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65% of SAP Customers Use Automation Technology, According to New Study

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SAP customers leverage RPA to empower employees to focus on higher-value activities and optimize processes

The leading Robotic Process Automation (RPA) company, UiPath, released results of a commissioned study conducted by SAPinsider on behalf of UiPath: Integrating Process Automation and SAP S/4HANA. The study—which surveyed more than 200 SAP customers between May and June—reveals that SAP customers are increasingly deploying automation technologies to fully embrace digital transformation, maximize process efficiency, and create more fulfilling work-life balances.

For the study, SAPinsider surveyed the SAP community across geographies, industries, and company sizes. It found that 65% of SAP customers are currently using automation technology, with 56% using RPA specifically to empower employees to focus on higher-value activities and optimize processes as part of planned S/4HANA migrations. For the EMEA based respondents, representing 35% of the total, the most advanced form of automation already implemented is Machine Learning (32%), closely followed by RPA (31%).  The top three automation objectives for SAP customers are: integrating automation capabilities across both SAP and non-SAP systems (58%), standardizing processes as part of an SAP S/4HANA migration (40%), and configuring and executing software robots to automate processes (RPA) (40%).

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Further, the study found that:
  • Forty-eight percent of respondents use RPA from a third-party vendor and 19% use SAP Intelligent RPA.
  • Overall, finance is the most popular function in which to apply automation (56%), followed by supply-chain (43%) and SAP S/4HANA migrations (39%). For EMEA-based respondents, IT is the most popular function in which to apply automation (52%), followed by finance (44%) and supply-chain (38%).
  • In EMEA, the respondents’ automation strategies are being driven mainly by the imperative of creating more time for employees to focus on value-added tasks (44%) and the need to reduce errors in manual data entry (38%).
  • The top requirements among SAP customers using automation globally are: solution flexibility (82%) and transparency into operational processes and bottlenecks (75%).
  • While in North America RPA is the most prevalent Business Process Management (BMP) technology currently in use, EMEA favors workflow modelling and monitoring tools with RPA following closely.

“RPA and process mining are no longer futuristic technologies for a handful of early adopters and are now widely used enterprise software products. The fact that SAP customers are investing in RPA underscores that businesses recognize that automation has a leg up when it comes to improving the bottom line while driving innovation and empowering employee success. The time to automate is now,” said Dhruv Asher, UiPath Senior Vice President, Business Development. “Our RPA platform makes it easier than ever for SAP customers to accelerate end-to-end hyperautomation.”

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UiPath customers are able to drive stronger ROI for their SAP investments with the UiPath RPA platform by simplifying the connection between SAP and non-SAP applications easily and with fast time to value. UiPath robots handle data entry into SAP’s systems and can connect SAP applications to other enterprise applications in a very flexible and simple manner without the usual tedious integration work. As a result, businesses are becoming more efficient, saving money and keeping employees and customers happy.

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