Microsoft this week expanded into process capture and analytics with the release of Microsoft Process Advisor. This extends the reach of Microsoft Power Automate, the company's robotic process automation (RPA) and cloud integration platform. These updates will help Microsoft's Power Automate strategy scale beyond RPA into the broader hyperautomation market, which Gartner expects to grow from $481.6 billion in 2020 to $596 billion in 2022. "The idea of'automating automation' is core to our strategy," Microsoft Power Automate product manager Stephen Siciliano told VentureBeat. Process Advisor gives organizations the ability to capture processes for further analysis or as templates for creating more full-fledged automations, he added.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is kind of a confusing term. It's not about physical robots--instead, it refers to software bots that streamline repetitive and tedious processes in the workplace. Something else to note: RPA is the fastest growing segment in enterprise software, according to Gartner. As a result, the mega tech operators are looking at the market. SAP, for example, has acquired Contextor to bolster its efforts.
We have been through a decade of great technological change. Technologies that are at the center of our lives now – Smartphones and Social media truly became ubiquitous in the 2010s. The same can be said of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) – the big three started out in the 2000s but got into their own in the 2010s. It was a great decade and a great year for RPA. Let us take a look at the past year and what we can expect in the new decade.
Robotic process automation startup UiPath today announced it has closed a $225 million funding round, bringing its total raised to over $1.2 billion. While the new round is roughly half the $568 million UiPath raised last April, it catapults the New York-based company's post-money valuation to $10.2 billion, up from $7 billion in 2019 and $3 billion in 2018. CEO Daniel Dines says the funding will be used to scale UiPath's platform and deepen its investments in "AI-powered innovation" as it expands its cloud software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings. The round will also likely lay the groundwork for future strategic deals, following UiPath's acquisition of startups StepShot and ProcessGold last October. RPA -- technology that automates monotonous, repetitive chores traditionally performed by human workers -- is big business.
A pioneer in the move to automate routine production line tasks, the manufacturing sector is again leading the way as it increasingly adopts robotic process automation (RPA) to improve both back-office operations and production floor activities. This includes everything from order processing and fulfillment to inventory, transportation management, and customer support. Properly executed, RPA is capable of automating a host of repetitive, rules-based processes, minimizing the amount of time spent on manual tasks (and the potential for human error) while simultaneously improving productivity, driving innovation, and lowering costs. But after a year marked by a worldwide pandemic that helped to spur unprecedented growth in the adaptation and use of RPA, manufacturers are now struggling to scale their automation initiatives, due in large part to the huge burden of maintaining the automations they have built to date. While there was great hope that artificial intelligence in concert with RPA would yield higher-quality, higher-value automations, this has failed to materialize as most of the tools in that area simply aren't ready for prime-time.