RPA meets Microsoft Dynamics 365: Where native and third-party solutions fit as customer strategies evolve

September 17 2019

As enterprise software buyers opt for cloud-based solutions, they also expect a cohesive response from their vendors and service providers around business process automation. But automation has no single path, and, in the case of Microsoft business applications like Dynamics 365 ERP and CRM solutions, the choice often sits between native workflow capabilities, the newest Microsoft services like Flow and Azure Logic Apps, and third-party automation solutions.

Robotic process automation, or RPA, is one of the biggest parts of the automation movement, offering a way to automate rote tasks with the promise of keeping humans focused on exceptions and other more challenging activities.

Some RPA professionals who already focused on the overlap between Microsoft Dynamics and emerging process automation tools, offered MSDW their perspective on the state of the market.

Enterprise use cases

Companies increasingly need the ability to capture unstructured information and provide structure to it. According to Chris Huff, chief strategy officer at RPA-provider Kofax, only 20 to 25 percent of an organization's data starts off structured.

Most customers buy RPA solutions as a way to automate end to end processes, says Huff, but RPA differentiates between tasks and processes. He gave the task-focused example of optical character recognition "stoking" an RPA engine with newly created data. After capture, process orchestration is key and BPM can help to add structure.

Huff explained:

About Eamon McCarthy Earls

As the assistant editor of MSDynamicsWorld.com, Eamon helps to oversee editorial content on the site and supports site management and strategy. He can be reached at eearls@msdynamicsworld.com.

Before joining MSDynamicsWorld.com, Eamon was editor for SearchNetworking.com at TechTarget, where he covered networking technology, IoT, and cybersecurity. He is also the author of multiple books and previously contributed to publications such as the Boston Globe, Milford Daily News, and DefenceWeb.

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