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Automation as the differentiator for human achievement

Marek Sowa
Oct 04, 2023

Brandon Deer, Chief Strategy Officer at UiPath, talks to Capgemini’s Marek Sowa about how UiPath’s automation and AI solutions are driving people to achieve more and how its partnership with Capgemini continues to deliver business value for our clients.

Marek Sowa: Brandon – thanks for joining me today. I’d like to start by asking you about how UiPath’s strategy has changed from being RPA-first to being a market-leading enterprise automation platform?

Brandon Deer: In the last several years, UiPath has transitioned from being a relatively small startup based out of Bucharest with a single product set, to a global organization of over 4,000 people and a platform of over 20 different products that are connected into a seamless and fully integrated service.

All of UiPath’s tools are designed to lower the entry barrier for companies who want to get involved in automation, while our own curiosity helps us find new avenues for improving our clients’ ways of working. However, we noticed one, small problem with our strategy recently – we realized that not everyone is an automation or AI expert.

To use an analogy, we’ve gone from providing a blank canvas, the best paints, and the finest brushes, to understanding that our clients might actually be daunted by an empty canvas and might not know how, or where, to start their automation journey. What they need is some kind of structure to follow – a little nudge in the right direction in terms of the business processes or areas in their organization that could be automated and what their ROI might be.

And in some cases – for example our communications mining tool – we provide a fully painted canvas. You simply point out a specific set of tasks and the tool does the work.

How have automation and AI become the differentiator for human achievement?

That’s a really interesting question. In many ways, there are a lot of parallels to be drawn between the automation and AI revolution and the industrial revolution. The combination of AI and enterprise automation provides a leapfrog capability to humans who have historically just been able to move one foot in front of the other.

UiPath has always been focused on a set of highly manual, repetitive tasks that were largely back-office oriented. This was our bread and butter. But the emergence of AI has helped us remove much of the grunt work in the front office.

For employees, it means having more time to work on higher level, more strategic work. While for enterprises, automation and AI are the most scalable component of their human workforce – which makes it more flexible, productive, and profitable as a result. If you’re freeing people up to do strategic tasks that up leveling is unbelievably critical in producing more productivity and providing more margins.

In practice, automation and AI are uniquely situated between the applications and systems used by many global corporations – putting them in the ideal position for gathering and interpreting data quickly and easily. For example, think of a JIRA ticket. Automation- or AI-based models can interpret what customers are asking for, and instantly provide a recommendation on how to resolve their issue.

Once a decision is made, the technology reaches out to the customer or sends the conversation to a human manager for escalation – without breaking any governance or security protocols. This is what makes UiPath’s technology special, it provides a huge technological advancement to all its users.

What skills do individuals need to excel in today’s increasingly automated world?

Anytime you have a paradigm shift like the one taking place with AI right now, there will inevitably be skill changes in your workforce. For instance, many of us would benefit from being proficient in AI. Knowing how to work with this technology is going to be crucial for us to get the best out of our careers in the very near future.

I also think that understanding bias detection and handling is important. For example, if you’re going to be working with large language models you need to have good judgment skills. Both in terms of translating the transcripts they provide into plain English, and understanding what information will work best if you want to improve their future outputs.

These two skills will be crucial to excelling in today’s increasingly automated world.

How will advancements in automation change enterprise-level decision-making?

If you put openness, flexibility, and infrastructure front-and-center I don’t think you need a new set of security and change management protocols. Additionally, a simple governance layer – something that UiPath provides out of the box – will help you provide data-masking capabilities as well as certain parameters around the data types that can be uploaded into your new AI model. All of which ensures it will run off the best data possible.

Adding layers of auditability, data masking governance, and security to your business through automation- and AI-based models is possible, without making huge changes to your business. This is key for any organization that wants to leverage and democratize automation without causing major disruptions to their business.

How is automation impacting innovation?

Automation enables companies to do more with less, which enables them to invest more time into business-critical tasks. This is the core of what UiPath does.

In fact, just as cloud technology enabled agility, speed, and cost savings in the early 2000s, so automation and AI are the next step function shift for enterprises to continue on that same path forward.

And finally, how is UiPath’s partnership with Capgemini driving a compelling IA value proposition for its clients?

Building on a robust foundation of technical collaboration that started in 2015, Capgemini and UiPath have worked hard to define and deliver an AI and automation platform that meets the needs of today’s enterprises.

Together, we deliver business value that goes beyond simply automating repetitive tasks. Through standardizing and optimizing processes, our integrated, AI-enabled solutions help enterprises boost productivity, customer experience, and employee satisfaction while improving efficiency and reducing operational costs.

But I believe there is much more for us to achieve together as we head into the cognitive era – an era that is not only redefining business, but what businesses need from a joint Capgemini and UiPath intelligent automation platform.

As enterprises worldwide shift gears to drive greater profitability and competitive edge in today’s highly volatile and customer-centric market, our partnership and joint, synergistic solutions will help them effectively navigate the new paradigm.

Brandon, thank you for talking to me today. What you’ve said really highlights the strength of the Capgemini-UiPath partnership and the potential automation has, not only for organizations, but for society as a whole.

Brandon Deer is the Chief Strategy Officer at UiPath. Brandon was an early employee of UiPath and has helped grow the business from $30 million in revenue and a couple hundred employees to over $1 billion in revenue and 4,000 employees. In addition to Brandon’s commitments at UiPath, he is the Founder & General Partner of Crew Capital, a global, early-stage VC fund that focuses on innovative and industry-disrupting software companies.

Brandon Deer is the Chief Strategy Officer at UiPath. Brandon was an early employee of UiPath and has helped grow the business from $30 million in revenue and a couple hundred employees to over $1 billion in revenue and 4,000 employees. In addition to Brandon’s commitments at UiPath, he is the Founder & General Partner of Crew Capital, a global, early-stage VC fund that focuses on innovative and industry-disrupting software companies.

This article is published in the new edition of our Innovation Nation magazine. Read more from our special feature on “Automation and the data-powered organization” and download the full magazine.

Meet our expert

Marek Sowa

Data & AI for Enterprise Management leader
Marek Sowa is head of Capgemini’s Intelligent Automation Offering & Innovation focused on adopting AI technologies into business services. He leverages the potential hidden in deep and machine learning to increase the speed, accuracy, and automation of processes. This helps clients to transform their business operations leveraging the combined power of AI and RPA to create working solutions that deliver real business value.

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