Lenore Kerrigan, head of sales at UiPath SA.

Lenore Kerrigan, head of sales at UiPath SA.

After recently establishing an office in SA, enterprise robotic process automation (RPA) company UiPath plans to leverage strategic opportunities to strength relationships with local partners and engage with the business community.

This was the word from Lenore Kerrigan, head of sales at UiPath SA, speaking to ITWeb on the side-lines of ITWeb BPM and Automation Summit 2019, in Johannesburg yesterday.

Outlining the New York-headquartered company's local strategy, Kerrigan explained that UiPath seeks to help local cross-sector organisations facilitate the repetitive and tedious everyday tasks within their business processes, through its automated software offerings.

"Our local launch in November is part of an international strategy called ‘glocal', which speaks to being firmly established locally, while maintaining a strong global presence. The South African market is ripe for RPA, and we've already managed interesting automation deployments with local customers and partners.

"We are working alongside ambitious partners which consist of advisory companies, business process outsourcing firms, system integrators and managed service providers.

"This list includes Larc AI, Datora, Cornastone, DVT, Accenture, PWC, Deloitte and EY, who help us to increase customer and employee satisfaction, through ensuring successful implementation of RPA projects, better positioning clients for the fourth industrial revolution."

The Johannesburg-based office has a team of nine full-time employees, with Kerrigan being recently appointed. She is tasked with the responsibility of managing and growing the local customer base and partner ecosystem.

According to research firm Markets & Markets, the global RPA market is estimated to be worth $2 467 million by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 30% between 2017 and 2022. The growth is mainly driven by the ease of business processes provided by RPA, and the convergence of RPA with traditional business process industries, notes the report.

In addition to its RPA products and services, UiPath offers free and open training programmes through its UiPath Academy, which offers online RPA programmes.

"Our mission is to provide free automation training to more than one million students globally in the next three years, through our academic programme. Locally, this will be in accordance with the black economic empowerment programme initiated by government. Our vision goes beyond helping organisations implement RPA solutions, but to train youth for the digital economy, while up-skilling and educating company leaders – this is what distinguishes us from competitors."

Digitising contact centres

Kerrigan explains that while RPA is still in its early stages in SA, the company hopes to disrupt the local contact centre industry by revolutionising the daily operations of contact centre agents.

"We have a number of clients within the local contact centre industry but we're finding that most of them are trying to resolve problems through the back office pocess.

"Among the many other typical mistakes made by contact centres is that their departments are working in silos, they treat every caller as the same person, and they don't maximise the use of data to personalise and profile callers."

Through the use of RPA, digital employees enter seamlessly into business processes, improving call centre performance by providing error-free processing, dynamic data management and custom audit options, she noted.

"Current contact centre agents work with multiple systems, and the customers are constantly getting transferred from pillar to post. We envision creating the contact centre agent of the future, where a bot will be working alongside the agent, providing the agent with all the information they need in a fraction of the time, which will dramatically enhance the customer experience."