The world is watching closely as both physical and software robots take on more and more tasks, freeing up employees’ time for strategic, productive, or purely fun activities.
While SAP has provided solutions and services for automation since introducing Business Workflow in the 1990s, deploying Robotic Process Automation (RPA) for SAP-centric business processes is still new to many traditional SAP customers.
If you are among those SAP project leads, architects, or end users who still feel slight discomfort or unfamiliarity with how RPA and SAP processes make a great fit, this blog post is for you.
In this post, I will discuss:
- What RPA can do for SAP customers and how this differs from traditional back-end automations
- Example use cases for RPA in SAP environments
- How to get started automating SAP processes with RPA
Automating manual, repetitive tasks with RPA has the following benefits:
- Immediate savings with the first automated processes
- Reduced risk by not touching your back-end systems
- Decreased workload for information technology (IT) employees, enabling them to focus on business-critical activities
Typical use cases for RPA and SAP solutions
Take the example of automating a SAP Sales Order entry: A software robot will read the information on incoming sales orders (which may come in the form of paper documents, emails, email attachments, or Excel spreadsheets) via optical character recognition (OCR). The robot would then enter the information in SAP, book the Sales Order in SAP, and start the Sales Order fulfillment process.
Supply Chain Management and Procurement processes
When automating a supplier evaluation process, a robot can compare current prices and availability of goods and raw material. The robot will check for delivery times from different suppliers, and evaluate suppliers and material ratings.
A software robot can also be used to automate the purchase order follow-up process. Robots can be used to analyze data and determine answers to the following questions:
- Has the vendor received the purchase order and has he accepted it?
- Has the PO been fulfilled?
- Are related documents (such as a goods receipt or invoice) available and do they match the order?
HR onboarding process
With RPA, a robot can input HR Master Data from the recruiting application directly into the SAP Human Capital Management (HCM) system or SAP SuccessFactors systems. Uploading data from resumes, drivers’ licenses, and HR forms can also be completed via RPA.
SAP S/4HANA migration
Migrating to SAP S/4HANA can be a tedious and cost-intensive project. You can reduce your cost, reduce the risk of the migration, and speed up the migration process by automating some of the tasks related to preparing for the migration and the data validation phase.
Getting started using RPA to automate SAP processes
1. If you are new to RPA, start by making yourself familiar with UiPath by downloading the UiPath Community Edition or start a free trial of the UiPath Enterprise RPA Platform.
2. Identify the manual, but standard, high volume SAP processes that are the most promising for RPA implementation. You can also refer back to the examples above for inspiration.
3. Contact us or one of our specialized business partners and we would be happy to help you.
Tanja Breitling-Zboril heads Global SAP Product Alliance at UiPath. Join Breitling-Zboril and UiPath Product and Technology Alliance Management Vice President David Marcus for their session "How to Improve Customer/Employee Experience Across the Enterprise with RPA" on May 8, 2019 at Sapphire NOW.