UiPath is dependent on RPA core, but offers more functionality

UiPath will use a lot of new functionality to focus on complete automation for the company, as it became clear during the Together 2022 event in Amsterdam. “We will never forget our RPA core business, but still want to give customers every opportunity,” said UiPath Vice President of Product Development Bogdan Ripa.

The Romanian-American automation specialist UiPath is rapidly expanding the functionality of its platform. According to the supplier, the platform must form the basis for a new way of working for companies. A way of working that should not only give the work a big boost, but also ensure a more comfortable working environment.

Employees need to start enjoying their work again, instead of having to look for other work galore. This is done by eliminating repetitive tasks through automation. It removes one of the biggest objections that employees currently have against their work and makes the work fun and valuable again, the automation player emphasized during Together 2022 in Amsterdam.

Much attention to extra functionality

We wrote earlier that the platform is more than Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and the company is committed to confirming this. It is therefore not surprising that this extra functionality received a lot of attention during the event. Developments around automation are following at a rapid pace, and UiPath wants to give its platform this as much as possible. This makes it likely that RPA is the core of the business, but that customers and their employees should be able to benefit from the very latest automation development at a fast pace, Ripa indicated in its keynote.

This includes adding AI, supporting ‘unattended’ workflows, and APIs that enable integrations with other solutions. The latter to make the platform completely open to integrations with third-party platforms and customers’ own automation tools.

“Our customers actually still come to us for RPA solutions, but are happy to see a lot of other functionality as well,” Ripa Techzine said. “They are particularly pleased with the API integrations. They can easily achieve different integrations. Whether it’s adding machine learning, running an automation on top of Citrix, or working with Salesforce through APIs. Everything is possible.”

Expand step by step

Still, the question arises whether all the functionality of the UiPath platform is not a bit too much. When we talk to existing customers, it seems that they have a hard time keeping up with all the subsequent functionality. Many customers often start with simple RPA automations for repetitive operations. For example, automation of the processing of forms. This now often requires a lot of their attention and they primarily use the platform for this production. As a result, the second functionality is hardly or not used at all.

According to Ripa, UiPath does not lose sight of these basic users. Not even if new functionality is added to the entire platform at the same time. “What we see really depends entirely on the development of our customers. On the one hand, we see customers using only the basic RPA functionality. On the other hand, we also have many customers who want more. They are often more advanced in using our platform or using it for specific purposes. You actually do not need to know in and out when you need to use the platform, you can just start and then expand your knowledge step by step. ”

“We do not lose sight of our core functionality, RPA. What we are actually doing is improving the performance of just the basic functionality. We continue to improve what we offer our customers. In this way, our platform becomes “In addition, you can also see the expansion of functionality as a reinforcement of the foundation of our solution. And that is something we should always do.”

Tip: ‘The UiPath platform is so much more than RPA’

building blocks

During Together 2022, the public gained an insight into the roadmap. The cloud-based version of UiPath Automation Suite is updated every two weeks. The on-premise version gets a new release twice a year.

This year, five building blocks are central to the automation platform. This year, for example, more enhanced functionality will be added to attended automations. Software robots work with human employees. They help as a kind of digital assistant. In particular, the performance of these specific UiPath solutions will be improved, for example by adding new scenarios.

The second ‘building block’ is the so-called semantic automation. This also includes all developments that UiPath is implementing to ‘democratize’ (RPA) automation or make it accessible to all.

Clipboard tool

In this context, Ripa is very enthusiastic about the Clipboard tool, which is aimed at the ‘intention’ of end users. Specifically, the Clipboard tool is actually an automated version of copy-paste. It helps copy data, including metadata, from one application to another. Just like from a spreadsheet to NetSuite, for example. If users find errors in this copy, they can fix it. “

“The service learns from these errors, so they are automatically prevented next time. Not only for the specific end user but also for all other users of the service. In addition to copying data, the tool can also be used to scrape information from the Internet. The user indicates the intention, what information he or she wants about a product and the tool retrieves all relevant information for this from the website. This data is then copied to the selected application. Actually also a kind of copy-paste, but a little more complicated. ”

With the Clipboard Tool, UiPath aims to simplify the use of automation, in this case for copying data. That way, more non-technical people can use the tools for daily work. As a result, automation is becoming more widespread and is no longer just a tool for technical specialists, says VP of Product Development.

