High off Automation Anywhere’s Imagine Conference a couple of weeks ago, we received an invitation to Blue Prism World (BPW), and we thought it was only fair to recap events and put our spin on it!
Prior to this event, we had heard many murmurings from other vendors / partners about Blue Prism’s offering not stacking up, and that all of the people at BPW would be current customers, all patting themselves on the back. This couldn’t have been further from the truth! With a plethora of new customers, the partners exhibiting were spoilt for choice, and we were happy to see our clients enjoying the opportunity to have so many new prospects in one place.
When receiving our invitation, we knew that we would only be able to attend one day, as we are so busy at the moment, and that brought the first dilemma, which day to choose? The first day was more focused on partners but had the address from the CEO, Alastair Bathgate, the Keynote from LastMinute.com founder Martha Lane Fox and new product announcements from the CTO David Moss. Day two was more focused on end users and customers, with three different sessions focused on three different tracks: Connect, Discover, and Create. Connect focusing on business leaders, Discover taking a deep dive into the product and Create more focused on hands on advice. While both were equally attractive, we decided to go to the first day, to get the full experience that Blue Prism World had to offer (The cocktail reception on the first day might have been a factor also!).
The sessions in the first half of the day were restricted to partners only, talking about strategy for the next year ahead and handing out the coveted partner awards. This gave us ample opportunity to speak to our clients and prospective Blue Prism customers about their plans for the year ahead and what they hoped to get from the event. Many new customers were hoping to get an understanding of best practice and to find out the specific nuances about what makes Blue Prism different from the other options on the market.
After an insightful morning and great lunch, it was then on to the main event, we were ushered across the hall to a different event space that was set up like Beyoncé was about to perform rather than an opening speech from a tech CEO. Alastair’s address was brief and to the point, addressing many people’s concerns about RPA taking jobs, and he assured us that whilst certain roles were being eliminated, “a shifting of work is occurring, not a loss of work”. The picture below shows a number of shifts over the past 140 years, but jobs roles in that time, have definitely not reduced.
We were then treated to an opening Keynote from Martha Lane Fox, who in her twenties took a leap of faith and started lastminute.com. One thing that really stuck with me was how when they couldn’t receive the funding they had initially planned – due to her gender – this did not stop them moving forward, but just encouraged them to be more successful. Martha now spends her time advising a number of large corporate companies and helps run a think tank – DotEveryone which is focused on making technology more accessible and responsible – thinking about its effect on society – very appropriate for RPA! Then a brief case study from Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) which was focused on the importance of both technical divisions and operations working in harmony. It was reassuring to see that their focus on
After a brief interlude, we were then introduced to CTO David Moss, who proceeded to introduce additions to the Blue Prism platform. The most exciting of these was definitely “Decipher” which adds AI Powered processing into the platform. This will give Blue Prism the ability to scan invoices, identify and extract data points and then action the results. This is a big deal for Blue Prism, and means that customers will not need to rely as heavily on partner extensions to the product. Blue Prism also announced an upgrade of DX their Digital Exchange Marketplace, where anyone can add their own extensions for the benefit of everyone. Blue Prism also announced new integration with Google Analytics, giving further insight into the usage of their product.
After this were two really thought provoking panel discussions regarding the future of work and best processes for scaling RPA practices, you could see these had a real effect on prospective and current customers to give them a reality check about whether what they were doing was the best way to build an automation practice.
The final event before the Blue Prism Party was the long-awaited Blue Prism awards, these included Innovation Excellence, Rookie of the Year and Long-Standing Innovation – list of winners below.
- Innovation Excellence – Arla Foods
- Value Driver Excellence – Lloyds Banking Group
- Long Standing Innovation – Nokia
- ROM Excellence – Lloyds Banking Group
- Rookie of the Year – The University of Sydney
- People’s Choice – Jaguar Land Rover
One thing that does show how new this space is, is that when referring to long standing customers, Blue Prism are mentioning customers who have been working with them for 2 years, where in more established technology spaces, these would be considered “rookies”.
After this was the Blue Prism Party, whilst, to be honest, my memory of this part is a bit more blurry, I do remember that a good time was had by all and the networking went well into the early hours. I am glad that I didn’t have to turn up at 8:00 am the next morning, and I have a lot of respect for the partners who had to do so, with as much enthusiasm as the first day. All in all, this was an event not to be missed, something which will become a recurring event in Edge Tech’s event calendar and offered great learning and networking opportunities for all. Safe to say we are already looking forward to next years!
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