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UiPath’s Go! Automation Marketplace Aims to Accelerate RPA Adoption in Enterprise Clients


UiPath held its 2018 UiPathForward event October 3-4, 2018, in Miami, Florida. The focus of proceedings was the October release of the company’s software and a related trio of major announcements: a new automation marketplace, new investment in partner technology and marketing, and a new academic alliance program.

The analyst session included a visit from CEO Daniel Dines and an update on the company’s performance and roadmap. UiPath has grown from a $1m ARR to a $100m ARR in just 21 months, and the company is trending on a $140m ARR for 2018 en route to Dines’ forecasted $200m ARR in early 2019. UiPath is adding nearly six enterprise clients a day and has begun staking a public claim – not without defensible merit – to being the fastest-growing enterprise software company in history.

During the event, UiPath announced a new academic alliance program, consisting of three sub-programs – one aimed at training higher education students for careers in automation, another providing educators with resources and examples to utilize in the classroom setting, and the third focused on educating youth in elementary and secondary educational settings. UiPath has a stated goal of partnering with ~1k schools and training ~1m students on its RPA platform.

The centerpiece of the event, however, was Release 2018.3 (Dragonfly), which was built around the launch of UiPath Go!, the company’s new online automation marketplace. It would be easy to characterize Go! as a direct response to Automation Anywhere’s Bot Store, but that would be overly simplistic. Where currently the Bot Store skews more toward apps as automation task solutions, Go! is an app store for particulate task components – so while the former might offer a complete end-to-end document processing bot, Go! would instead offer a set of smaller, more atomic components like signature verification, invoice number identification, address lookup and correction, etc.

The specific goal of Go! is to accelerate adoption of RPA in enterprise-scale clients, and the component focus of the offering is intended to fill in gaps in processes to allow them to be more entirely automated. The example presented was, the aforementioned signature verification; given that a human might take two seconds to verify a signature, is it really worth automating this phase of the process? Not in and of itself, but failing to do so creates an attended automation out of an unattended one, requiring human input to complete. With Go!, companies can automate the large, obvious task phases from their existing automation component libraries, and then either build new components or download Go! components to complete the task automation in toto.

Dragonfly is designed to integrate Go! components into the traditional UiPath development environment, providing a means for automation architects to combine self-designed automation components with downloaded third-party components. Given the increased complexity of managing project automation software dependencies for automations built from both self-designed and downloaded components, UiPath has also improved the dependency and library management tools in 2018.3. For example, automation tasks that reuse components already developed can include libraries of such components stored centrally, reducing the amount of rework necessary for new projects.

In addition, the new dependencies management toolset allows automation designers to point projects at specific versions of automations and task components, instead of defaulting to the most recent, for advanced debugging purposes. Dragonfly also moves UiPath along the Citrix certification roadmap, as this release is designated Ready for Citrix, another step toward becoming Certified for Citrix. Finally, Dragonfly also adds new capabilities in VDI management, new localization capabilities in multiple languages, and UI improvements in the Studio environment.

In the interest of spurring development of Go! components, UiPath has designated $20m for investment in its partners during 2019. The investment is split between two funds, the UiPath Venture Innovation Fund and the UiPath Partner Acceleration Fund. The first of these is aimed directly at the Go! marketplace by providing incentives for developers to build UiPath Go! components. In at least one instance, UiPath has lent developers directly to an ISV along with funding to support such development. UiPath expects that these investment dollars will enable the Go! initiative to populate the store faster than a more passive approach of waiting for developers to share their automation code.

The second fund is a more traditional channel support fund, aimed at encouraging partners to develop on the UiPath platform and support joint marketing and sales efforts. The timing of this latter fund’s rollout, on the heels of UiPath’s deal registration/marketing and technical content portal announcement, demonstrates the company’s commitment to improving channel performance. Partners are key to UiPath’s ability to sustain its ongoing growth rate and the strength of its partner sales channels will be vital in securing the company’s next round of financing. (UiPath's split of partner/direct deployments is approaching 50/50, with an organizational goal of reaching 100% partner deployments by 2020.) Accordingly, it is clear that the company’s leadership team is now placing a strong and increasing emphasis on channel management as a driver of continued growth.

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