9 exclusive insights from the UiPath MVP EMEA Summit in Bucharest
Ebert KnolSenior Manager
Finally….. at the end of May 2022 it was time for the very 1st regional EMEA MVP Summit, organized by the UiPath Community team. This means: all UiPath MVP award winners from the Europe, Middle-East and Africa regions were invited for a 3-days summit in Bucharest. By the way: MVP stands for Most Valuable Professional, not to confuse with a Minimum Viable Product. The title is awarded to top UiPath community contributors who are making impact. More about this award.
UiPath MVP: 2 times in a row
It’s a privilege to have been named UiPath MVP for 2 years in a row now. And to get the opportunity to visit the former UiPath HQ, meet many UiPath Product Managers and talk to fellow MVP’s from the entire EMEA region. This didn’t only inspire and boost my community-energy, but also provided some great insights.
What I’ve learned from the UiPath MVP summit
As I don’t want to hold the privilege of these insights to myself, please find 9 exclusive insights from this Summit below. Use them to get inspired, grow your business and build the UiPath Community together!
1. Started small? It’s time to think big!
One of the key insights I’ve gained is the “trap” of thinking too small about the opportunities of intelligent automation. Although RPA is becoming more mature, the technology is still “hot”. At the same time, there still is a lot of unawareness about RPA. Which means that for some management teams, there is a need to prove how RPA works for being able to explore the potential. Lucky you, RPA has a very low entry barrier. You select an easy process, build an automation with free licenses and off you go. You’ve proved that software robots can help your own organization. But what’s next? Either building some automations step by step, starting with the low-hanging fruit. Or: starting a large-scale automation program to digitally transform the entire organization. Unfortunately, it’s often the first scenario… Thus: started small? Time to think big!
2. From 4 to 24 products in only 3 years’ time: how to keep up?
Have you noticed?! In only 3 years’ time, the UiPath Product portfolio grew from 4 products (Studio, Orchestrator, Attended and Unattended Robots) to an end-to-end automation platform with 24 products. These products are designed to help you with automation. To maximize the potential of software robots. But with such a high pace, it’s difficult to keep up. Where to find the time to explore the potential of these products and how to deploy them? Don’t worry: you’re not alone in this. A lot of MVPs mentioned this during the summit. You can’t be an expert in everything. But you cán learn from one another. So make sure you join one of the Community Chapters, reach out to a business partner or free some time to follow relevant UiPath Academy courses.
3. The UiPath license structure isn’t as bad as you might think it is
During the very first feedback round, a lot of MVP’s mentioned they had some difficulty with the licensing structure. It appeared this was mostly caused by the 2 major changes in the past 3 years. On the 2nd day, we had a separate session on this topic with a very clear explanation on the logic behind this structure. For UiPath it was also a challenge how to deal with 24 products, serving both small and large customers. Flex pricing helped to have just one price for on-premise and Cloud. UiPath is also looking into some options for “pay per use”, e.g. for using UiPath Apps (which would help a lot!). Check out the UiPath Licensing overview for more information.
4. UiPath’s Academic Alliance Program is amazingly successful, but many people don’t know about it
We had a great presentation from Vladimir Deliu, Program Director of the Academic Alliance. This program addresses the increasing shortage of RPA Professionals, and provides free licenses, course materials and certification discounts to educational institutions. Some key figures about this program (June, 2022):
- 900+ institutions in 72 countries
- 372k students educated
- 48.000+ students employed
- 2.200+ educators teaching
Vladimir mentioned that “Tacstone rocks” in the Netherlands, which we do. We provided 25+ guest lectures in the past years, educated IT teachers and helped institutions sign-up for this program.
5. Citizen Developers… Yes, it’s actually coming!
Although there are quite some successful examples of Citizen Developer Programs, we haven’t seen them that much in the Netherlands. But, be prepared… Studio Web is coming! This is a browser-based automation tool, for users who want to automate processes in online applications. It’s a new entry point for the Studio Family, besides Studio, StudioPro and StudioX. Also referred to as cross-platform, which is something you’ll be hearing more often. This means you can go from Web to Desktop. What makes it so revolutionary? There are no downloads, installations or updates needed. You can just start-off! This means “game on” in competing with Microsoft Power Automate. And a very low barrier to start with Citizen Development.
