Automate Business Processes with Kofax RPA

Watch this webinar to understand if Kofax RPA is a good fit for automating those repetitive tasks, and we’ll provide examples of processes and actions that Kofax Kapow can automate. We’ll even leave time at the end to for you to ask about your specific processes and potential use cases.

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Geoff Lilienfeld:
All right, good afternoon. Today we’re going to be talking about one of my favorite topics as of lately, automating business processes with Kofax Kapow. So, Kofax Kapow is robotic process automation software, which I know is a buzzword that we’re hearing a lot. I apologize for the usage of buzzwords. But, in all reality, you’re probably going to keep hearing about it more and more as the technology evolves and the use cases become more clear.

All right, so as many of you probably know, we perform these webinars the first Wednesday of every month. We have additional upcoming webinars around Lawson com objects, AP agility for KTA, and the Onbase approval manager in June. We also still have one more webinar coming today. And that is around planning for enterprise software upgrades.

So, for those of you that don’t know me, my name is Geoff Lilienfeld. I’m a partner here at RPI. And I personally oversee our Imaging Strategy and Technical Services practice. So, that practice is the one that focuses on document imaging, so Perceptive Content or ImageNow, as you may know it, Capture, Brainware, and now AnyDoc. As well as the Kofax product sweet and Hyland’s Onbase, and AnyDoc. So, I’ve been doing this for a little over a decade, having started with Mclaughry about 10 years ago. Performing management consulting and process automation then, though less technology driven than what we work on today.

So, just a quick look at the agenda. So, we’re going to talk about robotics process automation. And what exactly that means is, a lot of you are probably very familiar with it, but a lot of you are probably just wondering why you keep seeing this buzzword pop up on LinkedIn. And then we’ll specifically discuss Kapow and what exactly Kapow does and how it works. And then I want to jump straight in to a live demo, so that you can really get an idea of what Kapow looks like, and what a real world use case looks like. We’ll discuss some additional use cases that are hopefully relevant to you. And then everyone’s favorite point, is discussing license costs and professional services. While I’m talking and we’re going over these items, definitely be thinking in your mind about what the use cases are that you can use Kapow for. Please, feel free to type those in to the Go To webinar window, we do have a moderator. And he will pause me if necessary, and we can review those use cases. Or, we will take a look at them at the end. We have a good amount of time allotted to going over questions and discussing use cases.

So, just kind of a real quick overview on RPI. RPI is a little over 80 full time consultants, I think now almost 90. Our offices are located in Baltimore, Tampa, and my favorite office Kansas City, as this is the office that our ISTS or Imaging, Strategy, and Technical Services practice is based out of. So, we help enterprises with technology consulting, mostly around business automation in this practice. And then the rest of RPI is mainly focused on Infor Lawson. So, we do really perform the full sweep, or the full gambit of services around the product suites that we consult on. Again, being the Kofax, Hyland, and Perceptive product suites.

All right, so what is robotic process automation? All right, so RPA is essentially the automation of computer tasks that are repeatable. So, anything that a human is presently doing on a computer, that is repeatable often times complex, and is just time consuming we can use RPA to automate a lot of those tasks. So, there are two types of tasks in the RPA world, there are attended and there are unattended. And we’ll get into the difference between those a little bit more in depth here in a couple of minutes.

So, the benefits of setting up a RPA environment, are that we’re focusing on reducing manual labor costs. Now, as such, often times there is a misnomer that’s going to lead to a decrease in employee moral because essentially the concept of, “We’re replacing jobs with robots” right? But, that really isn’t necessarily true. We can really increase employee morale by eliminating the mundane tasks and letting employees focus more on the items that take a little bit more brain power, and are a little bit more enticing. Through automation, whether it’s RPA or intelligent capture, we’re always aimed on increasing accuracy. Any time that you’re taking data directly from a system, rather than having a human input, is always going to increase your accuracy.

One of the coolest things about Kapow and RPA in general, is that we can essentially take any application, website, anything on a computer, and we can turn that into an API. And then also, it gives us a place to manage passwords, especially with attended robots, where the attended user that otherwise would have access to a whole bunch of credentials doesn’t need access to those credentials anymore.

All right, so I promised attended versus unattended. So, like I said, there are two types of robots. There are attended robots and there are unattended robots. So, attended robots are the ones that are interacting with users, right? So, if I’m an end user, I’m still performing some functions on this desktop, but parts of those functions that are repetitive can be automated by a robot. So, that might mean that asserting key strokes triggers a robot, maybe I move a file, and that triggers a robot. In general, it’s any time that the end user is performing a task, at some point in time a robot steps in and then the user goes back to performing that task. It could be as simple as when a user opens up a remote desktop connection, that a robot actually selects the server to connect to, enters the credentials, and performs a variety of functions before the user goes back to performing their functions. So, again, those robots can be triggered by an event or a desktop command. It can be a hot key, it could be just executing an icon, or right clicking something in the system tray for instance.

Unattended robots are those robots that are essentially running server side without user interaction as the robot is actually executed. These unattended robots can be executed based on a schedule or in the Kapow case, Kapow has a really cool user interface called Kapplets. And what a Kapplet is, is essentially it allows the end user to visit there, what they call the My Kapplets portal, which is just a website. And from there they can choose a robot that they would like to start. When they choose that robot, they could have an input if they like. So, let’s say that you want to run a robot that goes out and searches for an employee ID. Within the Kapplets, or the Kapzone, if you will, an end user could execute that robot, input that employee ID, and then that robot could run a series of commands based on that employee ID.

One of the really cool features with Kapow, is that a single desktop instance can run multiple robots simultaneously. Which is a big advantage over some of the competitors in the RPA space. Just to mention that Citrix is supported, and while a lot of times with robotic process automation, we discuss how we’re going to interact within clients, or web browsers, especially more and more as that’s the way most software is going, it should be noted that Kapow can control Citrix environments and remote desktops.

So, like I said early on, one of the really cool things with Kapow is that you do not need APIs for various business systems to interact. Whether that’s a system interacting with another internally, or interacting with a third party system, interacting with a website, essentially Kapow can create a API out of anything. And when I say create and API out of anything, I truly mean that. Because, you could actually take a website and teach Kapow that website, and how to navigate it, how to input commands in the fields. And then you can call Kapow via the Kapow rest API, and you could even pass perimeters to Kapow for its interaction with that website, or with that other application.

With that being said, Kapow can read and write directly from databases. All of your standard Sequel, My Sequel, all of that type of stuff that you’re used to seeing. We can retrieve and submit documents. We can share data between systems, whether that’s through a Sequel query, a rest or SOAP API call, or actually acting like it is a human end user and inputting data into fields, and retrieving data from those same applications.

So, again, we can also manipulate Windows applications. One of the use cases that we’ve been discussing a lot lately, because of the need with some of our health care clients, is around Meditech. So, a great example of something that Kapow can do, is to actually manipulate a terminal window for Meditech. So, I’m sure that those of you that are in health care that have used Meditech know that Meditech does not have a strong API, which has always lead to it being a little bit difficult to integrate with in the past. But, we are actually able to integrate with Meditech through the terminal application. So, it’s definitely really strong