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Business Process Automation (BPA) vs. Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

Table of Contents hide 1 What is RPA? 2 Advantages of RPA 2.1 Workflow acceleration: 2.2 Error reduction: 2.3 Cost reduction: 2.4...

Written by Niel Patel · 8 min read >
bpa vs rpa

Businesses may operate more effectively and accurately thanks to automation, which is a potent instrument. By combining hyper-automation technology with improved operational procedures, Gartner forecasts that enterprises will reduce operational costs by 30% by 2024. But as you travel the path of automation, you’ll eventually come to a fork in the road where you must choose between business process automation and robotic process automation. Despite being used interchangeably, there are some significant distinctions between BPA and RPA. This article explores the similarities and differences between RPA and BPA in further detail.

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RPA (Robotic Process Automation) and BPA (Business Process Automation) are two technologies that can help organizations streamline their operations and improve efficiency. Here is a list of 10 differences between RPA and BPA:

  1. Definition: RPA refers to the use of software bots to automate repetitive, rule-based tasks, while BPA encompasses a wider range of technologies and techniques used to automate business processes.
  2. Scope: RPA is typically focused on automating individual tasks within a process, while BPA aims to optimize the entire process end-to-end.
  3. Implementation: RPA can be implemented relatively quickly and with minimal disruption to existing systems, while BPA often requires significant changes to processes and systems.
  4. Flexibility: RPA is highly flexible, as it can be easily configured to perform a wide range of tasks. BPA is less flexible, as it requires more extensive planning and redesign of processes.
  5. Cost: RPA can be less expensive to implement than BPA, as it does not require major changes to processes or systems.
  6. Maintenance: RPA requires less maintenance than BPA, as it does not involve complex process redesigns.
  7. Human involvement: RPA can operate independently of human intervention, while BPA often requires human involvement to initiate and monitor processes.
  8. Error handling: RPA can handle errors and exceptions through pre-programmed rules, while BPA requires more advanced error handling capabilities.
  9. Integration: RPA can be easily integrated with a wide range of systems, while BPA may require more extensive integration with existing systems.
  10. Use cases: RPA is well-suited for tasks that are repetitive, rule-based, and data-intensive, while BPA is more appropriate for optimizing complex, end-to-end business processes.
#ComparisonRPA (Robotic Process Automation)BPA (Business Process Automation)
1DefinitionAutomation of repetitive, rule-based tasks using software botsWider range of technologies and techniques used to automate business processes
2ScopeIndividual tasks within a processEntire process end-to-end
3ImplementationQuick, minimal disruptionSignificant changes to processes and systems
4FlexibilityHighly flexibleLess flexible, requires more extensive planning and redesign of processes
5CostLess expensiveMore expensive
6MaintenanceLess maintenanceMore maintenance required
7Human involvementIndependent of human interventionRequires human involvement to initiate and monitor processes
8Error handlingPre-programmed rulesRequires more advanced error handling capabilities
9IntegrationEasily integrated with a wide range of systemsRequires more extensive integration with existing systems
10Use casesRepetitive, rule-based, data-intensive tasksOptimizing complex, end-to-end business processes

What is RPA?

Robotic process automation (RPA) is a sort of automation technology where software robots interact and communicate with corporate applications and systems to automate processes and lighten the workload for human workers. Consider it GUI automation, or automation at the user-interface level. With RPA, strong software robots communicate with your company’s systems and applications in the same way that a human user would. With RPA, you can automate the manual processes that consume your time so you can concentrate on the strategic duties that will benefit your company the most.

Consider the procedures followed by a call centre agent. When a consumer calls, the representative must get the necessary data. As the agent struggles to locate the customer file in their CRM system and then searches down the order history in their ERP system, the dialogue is rife with “umms” and “one sec.” In addition to the unpleasant pauses in the conversation, it consumes both the consumer’s and the agent’s valuable time.

