Monday, August 15, 2016

When Robots Integrate!

Why would you use a Robot to do integration?

We often hear from the less technical savvy that “Integration is easy” when in fact integration can be extremely hard to impossible for much more of a project than most realize. Alan Trefler uses a term that clarifies just how hard integration can be with “Applications that cannot be opened, even with a can opener”. Funny but true. And my old adage was “if it were that easy, it would have been done already”.

Let me clear up something else not always so obvious. Accessing a database and accessing business “data” are two different things. Databases of course contain data but most data is meaningless unless you first pass it through the years of custom developed business logic. Imagine writing a balance to a credit card field straight to a database without first calculating all of the interest, currency rates, charges etc., Or in reverse, reading a data field that looks like “last name” but actually needs to be used to part verify one of many names on an account as to who owns the greater share in an LLC.  This is why building API’s is hard. Many application developers never envisaged this data being accessed through anything other than the 1000’s of man hours of business logic they’ve evolved. If only they had a crystal ball in the past to have  considered;

Providing access to business logic level data through API’s
SOA and Enterprise Service Busses open up new worlds of accessibility
Their own applications would one day become legacy (or historic even!)

So, if  building API’s on top of old legacy applications is hard, what are the alternatives? Enter the world of Enterprise Grade Robotics. Robotic Desktop Automation (RDA) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) from Pega are truly Enterprise Grade.

Pega Robotics  allows you to put a wrapper on the one interface that pretty much guarantees to go through the business logic and security layers when you extract or enter data. That is, the user interface. These applications have been built to run on desktops to display and take data all day long from workers, and ALWAYS go through the business logic layer securely.

Using Pega Robotics to build an API through automation (wrapper BOTS) to write or read business data against the desktop applications UI solves a significant problem quickly; How to deliver time to value for any BPM, Transformation and/or digitization project without having to break the bank and risk missing key critical security, governance or business logic.

So, with Pega Robotics you could automate an entire process (say to open a new account) and then when some or all of the account opening capabilities become available as fully-reengineered API’s, you can switch to them quickly. More importantly and uniquely, Pega robotics can partially automate just the key steps in real time, or in a longer running process by running alongside the workers (assisting) on their own machines. These Enterprise Grade Robotic options give great flexibility when you want deliver value quickly, to scale and robustly.

Any Pega Robotic Automation that is built can be called from a fully integrated server process, from another Robot, via BPM or Customer service application etc., In fact, Robots can even call Robots and self monitor their own work to your set SLA’s. It just makes sense to stop paying people to do work if it can be automated. Let your employees, do what they are best at, interacting with customers or using their intelligence where it’s required.

Pega Robotics has been designed to work fast (most competitive RPA only products are 3-5 times slower and require you configure more servers than is really necessary). In addition, Pega Robotics is fully integrated into the Pega platform meaning every aspect critical to enterprise security, auditing and control becomes part of the fully integrated solution as if it had been designed from the ground up to do so.

So, the next time you hear that building API”s is easy, think again. Build API’s using Robotics and it is much easier but more importantly, buys you time, and delivers value early so you can reap the rewards or whatever transformation journey you are on.


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