The tool is now available in preview in UiPaths Automation Cloud. Ripa would like the tool to soon also be available as a standalone web version, so that more people can benefit from it.

Other building blocks

In addition to these tools, there are also other building blocks that form a spearhead for the automation platform. Although the cloud is still leading the way for UiPath, the local version of Automation Suite will receive more functionality in the near future. With this, UiPath wants to meet the needs of customers who can not run all their data in the cloud. Bogdan Ripa indicates that all (new) functionality will only be available in the cloud and that it will only be added to on-prem when it works properly and has been tested.

Furthermore, UiPath pays more attention to making both the web and desktop experience ‘seamless’ for users. This includes functionality for Linux and macOS environments, but also a better Chrome experience. It should enable developers to build, share, use and run automations seamlessly on all platforms. Finally, different options will be rolled out in the near future for each step of the automation life cycle.

Live streaming of robot work

UiPath is therefore quite ambitious when it comes to rolling out even more functionality. It also appears from Bogdan Ripa’s insight into the various options in version 2022-10, which will be launched in October this year. Much of this functionality, which will be included in all five pillars of the platform, is already available to a greater or lesser extent in the newly launched version 2022-04 from mid-May this year, but also includes new developments.

One of the expected features that we noticed most in the Manage column, for example, is the arrival of the Orchestrator of robotic live streaming and real-time bug fixing functionality. “With robot livestreaming, specialists can monitor how their automations or robots specifically behave and what they perform,” Ripa continues.

“Specifically, it gives you insight into the robot screen, and you actually see the robot automation in action. This, of course, gives developers a lot of peace of mind. Especially if they implement the robotic automation without supervision, they get a good insight into the robots’ behavior and whether they are doing what they are supposed to. The livestreaming functionality also provides a recording of the actions so that developers can review how the robot automation worked and detect any bugs at a later time. At a later stage, we will make it possible to show these processes step by step. ”

In addition to the live streaming functionality, live bug fixing functionality is also available. Developers get real-time insight into the code, they see how it is executed, and you can also take control live. “You can intervene live in the operation of an automation anytime and anywhere. This makes developers much more productive. “

Other functionality 2022.10

Version 2022.10 also adds enhancements to the Discover column around connectors for other process mining backend systems. Within this portfolio, the solutions for test mining will have opportunities for more assistance from end users.

Within the Build portfolio, there will be more compatibility between the web and desktop versions of the platform, especially the Studio Web environment. It gives users, whether they are professionals or so-called ‘citizen users’, more coherence in their development of automation solutions.

In the Run portfolio, more functionality will be available for SaaS or cloud robots in version 2022.10. These are more or less preconfigured unattended robots running without special attention to IT, resources or infrastructure. For this purpose, UiPath introduces Windows VM as-a-service robots. In addition, UiPath comes with special out-of-the-box unattended robots for containers, in this case Docker containers and Linux.

Within the Engage column, there will be more opportunities to assign (automation) tasks to multiple people. The tasks will soon be assigned directly from the system. We are also working on a set of add-ons, which makes it possible to develop automations directly from various applications, eg from Excel.

In addition, version 22.10 of the UiPath platform will soon have more testing capacity for the whole environment. This makes it possible to gain better insight into the operation of the various automations and to align them with business goals. For this purpose, the export of data to other analysis tools, such as Tableau, is simplified. UiPath also makes it easier to integrate data from older tools. The platform will also offer more options for testing and measuring SAP environments.

Complete relief

UiPath continues to add functionality to its platform. With this, the automation specialist wants to offer companies a complete platform for all their activities. UiPath wants to relieve the burden so that employees can focus more on the core business and create more value.

How customers themselves handle this continuously growing functionality must be shown. Especially because they often use the basic RPA functionality most for their various lanes. But that they can automate everything even more with the UiPath Platform if they really want to is beyond any doubt. We will therefore continue to monitor the automation giant.

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