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Surviving The Robot Aftermath?

Last week the RPA Academy interviewed Harrison Goode, co-founder of Edge Tech Headhunters where we discussed the state of the robot job market. See the full video here

There were some terrific questions from the audience, including which products are most in-demand, where are the most opportunities and which industries have the greatest levels of adoption (see the webinar here). Then came the question...

"There are talks that RPA is dying... How many years you see RPA going strong?"

Oh dear, I love HfS but their 'RPA is dead' story simply refuses to die. Ironic really, especially since the main point of the article was in fact that intelligent automation platforms (the combination of RPA, Machine Learning and Analytics) was significantly expanding the number of processes now suitable for automation.

RPA is here to stay for a good while yet, the expanding ecosystem of new AI capabilities is adding new opportunities previously not possible with RPA alone. I do wish people would read beyond the headline, no matter how catchy it is.

On the topic of the ever-expanding ecosystem of AI capabilities, I'm excited to announce that our next Webinar will be held on 16th July and is with Celaton, a leading provider of Machine Learning directly into business. We'll find out more about the capabilities now possible to solve business problems. Sign Up Here.

Gartner claim that the RPA Software Market grew by 63% in 2018, so we're not facing the RPA Apocalypse anytime soon, but there is a need to understand more than just RPA, but also the growing list of solution providers who have found the opportunities to extend the capabilities of RPA and solve a wider range of business problems.

We have recently completed 6 weeks of Automation Anywhere training and 2 weeks of Blue Prism training for our customers. If you looking to grow your skills internally then we can provide the capabilities and support you need, accelerating your delivery path. Contact us here for more information.

Knowledge as a Service, Learning as a Skill

This week, we have been promoting our new subscription service:  RPA Unlimited. Providing unlimited access to our curriculum of RPA technical and business skills for $349/month. Training has evolved, it's now knowledge as a service.

Having a groundbreaking new service is one thing, but it's actually only half of a broader equation. Accessing continuous learning is really a state of mind, a receptiveness to new information.  

Students need to learn how to learn continuously, exercising their skills across increasingly broader domains. During the design of our RPA Unlimited service, we considered whether to specialise along the lines of specific technologies. It became very clear though that many RPA developers (who have the right mindset) are skilled in multiple disciplines. This influenced our final decision to provide access to the whole curriculum and continuously grow that curriculum to meet the demands of our community.

Knowledge is a service, Learning is a skill. Students who continuously challenge themselves to learn more will be in greater demand, learn faster, innovate more and stand out from the specialists by provides broader understanding over remembering facts.

For businesses or individuals, our RPA Unlimited Service provides:

  • Blue Prism Foundation

  • Automation Anywhere Basic and Advanced

  • UiPath Foundation and Advanced

  • RPA Knowledge for Analysts, Project Managers and Exec

Check Out Next Weeks classes ↓↓

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Edward Brooks
Founder of The RPA Academy

Bridging a Gap or Leaping the Chasm?

Last week the London RPA and AI meetup gathered together representatives from Automation Anywhere, Accenture and IBM to discuss how to bridge the gap from RPA to AI.

The collective experience of the panel immediately challenged that back-office automation is simply going too slow, giving examples of industrial robots with automation capabilities being around for over 30 years, why is RPA moving so slowly?

Another view cited consumer AI, where products like Alexa have become commonplace and the use of AI in our shopping, smartphones, or TV viewing is prevalent. If AI has moved so quickly at how, why is it so difficult for businesses to move at a similar pace?

Answers and excuses came thick and fast...some thought it was ignorance of the opportunity provided by RPA and AI, the misguided belief that automation was only for large businesses and doesn't apply to SMB's. Other cited change fatigue and no energy to look at another wave of technology change. All agreed that getting started was easy, but scaling up and sustaining the program is difficult.

The panel all agreed that the technology is mature, affordable and capable, whatever your needs, but warned that the technology alone will not solve your problems. Without a doubt, the new wave of Intelligent Automation (RPA + AI) is providing digital transformation opportunities for businesses but the success of these programs relies on the people and processes, not the technology.  

Processes need to be reimagined, the nature of work changed and this requires forward thinking skills not just technological ones. The panel referenced a study that suggested that 80% of the value of RPA came from businesses being forced to review and optimize their legacy processes!  

For many, this is not a gap to be bridged, but an impossible chasm to leap, but if businesses wait too long to start they will now be left in the dust.

If you're wondering where to begin with RPA, then check out our RPA Unlimited offer which provides both business and technical skills.


Rob King
VP Product at The RPA Academy

The World of Connected RPA

Blue Prism World arrived in London last week and it was big! Really BIG! Claiming almost 3000 attendees at its peak, the two-day conference was undoubtedly the largest RPA event Europe has hosted so far.
The morning of day 1 focused on partners, providing advance information and a partner-only awards ceremony. The theme of connected-RPA is just another way of describing the growing importance of the partner ecosystem providing tailored capabilities not included in the core platform. Here are some of the highlights from across the two days:

The digital exchange (dx) which provides an open library of shared modules (or skills) features prominently at the centre of the growing community with plans to open it up app-store like in order for developers to sell their work.  

A new browser-based interface really gave the whole thing a new polish, and an updated architecture which now facilitates a centralized view of multiple environments is a welcome step for global operations.  

BP Decipher was announced, providing a new ML engine to convert unstructured data into structured, an overdue addition to the portfolio that disappointingly concluded with the reality that the product was still in development and an invitation to join the invoice processing trial would be coming soon.

A new Success Accelerator program has been soft-launched to help customers overcome the hurdles in scaling up and share good practices. This is a great step, but reading between the lines, it’s also a step to make sure customers stay in the fold and don’t stray to competitors. The market is getting tough and looking after existing customers is a positive step.

The announcement of a cloud-based trial version was a bit of a let down with many in the audience looking for a simpler set up for customers interested in dabbling for themselves that was more similar to community editions provided by other vendors. It's not entirely a surprise that they didn't go quite that far but we can dream.

In the end, it all comes back to the partners and the ecosystem, connected-RPA linked together almost every presentation, and it’s clear the future developments are going to come from the combination of core RPA and partner capabilities.

If you’re interested in learning more about the ecosystem look out for upcoming webinars as we introduce ecosystem training into our core curriculum. The RPA Academy is an accredited Blue Prism Training Partner; we continue to provide flexible, tailored and innovative approaches to learning. Check out The Beacons, for cost-effective training when you need it or contact the team to tailor an on-site course to your specific needs.

As Blue Prism would say: "Automate Together, Automate Better, Automate More"

Training is least likely to help those most in need

The World Economic Forum emphasizes that it is crucial for employers to support their current workforces by training in order to address the skills gap.

Employers indicate that they are set to prioritize and focus their reskilling and upskilling efforts on employees currently performing high-value roles as a way of strengthening their enterprise’s strategic capacity, stating they intend to target employees in key roles and in frontline roles which will be using relevant new technologies.

Furthermore, 41% of employers are set to focus their reskilling provision on high-performing employees while a much smaller proportion of 33% stated that they would prioritize at-risk employees in roles expected to be most In other words, those most in need of reskilling and upskilling are least likely to receive such training.

See The Work Economic Forum: The Future of Jobs (http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Future_of_Jobs_2018.pdf) for more information.