UiPath brings business process automation closer

Automation is accelerating. As a fundamental fundamental truth that has permeated all three (some say four) industrial revolutions, whenever we have successfully applied automation at one level or another, we have generally been able to perform a function or an accelerated process.

Today, we understand that automation doesn’t just exist in factory machinery, industrial equipment engineering, and pre-programmed devices; we also understand that software automation is the intelligence required to perform specific defined and repeatable tasks within human business processes and workflow models.

But automation has to be smart. As they say, garbage goes in – garbage goes out. Simply speeding up inefficient systems means we do more things wrong, faster. The application of software automation in the form of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) that allows us to create autonomous, self-executing and even self-healing systems only happens effectively if we bring engineering closer to automation of an organization’s tactical workflow.

Business-Centric Automations

Now that we’re past the basics and looking for more sophisticated levels of advancement in this space, enterprise automation software company UiPath has now explained how it’s bringing greater business focus to the way its platform -form can be used by software developers. Simply put, UiPath has created what it calls “developer-friendly automation innovations” that put the power of automation behind more business processes.

“The UiPath Business Automation Platform provides the foundation every business needs to develop new applications and automate existing ones. Whether the desired business outcome is accelerated profitable growth, cost savings, or improved employee and customer experience, UiPath makes it easy to transform more processes into digital and automated workflows,” said Ted. Kummert, executive vice president, products and engineering at UiPath.

Notwithstanding the VPs’ marketing-focused statements and criticisms of the company, what does the company actually do and how do these software tools actually work?

Cross-platform, at scale

For developers, there is UiPath Studio Web, a browser-based automation development tool designed for creating automation available to cross-platform users and making it easy to distribute automation at scale across an organization.

The important words there are of course cross-platform and scale.

To allow software automations to work more widely across multiple platforms (i.e. mainstream operating systems from Windows to Mac OS X and Linux, but also Apple iOS, Android and specialty platforms that could be deployed at the “edge” in the Internet of Things), UiPath will have had to take on some meaty background engineering to serve the nuances, syntax, format, and software dependencies needed for the various platform deployments. To enable scalability, UiPath engaged in similar background engineering (tofu and meatless substitutes are also available) to provide larger data volumes, use of larger disparate cloud instances, etc. .

This release of the UiPath platform also includes new features to simplify the creation of public-facing processes and applications for customer service and value chain scenarios to streamline customer experiences. In other words, extended work to adapt to more intuitive user interactions, based on the ability to shape software automation to work in ways that make people and processes happy.

Additionally, UiPath offers a Connection Builder to simplify the connection of the Application Programming Interface (API) to internal applications and specialized industry solutions and extend the automations and applications that developers can create.

Continuous discovery

The company also talks about a concept it calls continuous discovery. This is designed to help users discover the “as is” state of processes and tasks, take steps to optimize them…and then continuously monitor them for continuous improvement to achieve desired business results.

Specifically, the software upgrades here include UiPath Automation Hub with ROI to enable comparisons between estimated benefits and actual results, allowing users to learn from and replicate successes. There is also process mining with high scalability, improved performance, and new analytics for better understanding of processes. Additionally, there is Assisted Task Mining, a service designed to provide process improvement managers with the ability to capture and document not only the common way a process is completed, but also the natural variations that occur. in the real world.

“Our new features enable customers to automate an increasing number of business processes. In this release, the acquisition of Re:infer adds Communications Mining to the platform to unlock the value of the massive amounts of communications data generated by a company every day. Organizations can analyze emails, documents, chat logs, social messages, etc. to create actionable business data and new automation opportunities,” the team notes, in a statement released as part of the company’s annual user event, known as UiPath Forward.

Automation is understanding

At its core (and as we’ve hopefully illustrated so far), automation is all about understanding. It’s about creating software that can ingest, decompose, and define human workflow elements as data in various shapes and forms, and then create numerical structures around the higher-level tasks at hand. of execution.

This truth is why we use terms like Natural Language Understanding (NLU) in speech recognition and why UiPath talks about its Document Understanding (DU) approach. New native document understanding support for bank and financial statements and common supply chain documents (like packing lists) expands the automation use cases that UiPath now aims to address. to serve. Also, moving slightly from comprehension to visual comprehension, AI Computer Vision has now been upgraded in UiPath to read new types of dynamic screen content, such as drop-down tables on the web and in apps.

Finally, for now, UiPath says its Automation Cloud is now supported for delayed enterprise versions which allow for more testing time… and site-to-site VPN support in Automation Cloud Robots to allow robots automate systems and data residing in private clouds.

Serverless robot servers

As we increasingly adopt these types of software automations and business accelerators, what can make a difference in this space is how quickly we can invoke these [software] robots to work for us when a human work team defines and details a need for a given task.

This means not just software bots, but serverless software bots, i.e. serverless (as we’ve already explained here) being systems that have a server, but have enough girth based on the cloud so you don’t have to detail the size or shape of that virtualized server core service until it’s needed.

The company thinks it has this aspect covered as well. For self-hosted customers, UiPath Automation Suite includes new updates for process mining and serverless bots, as well as new enterprise features such as active high availability support /active and disaster recovery and reduced resource requirements.

Software automation was already smart. By nature, it had to be. But if software automation has progressed here, it looks like it’s spent an extra year in business school.

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