RPA Redux

Jake Levins September 4, 2020 9 No Comments

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It was just over a year ago when prior GigaOm Analyst JP Morgenthal printed a comprehensive Key Criteria/Market Landscape report, titled “Robotic Process Automation in Digital Transformation.” In it, JP detailed both the advantages and challenges anticipating enterprises trying to digitize and automate manual procedures, and also the tooling offered to help accomplish this. He also composed this:

“As for its longer-term outlook for RPA tooling, adoption will be dependent upon partnerships adopting RPA to support their demands for simplifying finishing processes inclusive of trades that are pretentious. As exemplified in Figure 1 under, the RPA marketplace now overlaps with the facets of Integration Platform-as-a-Service (iPaaS) and low-code growth tooling.”

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Figure 1. ) Confluence of RPA, IPaaS and Low-Code Development

JP in his account claimed that enabling complete finishing procedure management would require mixing these three facets into a unified system. So if RPA provider UiPath this week announced the launching of UiPath Apps, that a low-code program builder that incorporates IPaaS capacity, it rang a couple of bells here at GigaOm.

I inquired JP concerning the call he made a year ago and what IT decision makers need to remove from this latest advancement.

“RPA is great for gluing together disparate applications that were never intended to work together, and for which the business world would never see enough return integrating as a formal project within IT,” JP told me in an email interview. “However, not everything can be relegated to a black box. There’s still plenty of need for human intervention to derive end-to-end automation whether it be approvals, escalations, corrections, etc.”

Low-signal development software step in directly here, allowing companies to offer user interfaces for individual interaction–be it onto a PC at the workplace or a smartphone at an airport. The additional component, of course, is information. As JP notes, a lot of the information used to induce procedures is saved inside “disparate systems of record,” which means RPA tooling wants a means to aggregate and change information as part of their end-to-end automation actions. Enter iPaaS, which offers tooling for information restructuring and mapping.

JP notes that UiPath is only one outfit operating toward an integrated platform which contains RPA, IPaaS, and low-code improvement. As CTO of RPA provider Automation Anywhere, he has had a hand in his company’s venture with Mulesoft to allow connectors for information aggregation and transformation. And he touts the improvement that his company is producing with “human bot collaboration technology,” he states oversees the handoff in complicated processes between robots and humans.

As the race proceeds to provide stronger, intuitive, and intelligent automation platforms, the persuasive value of a unified platform looks obvious.

“When I wrote the report, it was not clear that the RPA marketplace was positioned to proceed in this way [toward consolidation],” JP says. “But having delivered solutions for a number of years, it was obvious to me that the audience for these types of products were not going to be interested in a best-of-breed approach. They don’t have the technical support to make that work and it was clear to me that it was not going to take customers long to come back and ask for these features so they could continue their automation journey with a single vendor.”

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