RPA: Blue Prism announces new robotic automation skills, partnerships

RPA: Blue Prism announces new robotic automation skills, partnerships

• For our in-depth interview with Blue Prism co-founder and CTO, David Moss, please go here.

Blue Prism, a prime mover of the robotic process automation (RPA) market, is showcasing its vision of building out a workforce of intelligent, automated digital workers at its Blue Prism World event in London today.

The company’s RPA offerings are designed to augment and assist the skills of human workers, rather than replace them, said the company this morning, and are increasingly enhanced by artificial intelligence and cognitive services.

Additional skills

Blue Prism has announced six new “intelligent automation” skills for digital workers, which the company said “provide a foundation for true enterprise RPA”.

These are:

  • Knowledge and Insight: Using pre-built integrations with AI platforms such as AWS, Google, IBM, and Microsoft, Blue Prism’s software robots can now “identify trends and patterns in text communications to isolate issues, and seamlessly turn that communication into an action item that can be assigned to the right person or system”, said the company.
  • Planning and Sequencing: Using Blue Prism’s rules engine, coupled with partnerships with companies such as Appian and identitii, its software robots can now “apply the same logic to workflows as their human counterparts”, while exchanging information securely using a range of legacy and current digital channels, including blockchain.
  • Visual Perception: Although virtual, Blue Prism’s robots can now digitally ‘read’, understand, and contextualise visual information, claimed the company this morning. These “digital workers” can operate “within any application screen in the same way as a human can”. Integrations with the aforementioned AI platforms allow Blue Prism’s robots to use machine learning-enabled computer vision to understand image data and documents, added the company.
  • Collaboration: Blue Prism’s digital agents can communicate and collaborate with human co-workers, systems, and other software robots. Through partnerships with companies such as TrustPortal, Appian, and [24]7.ai – the last two being announced this morning – “digital workers [software robots] can collaborate across modern digital channels – supporting a complete end-to-end automation of business processes”, explained the company.
  • Learning: As part of Blue Prism’s machine learning workflow, its software robots can gather new insights from datasets and integrate them directly with analytics platforms. “Blue Prism’s strategic partnerships with companies like Google and Microsoft provide flexibility and choice so users can adopt the power of cloud-based machine learning,” said the company.
  • Problem Solving: Logic, business, and system problems can now also be solved more efficiently at scale “without human intervention”, claimed the company this morning. Its software robots can also tackle complex business problems that require “both deterministic and probabilistic, machine learning-driven” solutions, it added.

All of these functions “mark a clear line of delineation over desktop-based and other automation tools”, explained the company.

New partnerships

Blue Prism has also announced new integration and partnership deals with Ephesoft, TimelinePI, and XpertRule – along with Appian and [24]7.ai – to help drive the adoption of AI in the enterprise.

“As businesses continue to evolve, we’ve witnessed a growing desire for organisations to establish a solid foundation of automation that’s intelligent, connected, and easy to control,” said Dave Moss, co-founder and CTO of Blue Prism.

“By coupling our automation capabilities with the most innovative cognitive and AI technologies on the market, we are augmenting human workers to achieve and do more. We’re delivering an intelligent digital workforce now.”

Internet of Business says

By building a foundation of “intelligent automation”, the company believes that cognitive technologies such as AI, machine learning, natural language processing (NLP) and neural networks can dramatically expand horizons for autonomy, process scope, transaction speed, business revenue gains, and cost savings.

More, it believes that these “intelligent automation” skills can be deployed as easily as downloading an app on a smartphone. “Many tasks that were once considered only manageable by humans can now also be done by digital workers, working alongside their human counterparts”, it said this morning.

So the questions for many organisations must be: at what point does assistance and augmentation become replacement and human redundancy? And how transparent and auditable are these machine-operated processes, based on what rules and data?

As many organisations rush to implement cognitive services and automation tools – sometimes driven more by a desire to slash costs than to support strategic business goals – these questions will become increasingly important to answer.

Internet of Business is putting these points and more to Blue Prism CTO Dave Moss in an exclusive interview, which we will be publishing shortly.

Chris Middleton
Chris Middleton is former editor of Internet of Business, and now a key contributor to the title. He specialises in robotics, AI, the IoT, blockchain, and technology strategy. He is also former editor of Computing, Computer Business Review, and Professional Outsourcing, among others, and is a contributing editor to Diginomica, Computing, and Hack & Craft News. Over the years, he has also written for Computer Weekly, The Guardian, The Times, PC World, I-CIO, V3, The Inquirer, and Blockchain News, among many others. He is an acknowledged robotics expert who has appeared on BBC TV and radio, ITN, and Talk Radio, and is probably the only tech journalist in the UK to own a number of humanoid robots, which he hires out to events, exhibitions, universities, and schools. Chris has also chaired conferences on robotics, AI, IoT investment, digital marketing, blockchain, and space technologies, and has spoken at numerous other events.