UiPath, a provider of robotic process automation (RPA) software, has had a stellar few years. The company has placed third in the two most recent Forbes Cloud 100 lists, ranking the most prestigious privately-held cloud computing companies. The company won’t be there this year, as it looks to an IPO – but plenty of innovation remains.
Ahead of the company’s participation at Digital Transformation Week from April 20-22, CloudTech spoke with Boris Krumrey, global VP of automation innovations at UiPath, around the UiPath Automation Cloud offering, and the wider role of RPA within digital transformation among others.
CloudTech: Hi Boris. Tell us about your career to date and role and responsibilities at UiPath?
Boris Krumrey: As Global VP Automation Innovations at UiPath, I am responsible for driving the UiPath Automation Innovation agenda to “reboot” work and make automation at scale a reality for customers and partners. I created the UiPath Immersion Labs, which I describe as the “Automation Kitchen” to inspire businesses exploring new customer and work experiences. In my initial role as Chief Robotics Officer at UiPath, I led the product roadmap vision and integration design of RPA and AI technologies. Prior to UiPath, I led the Automation and Robotics Business for Atos as part of the Global Application Management Service Delivery.
I also held leading roles in the outsourcing practice for Accenture and Infosys for more than 12 years. I had a very exciting experience in my career as the Chief Officer of Customer Services and Service Sales organisations, including business development for network communications equipment Teles AG, and as the Chief Technology Officer of the second-largest Internet Service Provider in Germany, Strato Medien AG. I began my career as a computer scientist at Sun Microsystems.
CT: How does cloud fit into – and enable – robotic process automation (e.g. as a platform on which to build, enabling AI/ML etc)?
BK: UiPath RPA is not dependent on cloud technologies to scale. You can run our platform fully on-premises also with our integrated AI/ML engine. One advantage is that our platform today not only runs on all leading cloud platforms, it is designed run for full cloud and hybrid-cloud environments. As RPA demand began to explode, many customers preferred an on-premises solution in their own data centres, but we clearly see and support the increasing adoption of RPA in the cloud.
CT: Tell us about the UiPath Automation Cloud and how the idea for the product came about. Was integration with Azure/AWS/GCP etc a demand from customers?
BK: The idea was driven early through our RPA democratization approach in launching a free community edition of UiPath. The only easy consumable way to support many thousands of users and millions of UiPath configurations was in the cloud. UiPath offers an end-to-end platform uniquely positioned to automate today’s complex business processes. Our platform is simple and easy to use so every employee at an organization can create, deploy, and manage automation.
CT: What has customer feedback been like for the UiPath Automation Cloud? Which industries have seen the most take-up?
BK: We had extremely positive feedback of the UiPath Automation Cloud. In particular, at the outbreak of the pandemic, the Automation Cloud was the fastest way to serve the large volumes of customer service transactions without waiting for system infrastructure installations. Chipotle is a great example of a customer that used our Automation Cloud in this way. Because every industry benefits from automation, adoption has been widespread. We’re seeing growth in energy, healthcare, financial services, telecommunications, retail, and technology, among other sectors.
CT: From your discussions throughout the customer journey, how important a role does RPA play in wider digital transformation in your opinion?
BK: RPA will always play a key role in the entire automation technology stack for digital transformation. It’s important to note that UiPath is not just RPA, it is actually an entire intelligent automation platform with multiple solutions which are vital for all digital transformation. This includes automation via RPA, AI/ML, process and task mining, low-code development, API management, test automation, and automation change management tools. In this context, UiPath offers a fast realisation of a digital operations layer by automating the manual tasks of knowledge workers and their system workflows across the entire enterprise.
CT: Could you give an idea of a theoretical example of a fully-automated enterprise, and whether companies are either at that stage yet or approaching it?
BK: In a fully automated company, employees are using automation to assist them in their daily operations similar, to how people use productivity tools like Excel. If a worker doesn’t want to create his or her own automated workflows, he or she can leverage the UiPath capture product for the process they want to automate and generate the full, detailed documentation for the RPA development team. Cross-departmental processes would be automated flows running multiple automation flows, which are orchestrated by a controlling automation flow with predefined decision points that require human interventions such as reviews, approvals, request for additional information or decisions. Unstructured data such as miscellaneous documents and emails are processed by robots using optical character recognition (OCR) and document understanding technologies to extract and process data for the existing application system landscape.
New product or service ideas are being developed by subject matter experts of different business domains and refined by Enterprise Automation Architects that analyze the end-to-end process of human activity and applications and tools to design the new automation layer. Every automation is visualized in process mining flows, so all automated processes can be monitored and continuously optimized and improved.
CT: What can we expect from UiPath for the rest of 2021 in terms of general roadmap?
BK: Automation solves two business challenges: operational efficiency and employee engagement. Automation takes on repetitive work without changing business processes or infrastructure and it frees people to work on more inventive and productive work. We believe this means greater engagement and greater business value. The need for digital transformation has never been more significant. We have a large customer base, but the exciting thing is many of our customers are just getting started on their automation journeys. We will continue our mission to unlock human creativity by enabling the fully automated enterprise.
UiPath is participating in Digital Transformation Week, April 20-22. Want to listen to senior executives and thought leaders around enabling DT for your business? Register now.