6. Increasing shortage of certified UiPath Developers.. how to move forward?
Both for UiPath business partners and end-customers, the recruitment of RPA Developers is a huge challenge. Most of the MVP’s recognized this. This is one of the reasons why we’re seeing more and more consolidation in the market. Larger IT or consulting firms acquiring smaller “RPA companies”, or boutique firms raising funding to grow even faster. For end-customers there’s an even bigger challenge than recruitment, meaning: retaining their experienced RPA Developers. This even causes some organizations to stop with recruitment, and start working together with business partners. My biggest takeaway? Make sure that you don’t become dependent on the initial RPA Developers of your automations. Make them robust, stable and create documentation for maintenance.
7. UiPath Document Understanding & UiPath Test Management have the most untapped potential
On the 3rd day, we had the great opportunity to talk with Renzo Taal, Senior VP and Managing Director EMEA. He expressed his gratitude towards the MVPs for their contribution in the community. I got the opportunity to ask: “Which UiPath products do you think have the most untapped potential?” He immediately responded: UiPath Document Understanding and UiPath Test Manager. And I totally agree. There are still so many use-cases in which people have to deal with unstructured and semi-structured data. AI Forms is on the rise, and definitely something to check out. And when it comes to Testing: this is where software robots are born for. Easy, repetitive tasks with a lot of opportunities for reusability. So if you haven’t looked into this area, please do so.
PS make sure you start using UiPath Task Capture for creating testing/ process documentation. It has many cool and new functionalities and saves you tons of time.
8. Earn Money with the monetization of the UiPath Marketplace
UiPath Marketplace has been out there for quite a while. Whereas it first also served as a community place, it’s now becoming more of a professional App Store for reusable pieces of code. All listings are now categorized in 2 different types: products and business solutions. Products are basically custom activities, and business solutions are end-to-end automation solutions relevant for certain industry verticals. At this time (June, 2022) there are 1.491 listings available of which 1.406 listings for Studio. It is expected that more listings will become available for products such as Apps, AI Center and Assistant. Want to become a vendor? Read the Vendor FAQ and sign-up!
Interested in the listings? Check out the collections Studio ‘Best Of’ Activities, Ready-to-go automations for UiPath Assistant or any of the application collections (e.g. SAP, ServiceNow or Outlook).
9. What else? Tons of product innovations
Last but not least, there are a lot of new product innovations that you should know of. As there are so many, I’ll probably be missing some of them. But here you go, some new functionalities or releases that are coming:
- Semantic automation, which results in faster development, enhanced reliability and more power for users. For example: Clipboard AI is coming, which helps business user to transfer data between documents, spreadsheets and apps;
- Robots Auto Healing, a workflow based solution to minimize Robot downtimes
- Robot live streaming and recording, to help Developers in debugging and troubleshooting
- Migration tool: classic to modern robots
- UiPath Conversion Tool, to convert workflows for using another browser
- Assisted Migration from Classic to Modern folders with the Orchestrator Manager
- UiPath CI/CD and Source Control as part of Automation Ops in the Automation Cloud, for improving the code review experience and moving automations to other environments
- Improvements in the Workflow Analyzer, which you must include in your standard Code Review checklist
I hope these insights have given you some new ideas. As described above, the pace of new UiPath products and functionalities is (sky)high. There are still plenty of opportunities in the emerging field of intelligent automation, and I think we’re still sitting on the top of the iceberg. Although there’s still a lot of low-hanging fruit, we should keep ourselves up-to-date about the latest developments. Make sure you know a tiny bit of everything, and choose your battles for the topics to invest time in. Engage with a local UiPath Community Chapter, attend the UiPath LTS events and make use of the knowledge of your business partner. So you can remain or become a frontrunner, and build amazing automations.
Thanks again to UiPath Community team for organizing the UiPath EMEA MVP Summit and all the UiPath employees who contributed to it.