Salesforce’s MuleSoft Robotic Process Automation (RPA): Hyperautomation for Middle-Market Organizations
As middle-market organizations continue to pivot to a digital-first ecosystem to strategically use data, make smarter business decisions and deliver exceptional customer experiences, many are turning to robotic process automation (RPA) as a key component in their digital transformation journey. Unequivocally, RPA initiatives and tools have a massive role in strengthening and transforming companies and it is increasingly becoming an enterprise-level opportunity. In fact, the RPA market is predicted to grow by USD 31 billion by 2030 and expand at a CAGR of 39.9% from 2023 to 2030 (Grand View Research).
What Is RPA?
As discussed in our previous article, Intelligent Automation: Robotic Process Automation Positions Middle Market Organizations for Growth, RPA is an intelligent automation solution that builds, manages and deploys software robots to automate repetitive and manual tasks. RPA tools define workflows and configure bots to perform designated tasks in a logical sequence. Multiple systems can be involved in each automated business process without any need for integration or changes to the underlying system, making RPA an attractive technology to implement.
RPA can be applied to the most common and repetitive rules-based business processes, such as data extraction, migration, validation and entry as well as calculations, opening and moving files, formatting excel sheets and updating databases. Benefits of RPA implementation are significant as organizations can enhance their quality and accuracy, improve their analytics, increase their employee productivity and enhance customer engagements to name a few. The opportunities are extensive – thus the rise of hyperautomation.
What Is Hyperautomation?
Hyperautomation is a business-driven, disciplined approach to identify, review and automate as many business practices as possible. This requires a robust RPA solution with capabilities that include integration and API management. Stand-alone RPA solutions often focus on supporting task automation and may lack these extended capabilities and, therefore, are unable to address the scale of hyperautomation. With a multi-system unified automation platform that fully supports multi-step workflows and processes like Salesforce MuleSoft, organizations can quickly lower costs, accelerate innovation and scale productivity. Notably, MuleSoft RPA can be reused and shared through APIs, which enables even more efficiency across manual business processes.
MuleSoft At a Glance
MuleSoft provides hyperautomation via a unified suite of products that includes three components:
- Anypoint Platform™, available via the cloud and on-premise, is intended for IT departments to design and build application networks, APIs and integrations at scale for the entire organization.
- MuleSoft Composer is an integration tool designed for SaaS admins, business analysts, marketers, salespeople and team leads to quickly and easily build flows to integrate systems and data, and automate tasks with clicks, not code. MuleSoft Composer comes with several ready-to-use connectors that extend workflow automation to SaaS integration with systems such as Salesforce, Tableau, NetSuite, Workday and Google Sheets.
- MuleSoft RPA helps business teams automate repetitive processes and tasks using point-and-click tools to automate workflows and improve efficiencies.
Why MuleSoft RPA?
MuleSoft combines its API and Integration platform to the RPA circle, enhancing the ability to scale while managing overall security and governance. Listed as a visionary in Gartner’s 2022 Magic Quadrant for Robotic Process Automation RPA, MuleSoft offers a differentiating “self-building bot” capability that enables users with the ability to auto-record actions, keystrokes etc. and auto-create workflows. The report continues to highlight the platform’s innovative and impressive feature set which includes AI/ML-based native Optical Character Recognition (OCR), computer vision with pattern recognition, an intelligent process recorder and an embedded open-source BPM engine – all of which help drive automation at the user level.
Notably, MuleSoft’s advanced and patented intelligent recognition capabilities, OCR and image recognition, are key differentiators from other RPA products on the market. OCR is a process that converts an image of text into a machine-readable text format, which is a capability many other RPA products are challenged with providing accurately.
MuleSoft’s RPA tool itself is comprised of three components:
- RPA Manager is a cloud-based control plane that empowers users to manage the automation journey by evaluating the automation efficiency, process optimization and immediate notifications to solve errors as soon as they occur.
- RPA Builder enables users to build automations with low-code tools by identifying tasks and steps in process, fueling your automation build at ease.
- RPA Recorder enables users to instantly record on-screen activity to generate processes across desktops and web applications.
MuleSoft RPA Use Cases
Because MuleSoft is used for repetitive, manual tasks, it is an industry-agnostic technology. It is commonly used in roles, functions and business sectors that spend significant time on tedious processes, such as data extraction and entry, payroll processing, price comparisons, processing refunds and customer information updates. For these reasons, RPA has played an essential role in the financial, healthcare, manufacturing, and real estate and construction sectors.
In the financial services industry, MuleSoft RPA can be used to automate tasks such as processing loan applications, managing customer accounts and generating reports. This can lead to significant time savings and increased accuracy, which helps financial institutions improve their customer service and reduce overall costs.
In the healthcare industry, MuleSoft RPA can be used to automate tasks such as scheduling appointments, processing claims and managing patient records. This can help healthcare providers to improve the quality of care they provide and reduce the administrative burden on their staff.
In the manufacturing industry, MuleSoft RPA can be used to automate tasks such as tracking inventory, scheduling production and shipping orders. This can help manufacturers improve their efficiency and productivity, leading to lower costs and increased profits.
In the real estate and construction industry, MuleSoft RPA can be used to automate tasks such as managing documents, inventory and accounting. In construction, it can be used to complete material orders, quality control, data entry and construction scheduling. This can help the workforce improve accuracy, enhance productivity and achieve faster time to value.
The RPA Lifecycle – Getting Started
The RPA lifecycle is a series of phases of how automation is delivered, executed and monitored. The first step in getting started is for stakeholders to identify business processes and tasks that are repetitive and may be good candidates for automation. Practices such as process discovery and task/process mining may be used to identify areas to automate.
Once business processes are identified, MuleSoft RPA recorders can capture user steps and on-screen actions, and create click-path documentations and process models. Models can then be processed within the RPA Builder to develop an automated workflow. Once the workflow is tested and the software’s suggestions applied, the workflow can be deployed via MuleSoft’s RPA and consistently monitored.
MuleSoft’s RPA implications on middle-market organizations can be a game changer. As a middle-market growth enabler, RPA can optimize costs, attract and retain talent, increase productivity, drive innovation, and enhance positive experiences and opportunities. With so many benefits and applications, RPA is a technology that will continue to scale, extending its connection to other emerging technologies and value across all industries and enterprises.
RPA Quick Start Offering
Cherry Bekaert’s Digital Advisory team is comprised of strategists, analysts and technologists who have broad industry experience and keen business acumen. Our three-week RPA quick start offering incorporates all aspects of your business practices and workflow, targeting a baseline of potential areas of automation. The offering presents a future-state flow and develops a MuleSoft RPA automation proof-of-concept in a demo environment. Our team ensures a strategic framework is in place to work with MuleSoft products, along with the technical expertise to implement the plan, so you get the results you expect – automation, clean data, established governance and on-going system checks to monitor quality. Let us guide you forward.