rpa

Companies Eye RPA Software During Pandemic

The SBA recently got fed up with PPP bots
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Francis Scialabba

· less than 3 min read

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More heady enterprise tech news: Microsoft is in talks to buy Softomotive, a U.K. robotic process automation (RPA) company, Bloomberg reported last week. And last month, RPA company Blue Prism raised $124 million.

  • RPA = software that automates repetitive human tasks, such as Excel data entry, form-filing, claims processing, and non-Morning Brew email correspondence.

The pandemic angle: RPA vendors have offered their services to healthcare systems and governments to free up frontline workers' time. Lenders have deployed RPA to automate Paycheck Protection Program loan filings for small businesses. But the Small Business Administration, the government agency processing those loans, got fed up.

  • On April 28, the SBA announced a ban on RPAs because the bots were overwhelming its E-Tran loan portal.

Bottom line: Demand is growing for RPA, as shown by Microsoft’s reported interest in Softomotive. Since RPA automates digital tasks, it could have disruptive effects on human jobs...especially in a recession.

Stay up to date on emerging tech

Drones, automation, AI, and more. The technologies that will shape the future of business, all in one newsletter.