RPA is a relatively easy entry-level strategy into digital automation of back-office processes. One consultant described RPA tools for structured digital processes as a “gateway drug” for other cognitive technologies.  RPA is easy to configure and implement, and small implementations may not even require an expert consultant or much help from a vendor. RPA is particularly well suited to working across multiple back-end systems and doesn’t require re-architecting of those systems.   It typically brings a quick and high return on investment.

Our current Editors' Choice for home automation hubs, the Wink Hub 2 works with devices that use Z-Wave, Zigbee, Lutron Clear Connect, Kidde, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. It is also for the future. That includes just about everything in the smart home spectrum, from Philips Hue lighting and the Netgear Arlo camera, to Google Home. It's the most reliable, widely supported hub we've tested.

For now, my pick is the Belkin WeMo Mini, which offers a mature, well-developed system, tons of use scenarios, fairly wide third-party compatibility, and best of all, a price point of just $35. It's a low-risk way to dip your foot into smart home waters, and if you like it, finding compatible gadgets that make it even smarter isn't difficult at all.

Two factors had a statistically significant relationship with satisfaction. The first was having good selection criteria and the second was the inclusion of key functions in the RPA project planning and execution.  Including representatives from information management, the target functions and especially HR (See Figure 3) is positively correlated with project satisfaction. According to Lyke-Ho-Gland, “HR is often included in organizations’ RPA steering committees, not only to allay fears and create buy-in but to create action plans and training for displaced FTEs. Ultimately this helps organizations use RPA as an opportunity to build capacity for sustainable growth rather than simply reducing costs.”
Customer Support – If you own any kind of website, you probably have some sort of customer support software set up. While the software tends to differ in functionality, most of them allow you to automate responses to customers. For example, if your software has problems with users logging in through LinkedIn, and that’s 90% of customer tickets. You can just create an automatic response to any message that has “LinkedIn” mentioned, saying that it’s a known issue and will soon be solved. This allows your support team to attend to tickets that are less-known.
Jim Hazen is an Automation Consultant and “veteran of the software testing trenches” who helps companies with test automation and performance test implementations. He has presented at multiple professional conferences, including STARWest and STPCon, and published articles in ST&QA Magazine on test automation and communication techniques for testers. You can learn more about Jim on LinkedIn.
At the most basic level, home automation extends that scheduled programmability to lighting, so that you can suit your energy usage to your usual daily schedule. With more flexible home automation systems, electrical outlets or even individual devices can also be automatically powered down during hours of the day when they’re not needed. As with isolated devices like thermostats and sprinkler systems, the scheduling can be further broken down to distinguish between weekends and even seasons of the year, in some cases.
To do more with less, developers reused test scripts during development and integration stages to work more efficiently. The demand for new software built, and the constant change to software under development opened the door for automation testing practices to serve as a reliable control mechanism for testing the code (Automated Software Testing, 1999).
Fitocracy is a super-simple macro and calorie counter. The app not only allows you to track your caloric intake but also protein, fat and carbohydrate consumption. This will help you reach your fitness goals, whether that’s losing weight, or building lean muscle.  Fitocracy Macros tracks your eating history and provides you with weekly averages for macronutrient and total calorie consumption. You can also receive free exercise routines that you can perform in conjunction with your diet plan.
The first and most obvious beneficiaries of this approach are “smart” devices and appliances that can be connected to a local area network, via Ethernet or Wi-Fi. However, electrical systems and even individual points, like light switches and electrical outlets, were also integrated into home automation networks, and businesses have even explored the potential of IP-based inventory tracking. Although the day is still far off when you’ll be able to use your mobile browser to track down a lost sock, home networks are capable of including an increasing number of devices and systems.
Monitoring your calories and macros will help you make sense of your diet, stay on track and keep you motivated. As you learn to track your nutrition, you become a more aware eater. In this way, you’ll be closer to achieving your fitness goals. What works best will depend on what your goal is. When it comes to weight loss, how much you eat is critical. To lose weight you must regularly feed your body less energy than it burns. Therefore keeping track of how many calories you consume is the best way to achieve your goal. If you want to build muscle, what you eat becomes more important. You must be providing your body enough protein to rebuild muscle tissue. In this case, tracking your macronutrients will best help you get in your dream shape.  
Convenience is only part of the benefit of home automation. This innovative technology can be integrated into existing systems, making it simple for homeowners to connect their entire home under a single control unit. This means your home automation could provide a ton of versatility and options including energy and cost savings, smart locking to keep out unwanted intruders as an extension of your home security system, video monitoring from remote locations, and more.
Chandra Kandukuri is a Technical Test Lead at Microsoft with more than 16 years of software development experience in multiple environments, developing automation frameworks and tools. He advocates the use of TDD and dedicating the time and resources to do it well. Although it is relatively uncommon to see teams utilize TDD in his experience, Kandukuri recommends the method with automated software testing because of the positive teamwork habits it can promote.
An image-based automated functional testing tool that enables testers to interact with AUT the same way end users do. TestPlant eggPlant is completely different from traditional testing tools in its approach: modeling user’s point of view rather instead of the test scripts view often seen by testers. This allows testers with less programming skills to learn and apply test automation intuitively. The tool supports various platforms like Web, mobile, and POS systems. It offers lab management and CI integration as well.
If you prefer a DIY approach to smartening up your home security, check out the SimpliSafe Home Security System. SimpliSafe finds the sweet spot between a basic self-monitored DIY security system and a professionally installed and monitored solution. The system is easy to set up and use, and keeps your home safe from intruders and environmental threats like fires and floods. It's a seamless solution that succeeds quite well at what it sets out to do—secure your home simply and flexibly, letting you monitor everything remotely with (or without) an affordable monthly plan.
You can’t talk about the future of home automation without mentioning the Internet of Things (IoT). That’s the catch-all phrase for the trend toward embedding sensors and microchips in everyday objects in a way that allows them to be connected to a network—like, say, the Internet. With the Internet of Things, your washing machine, for example, can send an alert to your phone when it’s time to move your clothes over to the dryer.

