SAP Robotic Process Automation (RPA): What to Automate?

Maria Homann

Automation Expert

RPA (robotic process automation) for SAP is very diverse by nature; there are countless opportunities for what you can automate. 

However, there are a number of processes that enterprises choose to automate that we see again and again – and we’ll share these with you in this blog post.

First, a quick clarification: When talking about SAP process automation it’s important to distinguish between the automated processes that SAP facilitates and the automated processes that you need an RPA tool for. SAP in itself allows you to automate an array of processes – that’s actually a core part of the product. When we talk about needing an RPA tool, it’s about filling gaps in business support and processes that SAP doesn’t facilitate.

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Ideas for what to automate in SAP (RPA use cases)

The majority of processes that make great candidates for automation are related to data migration – reading data, processing data and transferring it to somewhere new.

While some data-related tasks are rather complex and require human intelligence, creativity and critical thinking, others are prone to error when performed by humans. These are often also the most repetitive, tedious, and boring tasks, which means people are usually more than happy to let robots perform them.

Robots have the advantage that they never get tired and don’t suffer from information overload, which can be an advantage particularly when automating SAP, because SAP software is often complex and can be difficult to navigate in a fast and efficient manner. Robots see only what they’re asked to see, such as which data to pull, which fields to fill, and which buttons to press.

When people’s time is freed up as a result of RPA, they can focus their time on those tasks that require human intelligence, creativity and critical thinking.

The result of this reallocation of recourses is a significant increase in productivity and efficiency, which naturally means reduced overall costs. Particularly when combined with an automation tool that allows you to design your automation flows quickly and with ease.

This is why both business owners and employees benefit greatly from RPA for SAP.

Data migration tasks often performed with SAP include:

General RPA use cases:

  • Scanning forms
  • Copying data
  • Data entry
  • Legacy application integration
  • Content migration
  • Screen scraping
  • Form filling

Industry specific RPA use cases:

  • Invoice management (finance)
  • Data extraction and categorization (finance)
  • Employee onboarding (HR)
  • Personnel administration (HR)
  • Inventory/stock management (warehouse management)

Watch on-demand webinar: SAP Automation in Logistics with Leapwork and NNIT

There are many more tasks that can be automated. These depend greatly on the individual business and their needs, but a good starting point for figuring out if a process is qualified for automation is to see if it fits the following criteria:

  • It’s highly repetitive
  • It’s tedious and prone to human error
  • It’s time-consuming
  • It involves data processing

If the process fits all these criteria, it will in most cases be a good candidate for automation.

What to look for in an SAP RPA tool

As with SAP test automation, there are a number of things you should look for in an SAP RPA tool, as these will significantly speed up the setup of your automation flows, as well as make it much easier for you to work with, ultimately giving you a better return on your investment.

  • Intuitive and visual language rather than code, making setup fast and easy. No-code also means everyone in the organization – from business to technology experts – can understand the flows.
  • Cross-technology functionality, allowing you to automate any businesses transaction - from inside the SAP application to legacy systems. Cross-technology functionality also allows you to automate across SAP’s desktop and web applications.
  • Incorporates several technologies within the tool, for example UI recording, OCR and self-healing, giving you a range of options for automating your specific needs.

What can you achieve with SAP RPA?

Given that the right automation tool is used, and a thought-through approach is taken, you can expect to achieve the following results from SAP RPA.

  • Automate anything: SAP already allows you to automate many processes, but with an RPA tool, you are given the chance to fully customize your SAP system with a range of additional automation options.
  • Increased productivity: By eliminating repetitive, tedious, error-prone tasks, individuals can focus and spend more time on higher-value tasks.
  • Reduced costs: With RPA you can save time and resources, meaning costs are automatically reduced.

Learn more about SAP RPA

Choosing the right tool is crucial to success with SAP automation. It can also get you off to a fast and efficient start.

Learn more about SAP RPA, and SAP automation in general in our comprehensive SAP Automation Guide. Download it here:Download SAP guide