The ultimate guide to SAP IRPA

When you’re getting started with automation, it can be a little bit overwhelming. With terminology, phrasing and jargon that you don’t yet understand, adapting can take you a lot of time and effort, especially with something as complex as SAP IRPA. That’s where our detailed guide can help. Learn more about what SAP IRPA is, why SAP IRPA is useful for companies throughout the industry and some steps for making your SAP IRPA processes quicker and easier.

What is SAP RPA & IRPA?

The actual term RPA was coined in 2012 by Phil Fersht, founder and lead analyst at HFS Research. The technology plodded along until about 2018 when it exploded in popularity as companies undertook digital transformation and RPA platform capabilities improved.

SAP IRPA is a completely automated suite, in which bots mimic people by replicating actions repeatedly. ‘IRPA’ stands for Intelligent Robotic Process Automation, and SAP provides many tools in the space to help customers. The idea is to get bots to do the repetitive tasks that humans would usually perform, such as clicking through a set of buttons in the same order every time, in a way that cuts down on the amount of time taken and reduces any chances of human error occurring.

Each process and task that you complete using SAP IRPA requires setup by a human user, who codes the process for the bots to complete. This doesn’t follow a hardcoding method, however, with IRPA using technologies such as machine learning and AI to examine the way that users complete their tasks and adjust their own methods depending on this.

Most recently, SAP IRPA was integrated into the SAP Build Suite. This means rather than being accessible as an individual tool, it now comes as part of a wider package on the Business Technology Platform which helps customers introduce automated workflows with little-to-no code needed.

Benefits of using SAP IRPA

There are several benefits of using a robotic process automation tool in the workplace, such as:

Reducing human error

The first benefit of using IRPA systems in your organisation is that you severely cut down on the risk of human error causing problems in your work. One of the main dangers with using people in your processes is that a person’s attention can slip, or they can mis-click a button or gradually become more and more tired as the day goes on. This isn’t an issue for using automated computer processes, as they simply follow the same set of actions time and time again without losing concentration. Some human oversight is recommended, but this step stops the chance of one-off errors ruining processes.

Saving money

In many industries, every single penny counts. Competition doesn’t come down to the quality of the ingredients or machinery that you have, instead depending on the expertise of your staff and the standard of your processes. By using SAP IRPA in your work, you not only reduce errors in your processes but eliminate the need for having several people on-site at any one time. You save a lot of money on what would be labour costs, which can improve your profit margins and maximise your potential for investment in the company’s processes for the foreseeable future.

Constant evolution

Machine learning is a great asset for modern companies. Initially creating software to complete a task is a good start, but there are always small inefficiencies and opportunities to save time and resources. Using AI, machine learning systems can see where mistakes are being made and act upon them, limiting the impact of these mistakes and improving processes for the next time it completes them. An IRPA constantly evolves your offering whilst limiting the cost and eliminating the documentation that working with human employees does.

SAP IRPA example

One example of SAP IRPA in action is a company automating its invoice process, sales orders and purchase orders. Traditionally, handling invoices is a process that manual employees deal with, reading through all of the information, verifying it and then completing the transaction. Using AI and machine learning, companies can streamline their processes, paying transactions to employees automatically, creating documents manually and having one or two supervisors in place to resolve any disputes, rather than employing a complete team. The company saves time on staffing and ensures that people are happier with its payments, as they receive money more quickly than they did before. Morale increases, so performances improve even further.

Tips for improving SAP IRPA

There are a few things that you can do to improve the performance of SAP IRPA, depending on your current circumstances and the way that you use SAP IRPA. Some things that you can do to improve performance include:

Constantly assess

When automating your workplace processes, constantly assess what is happening with the products and processes that you use. The early stages of machine learning can have unpredictable results, which can risk the consistency of projects and outcomes. By tracking them consistently, you can have a supervisor step in and adjust if there are issues. This keeps your work on track through early development and improves your company’s efficiency and profitability.

Examine your organisation

Carefully examine your company for automation opportunities. There are a lot of tasks that can be completed by an automated system that you might not consider as prime for automation. Conduct an audit of your company and look for automation opportunities wherever you can, as this means that you take all of the advantages available to your business and maximise all of your productivity, efficiency and accuracy in production.

Tool Set

SAP introduced SAP Build which is a low-code solution that helps accelerate development and automation.  SAP Build Process Automation enables business users to automate workflow processes and tasks without writing code.

SAP Intelligent RPA has been moved into SAP Build Process Automation by SAP as part of a recent streamlining of services- increasing accessibility for BTP customers. In future, if you are looking to adopt SAP Intelligent RPA, expect to access it as part of the wider SAP Build.

Use Bluestonex

Creating IRPA services yourself can seem complicated at the very start of the process, and getting assistance from an outside source can help. BluestoneX offers SAP BTP services & IRPA services for clients, providing further insight into implementing and developing solutions using SAP. You can get started quickly with improving the functionality of your systems and migrating towards using IRPA, taking leaps towards becoming an intelligent enterprise that works more efficiently than ever before.


Ultimately, SAP IRPA is a reliable and useful tool that helps companies to automate their processes, if they use it right. Be careful with your early implementation, use it wherever possible and make sure that you take advantage of further support such as that offered by Bluestonex. Your bottom line will start to improve, your customers will experience a more consistent product and you’ll save a lot of time and effort whilst reaping the benefits of more efficient business. Demo SAP IRPA with Bluestonex today as part of the wider SAP Build Suite to start making a difference.