Former VP at Accenture and EPAM Systems
Daniel has 20 years of experience as a technology consultant working on large enterprise digital transformations. He has spent the last 7 years helping enterprise clients choose and utilise leading RPA vendors such as Blue Prism, UiPath, and Automation Anywhere for robotic-processing automation and AI solutions. Daniel previously worked at EPAM Systems as Global Head of Business Consulting and has spent a decade working at Accenture and IBM leading digital transformation projects. Daniel is currently the Chief Innovation Officer at HealthRede, a technology consultancy firm specializing in RPA and AI solutions. Read more
Daniel, can you share a short introduction about your background and specific role within RPA?
I’m a digital transformation executive management consultant. I have 20 years of experience; I’ve worked for big firms, like Accenture, IBM, EPAM Systems. For the past four and a half years, I’ve been at HealthRede which is a smaller advisory services firm, focused on developing commercial and enterprise artificial intelligence capabilities.
How do RPA solutions fit in, within the digital transformation landscape?
Machine learning, robotic process automation, computer vision, natural language processing are all the major solution components of artificial intelligence capabilities. RPA is vital, because it has both front-end and back-end components to it; it’s almost like a middleware service, in some respects. They are all important but, as far as customer and marketing adoption of various solutions, RPA is at the forefront, in terms of what I see for commercial adoption of AI technologies.
What’s the median cost saving or efficiency gains for a customer that adopts an RPA solution, roughly?
It varies, but the beauty of RPA is that, of all the AI technologies and capabilities that are coming to market, it’s probably the easiest, in terms of quantifying a business case or a value case. Most people, when they do a vendor assessment and implementation process, because you are either augmenting or replacing human labor, they calculate what sort of returns they are looking for. I’ve seen numbers anywhere from 10% to 50% in acceleration of velocity, as well as cost take out. If you’re talking about a claims processing unit of a healthcare company and they have in excess of 100 claims processors, if you can eliminate 10% or 20% of those resources and replace it with RPA solutions, the business case is pretty clear and demonstrable.
How do you compare the major players in the market?
It’s a pretty narrow market. If you look at other areas of AI, it’s a crowded place. Right now, in the RPA space, there are a big three or four. Those are UiPath, Blue Prism, Automation Anywhere and then Pega is the fourth outlier. Then you’ve got other smaller firms, like Kofax. Right now, in the enterprise landscape, when customers or prospects are evaluating the market space and they are interested in an RFI or RFP type situation, it’s really those big three. I think there will be innovators that, potentially, come to market and join the ranks. Certainly, Pega is climbing up and maybe it’s a big four, in that respect. But it is a small cohort.
How do the big three compete?
They all have niche areas. UiPath is probably the most recognizable brand. They came to market at roughly the same time as Blue Prism, but they have different trajectories. The way I would segment the big four is that UiPath is probably the simplest to deploy and to use. It is very user friendly; anyone who knows how to use Excel can start building bots, in UiPath, with a minimal learning curve.
Automation Anywhere is very different, in the sense that it is more script based, so there is actual coding involved. Whereas both UiPath and Blue Prism have visual UIs, that non-developers can use to create bots. That’s the primary difference between them. I would say that UiPath is probably more user friendly than Blue Prism, even though they are in the same sphere.