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AiThority Interview with Dhruv Asher, SVP of Business Development and Product Alliances at UiPath

Tell us about your role and the team / technology you handle at UiPath? How did you arrive here?

My role is to lead the world-class technology alliances team at UiPath. We build, market and sell with our key strategic partners (AWS, Microsoft, ServiceNow and Workday) and help to fill product gaps via Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) and other business models. We have also built an open ecosystem where we make it easy for Independent Software Vendors (ISV) to integrate with us and publish on the UiPath Marketplace. The goal for the team is to put customers at the center and innovate around them.

After spending 13 years in various business, corporate development and finance roles at Microsoft, I felt it was time to join a company that could benefit from my experience and leadership. I had worked previously with Param Kahlon, Chief Product Officer at UiPath, who introduced me to UiPath CEO Daniel Dines. Immediately, I noticed his passion and vision and we discussed how I could help UiPath grow on its journey. I was so inspired that I called Param to say that I wanted to start right away. This happened three years ago, and I never looked back.

Could you tell us how UiPath has evolved in the robotic process automation industry since its inception?

Back in 2005, we were a 10-person company that started out by outsourcing automation libraries and software to our customers. In 2015, we started focusing all of our efforts and resources towards building the UiPath Platform for automation and turning it into the automation tool of choice for companies across all sectors and for public sector organisations everywhere.

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How does your recent collaboration with ServiceNow signify your prowess as a top innovator and service provider in the Enterprise Automation industry?

When we innovate via our partnerships, such as that with ServiceNow, we do it with a view to improve our customers’ experiences using the UiPath Platform by removing barriers to systems and speeding up the creation of automations. Our customers’ ability to do more with RPA and stretch their imagination of what can be achieved with automation is our driving obsession.

To achieve this, we always look for ways to innovate on top of the complete enterprise technology stack a customer might have and may include SAP, Workday, Salesforce and ServiceNow, to name just a few. The UiPath Test Manager Connector for ServiceNow and our newly released SAP accelerators are notable examples of innovations that can help our customers speed up implementation cycles and deliver robust automations on their enterprise technology stack.

How would your partnership with ServiceNow jointly benefit your customers?

Many of our customers use ServiceNow together with complementary enterprise technologies and there is a strong appetite to easily automate workflows across these systems. With our vetted and certified integrations with ServiceNow, our customers benefit by being able to easily use multiple technologies, including ServiceNow, together to automate manual tasks, especially where no APIs exist or where APIs are difficult to use. With the latest integration our customers can extend their ServiceNow testing projects to include automated testing for RPA and multi-system apps.

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Tell us more about the kind of technology maturity an organization needs to fully adapt EA tools / platform? How do you enable your customers in the adoption cycle?

You can start building workflow automations very quickly by focusing on small, individual tasks that consume significant time in most people’s days. However, to get the full benefit of automation, it’s important to think at the business process level. Enterprise Automation works best with clearly defined business processes that interact with your technology stack. A common challenge occurs when one comes across business processes that developed organically and are not fully documented and are perhaps inefficient. This is normal and to answer these challenges, UiPath makes it easy for users to identify automation opportunities using powerful tools like process mining, task mining and the UiPath Automation Hub.  

Your predictions on the future of EA in IT and Cloud modernization processes? How do you see AI /Machine Learning Ops and serverless environment influencing adoption rate of EA platforms in the future?

Enterprise Automation is already a catalyst for cloud migration and digital transformation and this trend will continue to accelerate as organisations look for ways to embrace change and become more agile. EA also makes a multi-cloud strategy possible by eliminating much of the complex code needed to orchestrate basic operations across different programming models.

 Productivity is actually a critical enabler of meaningful transformation, and automating manual processes is the fastest way to achieve this. As for AI and machine learning, they become interconnected into business processes with an enterprise automation platform and able to handle more complex tasks like understanding documents or mining logs to identify risk. As companies embrace smarter approaches to their operations and business applications, AI/ML and serverless computing will create more demand for automation – acting as the glue that ties together these nodes in a network of ever-smarter systems.

Do you have any advice to CIO and CISO looking to buy / secure IT infrastructure?

Specific to automation, it is critical that executives prioritize security and governance when assessing their options. Risk increases when robots are deployed in an insecure environment or when admins do not have full visibility into robotic operations, so any enterprise-grade automation platform will seamlessly integrate security and governance into its design. It is certainly an area where UiPath has invested heavily over the years and will continue to do so.

For more general security and compliance, enterprise automation robots are great for implementing corporate policies. They do not make mistakes and never stop working, so escalations are fast and immediate when a risk condition is detected. I would recommend looking at all options when it comes to creating a more reliable, secure IT environment as this is also an area that is rapidly evolving.

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Thank you, Dhruv! That was fun and we hope to see you back on soon.

Dhruv Asher is Senior Vice President for Alliances and Business Development at UiPath. Dhruv started at UiPath in June of 2018 and is currently based in the Greater Seattle Area.

UiPath has a vision to deliver the Fully Automated Enterprise, one where companies use automation to unlock their greatest potential. UiPath offers an end-to-end platform for automation, combining the leading Robotic Process Automation (RPA) solution with a full suite of capabilities that enable every organisation to rapidly scale digital business operations.

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