The Automation test suite should be indicated if any of the integration pieces are broken. This suite need not cover each and every small feature/functionality of the solution but it should cover the working of the product as a whole. Whenever we have an alpha or a beta or any other intermediate releases, then such scripts come in handy and give some level of confidence to the customer.


Forrester (one of the world’s most influential research and advisory firms) selected the top 11 tools that provide cross-browser testing, mobile testing, UI testing, and API testing capabilities. After evaluating these software testing tools based on vendor interviews, product evaluations, and customer interviews, they scored the tools on 33 criteria and ranked them against one another. Tools covered include IBM, Tricentis, Parasoft, HPE, SmartBear, TestPlant, Micro Focus, Microsoft, LogiGear, Original Software Conformiq. [Read this software testing tools list]
Brandon Eversole, Andrew Anglehart, Christian Ahlin, Kathleen Woolum, Estel Anahmias, Adam Schlender, Mike Luque, Encyclo, Stevie Taylor, Brent Yoder, Invisibleman, Jeff Lam, Christopher Hayes, Oliver Walker, gwendolyn bellermann, Matt Logan, Philip Chou, Brandon Young, Arlo Stewart, Thomas Hodnemyr, Viachaslau Hurmanau, Sam Cousins, Robin Hultgren, Jose Schroeder, Ched, Claustrophobya, Charles Wang, Dolan Dark, Casaro, Donglin Li, Sarah Thompson, Pamela Palmer, Fergal Harrington, Jonas Erath, Spencer, Zsuzsi Balai, Tyler Roberts, Allyssa Blalock, Robert Bishop, Carl-Johan Linde, Thomas Nielsen, Heather Pray, Marco Boneberger, Mehsotopes, Joe Johnston, ugo dubois, Keagan Boys, Miles Gard, Frantisek Sumsala, Scott, Tobias Theobald, Solar3ty Games, Nicholas Carr, K41N_of_2358, Daniel RodrÌguez, Pixlpit, Gytis Kirvela, Thomas Flanigan, Dwagon, Costin Graur, Mavis Everett, Kwiatkowski Robert, Huo Benpeng, Dan Gretton, Joshua Davison, Bryce Comp, Andrey Lipattsev, DEFECT DAVIS, Gurleen Saini, Andrew "FastLizard4" Adams, Isak Hietala, Leon Han, Sarah Johnson, Kieran Chakravorty, Hanna Khoury, Kimberly Martin, Jon Glass, Julius Wroblewski, Ben Zautner, Kester Falge, Juan Florez, Tad Moore

