Automation Anywhere previews upcoming major enhancements to their software bots

Automation Anywhere CEO Mihir Shukla kicked off the company’s annual event in New York City by defining three themes they deem necessary for success going forward – and then briefly previewing how they intend to address each in their May software release.

Automation Anywhere CEO Mihir Shukla onstage

NEW YORK CITY – Robotic Process Automation [RPA] vendor Automation Anywhere made a series of significant announcements on their first day of their Imagine event here on Tuesday. The biggest ones may however, have been ones which were not formal announcements at all, but rather sneak peaks which CEO Mihir Shukla telegraphed in his opening keynote.

“We continue to be the largest and most cutting edge company in the category,” said Mihir Shukla, the company’s co-founder and CEO. “This year we expect to have a very unique distinction, the fastest growing enterprise software company in our stage.” That’s a growth rate above Salesforce, ServiceNow and Microsoft when those companies were at a similar rate of growth.

Gary Conway, the company’s CMO, summed up this growth for the attendees.

“The growth of Automation Anywhere has been nothing short of extraordinary,” he said. “We have  quadrupled the business every year, with this being a year of unprecedented growth for us.”

Conway noted that Automation Anywhere has expanded in the last year from 9 to 35 offices globally.

“We have 2800 customers representing over 1600 enterprise brands,” he said. “We have more than 700 partners, and without them we couldn’t have this impact. We have over a million bots in over 90 countries.” The company’s payroll is projected to rise from 1400 employees at the end of 2018 to 3000 at end of 2019.

“What is creating such a high demand?” Shukla asked rhetorically. “20 per cent of processes have been automated historically. 80 per cent have been done manually. 20-40 per cent of labour work force is trapped as human bridges between applications.”

That presents large opportunities to cut costs, and Automation Anywhere facilitates that, but Shukla emphasized that the idea simply isn’t to use bots to replace humans and reduce labour costs.

“Keep in mind that you cannot shrink your way to greatness,” he emphasized.

“Robotic Process Automation and the digital workforce will impact every industry and every business because it is digital labour,” Shukla stated. “It will change how we live and work. The question is how we can enable you to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Automation Anywhere defines three things as critical to accomplish this – all of which are addressed by a feature in the company’s upcoming software release, which is in beta now.

“First, RPA has to work for anyone, every user in the world,” he said. “That’s the only way to create a lasting impact. Second, it must be available anywhere, on any device. Third, it must work for any size company, from the largest to the smallest.”

To achieve the first objective, of working for any user, Shukla announced a preview of the newest version of the company’s digital workforce platform. It features customized user interfaces based on the three different types of user profile – business users, developers, and IT users. The different interfaces provide for different experiences for the different user types.

The expansion anywhere comes from Automation Anywhere now being available through a Web browser, another feature that is currently in beta.

“Removing friction increases adoption,” Shukla stated. “We are now accessible through a Web browser. This does not mean cloud, but the advantage is that it makes the IP easily accessible to people. That’s a significant shift, which changes your cost of ownership significantly.”

Historically, Automation Anywhere has been primarily an on-prem solution. The expansion of Automation Anywhere downmarket will be facilitated by putting the company’s AI-driven software bots in the cloud. While Automation Anywhere bots have been accessible in the cloud through IBM, and now though the Oracle Integration Cloud, in an integration announced at Imagine. This one will however, be Automation Anywhere’s own cloud.

“With this, we are delivering a completely cloud-based solution, with our Intelligent Automation Cloud,” Shukla said. “As a category leader, we are taking a bold step. This is the world’s first intelligent automation cloud – a completely cloud-deployed RPA.”

This will expand Automation Anywhere to smaller customers, and smaller deployments within the enterprise.

“For big enterprises, many workloads will always run behind a firewall, but for midsize organizations and and the branch, cloud offers an easy way to get started with RPA,” Shukla emphasized.

Breadth is also assisted by the fact that their product is now available in eight different interfaces and 190 different languages.

“What does all of this mean for you,” Shukla asked the audience. “Our job is to make sure we create as solution flexible enough to meet your specific needs. You shouldn’t have to compromise.” He emphasized that they should be able to satisfy a midsize company looking to automate two processes by helping them get started on a cloud, as well as a Global 2000 company looking to build hundreds or even thousands of bots.

“Automation delivered to anyone, anywhere – this is the future,” he concluded. “40 to 70 per cent of the work force is used like robots. That must change! We must give more power to people so they can reach a new level of productivity.”

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