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PwC and UiPath – helping drive the future of automation

By Sarah Firisen, UiPath-PwC Global Alliance Lead | Published: December 8, 2021 | Read time: 6 minutes

Fall 2021 has been an exciting time for the relationship between PwC and UiPath.

UiPath named PwC a Global Innovation Partner of the Year.

Our leaders spoke together on the UiPath FORWARD IV stage, and we joined forces to tell the story of how we helped Spotify grow a team of citizen developers to use robotic process automation (RPA) to drive more efficiencies. We wanted to take a moment and celebrate these moments and what our combined teams’ efforts have helped others accomplish through upskilling, automation and process intelligence.

Generating ROI with RPA 

On October 5, UiPath hosted FORWARD IV at the Bellagio in Las Vegas where business leaders shared their visions of what automation can—and will—do for the enterprise. 

PwC’s Intelligent Automation Leader, Kevin Kroen, teamed up with Amazon’s Assistant Treasurer and Head of Technology, Jonathan Finch, for, Unlock the Power of Your People: How a Human-Led, Tech-Powered Approach Delivers ROI. This fireside chat recounted how PwC and Amazon collaborated to help Amazon’s finance function automate over 12,000 hours of work leveraging UiPath’s RPA. In the process, they harnessed the value of their cultures of inclusion.

They also empowered Amazon’s people to automate repetitive tasks, which then freed up time to add the human touch of strategic thinking to address future business needs. Amazon was able to put wins on the board early and often while they cultivated relevant digital skills and generated notable ROI in their finance function.

Digital upskilling provides future career paths

Kroen also sat down with Bettina Koblick, UiPath Chief People Officer for an interview with theCUBE to discuss how UiPath and PwC have both lent their experience and digital acumen to help each other’s upskilling efforts. The UiPath Automation platform was a part of PwC’s digital upskilling journey. Citizen-led automation initiatives put powerful tools in the hands of the people closest to the firm’s everyday business challenges.

PwC’s ProEdge—an upskilling and citizen-led innovation platform—is now helping UiPath deliver function-specific experiential learning to its employees. They started using it with their finance function and plan to take it to sales enablement and HR. Within two years, Koblick feels they’ll be implementing ProEdge enterprise-wide.

Teaching non-technologists how to use tools like robotic process automation is going to be a critical must-have skill of the future.

- Kevin Kroen, PwC’s Intelligent Automation Leader

ProEdge focuses on, “identifying the skills needed for the future, teaching those skills and helping to scale the usage of those skills in the organization,” said Kroen. “One of the tools needed to teach those key skills is UiPath. Teaching non-technologists how to use tools like robotic process automation is going to be a critical must-have skill of the future.” 

Kroen and Koblick both expressed how upskilling is a way companies show their people they’re invested in them. “How do we develop all our people? It’s an overwhelming task,” said Koblick. “Studies show that what people really want is a future at work, and this is what I think ProEdge addresses beautifully.”

The convergence of automation and process expertise

Another dynamic FORWARD IV teaming came from Ryan Mac Ban, SVP of Growth Sales at UiPath and PwC’s Michael Engel, Intelligent Automation & Process Intelligence Leader. They discussed how process intelligence is radically shrinking the timeline for ROI by combining the best of automation and process excellence.

Process and task mining can lay the foundation that unlocks the benefits of automation. These aspects of process intelligence help businesses pinpoint where automation can increase ROI by providing a kind of x-ray of how people and machines within their organizations actually get work done.

Both Engel and Mac Ban agreed that people need to have automation skills so they can push repetitive tasks off their plate and focus on tasks that require higher order thinking. Automation is most effective when you can get the most difficult part of automating accomplished with accuracy—and that’s identifying opportunities for automation in the first place.

“We went down the RPA path and got a lot of excitement and a lot of impact,” said Engel. “But if you really want to drive value more broadly, it’s got to start with process intelligence.” Mac Ban agreed and extolled the benefits of process intelligence across the enterprise: “It starts with data, but more importantly, process. We need to focus on processes and where we can actually deliver automation, so it’s not just about getting insights. It’s about moving from insights to actionable next steps.”

The future of process mining will change career trajectories. “We’re seeing new roles emerge, like automation solution architects, to deliver the value of recombinant innovation rather than building from scratch,” said Engel. “That’s what’s possible now with these low-code, no-code solutions.” Mac Ban has witnessed this across multiple organizations. “You have somebody who is potentially a process expert but then also somebody who understands automations,” he said. “It’s the convergence of those two that delivers the most value.”

Spotify’s RPA success story

Sidney Madison Prescott, Spotify’s Global Intelligence Automation Leader, also presented at Forward IV, having previously teamed up with PwC’s Kevin Kroen at the UiPath Reboot Work Festival to talk about citizen developers and Spotify’s RPA journey.  

Spotify is no stranger to RPA, having experimented with the tech in 2017 for their Treasury processes. Two years later, when their cross-functional workshop was looking for a scalable platform that would enable citizen-led innovation, they chose UiPath. Spotify’s Center of Excellence produces robust, enterprise-led automations. Now, after upskilling their people in other functions, like accounting, Spotify has cultivated a pool of citizen developers who can build their own automations to streamline very specific tasks. 

"We have been able to build out some pretty incredible data visualizations and dashboards to show how much time and business value we are giving back to the business," said Prescott. And they’re seeing significant ROI, indeed. It’s not only about time saved and improved accuracy—they’ve seen increases in employee availability and satisfaction. 

When you invest in your people with citizen-led programs, it can make them feel empowered. This can translate to wins in customer engagement as well. "Spotify's decision to expand their program to scale citizen-led automation was an important strategic choice,” said Kroen.  “It allowed them to engage business users in a more hands-on manner and put more implementation wins on the board, which then furthered organizational buy-in behind their enterprise efforts. We see too many clients struggle to gain the right momentum when their output is constrained by their own centralized resources.” 

Global Innovation Partner of the Year

One of the highlights of the FORWARD IV event was the presentation of the UiPath 2021 Partner Awards. UiPath recognized PwC with a Global Innovation Partner of the Year award for developing and taking to market new products and solutions built around the UiPath platform. This demonstrates the firm’s commitment to enable new ways of working for our customers and partners by helping them innovate with automation.

“UiPath is a partner-first organization, and our ecosystem is growing rapidly as partners recognize the expansive opportunities in front of them with automation,” said Eddie O’Brien, Global Channel Chief at UiPath. “We’re thrilled to acknowledge our 2021 Partner Award winners for the expertise and commitment they consistently bring to market in order to help customers reimagine work.”

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