The Computer Weekly Developer Network (CWDN) team is off to Las Vegas for UiPath FORWARD III 2019 to gorge on all things RPA.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA)… or sometimes intelligent Robotic Process Automation (iRPA) with its ‘on-trend’ lower caps i for coolness is without question one of the warmest (if not hottest) topics in technology at this closing point in the decade.
UiPath is a New York-headquartered RPA specialist with its roots in Bucharest, Romania.
As defined by TechTarget, RPA today is defined as the use of software with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) capabilities to handle high-volume, repeatable tasks that previously required humans to perform.
These tasks can include queries, calculations and maintenance of records and transactions. At its most basic level, RPA is sometimes likened to ‘screen scraping’ to simply ‘ape’ the actions of human users… but iRPA goes somewhat further than that.
The company describes UiPath FORWARD III 2019 as the first-ever global event for the RPA community – and the event itself is held at the Bellagio in Las Vegas from October 15-16, 2019.
Automation first: reboot work
Expected to attract more than 3,000 RPA experts, customers, partners RPA enthusiasts, the event theme hinges around the promise and practice of ‘automation first’ to liberate people from dull, mundane work. Hence the conference theme: “Reboot Work”.
Keynotes will include chief product officer Param Kahlon on UiPath Platform Innovation and Roadmap. This is all about how to use RPA to ‘drive operational scale’ and Kahlon will demonstrate robots learning new AI skills at first hand.
Attendees will also hear neuroscientist technologist David Eagleman speak on Work’s Effects on the Brain. Forrester’s Craig Le Clair will speak on Making Work Work for Everyone: a session which looks at RPA adoption, best practices and what steps practitioners need to take today to ensure that no one is left behind in a world of automation and AI.
UiPath CEO Daniel Dines will speak on Why the Time is Now to Reboot Work: Dines will explore the evolving relationship between human and robots, driving faster productivity, freeing people to better their lives and achieving what he calls ‘breakthrough scale’.
“FORWARD III serves as the center of gravity in the RPA world, an annual event gathering the visionaries and groundbreakers who are moving the fourth Industrial Revolution forward,” said Dines. “FORWARD is not about UiPath. It’s about how RPA and AI together can help organizations reboot work. We’re thrilled to host, for the first time ever, our global community in one place to learn from each other and usher in the Automation First era.”
Customer presentations include sessions by Amazon, Chevron and Uber, plus also Autodesk, AXA UK, Bayview Asset Management, Cision, Ericsson, Equifax, GE Power, Morgan Stanley, Next Era Energy, Nielsen, Pandora, Swiss Re, UnitedHealth Group, VMware, Walmart and Wells Fargo.
RPA, but RPA at scale
It seems clear that this event isn’t just about RPA, it’s about RPA at scale. As such the sessions gravitate towards the challenge of creating an ‘automation first’ culture in an enterprise of 100,000 or more globally distributed employees.
According to session notes from UiPath, “Going beyond an initial implementation of RPA requires two things: First, a scientific, data-driven approach to determine the best processes to kick off [an] automation journey. Second, a way to accurately measure not only the performance of [an] RPA implementation but how that implementation drives strategic business outcomes.”
For all that automation, UiPath still uses Roman Numerals to denote Forward III as its third gathering of this kind… so automation is changing the world, but one, two or three things do still stay the same.