Need for Automating Oracle EBS Transactions Using RPA
Digital transformation using mobility and automation has changed the way traditional enterprise systems like Oracle, SAP, Microsoft, IBM work. Automation has taken a new leap in the past few years with Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Robotic Process Automation and Internet of Things. Specifically RPA or Robotic Process Automation has helped a lot in automating repetitive and scheduled business transactions that require human involvement in repetitive fashion. Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) has got huge potential where the monotonous, scheduled and routine transactions which take a long time to process can be intelligently done with an RPA digital worker or simply a digital robot. In order to reduce the turnaround time, one needs to increase the throughput and improve the productivity of the employees. Hence, RPA is implemented into these systems.
How RPA can Help an Enterprise
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a software innovative technology which automates structured business processes. RPA interacts with the user interfaces of your existing applications and carries out structured processes automatically. Hence, iterating the most repetitive human tasks automatically thereby, improving the productivity of the whole system. RPA doesn’t entail any form of the physical robot. It mimics human work by interacting with applications in a similar way that a human does. It also allows interpreting existing application, activating responses, controlling data, and communicating with other digital systems. All this is done without much change in the existing business process.
There are several major RPA platforms in the market like UiPath, Automation Anywhere, Blue prism, Work Fusion etc. and you can also automate a lot using custom solutions. The major quick wins for RPA are increased productivity and reduction in the turnaround time anywhere between 50-80%. Moreover the users can ensure accurate entry of data and avoid any errors in the routine ERP transactions which means saving quality time which can be used elsewhere. From an organisation’s perspective this means huge savings in labor and better ROI for RPA investments.
Different Use Cases where RPA can be Implemented in Oracle EBS Modules
- Human Resource (HR) – RPA proves its efficiency in different domains. With respect to HR, RPA can be used to automate certain processes such as Leave Application, Joining Formalities, Payroll Processes and is able to save a lot of documentation work which is done manually.
- Finance – Some of the most common and repetitive processes such as Invoice Validation, Invoice Matching, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Generating Cash Position reports and many more.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – In order to improve the customer experience and service quality, RPA processes the most repetitive tasks such as Price Management, Sales Business Intelligence, Customer Self-service, e-Billing, Customer Data Updation and Integration, Order Fulfilment and many more with ease and accuracy.
- Supply Chain and Logistics – RPA contributes to analytics and Artificial Intelligence by gathering information about business patterns and internal workings to reveal potential disruptions and bottlenecks. These insights can be used to improve and optimize specific areas of the supply chain.
RPA, at times, will be interacting and integrating with different functional modules to fulfill a complete transaction. Apart from the ones mentioned above, there are many more functionalities which can be implemented based on your business model requirement.
Here are some detailed examples of RPA implementations
Invoice Automation in Oracle EBS Using RPA
In this the whole AP (Account Payable) and AR (Account Receivable) invoice generation process can be automated using RPA. When we generate the sales or purchase (Receivable or Payable) invoice to the buyer, the RPA system can automatically fill the invoice information into the Receivable and Payable Manager Invoice forms.
- Get the invoice hardcopy and scan it. RPA can pick the invoices from e-mail or pick invoices from any folder location.
- With the help of Optical Character Recognition (OCR), the required information from the scanned invoice copy is captured and stored.
- Then the system automatically logs into the authenticated Oracle user and opens up the invoice form from the Receivables and Payable Manager module.
- After the form is opened, the RPA system will start to enter the collected information into the forms.
- Then the system matches the values, validates the actions entered in the form and submits for approval.
- Once it’s approved, the Oracle EBS will record this invoice to Accounts Receivable or Payables module and logs out automatically.
Hence, a part of the process is automated and helps in improving the turnaround time and throughput of this process.
Automatic Leave Application in Oracle Using Excel Sheet
The leave application process in the Oracle EBS can be automated. It is difficult for most of the blue-collar employees to apply leave using Oracle ERP. Typically an admin will be collecting all leaves in an excel sheet or from any simple leave application form, and then do a periodic data entry to create leaves in oracle EBS. In order to ease their work, you can put RPA into action as below :
- The basic and required information like Name, Absence type, Start date/End date, Reason etc. are collected into a simple excel sheet or any simple form.
- The RPA system will read the excel data table and identify the user who has applied for the leave and logs into his Oracle account.
- It opens the Employees self-service module and the Absence Creation form.
- When the form opens, it clicks Create Absence window.
- Here the RPA system will read the information from the excel sheet and start to enter it into the absence creation window.
- The system will now automatically submit the request for approval and then log out.
- The RPA system will move on to the next entry in the excel sheet and repeat the same thing until all the entries are recorded into the EBS.
Future of RPA Automation for Enterprises
Applications of RPA is not only restricted to the above examples but can be applied in various fields and several industries. The use cases mentioned above seamlessly works with any similar functional ERP modules – SAP or Oracle Fusion or Siebel etc. The RPA solutions are enhanced with Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. All the repetitive and iterative jobs which don’t need human intervention can be automated thereby, improving the accuracy, efficiency, cost and reliability of the process. The key depends on identifying the right business process to automate which further helps you in designing the architecture and embarking on the RPA journey in the enterprise roadmap.
Karthikeyan.S, Business Analyst, RapidValue