Tools Support Services

Tools Support Services

Care for support and stability of applications throughout their life cycle.

Each application has its own life cycle, during which it is exposed to a number of different factors. In individual phases, there is a mutual interaction with the user, there are changes in customer requirements, application is improved and updated, or data migrated.

Ensuring the support and stability of dozens of customer applications throughout their entire life cycle is the task of the 11-member team at FPT Slovakia, which operates within the Tools Support service.

"The team was established in 2011 and has been constantly expanding since then, which is proof of the quality of our work and customer satisfaction. The increasing number of managed applications gives us room for variability of tasks within the team, growth and expansion of knowledge," says Kamil Sagan, Team Leader responsible for Integration, Collaboration & Quality Solutions.

Responsibility for applications from start to finish

The team is responsible for the administration and maintenance of applications from the moment of their creation or deployment (on server, cloud or on-premise), through configuration, maintenance, upgrade to possible replacement or decommissioning of the application. Part of the portfolio of services provided is also ensuring the stability of applications when migrating customer data to the cloud.

Support is provided for a wide range of applications and tools, namely collaboration tools i. e. tools for support of the collaboration (eg MURAL, Confluence, Mentimeter or Slack), application performance monitoring tools, file sharing and transfer tools (eg Quatrix), project management applications (eg Trello, Planview Enterprise One), workflow management tools (eg JIRA), CI / CD tools (eg Nexus, Bitbucket) and many others.

The growing portfolio brings new opportunities

"Working in the Tools Support team is very dynamic, with primary customers mainly from Germany and the United Kingdom. The cooperation takes place in agile teams, together we provide professional service for more than 7,000 users in dozens of different applications that we cover,” explains Kamil Sagan.

Since January 2022, the FPT IT Academy has been running at FPT Slovakia. Its goal is to train future employees, including the Tools Support team. Due to the constantly expanding catalogue of managed applications, those interested in IT education or hobbies and experience with application management, working with databases, proxy server and knowledge of German and English in FTP Slovakia will certainly find their application. prihlás sa na otvorenú pozíciu do 30.11.2021.

akaBot – komplexné RPA riešenie

akaBot - A comprehensive RPA Solution

We have already written about the increasingly popular IT trend RPA (Robotic Process Automation) and its main benefits on our website. This service is the youngest in our portfolio, but the fastest growing. We also talked about it with our RPA developer Andrej.

By using RPA technology, we can offer an effective solution to speed up and simplify the often repetitive processes performed by employees in a larger or smaller company.

Applying the most well-known RPA tools such as BluePrism, UiPath and Service Trace to work processes ensures increased productivity, improved processing of transactions, minimization of errors and reduction of costs.

Our company, FPT Software, comes to market with its own RPA solution called akaBot. The akaBot tool is functionally similar to UiPath in many ways, but the price for a license is more affordable, which is one of the main criteria for customer decision-making when implementing robotic process automation in a company.

Our colleague, Vít Krajíček, who has been working with the tool for a long time, introduced it to us in more detail.

The akaBot platform consists of three parts: Studio, Agent and Center. AkaBot Studio is used by the developer to create the RPA programs. For ease of use and clarity, Drag and Drop control works in this section.

Fig.1 akaBot Studio

In the upper left panel there is a list of all pre-prepared commands / activities, from which the developer can gradually compile the entire program. Activities can be stored in sequences or a flowchart, which is designed to create more complex programs.

Offered are activities to automate work with computer files and almost all Windows programs, activities for Microsoft Excel and Word, activities to automate the sending of emails, work with SAP as well as to automate work in Internet browsers (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer).

In the absence of a specific activity, the developer can easily program it in VB.Net directly in akaBot.

Fig.2 Toolbox panel

In the lower left panel there are all created sequences and flowcharts, which increases the clarity of the interface.

Fig.3 Panel with created sequences and flowcharts

The top panel logically contains buttons for saving, starting, stopping, debugging and publishing the program to the akaBot Center or akaBot Agent, as well as buttons for other support activities.

Fig.4 Top panel of the akabot Studio

At the bottom of screen there is an Output panel with information about the status of ongoing activities. Possible errors, lists of variables, arguments and imported libraries are recorded.

Fig.5 Output panel

The panel on the right summarizes the properties of the currently used activities with the option to change the settings.

Fig.6 Activity properties panel

The second part of the platform is the akaBot Agent, which is used by the client to run RPA processes. The akaBot Agent can operate standalone or connected to the akaBot Center along with other akaBot Agents on other PCs.

The layout of the akaBot Agent interface is simple and very clear. The home page lists all published programs created in the akaBot Studio or downloaded from the akaBot Center. Another part is the Settings section for successful connection of the akaBot Agent to the akaBot Center.

Fig.7 akaBot Agent

akaBot Center is a command and control center that is used to organize akaBot Agents, programs, creating schedules, manually or automatically start processes, save login data, etc.

Fig.8 akaBot Center

The akaBot tool is currently used in our company to provide services for customers in Bratislava and Dubai, but its potential and high competitiveness predetermine its application in several projects.

RPA – trend, s ktorým sa (u nás) určite stretnete

RPA - A trend that you will definitely encounter (with us)

Automation and robotisation have recently become more and more common. This is most true for repetitive, time-consuming business processes. An effective answer to these routine computer activities is RPA (Robotic Process Automation) - automation of processes through software robots. These virtual employees are able to relieve people from repetitive tasks that do not require specific knowledge. These activities account for approximately 10 to 30% of employees' daily work responsibilities, mainly in the areas of finance, human resources and public administration.

Solution is suitable for any company

Currently, large companies and corporations reach for RPA, but this solution is suitable for any company. It is also irrelevant whether it is necessary to automate only one report or process, or all company departments. The necessary tasks can be performed once or regularly, on a daily, weekly, monthly or even quarterly basis, such as the mentioned creation of reports. Automation has a wide application, from processing invoices in an accounting firm, checking received forms by the local government or flipping data between systems in a manufacturing company.

It saves time and costs

The great advantage of RPA automation is that it eliminates the human error rate that could occur with these repetitive tasks. An equally interesting benefit is the significant savings in time, financial costs and relatively easy use, as it includes an intuitive graphical user interface. RPA is able to work with all types of applications and systems, but as all automation takes place at the presentation layer (OSI model), the company's infrastructure and security measures remain intact.

RPA is usually always associated with the automation program itself, and there are currently several RPA software providers. The best known are BluePrism, UiPath, Automation Anywhere or akaBot, which is developed by our company FPT Software..

The coronavirus pandemic did not change the fulfillment of the RPA potential, on the contrary. According to Gartner analysts, by 2022 RPA will be used in some form by up to 85% of large companies.

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