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What is Process Automation?

Drive the expansion of process automation in your company with integration.

Introduction to process automation

In today's fast-paced and competitive world, organizations are continually seeking ways to streamline their operations and improve productivity. This SEEBURGER guide to process automation explores a diverse range of automation use cases across industries such as financial services, manufacturing, retail and automotive. From streamlining repetitive tasks and data entry processes to facilitating data analysis and decision-making, automation technology is transforming traditional workflows and offering new avenues for growth.

Above all, this guide seeks to provide actionable insights and guidance for organizations considering the adoption of automation technology. Whether you are a small startup looking to scale operations efficiently or a large enterprise seeking to drive digitalization across your organization, this page will serve as a valuable reference, equipping you with the necessary knowledge to make informed decisions, tap the potential of business automation and embrace automation technology as a means to optimize the workforce and foster innovation.

Four types of process automation

RPA (robotic process automation), BPA (business process automation), DPA (digital process automation) and IPA (intelligent process automation) are different types of process automation that aim to make complex business and production operations more effective and efficient by automating tasks. Each type offers the primary benefits of increased efficiency, lower costs and reduced errors, while the main difference between each type of process automation is the level of integration.

What is robotic process automation?

RPA is the use of software robots or "bots" to automate repetitive tasks, streamline workflows and increase efficiency. RPA software executes specific rules-based tasks and eliminates the need for manual repetitive and tedious tasks, allowing humans to dedicate their efforts to more impactful tasks and higher-value work. For example, RPA in the manufacturing and automotive industries has resulted in the use of robotic arms to effortlessly assemble intricate components, reducing human error and increasing throughput.

What are examples of robotic process automation?

Several examples of business applications of RPA include:

  • Data entry: Bots can extract data from various sources such as spreadsheets, emails and documents, and automatically enter it into relevant systems or databases. Automating your bookkeeping is a good place to start your company’s digitalization journey while reducing manual errors and freeing up human resources for more complex tasks.
  • Invoice processing: Instead of manually entering invoice information into accounting systems, RPA bots can scan and extract data from invoices, perform validations and update the necessary financial records. This speeds up the process and reduces errors.
  • Customer service: Chatbots powered by RPA can handle customer inquiries, answer frequently asked questions and assist with basic troubleshooting. They can also provide instant responses, saving time for both customers and support staff.
  • Report generation: Bots can retrieve data from multiple sources, consolidate it, and generate reports automatically. This eliminates the need for manual data gathering and manipulation, allowing for faster and more accurate reporting.
  • HR onboarding: RPA bots can assist with employee onboarding processes by automatically creating accounts, generating paperwork and sending out welcome emails. This reduces administrative overhead and ensures a smooth onboarding experience.
  • IT support: Bots can perform basic IT tasks like password resets, software installations and system updates. This helps organizations resolve common IT issues quickly, reducing the workload on support teams.

RPA can be applied to many other areas where repetitive rules-based tasks are involved, enabling organizations to improve productivity, accuracy and scalability.

What are the benefits of robotic process automation?

RPA offers many business benefits, making it a valuable automation solution for organizations to:


Enhance operational efficiency by automating repetitive and mundane tasks, allowing employees to redirect their efforts towards more valuable and strategic activities. This leads to significant time and cost savings, as well as increased productivity.


Ensure accuracy and consistency in data processing, reducing the likelihood of human errors and minimizing the need for manual interventions


Enable scalability, enabling organizations to handle increased workloads without adding additional resources.


Comply with regulations by ensuring adherence to standardized processes and providing comprehensive audit trails.


Improve the customer experience through faster response times and reduced processing times.

For more information about how to optimize and manage your enterprise workflows with SEEBURGER SAP capabilities and easily integrate workflows into any SAP ERP system, read our blog “Workflow Management Made Easy."

RPA vs. BPA vs. DPA vs. IPA

What are the advantages of using one type of process automation over another?


RPA is generally used for solving problems at the task level, while BPA is used for solving problems at the process level. According to Gartner 1, “RPA should be used as the last resort for automation when there is no API available and there is a requirement for simpler workflow execution.

