In the news 1

Today, I'll have a look at various news items in no particular order

March 20, 2021
578 words (3 min read)
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Automation Anywhere + Google Cloud

AA and GCP announced a collaboration to bring RPA more broadly to Google Cloud users. This part in particular seems promising

Automation Anywhere and Google Cloud will jointly develop solutions geared toward industry-specific use cases, with a focus on financial services, supply chains, healthcare and life sciences, telecommunications, retail, and the public sector.

But on the other hand, this also somewhat smells like a pay-for-publicity stunt, because in the next paragraph we read

Additionally, Automation Anywhere will migrate Automation 360, its cloud-native, web-based automation platform to Google Cloud as its primary cloud provider, and will become Google Cloud’s preferred RPA partner.

So — does this mean anything or not? Too early to tell. Announcements like this are often a nothingburger as I also discussed in RPA and Process Mining, but I welcome any effort to make RPA more easily and widely available.

Forrester Wave

I can’t link the full report, but here is the press release from UiPath. Forrester sees UiPath as a clear leader, but the big upset is that BluePrism has dropped out of the leader area and fell down big time on Forrester’s Strategy axis.

Personally, that looks a bit overdone to me. BP seems far more mature to me than PowerAutomate or WorkFusion (haven’t tried EdgeVerve), so I’d say this is a bit unfair. But I do have to admit that BP hasn’t been showing as much development as many of their competitors have, although this could be just marketing dropping the ball a bit.

Power Automate for Free (maybe?)

Microsoft (Power Automate) is the other big surprise in the Forrester Wave. To me the score seems aspirational, but Microsoft has been beefing up their automation platform a lot and, of course, there was the recent announcement that MS is going to bundle PA with Windows 10, and that users will be able to use (parts of) PA for free (maybe?).

The blog post is, unfortunately, very unclear about which parts you can actually use for free. It looks like it’s very limited and only covers citizen developer self-service as they list the following in a paragraph about their paid promo

With this you can enable automations across an organization to share and collaborate across flows

I don’t feel like digging into their license guide for something I’m not gonna use, but I’ll give the current iteration a try one of these days. I’m a Windows user, after all!

UiPath AI Summit

In case you missed it: UiPath held an event about AI recently. Hype! But while everyone claims that they do “intelligent automation”, **customers are — sadly — often disappointed with what transpires in reality when you actually want to implement anything.

There’s some good stuff out there like the Machine Learning extractor for Document Understanding and you may be able to pick some low-hanging fruit in areas like e-mail classification, but for most things AI you’re still gonna need data scientists. And that will not change any time soon, unless someone has a sudden AGI breakthrough.

Wrap-up

Since news digests like this are fairly quick content, but still seem useful, I’m thinking about doing more of it — in more timely, but smaller posts. So stay tuned!


© 2021, Stefan Reutter