that follows the initial proof-of-concept (POC) phase to see if the robot will perform as expected in more advanced, complicated conditions. 

PROOF OF CONCEPT (POC) 

A test run of the Intelligent Automation solution to discover its limitations and help ensure that the robot will work as intended. 

ROBOTIC OPERATIONS CENTER (ROC) 

A robotics department that specializes in rapid automation and high-quality, low-cost change management. Where a CoE supports early RPA implementation and roll-out, the ROC supports existing robots, automates new processes, manages RPA-related security, and performs compliance functions for more mature RPA models. It is a structured department with a defined budget and operational service-level agreements (SLAs). 

ROLE-BASED ACCESS CONTROL (RBAC) 

Security parameters that restrict employees to only have access to information that is required to do their unique jobs, preventing them from reading documents or sensitive materials that are not relevant to their day-to-day work. 

RPA ENVIRONMENT 

The combined processes that have been automated in a company, usually within a singular department. 

SCREEN SCRAPING 

Copying data from one application to another using a computer program. 

SOFTWARE ROBOTS 

Software robots are robots that interact with applications and systems through a graphical user interface (GUI) or command-line interface (CLI) to carry out routine tasks. 

RPA MULTI-TENANCY 

An architecture where a single instance of software application can be used by multiple teams/departments. Some automation platforms offer multi-tenancy so that a tenant can be formed for each department within an organization. Multi-tenancy facilitates convenient scaling and collaboration while maintaining privacy. 

UNATTENDED RPA 

Software robots that need little—or no—human intervention to carry out actions on a 24/7/365 basis when triggered. These robots complete work continuously in a batch-mode model that allows for around-the-clock automation. These robots can be accessed remotely by different interfaces and platforms, and administrators can view, analyze, and deploy scheduling, reporting, auditing, monitoring, and modification functions in real-time from a centralized hub. 

UNSTRUCTURED DATA 

Information that isn’t organized in a defined way and is often filled with text, dates, and numbers in an unorganized system. 

WORKFLOW AUTOMATION 

Using RPA and other Intelligent Automation technology to automate steps in manual or routine business tasks to improve day-to-day practices, make employees more efficient, and allow humans to focus on higher return work. 

VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT 

The system created by Intelligent Automation software and programs that manage an organization’s processes from within a company’s existing IT setup. This environment is controlled by the company and creates a central software hub for administrators and users. 

Still have some unanswered questions? Check out our automation FAQ page or book a meeting with one of our automation experts. 

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