Research EVP and distinguished analyst Sarah Burnett will be a key speaker at the 2018 UiPath Forward EMEA event held on October 30 in London. Sarah will discuss the latest trends in automation and introduce an exciting new RPA resource from Everest Group.
About the Event
The era of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has arrived, and it’s accelerating the pace of digital transformation in every aspect of your business. From Finance, HR and Legal to Customer Service and Contact Centres, RPA is creating a digital workforce that helps businesses scale quickly and achieve rapid results. To thrive, you need to accelerate your RPA journey, accelerate AI implementation, accelerate customer experience and accelerate your business outcomes.
No matter where you are on your RPA journey, you will not want to miss this event.
October 30, 2018
Royal Lancaster London
Sarah Burnett, Executive Vice President and Distinguished Analyst, Everest Group
UiPath recently made history by becoming the first Romanian RPA unicorn, thanks to $153 million Series B funding provided by a group of investment firms led by Accel and including CapitalG and Kleiner Perkins. This is the largest round of funding to date in the RPA market, leading to a valuation of over $1bn for UiPath – a unicorn. It is good news for all vendors and buyers as well.
What it means for the RPA market
Other examples of increased investment in the RPA industry include Blue Prism raising £70m ($100m) in funding through new share issuance in January 2018 and WorkFusion raising $35m in Series D financing in January 17.
The fact that investors are willing to put in these huge sums of money is great news for the industry for both buyers and vendors.
What it means for enterprises and RPA
This is an endorsement of not only UiPath but RPA as whole by the cream of Silicon Valley investment firms
These and other RPA investors will have completed many rounds of due diligence with the vendors, and in the process put a big lens on each software product
That RPA is here to stay – that the investors will be doing their best to make sure that the vendors and the platforms perform, to protect their investments
That there will be significant investment in enhancing the products to keep ahead in this very competitive market
What it means for other RPA vendors
For other RPA vendors, this may seem like a huge competitive threat but it also means that:
Other investment firms will be looking for similar deals. Consequently, we will see rising interest in other vendors and there are an increasing number. We have conducted in-depth assessments of 18 RPA vendors in the past six months and will be publishing our results very soon:
With both Blue Prism and UiPath now valued over $1bn, any RPA vendor thinking of issuing public shares will have a very strong backdrop for the IPO
It is great for the partners of RPA vendors, particularly technology partners that are likely see more resources thrown at their integrations with the RPA platforms
What could happen next in RPA
Organic or inorganic growth: We now have several RPA companies that are flush with cash; most were already able to operate in a cash-positive manner, so these funds provide for accelerated investments. Some have had the money for longer than others and have invested in organic growth, e.g., opening new offices and hiring more staff. This is a path that UiPath, Blue Prism and WorkFusion have taken already. Expect more announcements from some of them on this front. For UiPath, given that CapitalG is an investor, we expect to see much more integration with Google AI/ML technology.
Then there is the inorganic growth option – to acquire complementary capabilities. This could be cognitive or other technologies to enhance the core RPA capabilities or growing their professional services to accelerate adoption/training. We believe this is highly likely.
Vice President of Research Sarah Burnett will be a key speaker at the 2017 UiPath Forward event held on November 16 in New York.
The advancement of automation technology is happening faster than its adoption globally. Now is not the time to sit on the fence.
It’s time to learn about the achievements of early adopters and the ongoing industrialization of RPA from your peers, about the trends in the marketplace from analysts and advisors, and it’s time you put all of this into perspective with your own plans for intelligent automation.
Attendees will experience a full day of insight and collaboration with senior RPA industry professionals and experts.
November 16, 2017
New York Marriott Downtown
85 West Street
New York, NY 10006
Sarah Burnett, Research Vice President, Everest Group
A question that we are often asked about service delivery automation (SDA) is “What technology should we use to automate our business processes?” The answer to this, of course, depends on the organizations requirements and existing capabilities, but there are some basic and general rules that can help organizations get started on their automation journey.
Before that journey begins, to facilitate internal communication, it is very important for organizations to develop a common vocabulary for automation. For example, not every type of automation is robotic and not every robotic automation does screen scraping!
Everest Group’s first principles of SDA and definitions can help organization develop a unified vocabulary for automation:
SDA is utilization of technology to replace a series of human actions
Much automation is already embedded in software systems (e.g., linking customer information across finance and procurement functions), but since it is part of the normal feature-functionality of a system, it is generally not considered as automation, but rather simply a more powerful system(s)
SDA can refer to automation in IT infrastructure and application management services as well as business processes.
The focus of this post is SDA in business processes. A simple way of grouping automation tools for business processes is by the type of data or information that they can handle:
A subset of SDA is Robotic Process Automation (RPA). This refers to a group of tools that interact with computer-centric processes, typically, through the user interface and so can do away with the need for other types of integration with the underlying system:
RPA handles structured data, for example, taking data from electronic forms and entering them into databases. RPA software vendors include Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism and UiPath. The graphic below provides Everest Group’s definition for RPA.
Another subset of SDA is a group of tools that we refer to as cognitive. These are intelligent tools that use machine learning to build a process-related knowledge-base to automate processes:
Cognitive tools typically handle unstructured data – Examples include Celaton’s inSTREAM and iPSoft’s Amelia.
If your organization is looking to automate traditional data entry processes, such as order processing, then a starting point is to look at RPA tools. If on the other hand, the process has to handle non-voice customer interactions such as emails, documents and multi-media and web content, then cognitive tools could provide the answer to your requirements. Examples include:
A telco that uses RPA for high volume transactions such as SIM swaps
A financial services company that uses RPA for processing of redemptions and asset migrations
An insurance loss adjuster that uses a cognitive tool for automating processing of in-coming customer documents including evidence for insurance claims.
Other aspects of automation technology to consider include but are not limited to:
Depth and breadth of functionality – for example a feature-rich automation development and testing environment
Integration capabilities – as well as integrating with departmental software such as finance, the tools may need to interact with enterprise software (e.g. Microsoft Exchange), business process management software (e.g. Appian, PegaSystems, Tibco) or document management software (e.g. IBM FileNet or OpenText)
Scalability and performance – ability to grow volumes of transactions as the need grows
Support for virtualization – for example in the user environment via Citrix
Deployment options – such as on premise or hosted by the vendor
Commercials – licensing models and prices
Support and maintenance options in your geography
Customer references and proven business cases.
Vendors are always happy to arrange demonstrations of their software. You could give them a test scenario to set up for and demonstrate. Some organizations have gone a step further and have run different proofs of concept in parallel to find the best solution for their requirements.
It is important to note that you are not limited to one type of automation:
Service delivery automation can be accomplished by combining multiple technologies. For example, traditional Business Process Management (BPM), workflow and document management technologies can be combined with newer UI/robotic process tools
Cognitive tools can be combined with RPA tools, which in turn can orchestrate tasks back and forth between workflow tools and people
The output of one process can also act as an automatic trigger for the next to start.
The entire process need not be fully automated – partial automation is also highly valuable and the most common approach.
In my next post, I will look at the types of processes that make good starting points for automation.