“I’ve worked with many clients to improve their business process efficiency. The main way I achieve efficiency is through the integration of financial and operational applications. There are many ways to use cloud applications to get rid of redundancies, reduce data lag/availability, and — by eradicating human intervention — improve accuracy in the collection of data. You will often observe that a human entering or moving data through a process is susceptible to inaccuracies and the delays of office life. By automating these processes, you reduce or eliminate the inaccuracies and can significantly cut down on the time it takes to get actionable data.
Here you might ask, Just who is augmenting whom (or what) in this situation? It’s a good moment to emphasize that in an augmentation environment, support is mutual. The human ensures that the computer is doing a good job and makes it better. This is the point being made by all those people who encourage more STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education. They envision a work world largely made up of stepping-in positions. But if this is your strategy, you’ll also need to develop your powers of observation, translation, and human connection.
Many people have tried to make this point in different ways (e.g. this is also the quintessence of the discussion about testing vs. checking, started by James Bach and Michael Bolton). But the emotionally loaded discussions (because it is about peoples self-image and their jobs) often split discussants into two broad camps: those that think test automation is “snake oil” and should be used sparsely and with caution, and those that think it is a silver bullet and the solution to all of our quality problems. Test automation is an indispensable tool of today’s quality assurance but as every tool it can also be misused.

Analysis: In this phase, you review your organization’s infrastructure. Assess its requirements and objectives before performing a full review of the current systems, data needs, and business processes. Then select a technology solution based on its architectural design and its fit with the business. At this stage, external consultants who are experts in the technology are helpful.
Thomas H. Davenport is the President’s Distinguished Professor in Management and Information Technology at Babson College, a research fellow at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, and a senior adviser at Deloitte Analytics. Author of over a dozen management books, his latest is Only Humans Need Apply: Winners and Losers in the Age of Smart Machines. 

The ROI on automation tests varies depending on several factors. Some tests are difficult to develop because of technology constraints. For example, testing frameworks may not support test cases that run across several browser sessions or across different devices. Other tests may not need to be run frequently. For example, it might be more cost-effective to occasionally and manually test a use case for a rarely used feature, rather than invest the time to develop and maintain an automated test that runs after each nightly build. Each organization will make its considerations according to its own priorities, but it's always important to consider the ROI you'll get by automating your tests.


The U.S. government, among many others, recognizes the unsung value of automation professionals. Support for the importance of automation to industry comes from the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations. On 30 June 2009, the committee submitted report language (including the excerpt shown below) to accompany the bill: H. R. 2847 (Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010) emphasizing the importance of automation to industry:
Another programmer went to great lengths to conceal the contours of his fully automated $50,000 per year job from his boss. Management could check in on his computer screen via the network, so he ran a loop of prerecorded video to hide the fact that he wasn’t actually working. In his advice-seeking post, Etherable wrote, “It doesn’t feel like I’m doing the right thing.”
Maybe that means buying an additional device from the same brand as your original purchase, but it doesn't have to. In general, smart home manufacturers see the value in keeping things at least somewhat open, and many go out of their way to embrace third-party hubs and smart home platforms as a means of providing compatibility with other gadgets. That means that you've got a lot of options. And, if you're looking for an easy way to stay on top of what works with what, our handy smart home compatibility tracker is here to help.
The Automation test suite should be indicated if any of the integration pieces are broken. This suite need not cover each and every small feature/functionality of the solution but it should cover the working of the product as a whole. Whenever we have an alpha or a beta or any other intermediate releases, then such scripts come in handy and give some level of confidence to the customer.

