Automating work at scale just got smarter and simpler, Part 2

By Jordan Carlson

In the last issue, we highlighted product developments designed to make our automation platform smarter and simpler to use. Some of the new capabilities didn’t make it into that issue. We’re highlighting them here — in  Part 2. As with all of our platform offerings, you can mix and match them based on your business automation requirements.

Let’s get right to the five new or improved offerings — starting with what’s new to help you automate tasks with robots.

1. Attended bots. IBM Robotic Process Automation with Automation Anywhere now includes an attended bot, which allows a human worker to trigger a bot script versus the control room scheduler. These bots act like a personal assistant to your end users.

  • How does it make our platform smarter or simpler? With attended bots, knowledge workers can act as the coordinators of their tasks. Time-consuming administrative work, such as sorting through spreadsheets or copying and pasting data from one field to another, can be executed on-command or directly in response to a human-generated event.
  • Feature or benefit highlight? By facilitating new opportunities to quickly introduce task automation, attended bots can increase the productivity and effectiveness of knowledge workers. For example, a call center agent can get help from an attended robotic process automation (RPA) bot in near real-time during a live customer call.

This new feature is available in the Enterprise Edition only. To learn more, read the blog: The difference between attended and unattended RPA bots.

Next up: What’s new to help you capture, classify and extract data from content?

2. IBM Business Automation Content Analyzer. Content Analyzer is an intelligent, cloud-based service that helps you digitize, classify and extract data from unstructured document content. Designed to work with our automation platform or any non-IBM content management or process automation system through its RESTful API, it can also enable IBM Watson®  and other AI technologies to reveal business insights from your documents.

  • How does it make our platform smarter or simpler? It uses AI and simple document training tools to make data classification from unstructured documents simpler and faster.
  • Feature or benefit highlight? The document training tool reduces reliance on templates and can be configured by a business user instead of a technical expert. Using a simple API, Content Analyzer can be embedded in any process system, capture tool or business application, allowing users to understand and act on data within unstructured documents quickly. 

Next up: What’s new to help you automate and manage your business decisions?

3. IBM Operational Decision Manager 8.10. This version of the decision automation product has been enhanced with a new decision modeling feature that simplifies how decisions can be authored, tested and then executed within your enterprise applications. This feature is also available in IBM Operational Decision Manager on Cloud and a SaaS tool called IBM Decision Composer.

  • How does it make our platform smarter or simpler? It makes it smarter and simpler in two ways:
    • The decision modeling feature enables business users to visually represent decisions, break them down and understand how they’re structured.
    • Decision Composer features a built-in generator for interactive UIs that RPA bots can operate. In doing so, it can make bots smarter by making it easier for non-technical people to create intelligent bots that invoke automated decisions. The same generator is available in IBM Operational Decision Manager 8.10 as an open source contribution.
  • Feature or benefit highlight? It’s the decision modeling feature mentioned above — along with the no-code/low-code environment that makes it easier and quicker to discover and implement business decisions. This helps customers expand to new use cases where no-code decisions are key to modern apps, such as chatbots, IoT and other areas driven by the business.

If you’d like to try IBM Decision Composer, click here.

Finally, what’s new to help you share and manage enterprise content?

4. IBM FileNet Content Manager. In the second half of 2018, we added a new “External Share” capability to this offering to support more secure workforce collaboration, such as legal teams working with contractors, healthcare teams working with out-of-network specialists and service providers, or insurance and banking teams working with independent brokers.

If you’re not familiar with FileNet Content Manager, it’s an industry-leading, scalable software offering designed to enable security-rich, mobile, anytime access to your content stores. It can be deployed on public and private cloud or on premises. 

  • How does it make our platform smarter or simpler? The "My Shares" view enables an internal employee to view and monitor all shares activated, to change permissions and expiration dates, and create audit trails and reports. It makes content sharing more secure, traceable and controllable.
  • Feature or benefit highlight? The external share capability provides external users with a level of security and traceability not always seen with cloud providers. External users are registered using standard access protocols. They can access, alter and upload documents while every step is tracked and available for reporting and regulatory compliance.

For companies that can’t use basic cloud file share services, like Box or Dropbox, because of content-sharing visibility and control requirements, these features could be helpful.

5. IBM Enterprise Records. This offering is built on IBM FileNet Content Manager to help you capture, declare, classify, store and dispose of electronic and physical records according to fiscal, legal and regulatory requirements. It also supports IBM Content Manager.

  • How does it make our platform smarter or simpler? In a world of increasing privacy protection regulations and penalties, IBM Enterprise Records streamlines records-based activities and helps enforce compliance with retention policies — with or without user participation. It’s also available on cloud for faster deployment and management services.
  • Feature or benefit highlight? There are two notables:
    • Automated records capture: As documents enter the organization as part of a business process, they can be automatically added to a file plan and committed as a record according to company policy.
    • Retention and disposition: Document and records personnel have more ways to control who has access and when a document is disposed. It also generates reports on demand to prove a document's security — what is often called a Certified Chain of Custody.

That’s all for this issue’s product update. Check back in a couple of months or sign up to get an email alert when the next issue publishes in March.

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