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January 2019 Dinner Review E-mail
Written by Programs   

What is the deal with Robotic Process Automation?



In our most recent AITP meeting, Mary Elizabeth Hooper, Director IT - Innovation, Robotics (RPA), Customer View, Adoption and Service Measurement/Reporting at Synovus helped demystify RPA.

In a nutshell, RPA is like a macro. Many of us have used or built macros in our careers; oftentimes through tools like Microsoft Excel. Similar to the Macros of years past, core RPA technology is not thinking, is not learning, it is only “doing”. Core RPA tools follow a set of rules to perform a sequence of automated actions with the goal of acting like a human. There are certain forms of RPA that are more advanced, automatically enhancing rules engines based off of “learning” from the continuous executions of actions and observations of outcomes. A good example are many chatbots; chatbots, while appearing fascinatingly intelligent, are often simply guided by a set of rules initially programmed by a human or adjusted by an algorithm.

At a certain point, when the technology begins to “reason”, navigating the “gray-area” in between rules, it transcends from being an RPA solution to a Cognitive Automation solution. These solutions support many advanced capabilities including natural language processing. Google Home, Alexa, and Watson are all examples of Cognitive Automation solutions.

While this makes sense, what is the value to a business? Mary shared her perspective garnered from her experience at Synovus:

Large businesses, especially those that grow through mergers and acquisitions, are constantly faced with the challenge of wrangling their data. Oftentimes, key financial and company data lives in different forms in different systems; many of these systems are legacy without effective mechanisms (like APIs) to access that data. In this state, business analyst resources have to invest significant time to manually query, access, and re-key data to create the necessary aggregate reports for the business. To combat this manual requirement, the IT teams for these large businesses are often asked to undertake the difficult task of integrating these systems through a complex programming effort. So how does RPA help?

RPA allows those manual business analyst tasks to be automated through a series of steps and rules. Query a database? Copy a record? Enter it into a spreadsheet? All automated into the RPA equivalent of a macro. The end result is an automated workaround for having to deal with legacy systems, saving the time and expense of having human resources perform those tasks manually.

In a perfect world, where system effectively “talk” using standard open APIs, the need for basic RPA would fade. However, we are a long way away from that utopian view. As long as businesses are continuing to rely on disparate, siloed systems of record, RPA will continue to be a valuable tool for navigating the chaos.



2nd Annual Mingle & Jingle E-mail
Written by Steve Wright   


2018 in Review


What an amazing evening!  CompTIA AITP Atlanta’s 2nd Annual Mingle Jingle event was another memorable gathering.  As November is our last meeting of the year, we like to get together to enjoy each other’s company and share that AITP comradery that we have all grown to appreciate. We also wanted to send special thanks to Sizzling Peach for the phenomenal, gourmet meal!
In keeping with tradition, we recapped an amazing year of discussion topics, which included:

  • January:  Demystifying Blockchain with Ganesh Ramamurthy from OFS
  • February:  IoT and Atlanta with Cynthia Curry from Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce
  • March:  DevOps Kickoff Meeting with Armond Honore of Fluffy Cloud
  • April:  5G and IoT with Kyle Moniz of Verizon
  • May:  GDPR & Data Privacy with Ryan Edge of OneTrust
  • June:  5th Annual Women Leaders in Technology with Amy Auriemma, Tina Allen, Kim Seijo, Muthoni Richards and Kathy Hackl
  • September:  12th Annual CIO Roundtable with Dr Mark Campbell, Walt Carter, Bradley Dick, Tom Bland and Justin Mason
  • October:  Edge Computing with Laron Tangeman of GE Digital
  • November:  2nd Annual Mingle Jingle

AITP Atlanta wants to extend our sincerest gratitude to all our discussion leaders and panel participants.  Without you, these events would not be possible.  We would also like to invite everyone to our 2019 roster of events.  2019 is shaping up to be our best year yet, with a series of exciting and interesting monthly meetings including:

  • Robotic Process Automation
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Data Science
  • Bio-metrics
  • 5G
  • 3D Printing
  • And much more…
Of course, we’ll have our staple meetings including the Women Leaders in Technology forum and CIO Roundtable, and we will also be hosting our 2nd AITP Golf Tournament!

The new Board of Directors has been nominated and will be officially voted in at our January meeting, so please join us to meet and get to know the hard-working group of professionals who will ensure another great year of learning and networking with Atlanta’s longest standing Technology network group, CompTIA’s Association of Information Technology Professionals!
Thank you all again for your interest and participation.   It’s the people who contribute to our meetings that make them so compelling!  We’ll see you and your associates next year!
The 2019 Board of Directors wish you and your families and happy and safe holiday season.

Best – Steve
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