Enterprise Robotics Process Automation specialist UiPath is launching a network of innovation centres where customers and partners can find out more about how machine learning and RPA can be utilised to automate business processes. As part of its Automation First Initiative, UiPath will be building Automation Immersion Labs with pre-installed and ready-to-use showcases involving technologies from the UiPath partner ecosystem. Customers and partners will be able to bring in their own data to use with pre-configured use cases.
The first Automation Immersion Labs will open in Bucharest and Bangalore this year, with other locations to follow in 2019, including London, New York, Seattle and Tokyo.
Commenting on the initiative, Mike Binder, Vice President of Global Services at UiPath, said: “Customers are eager to explore AI and related technologies but find it difficult to imagine the possibilities beyond their existing RPA operation. Our Automation First Immersion Labs simulate an experience of what lies ahead in automation, empowering our customers and partners to make informed decisions to advance to the next level of their business strategy.”
UiPath is introducing a number of other initiatives to develop the market for RPA and AI, including the UiPath Go! marketplace of UiPath-vetted reusable automation components, which has recorded hundreds of downloads since launch in early October, and a $20M investment fund to support the activities of channel partners.
This will be split between the UiPath Venture Innovation Fund, set up to invest in AI-focused partners with expertise in machine learning, business process management (BPM), process mining and intelligence, and the UiPath Partner Acceleration Fund, which is designed to help partners inspire and support automation and AI innovation and accelerate enterprise-wide RPA adoption.
A recent survey of 1,000 UK office workers by UiPath suggests organisations are still underestimating the likely impact of robots in the workplace. Almost half (48.5%) said they ‘strongly’ believe repetitive tasks couldn’t be managed by robots; 72% don’t believe robots will make them more productive; and 62% don’t consider the introduction of robots as an opportunity to up-skill. Yet, where RPA has been introduced, 58% admit that the impact has been positive.
One UK company enjoying the benefits of automation is high street bookmaker Ladbrokes. Its director of customer compliance operations Brendan MacDonald said: “In the first day of live operations, the UiPath robots were able to process 322 applications. That’s a gain of 51 hours each day or the equivalent of six people working an eight-hour shift.”