UiPath builds AI-driven task mining engine into its RPA platform

Newly public UiPath Inc. today debuted an artificial intelligence module that points out manual business processes enterprises should automate and provides useful related data.

The module is arriving as part of UiPath Platform 21.4, a significant new release of the company’s robotic process automation platform that was detailed today. Other highlights include security controls for managing large deployments and a tweaked interface.

UiPath’s robotic process automation, or RPA, platform automates manual tasks such as copying business files between databases and processing invoices. It does so with AI bots that replicate the individual application actions involved in each task. Customers can create custom bots via a visual interface that doesn’t necessarily require coding expertise.

UiPath Platform 21.4 packs a new module, UiPath Task Mining, that helps enterprises identify business processes they could automate. The module observes how employees interact with business applications on a day-to-day basis and uses AI to identify actions that repeat themselves frequently. Using this information, RPA teams can spot parts of employees’ workflows that can be done more efficiently with the help of RPA bots.

The tool could have several benefits for customers. Finding manual tasks to automate can be time consuming, even at a big firm with no shortage of manual processes, and the necessary time investment only increases as the number of processes executives look to automate grows. By speeding up the chore, UiPath Task Mining could reduce the duration of customers’ RPA projects and thereby help them realize a return on investment faster.

Another benefit is the ability to prioritize RPA projects better. UiPath Task Mining not only displays manual tasks that can be automated but also surfaces data about those tasks, such as the specific number of times employees repeat a certain action. With that data, companies can identify which manual tasks take up the most time for employees and prioritize bot development efforts accordingly.

Because speeding up the discovery of automation opportunities can provide significant efficiencies, other market players besides UiPath have also been investing in this area. Automation Anywhere Inc. introduced Discovery Bot last year to spot repetitive parts of employees’ workflows. Last month, IBM Corp. inked a deal to buy myInvenio Srlwhose analytics software helps companies prioritize their business automation efforts.

UiPath Task Mining is already seeing use among UiPath customers. “UiPath Task Mining was able to identify eight unique processes which occurred more than 5,000 times in a proof of concept at Paychex,” said Cassy Dunn, a business process improvement manager at UiPath customer Paychex Inc., which provides human resources software.

The other major highlight of UiPath Platform 21.4 is Automation Ops. It’s a cloud dashboard that allows administrators to define which employee can access what part of the UiPath Platform and how. By centralizing access management in one dashboard, UiPath is hoping to make it easier to maintain large deployments of its software.

The introduction of Automation Ops provides another data point to underscore the rapid enterprise uptake of RPA software. It shows that companies are rolling out RPA bots to more parts of their business and therefore need new management tools to help them in their deployments’ growing complexity.

“As the automation footprint expands across the organization, these controls, combined with the power of our AI insights and our flexible new cloud management features, bring every user an unparalleled automation experience,” said Ted Kummert, UiPath’s executive vice president of products and engineering .

The growth of UiPath customers’ RPA deployments is also reflected in the company’s earnings. UiPath disclosed ahead of its public offering that its annualized net retention rate, a metric showing how existing customers’ spending increases over time, which was 145% as of Jan. 31. Today’s release of UiPath Platform 21.4 marks one of the most significant product updates from the company since its stock market listing.

Other enhancements introduced today include interface improvements and the availability of UiPath Insights in Automation Cloud, the managed cloud version of the UiPath Platform. UiPath Insights is company’s tool for measuring the effectiveness of RPA projects.

Photo: New York Stock Exchange

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