Smart RPA – Contextor’s key differentiating factors
What are the key factors that differentiate Contextor from other software vendors providing Robotic Process Automation solutions?
According to our customers and partners who have tried out the market’s top RPA tools, here are some key factors that really distinguish Contextor from its competitors:
1. Contextor is an enterprise tool that supports an industrial approach to process automation.
Contextor’s structured approach encourages teamwork between business and IT and greatly simplifies the maintenance of RPA robots.
The Contextor architecture makes a distinction between two steps:
- the building of a global repository of elements involved in automations through the capture of applications, screens, fields, and user interface objects
- the use of these elements to automate a particular process within a visually created workflow
Some tools available on the market are designed to facilitate “one-shot” automations and capture objects while simultaneously creating the workflow for the process to be automated. This makes it possible to create an initial automation very quickly. However, if a single application screen is involved in multiple automations, its parameters will be duplicated in each workflow, which will slow down updates considerably once the robots are in production.
Instead, Contextor stores a screen’s parameters just once. This means that if an application changes, the adjustments associated with the change will only need to be made once and will automatically be applied to all of the robots that interact with the screen. Finally, the Contextor solution’s ability to remotely analyze incidents involving robots in production saves a significant amount of maintenance time.
With Contextor, automation can include advanced scenarios with multiple options, the execution of which will be controlled by a state machine. In addition, Contextor integrates advanced debugging tools: Recorder + Replayer + Debugger to collect the execution logs and analyze step by step the execution of an automation to validate exhaustively all the possible cases.
“BNP Paribas Lease Group naturally chose Contextor because all of the traditional solutions involved a partial redesign of the user interface, which was far too time-consuming and expensive. In terms of IT, Contextor offers a peaceful way of integrating proprietary tools and third-party software, for a quick implementation. And the Project Office is a successful blend of Lean IT and Organization.”
Didier Le Palabe, Head of Project Office – BNP Paribas Lease Group
2. Contextor is the only RPA tool that works in a Citrix or RDP hybrid environment
Because of its architecture, Contextor is the most flexible solution for companies using Citrix XenApp or Microsoft RDP Remote App virtual desktop solution. Contextor’s automation engine can interact with both XenDesktop workstations and XenApp application servers, optimizing ICA (Independent Computing Architecture) protocol virtual channels. Likewise, Contextor is optimized for the Microsoft Remote Desktop / Remote App virtualization solution, making optimum use of RDP channels.
Instead of using the OCR approach and the X, Y position of UI elements to interact with virtualized applications with Citrix or RDP, Contextor uses messaging over ICA or RDP channel: this approach guarantees far more reliability and performance.
3. Contextor can interact with all of a workstation’s applications simultaneously.
A Contextor robot can interact with multiple applications in parallel, where a human would have to perform these same actions sequentially.
Accordingly, Contextor can interact not only with the application whose window is active on the screen, but also with other applications whose windows may be minimized or even hidden. Contextor can even access any element on the screen, even though a human may need to scroll to make the element visible.
In addition, Contextor UI Designer allows to enrich an Attended RPA automation with visual elements (popups, dashboards, 360° views…) that will guide the user – guidance – and reinforce the conformity of the process with mandatory procedures – compliance. Contextor even makes it possible to contextually add buttons to native Windows applications, only by dynamically enriching the Document Object Model of some application screens and thus without modifying in any way the code of the application: this unique feature brings an unrivaled flexibility!
“Contextor allows for non-intrusive development, with no impact on the code of controlled business applications.”
Frédéric Deraet, Director of Information Systems – AG2R La Mondiale
4. Contextor is the top-performing RPA solution in terms of both response time and memory footprint.
This is crucial in Attended RPA for ensuring that people do not have to wait for the robot to respond, such as to continue its dialog with a customer on the telephone. It is also important in Unattended RPA, because we need fewer robots—and therefore fewer servers—to carry out the same workload. And in both contexts, this better performance brings faster ROI.
According to technical benchmarks conducted by some of our customers and partners, Contextor is up to 4 times faster than competing solutions, all while using fewer system resources, including memory and system processing. This is due to Contextor’s technical architecture, whose engine is coded in C / C++, operates asynchronously and integrates more closely into applications technologies:
- for Windows applications: capture of interactions through an optimized driver written in assembly language
- for .Net applications: through UI Automation technology
- for web browsers web: direct access to the Document Object Model, BHO – Browser Helper Object – browser plugin for Microsoft Internet Explorer and Edge
- for legacy 3270 applications: via a functional isolation layer.
This Advanced technological approach allows for direct access to the necessary information on a screen, unlike technologies that use screen scraping, web scraping, or OCR, which must virtually read all of a screen’s contents before analyzing them and extracting the necessary information
“When we access information faster, our customers are more satisfied, and our customer service agents are more comfortable and happier, which can be sensed over the phone.”
Rémi Lautraite, Customer Relations Director – Klésia
Considered by some customers and partners to be “the workstation’s NodeJS”, Contextor facilitates and streamlines the integration of innovative technologies within the company, such as Artificial Intelligence (ex. chatbots, natural language processing, machine learning, etc.), which can bring significant improvements to Attended RPA.
Of course, Contextor’s Studio visual tool lets business experts quickly define the workflow for the robot’s execution engine to run.
The effective implementation of artificial intelligence technologies requires being able to make the most of the data in the information system, including customer data. However, Contextor’s RPA solution operates on top of existing applications, regardless of their technology and age. This makes it easy to access any piece of customer data through the application’s user interface, without needing to implement APIs or web services. Contextor aggregates customer data into a 360° view that is made available to AI technologies through a single interface, independent of the applications that feed into it. As with Contextor, chatbot, machine learning, and recommendation/next best action smart systems can be deployed more easily and more quickly.
“We had systems that would have cost hundreds of millions of euros to replace. And for an investment of a very small amount, we have been able to provide a modern process on top of those old systems.”
So, let’s say it again:
In summary of these key differentiating factors identified by our customers and partners, it appears that Contextor is far more than a mere Robotic Process Automation tool: Contextor is a solution that fosters company’s agile and smooth digital transformation.