Founded 2005 | HQ New York, NY | 4,000 employees | $925M annual recurring revenue
UiPath has come a long way in a relatively short time. It first rode the enormous wave of enthusiasm for RPA, and as that wave has settled, the company has been leveraging its considerable resources to build a future-proof automation platform. Our analysis tells us it has done a good job so far.
UiPath was founded in Romania in 2005 and was one of the first robotic process automation (RPA) technology vendors. Founder Daniel Dines led the company until April 2022, when he was joined by co-CEO Robert Enslin, a former Google Cloud and SAP executive. UiPath is headquartered in New York and has traded on the New York Stock Exchange since April 2021 (NYSE: PATH). UiPath employs around 4,000 people and has more than 10,000 customers worldwide. As of February 2022, the company had $925 million in annual recurring revenue, growing at an impressive annual growth rate (AGR) of 59%.
Over the past few years, UiPath has been shifting its focus from being a pure-play RPA vendor to providing a broad application and automation platform; that technology shift is the focus of this report.
UiPath’s stated long-term goal is to provide an automation platform to enable a “Fully Automated Enterprise.” It’s an ambitious goal, but the tech stack/platform has certainly provided a solid step toward it. The extensive use of serverless, self-hosted, orchestrated RPA bots is at the core and central to the company. Surrounding those bots and connecting to them are a range of AI modules, from document capture to task mining. Fortunately, the UiPath Automation Platform leverages low-code functionality to program and manage the complex activities.
Diving a bit deeper into the UiPath platform, the core infrastructure is Kubernetes utilizing Longhorn storage. Sitting atop that is the combined UiPath product set, including Document Understanding, AI Center, Orchestration, Task Mining, Automation Hub, etc. The essential addition is the Document Understanding module that the firm has focused on building out over the past couple of years. Document Understanding is essentially intelligent document processing (IDP), incorporating the OCR, NLP, and forms recognition elements common to such systems. It’s what you would use to automate the processing of an invoice or contract (see Figure 1).
It is impressive that UiPath has built most of this functionality itself rather than relying on third-party software. This is not traditional capture functionality; instead, it is modern computer vision (deep learning) oriented capture functionality.
Moreover, it’s not just document capture; it comes complete with the ability to set rules and create templates. Tie this into the automation capabilities that UiPath is known for, and you have a platform that can not only scale but also handle complex workflows. Though there are still situations where a traditional business process management (BPM) toolset will be required, the current UiPath capabilities have come a long way from pure RPA. UiPath can now handle “long workflows” and utilize its orchestration capabilities to manage straight-through processing of complex activities. This makes UiPath at least comparable to the Appian or Salesforce platforms, though it is different in some regards.
Where UiPath aims to differentiate itself, and where it is true to its roots, is in the belief that robots should automate all repetitive tasks – while also recognizing the market reality that such a pervasive approach to automation cannot be undertaken purely at a technical level. Instead, it should be driven and controlled by end users and tied to the employee experience (EX). To achieve that, UiPath has invested heavily in task and process mining by building on its savvy 2019 acquisitions of Process Gold and Step Shot. It has embedded mining capabilities into the platform for:
- Business analysis and process improvement
- Monitoring and ongoing management of processes and activities
Every automation platform ultimately reveals its roots; some are BPM-centric, others API-centric. UiPath’s roots are firmly in the world of RPA, and the automation at scale of repetitive tasks remains their focus. Yet combining RPA with advanced orchestration, task and process mining, and IDP provides a sophisticated, low-code development platform that spans a range from simple task automation to complex process management.
Finally, considering the breadth and depth of the UiPath Platform, its pricing is fair and comparable to its competitors. Buying into the UiPath vision also brings connection and support from a community of more than 2 million users and developers.
UiPath has come a long way in a relatively short time. It first rode the enormous wave of enthusiasm for RPA, and as that wave has settled, the company has been leveraging its considerable resources to build a future-proof automation platform. Our analysis tells us it has done a good job so far, and we like the extensive use of task and process mining technologies to provide insight and control over what can be very complex automation environments.
Advice to Buyers
In our analysis, fewer buyers are looking for multiple pure-play products to stitch together into a business solution; instead, they are looking for all-encompassing single platforms. That being the case, UiPath is a sound option to consider adding to any significant automation-focused shortlist.
- Deep automation capabilities
- Strong brand visibility
- To become the industry’s leading automation platform
- To continue to grow revenues and profitability
- Take a share of growing IDP market
- Expand into process-centric markets such as supply chain
- 10,000 plus customers
- More than 150 clients spending >$1M as of February 2022
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