However, RPA allows agents to focus solely on delivering excellent customer service. Now, when a call comes in, an agent may concentrate on the needs of the customer while software robots automatically and swiftly access numerous systems to process the data they want. saving the customer’s time so they can resume their own daily activities and giving the agent more time to focus on helping new consumers.

Advantages of RPA

There are numerous advantages to implementing RPA for your business or software. These consist of

Workflow acceleration:

Automation makes sure that your team is not spending time on routine, easy tasks. You may speed up your entire workflow by devoting extra labour to the more difficult tasks.

Error reduction:

RPA lowers human involvement in a given task. This indicates that the automation completes the task appropriately and consistently each time it is used.

Cost reduction:

Because some jobs, like data entry or even customer support, take a lot of time, many business owners must engage a second team member to do them. RPA eliminates this and guarantees complete cost reduction.

When utilising RPA, is an excellent option for

  • simple, easy-to-understand, and rule-based tasks.
  • tasks requiring organised, reliable data.
  • RPA is not recommended for:
  • tasks where there is a lot of data or procedural variation.
  • tasks that frequently change since every change calls for more coding.
  • enhancing entire processes.
  • coordinating procedures.

What is BPA?

Business process automation (BPA) automates repetitive tasks that are time-consuming for your business, such as file transfers, report generation, and data extraction from unstructured sources, from a single central location. If you want to automate your business, start by automating specific processes like web scraping or screen scraping, but don’t stop there. The “process” is the secret to BPA. 

Each stage in the process is automatically triggered by the next when BPA software is used, and instead of merely automating single tasks, you can design entire workflows for the essential functions of your company. Consider the numerous procedures that your human resources department must follow. Hiring new workers is great, but your HR department will quickly get overwhelmed with time-consuming paperwork and activities that cut across numerous departments and applications. Applications must be furnished, and numerous forms must be filled out and confirmed.

To save the day, introduce business process automation. Now, when a new employee is employed, an email containing the required information is delivered, and your BPA software harvests the data and instantly establishes user accounts and passwords in Active Directory and other crucial applications. The recruiting manager will then receive this information to help the new hire get started. There will be less red tape and hassles, giving your HR staff more time to concentrate on hiring top talent.

BPA advantages:

Despite the fact that BPA has a lot of advantages, RPA is typically a superior option for people interested in Ranorex’s offerings. This is because, unlike RPA, BPA necessitates a more thorough investigation of complex issues, making it less suitable for automating specific operations.

Complete process automation:

It is possible thanks to the use of BPA, which automates larger, more complicated operations. This allows you to concentrate on comprehensive workflow automation.

More efficient use of time:

Your team will have more time to work on other projects that may demand creativity or innovation if the workflow is automated. As a result, your employees will be using their time more efficiently.

Greater effectiveness and consistency in standardisation:

When working in a team, standardisation can be challenging because some team members may believe that their method is superior. By automating, you eliminate the potential for these variances and guarantee total uniformity everywhere.

Reduced chance of error:

Automation ensures that whatever processes it automates are error-free and immune to human error. Lowering the volume of jobs requiring managerial control gives you peace of mind.

When to use BPA 

  • achieving difficult objectives like enhancing user experiences, decreasing error rates, or orchestrating processes
  • optimising procedures like case management and service requests that have various outcomes
  • automating routinely changing jobs or workflows.
  • automating complicated procedures like employee onboarding or procurement
  • supplying corporate users with low-code automation capabilities.

BPA is not recommended for:

  • automating discrete, standalone tasks

Business Process Automation vs Robotic Process Automation

Software robots could take over two tasks that currently require people, including data entry and file transmission. These people are capable of completing forms, carrying out routine analyses, and producing reports. Using sophisticated machine learning models, it is possible to teach robots cognitive abilities including comprehending language, communicating, and processing unstructured data.

Humans can concentrate on their key talents, such as innovation, cooperation, production, and customer service, by automating repetitive, high-volume operations. Businesses benefit from greater productivity, efficiency, and agility. In terms of how work will be done in the future, RPA is inevitable.   

