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Thoughts on Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in 2017

Source | LinkedIn : By Pascal BORNET

Below article includes 3 parts:

1. Looking back at 2016: a very dynamic and exciting landscape.

2. 2017: RPA Express, the first free RPA software by Workfusion: potentially a game changer, and a stimulus for Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A).

3. 2017: towards more intelligence.

I would love to hear what you think – please react to this post, add more thoughts and share your points of views


Part 1 – Looking back at 2016: a very dynamic and exciting RPA landscape

In 2016, the global RPA licensing market reached about USD 700 million according to Transparency Market Research, almost twice the revenue generated in 2016. And the pace of market growth is increasing. According to SSON (Shared Services & Outsourcing Network), the amount of new adopters is now doubling every 6 months.

The growth in RPA market is also evidenced through the growing number of new vendors, the size of the pools of robots, and by M&A:

  • We started the year with Pega, which acquired RPA specialist OpenSpan to enhance its own Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application and Business Performance Management (BPM) platform
  • A few months ago, Information Service Group (ISG) acquired Alsbridge, and I suspect RPA was a key consideration as ISG seemed to be lagging behind in this field. Some weeks ago, CA Technologies announced its intention to acquire Automic. This acquisition trend is expected to accelerate in the upcoming months (refer to Part 2 of this article)
  • More and more new RPA vendors are entering the market (e.g. Antworks). These vendors tend to be more specialized (by industry or function)
  • The largest amount of robots hosted by a company was about 500 in 2015. This number has almost reached 2000 robots in 2016. 2017 will see even larger pools of robots

RPA is certainly becoming a more established field, and confidence has emerged.

  • The success of Blue Prism’s IPO has demonstrated investor confidence in the RPA market. The trend of Blue Prism’s share price confirms that point (it has more than quadrupled in 10 months!)
  • Initiatives launched by most vendors in 2016 were essentially focused on making RPA more accessible and actionable by their clients: free trial versions (e.g. UiPath, Automation Anywhere), improved training platforms including video tutorials and library of materials, structured implementation methodologies and RPA projects quality standards (e.g. Blue Prism), easier configuration interfaces (e.g. Workfusion)

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