  • RPA does not have intelligence or decision-making capability unless it’s combined with AI and machine learning.
    • RPA is ideal for automating repetitive tasks that do not require a reengineering of existing systems to improve productivity and reduce costs.
  • BPA is best suited for large automation projects that require integration with other applications and data sources.
    • BPA is ideal for automating workflows and tracking workflow progress using cloud services.

1Gartner, “Quick Answer: How to Choose the Right Use Cases for Robotic Process Automation,” Annie Garcia, 2022


Business process automation (BPA) and digital process automation (DPA) are both valuable tools that can optimize processes within an organization. While they share similarities, there are distinct differences in their use cases.

BPA focuses on automating repetitive human tasks and workflows within an organization. It aims to enhance efficiency, reduce errors and save time. BPA is often used in areas such as:

  • Administrative tasks: Automating tasks like data entry, document management and scheduling can free up valuable time for employees.
  • Human resources: BPA can automate the employee onboarding process, performance evaluations and time management.
  • Customer support: Automating ticket routing, responses and basic customer inquiries can improve response times and enhance customer satisfaction.
  • Finance and accounting: BPA can streamline approval processes like invoice processing.


DPA focuses on automating end-to-end digital processes that involve both humans and systems. It not only streamlines tasks but also enables seamless collaboration and integration across various tools and platforms. DPA is commonly used in areas such as:

  • Customer experience: DPA can automate online sales processes, personalize marketing campaigns and analyze customer feedback, enabling organizations to deliver exceptional customer experiences.
  • Supply chain management: By automating inventory tracking, order fulfillment and logistics, DPA helps organizations optimize their supply chain and gain real-time visibility into the process.
  • Compliance and risk management: DPA can help companies ensure reliability compliant IT security with automated compliance monitoring, regulatory reporting and risk assessments, ensuring they stay compliant and reduce the chances of costly errors or penalties.
  • Product development: DPA can be used to automate the collection and maintenance of product information, product design workflows, collaboration among cross-functional teams and quality assurance processes, enabling faster time-to-market and improved product quality.


In summary, BPA focuses on automating repetitive tasks and workflows, while DPA goes beyond that by digitalizing and optimizing end-to-end processes, enabling better collaboration and integration. Both BPA and DPA have their unique use cases, and organizations should evaluate their specific needs and requirements to determine which approach to automation best suits their goals.

At times, selecting a single process automation type might not effectively address intricate challenges. In such cases, IT teams and business decision-makers may choose a more comprehensive strategy, combining and integrating various automation efforts. Hyperautomation represents this holistic approach, encompassing the entire lifecycle of automation. The distinction between traditional automation and hyperautomation lies in their scope and emphasis. Automation is a broad term for utilizing technology to execute tasks without human intervention, whereas hyperautomation specifically underscores the integration and orchestration of multiple automation initiatives, tools and technologies to develop a holistic and sophisticated solution.

Use cases for process automation

Process automation is where efficiency meets innovation. Across various industries, organizations are leveraging the power of automation with data transfers, onboarding, API testing, onboarding,  and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to streamline operations, improve productivity, drive growth and enhance the customer experience.

Data transfer automation

Data transfer automation involves transferring data files, documents or other information from a source to a destination, without manual intervention. It involves setting up pre-defined rules, workflows or schedules to initiate and manage data transfers.

Automated data transfer using MFT offers benefits such as increased productivity, enhanced data security, improved reliability and reduced operational costs. It allows organizations in the financial services industry, for example, to handle large volumes of data transfers efficiently and ensures that data is moved reliably and securely between systems.

Best practices for a successful process automation implementation

Preparing for automation implementation

Throughout the process of developing an automation implementation strategy, always be sure to engage stakeholders and gain buy-in. Successful automation implementation requires the support and collaboration of various stakeholders, including managers, employees and IT teams. Engage them early in the process to address any concerns, and gather their valuable insights. Involving stakeholders from the beginning will increase the chances of a successful automation implementation.

The following best practices can help organizations prepare for a successful automation implementation that enhances security, scales operations efficiently and ensures long-term sustainability:


Implement robust security measures

Secure automation processes ensure that your data is protected during transmission, storage and processing. Incorporate appropriate security measures at each stage of your automation processes, such as strong encryption, access controls, multi-factor authentication and regular security audits. Implement strict access controls and role-based permissions to limit access to sensitive information.