Energy management means getting the most out of your home for the lowest possible cost. Your smart home can learn your habits to optimize when you use certain appliances and when you turn on heating and air conditioning. Location-based triggers make efficiency as simple as syncing your phone or tablet with your home automation system. Shut off devices when you leave and have the AC ready when you return, without lifting a finger.
By automating the onboarding process, you can convert sales leads into corporate clients and update the lead status in the customer relationship management (CRM) program. This could trigger the client onboarding checklist in the software, with new client information automatically loaded into the new checklist. Your company could automatically send onboarding materials to the client via email and notify a team member on what they need to do for the new client with instructions from the checklist. The new process is more efficient and communicates without error to the team member.
Alan Page is an author with more than two decades of experience in software testing roles, the majority spent in various roles at Microsoft. He offers another perspective on the importance of distinguishing automated and manual testing. In “The A Word,” an ebook compilation of his blog posts on automation, Page mentions that most of his commentary on automation focuses on the “abuse and misuse” of automation in software testing and development. He is skeptical of replacing manual testing activity with test automation, as you can see from the his Twitter feed:

Carb Manager Premium gives you the standard premium content — recipes, meal plans, etc. — and a lot more. You get advanced analyses so that you can look for trends over time and make predictions about how certain proportions of macronutrients will affect your weight. You can set goals and see how many days in a row you’ve met your goals to motivate yourself.
Traeger has been manufacturing pellet grills for thirty years, but the Timberline 1300 is its first connected model, and it's a beauty. Designed using input from longtime customers and professional pit bosses, the Timberline 1300 features Wi-Fi, which allows you to control cooking temperatures, set timers, and access a huge database of recipes from anywhere using your mobile device and a thoughtfully designed app. It also uses a patented smoke delivery system to ensure food gets the right amount of smoke and is cooked perfectly every time.

Home automation suffers from platform fragmentation and lack of technical standards[25][26][27][28][29][30] a situation where the variety of home automation devices, in terms of both hardware variations and differences in the software running on them, makes the task of developing applications that work consistently between different inconsistent technology ecosystems hard.[31] Customers may be hesitant to bet their IoT future on proprietary software or hardware devices that use proprietary protocols that may fade or become difficult to customize and interconnect.[32]
Additionally, many RPA implementations fail because they are not well thought through or executed in concert with the company’s strategic direction. Further, soundly implementing bots is critical, and changes during the process, even those required by compliance needs, can throw them off. They do not always have the necessary flexibility configured when platforms change. This has caused some companies to either refuse to install bots or to put their installation on hold, according to a McKinsey & Company report. A Deloitte UK study indicated that only 3 percent of progressive leaders have been able to reach an RPA scale of 50 or more bots.

Automation, the application of machines to tasks once performed by human beings or, increasingly, to tasks that would otherwise be impossible. Although the term mechanization is often used to refer to the simple replacement of human labour by machines, automation generally implies the integration of machines into a self-governing system. Automation has revolutionized those areas in which it has been introduced, and there is scarcely an aspect of modern life that has been unaffected by it.
Summary: A SaaS-based tool that allows for management of both standalone and integrated environments throughout pre-production. Plutora TEMS includes an environment availability and allocation engine, a unified dashboard for environment-related information, governance processes to identify and fix changes in test environments and integrations with several leading tools. In addition to environment scheduling and configuration, it also provides cost forecasting.

LoseIt, as the name suggests, puts emphasis on losing weight. Based on your current and target weight, height, gender and desired pace of weight loss, it assigns you a daily budget for your food intake. You can scan barcodes to log meals and calculate how many calories you have burnt from a session in the gym.  The app displays green and red bars to indicate which days you hit your goals or overindulged, allowing to track your weight loss journey. LoseIt has a community forum where you can share your favorite meals and enter challenges to keep you motivated.
Take the realm of elder care, in which robotics manufacturers see great potential for automation. This isn’t often treated as a nuanced or a particularly intellectual line of human work. We were struck, therefore, by a recent essay by the teacher, coach, and blogger Heather Plett. She wrote of her mother’s palliative care provider, “She was holding space for us,” and explained: “What does it mean to hold space for someone else? It means that we are willing to walk alongside another person in whatever journey they’re on without judging them, making them feel inadequate, trying to fix them, or trying to impact the outcome. When we hold space for other people, we open our hearts, offer unconditional support, and let go of judgement and control.”
Manufacturing automation began in 1913 with Henry Ford and the production of his signature Model T cars. With the first moving assembly line for the mass production of an entire automobile, Ford revolutionized the production process and the automotive industry. With this radical change, assembly lines enabled each worker to refine their individual skill set, which delivered huge cost savings for every completed product.
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