RPA: The Democratization of an Automation Tool

Robotic process automation has become a very popular buzzword when it comes to the digitization of business processes. Gartner classifies the RPA market as the fastest growing sector in the field of enterprise software; it is expected to be worth over seven billion dollars in just five years. Of course, the big software companies do not want to miss this opportunity - and Microsoft is now also offering tools to democratize RPAs, that is, making them available to everyone.

  #Microsoft   #Robotic Process Automation   #UiPath   #Business Automation  

The term RPA is commonly used to refer to software that can be easily programmed to perform basic business tasks across applications - just as human workers do. The technology is designed to enable virtually any employee to create a software-controlled ‘robot’ that replicates and performs a person's activities on a digital system. This is interesting where repetitive, lengthy and inefficient processes can be automated. UiPath[1] , Blue Prism[2], and Automation Anywhere[3] are the three software houses that have dominated the RPA market to date, growing rapidly and investing a lot of venture capital to do so.


The fight for a slice of the RPA cake

However, the competition now also wants a piece of the RPA cake – for example Microsoft[4]. The software giant is in an excellent position to shake up the RPA market. Microsoft has a large global infrastructure, an enormous number of customers and countless competent partners and developers worldwide. In addition, the fast-growing Azure Cloud business will also play an important role. Microsoft's RPA strategy began with the Power Automation platform[5], which has assisted hundreds of thousands of companies in automating millions of processes. In the latest version, Microsoft now enables RPA in the Power Automate service, using user interface data flows. With the addition of RPA, Power Automate also allows legacy applications and manual processes to be automated through UI-based automation. So far, Power Automate's functionality focused on automating business processes through API-based connectors. However, APIs are often not available for legacy systems and automation can become very difficult. Now, Power Automate can automate business processes in modern systems that have APIs as well as in legacy systems that do not have APIs. Data simply flows back and forth between API-based automated streams and user interface data flows.


“Anyone can develop bots”

This is the opinion of Charles Lamanna, who is in charge of the citizen developer platform at Microsoft. According to him it takes less than 30 seconds to log in, and a bot can be created in minutes. Lamanna sees three other important trends for RPA. First: The Cloud is inevitable. Second, if RPA is to become really big, it needs to be democratized. Windows, too, only became huge when it ran on everyone's PC. If RPA is to be transformative, it has to be on everyone's desk, he says. And thirdly, automation must go beyond the automation of the user interface. Real automation will provide elements such as chatbots and forms that collect information. In his opinion, these elements should all be able to mix with digital process automation and robot-based process automation.

Microsoft is convinced that it is on the right track with RPA. After all, more than 60 percent of all information workers spend more than 30 percent of their time on practiced, automatable tasks. RPA could therefore bring great economic benefits and increase employee satisfaction.


UMB and Microsoft for the democratization of RPA

UMB is a Microsoft Power Automate Partner. Here, RPA starts with a PoC (Proof of Concept) to show its practical potential and to demonstrate whether it will pay off for your company. This requires three to five working days. In most cases, RPA pays for itself after just a few weeks.

Contact us if you want to take the next automation step in your company.


[1] https://www.uipath.com/

[2] https://www.blueprism.com/

[3] https://www.automationanywhere.com/

[4] https://flow.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/microsoft-power-automate-adds-robotic-process-automation-in-april/

[5] https://flow.microsoft.com/de-de/