Monitor and manage

Continuously monitor and manage your automated workflows to detect any anomalies or security breaches. Implement detailed logging and real-time monitoring tools to identify any issues promptly and take necessary actions. Also, conduct regular audits and reviews of your automated workflows to implement necessary changes and identify areas for improvement.

Design for scalability

Scalable automation solutions consider the potential growth and demand for your business. Design your automation solutions to efficiently handle increasing workloads, and implement automation scalability features such as load balancing, cloud-based infrastructure and horizontal scaling to handle peak demands.

Plan for sustainability

Sustainable automation starts with considering the long-term impact of automation on the environment and society. Optimize processes for sustainability by reducing paper usage, minimizing energy consumption and implementing eco-friendly practices wherever possible.

Adhere to compliance regulations

Consider any industry-specific regulations, such as GDPR, HIPAA or PCI DSS, when designing and implementing a sustainable automation strategy. Ensure that your automation solutions are compliant with these regulations to protect sensitive customer and business data.

By following these best practices, businesses can lay a strong foundation for a successful process automation implementation. SEEBURGER can help you scale the future of your business with state-of-the-art integration solutions, including an automation implementation strategy with use cases for your BIS Platform.

How SEEBURGER can help you with process automation

Workflow, task and process automation can be achieved with the strong business process execution language (BPEL) capabilities available in the BIS Platform through a process and workflow engine.

A fundamental characteristic of our platform is that we address users who value configuration over development. This includes the possibility to select a pre-built template from a list of technical and business processes. Following this approach, the selected process is then placed in a chain of actions and requires configuration.

All activities and tasks can be executed either manually via the WebUI or automated via the BIS Platform’s rectification capabilities. Additionally, the export and import of these elements support fast promotion of configuration through multiple landscapes.

The BIS Platform can also integrate into and use automation solution and its functionality through a connector approach. This expands the capability of the BIS platform by allowing it to comply with existing automation solutions in place. BIS offers a comprehensive, robust and built-for-purpose platform that serves this type of automation architecture with integration capabilities, which will complement for example a RPA application or project.

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Examples of automation capabilities using the BIS Platform

Automate any type of data transfers

Workflow, task and process automation can be achieved through configuration of the BIS process engine. For example, a business process for critical file transfers can easily be automated and extended to expose business services through API integration, including management and monitoring.

Automate document approvals

Automation of the document review and approval process, where documents are automatically routed to the relevant stakeholders for review and revision, reducing manual effort and accelerating the approval process.

Automate purchase order processing

Automation of purchase order creation, submission and approval, ensuring seamless coordination between different departments, minimizing errors and improving procurement efficiency.

Invoice processing

Automation of the invoice processing workflow, including capturing invoice data, verification and approval routing. This eliminates manual data entry, reduces errors and accelerates the payment cycle.

Automate onboarding

Integrating your networks, customers and partners for process automation starts with a fast, reliable onboarding process that interconnects all areas of your business. To enable automated onboarding, the SEEBURGER Community Management Application (CMA) can be used to:

  • Automate business processes, campaigns and partner communities with self-services.
  • Guarantee data quality through real-time monitoring and analysis.
  • Generate validation and compliance reports in real time.

Expand automation with the BIS Platform

This guide to automation has summarized how organizations can reduce IT effort and costs, increase security, eliminate repetitive manual tasks and accelerate innovation by integrating process automation technologies with their systems, applications, data sources and workflows.

Indeed, the BIS Platform can help drive the expansion of automation in your company as one of the technologies you need in a hyperautomation portfolio 2.

The BIS Platform is our cloud-based integration platform that enables a wide range of use cases and business workflows to be automated with secure, rapid scalability and agile integration capabilities. Deploy the BIS Platform as an iPaaS or with fully managed services in any cloud, a hybrid environment or on-premises.

2 Gartner, “What’s Next After RPA? Hyperautomation: Strategies and Tools for Best Business Outcomes,” Akash Jain, 2023

Do you work in a sector with its own specific needs?

Take a look at the SEEBURGER range of industry-specific solutions