The goal of BPA and RPA is business process automation. During the early phases of RPA, BPA was the first to provide its clients with these capabilities. The main differences between BPA and RPA are integration, processes, and cost.

RPA has the ability to automate routine and manual tasks in huge companies as a tactical approach to large-scale automation. They work well together and could be a part of a larger modernisation effort driven by necessity and financial advantage. The efficiency and productivity of a business’s processes can be increased with RPA and BPA. Both businesses, in contrast, rely on a range of automated procedures.

Desktop RPA bots may exploit the current user interface to perform human-like tasks like copying and pasting, moving files, and sending emails. The bot replicates the entire process without help from a human. Even though there aren’t many instances of intelligent bots, the great majority of them still lack this level of sophistication. Bots frequently use a technique known as screen scraping to collect data from online forms.

Conversely, BPA makes it more difficult to create workflows that incorporate a wide variety of systems while employing a conventional processing paradigm. To share and extract data, these systems need APIs and database access. It takes coding and development support to complete this task fast and effectively. RPA gives computers the ability to record, learn, and carry out tasks independently. The use of an API is not necessary for RPA.

Conversely, BPA makes it more difficult to create workflows that incorporate a wide variety of systems while employing a conventional processing paradigm. To share and extract data, these systems need APIs and database access. It takes coding and development support to complete this task fast and effectively. RPA gives computers the ability to independently record, learn, and carry out tasks. The use of an API is not necessary for RPA.

As a result, integration using BPA approaches the issue in greater detail. It is advantageous to streamline a company’s decision-making procedures. The main goal of RPA is to automate laborious human processes. RPA has no impact on regular business operations because it is compatible with BPA software that has already been implemented, such as CRM and ERP.

Chat windows on websites are one application of RPA in CRM. If you’d like, I can automate your chat windows. 

These bots transfer the data they gather to a human worker who deals directly with the customer. In procurement automation, bots are frequently used to complete jobs that used to be completed by people, like filling out forms, analysing emails, and creating vendor-specific forms.

BPA is also marginally invasive in terms of integration. A new system can be built by replacing it with a self-contained unit and running its software. A single system connects each division of BPA, streamlining and automating the entire process. The BPA is in charge of making sure everything goes without a hitch.

What is the difference between RPA and BPA?

RPA makes use of the software.A new IT management tool from BPA focuses on managing a sizable computer system as a single entity.
The software which makes bots that optimizes a particular process or task working to improve the business system for peak performance
Automations only apply to particular jobs or processes.Automation happen generally speaking, throughout the business.
RPA aids in removing work that robots would otherwise carry out.BPA aids in developing the answer by beginning at the bottom and working up toward the issue.
Without in-depth understanding, RPA can immediately provide a solution to the stated problem.BPA demands comprehensive information in order to provide a solution.
RPA is not end-to-end and can be used in conjunction with other programmes, such as BPA.BPA employs an end-to-end methodology and cannot be applied in conjunction with other applications.
RPA Bots typically connect to the user’s current desktop and face to conduct activities that resemble human behaviour.In the instance of BPA, it adheres to a single processing model that is subsequently applied to a variety of systems.


RPA is a tactical approach that works well for automating particular jobs, particularly those that closely resemble human performance (such as tasks completed using a keyboard). RPA works best with jobs that don’t change frequently and don’t experience a lot of variation in how they’re carried out on a daily basis. It’s important to note that RPA just adds automation to jobs and processes in their current state rather than optimising them.

BPA is a tactical tool that companies use to model processes, automate operations, and coordinate workflows throughout the whole organisation. BPA software interacts with the current tech stack and offers extra functions like data analytics and collaboration. BPA makes sense for businesses with frequently changing or updating procedures. BPA is perfect for companies whose objectives include but aren’t limited to — automation.

Both RPA and BPA technologies are commonly used by businesses to automate and enhance their processes. As part of larger hyper-automation or digital transformation initiatives, these two complementary technologies are frequently coupled.

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