Previewed during the TechEd2021, SAP Process Automation merges the capabilities of SAP iRPA (intelligent robotic process automation) and SAP Workflow Management to provide end-to-end automation capabilities to equip citizen developers in improving and innovating business processes.
The burgeoning hyper-automation market is forecast by Gartner to reach about $860 billion with a 12.3% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) by 2025 driven by organizations’ need to modernize business and IT processes. Moreover, global market intelligence firm IDC also stressed that organizations are increasingly adopting process automation, acknowledging it as a key driver to reduce operational costs or improve cycle times.
“Organizations are thinking about upskilling business users to become more proficient in using process automation tools for both their own and their team’s productivity efforts, enabled by the next generation of intelligent process automation solutions combining low-code task and workflow automation with AI decision support, intelligent document processing, and process mining,” explained Maureen Fleming, Program Vice President, Intelligent Process Automation Market Research and Advisory Service at IDC.
Recognizing the customers’ increasing demand for business process automation to drive efficiency and agility, SAP has announced the general availability of its latest unified, easy-to-use, no-code, and AI-powered offering, SAP Process Automation. The solution leverages the capabilities of SAP iRPA, the robotic process automation layer of SAP’s Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP), and SAP Workflow Management, a solution that digitizes and automates decision-making with business rules.
Beyond Merging SAP iRPA and SAP Workflow Management
SAP Process Automation, the tech giant’s latest business process automation solution delivers an easy-to-use, no-code development experience to both business users and developers without requiring coding and IT assistance. According to SAP’s Head of low-code and no-code products, Sebastian Schrötel, the solution is part of the company’s process automation technologies such as SAP AppGyver and SAP Business Application Studio that enable citizen developers to automate processes and build new applications.
According to him, the development of the solution was driven by SAP customers’ demand for automation and workflow tasks integration. Hey explained:
“Now we are taking the next step in creating a unified process automation offering. We’re merging this workflow world together with the RPA world, and we’re making it one end-to-end product.”
“It’s not just combining the two products. We are adding something new on top that allows this whole process automation world to be used by citizen developers with a no-code experience that is augmented with AI for some of the tasks,” Schrötel added.
SAP iRPA has accelerated business process automation of SAP customers across industries, from pharmaceutical to food manufacturing. Zuellig Pharma, Asia’s leading healthcare services provider, has implemented SAP iRPA to automate customer orders to drive efficiency in distribution. Döhler, a global food and beverage manufacturer, has also deployed the RPA solution to automate accounting processes and tasks, reducing errors and speeding up waiting times.
Detailing on how SAP iRPA supports the SAP Process Automation, Schrötel stated:
”The business rules frameworks are embedded in SAP Process Automation, which enables customers to add business rules and have a complete decision framework. If the order is dead, do that; if it’s across a certain threshold, then set different approvals and so on.”
Essentially, SAP Process Automation simplifies business process innovation for citizen developers or business users by:
- Providing visual drag-and-drop tools and pre-built industry-specific content to build workflows and automate tasks
- Offering a comprehensive library of over 340 pre-built process flows, business rules, and dashboards, among others, across applications such as SAP S/4HANA, SAP SuccessFactors, and SAP Ariba SDKs.
- Allowing native integration with SAP applications as well as to non-SAP applications to support automation of complex workflows
- Enabling process and automation management on their organization’s cloud of choice while interoperating with their existing infrastructure.
On the product’s roadmap, Schrötel stated that after the “transition phase” of the existing SAP Workflow Management and SAP Intelligent RPA, it will then become SAP Process Management. With the content of either solution designed to integrate with SAP Process Automation, he highlighted that transition would be seamless. Moreover, the new offering can also be integrated with SAP Process Insights, a solution developed by SAP Signavio that generates dynamic, real-time reports covering speed and efficiency assessments of any existing business process.