Robotic Process Automation or RPA is one of the most exciting recent developments in business technology and is one of the top trends shaping digital transformation today.


Robotic process automation is a form of business process automation technology based on metaphorical software robots or on artificial intelligence /digital workers. It is sometimes referred to as software robotics. Wikipedia

RPA is a smart way to remove repeatable, volume-based tasks from employees who gain very little from carrying out this work such as creating Sales Orders from Purchase Orders or entering data on new suppliers. When you add up the time taken up by these small, daily repetitive tasks, the time saving potential is enormous.

Adopting RPA is now a key to growth

RPA is one of the key tools the business can use to push broader digitization of internal processes and unlock growth.

The process begins by identifying tasks that could be carried out by automation and often these will be found within the finance function, but IT, operations, HR and more can all win back time when their routine work is handled by the metaphorical bots!

With RPA the entire organisation can focus on creating value.

According to, more than three-quarters (77%) of their survey respondents said that at least 1 in 20 members of their finance team were “virtual,” meaning they were using RPA and other automation capabilities.

SAP Business ByDesign leads the way

There’s a lot of talk about automation in the software market today and the great news is that SAP Business ByDesign is responding to demand by including a number of bots as standard to benefit customers.

SAP Best Practices for Intelligent Automation gives you access to the first wave of automation bots, which you can use out of the box.  With one click, you’ll get your own SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation applications, at no extra cost, to help busy people build and run tasks “Hands-Free”.

See our product page here.

Here are some of the areas where RPA can make a huge difference:

  • Speed and efficiency e.g invoice matching
  • Compliance e.g. automated company checks when setting up a new supplier
  • Functional – set to carry out routine functional tasks
  • Interfaces to pull data from other applications – pull in individual customer price lists to match with customer data
  • RPA is an invaluable tool in the drive for digital efficiency and is a big step forward in the dream of creating an automated back office.

A key task is to identify key areas for automation, and we can help you with this. Then you can use the new Intelligent Robotic Automation functionality to allow the bot to process the tasks more accurately than ever before.

The first 6 best practice bot templates are available from the SAP IRPA Store and are ready to implement in minutes:

  1. Business Document Extraction from E-Mail
  2. Proof of Delivery Note Upload in the Outbound Delivery
  3. Schedule Report Refresh
  4. Supplier Invoice Upload for Intelligent Invoice Scanning
  5. Sales Order Creation from Customer’s Purchase Order
  6. Account Master Data Enrichment for Document Information Extraction

This is a completely new solution available for SAP Business ByDesign and so some learning may be required so do click onto the following blog and scroll to the bottom for links to the training materials which are available from SAP:

Detail of the offer for SAP Business ByDesign users

With this new release every SAP Business ByDesign customer may:

Use up 1 block of 1 unattended concurrent session and 1 block of 10 attended concurrent sessions of SAP Intelligent RPA as a service of SAP Business ByDesign for no additional fee (see Additional Licensing Implications under SAP Help)

Use any of provided by SAP Best Practices bots out of box with no additional development or integration work (see the SAP IRPA Store)

Modify any of provided by SAP Best Practices bots and adjust them to customer specific needs with minimal amount of effort

Create brand new bots tailored to their custom needs for the areas where automation will bring the highest value.

Find out more in the video here

Case Study

Alan White, VP of Information Technology at SEF Energy has to process 13,000 to 15,000 manual invoices a year – that’s about 10 to 15 invoices per hour.

Using the new feature in SAP Business ByDesign he now only needs to validate and correct the scanned document before submission, reducing manual processing time by 10 to 20%

The result is an annual savings somewhere in the region of $27,000 US dollars, on a conservative estimate. It could be closer to $70,000 US dollars.

You can read more about the subject in this excellent Diginomica article by Jon Reed here;

and dig into what an automation strategy could mean here;