UIPath offers a community version of their RPA solution with the ability of building your own robots, and an environment to implement them.
RPA Starter + local tests
I have tried to see how it works. So create an user, download the developer GUI, complete “RPA Starter” course.
The tool is very complete and there are a lot of ways to learn, from the theory to the real situations you want to automate. There are different communities and forums to enable the different roles on automation to interact and learn from others.
The simple tests you can do are easy to perform and check.
The funding series of UIPath
- In August 2015, UiPath closed an initial seed funding round of US$1.6 million led by the Earlybird Venture Capital, with Credo Ventures and Seedcamp as backers.
In April 2017, UiPath received $30 million investment in one of the biggest Series A rounds of funding in Europe, led by Accel. Previous investors Earlybird Venture Capital, Credo Ventures and Seedcamp also joined.
- On March 6, 2018, UiPath received a $153 million investment from Accel, CapitalG, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, valuing the company at $1.1 billion.
- On September 18, 2018, UiPath raised $225 million in the funding round led by CapitalG and Sequoia Capital at a $3 billion valuation.
- On April 30th, 2019, UiPath raised $568 million in a series D round of funding led by hedge fund Coatue Management, with participation from Alphabet’s CapitalG, Sequoia, Accel, Madrona Venture Group, IVP, Dragoneer, Wellington, Sands Capital, and funds advised by T. Rowe Price & Associates. The company also now claims a valuation of $7 billion.
- To be continued (IPO comming??)
Microsoft Bot Framework
It is composed by 3 components:
- Microsoft Cognitive Services, where you will use LUIS for interacting with the services.LUI is not a chatbot-, but a language parsing engine.
- Bot Builder SDK: you can either develop on Node.js or .NET
- Azure bot: a place to deploy your bots.
LUIS is a language understanding service under the umbrella of Cognitive Services, you can call the services in your bot logic (the code that sits on the Azure Bot workload) to make the conversations more intelligent.
The way LUIS works is that it allows you to define the possible intents of your user, and then you can train LUIS to recognize this intent by providing a few sample phrases.
LUIS will then determine the key elements in these sentences, allowing it to recognize the intent even if it hasn’t seen the exact sentence before.
This is a PaaS workload in Azure, (just like a Webapp or an Azure SQL DB) that the actual code for the bot sits. You can create and “Host” a bot in an Azure Bot workload.
This is a service by Microsoft that you can use to register a bot you have already deployed to sort of “Bridge” the connection between the bot and many different channels. Some examples are Skype, Facebook Messenger, SMS etc.
I have discovered this page after digging into other concepts.
The story goes like this. The banks in Spain classifies the customer with respect your FinScore, that goes from 0 to 900.
Fintonic helps you to understand your Finscore and understand how it fits into the market, and it offers you specific products aligned with your possibilities.
It’s free, well, you have to show-up your finance profile to obtain the right score, so they know how you are in terms of finance conditions.
The other point I do not like is that to work on it, they ask your access credentials to obtain data from your bank. I’m sorry but at this minute this does not work to me.
I have created an account to use Power BI and check how it’s working on.
For small amount of data that is just managed by one person it does not make sense. You can use excel and share it through SharePoint Services. “Power BI publisher for Excel” plug-in supports this need.
For specific projects where different people has to work on same data sets modifying the data, there is a benefit of using Power BI.
I have to invest more time on this. 🙂
You go through a procurement process and you buy licenses for the whole corporation to enable it to use the services/products linked to it.
After a while you figure out how much of these licenses you are using in reality:
- How many people is really using it?
- How many new joiners are accessing to it?
- How many servers are using them?
A good asset management process linked to the original contract signed with the vendor needs to be in place, or just a person reviewing it periodically.
Well, you will not imagine how many organizations are losing money with over estimated license contracts that finally are not used.
It’s not easy to convince to an organization to invest money to analyze the gap between the signed license agreement and the real use of these licenses. To do it sometimes is like to recognize that they did not signed the right contract, so it’s like to recognize an mistake.
How much we can save if we re-negotiate the license agreement?
- What is the real forecast we have with respect the use of these services?
- Can we move to a “as a service” agreement model?
Listen your customers, they call it now Digital Transformation. The ability of an organization to discover, understand behavior patterns and then sell your products/services into that specific population is basically that.
Tonnes of PowerPoint flood the web talking about this, but it takes time that organizations rationalize all the marketing stuff and really define a plan.
Strategic plan to listen to customers reach my inbox this week, and they explained in a clear way the approach they want to take on the new way to listen to their customers, understand who individually want what and then promote their products.
Data life cycle is the key
, turn data into information, and finally into knowledge is the key. The approach basically is to engage the right people to seek patterns of behavior, detect areas of population, financial situations, and once the segment of population is identified, understand their priorities.
My first experience with Dynamics 365 for Financials:
Sign-up: I have had to sign in three times to be able to reach the main screen of project Madeira (sample project) in Financials space. I do not know if it was the creation of the space or the sign-in process what failed, but after that I entered into the main screen.
First navigation: It’s easy to find the resources and the sample data enables you to build an idea about how data is organized. The set-up of the environment can be done manually or in an assisted way.
After 10 minutes it has crashed, and I have started it again now not in IE navigator but using Firefox. Ironically with Firefox the navigation goes better.
This framework is used for the major banks to enable the different channels that banks use to have: internal, web, mobile, ATM, …
The old name of the product was: WSBCC-WebSphere Business Components Composer. I understand why they have changed the name of the product to BTT.
In reality this Websphere component can be used on other industries with multi-channel needs.
The original owner was IBM. It was sold to UNICOM Systems, on March 31, 2016.
Jalios offers portal solutions for intranets with a focus on collaboration and document management.
- Their major competitor is SharePoint.
- They are working right now on the French market.
Notes for my review
The world is moving from a product based economy to a service based economy. Some companies born in the subscription model, but others need to transform from their existing model to the subscription based model.
So, well everybody knows already that Zuora is an emerging competitor in the market, creating and end to end solution for subscription models. Take care, they do not only take care of the billing activities (there are thousand of companies dedicated to managing billing activities), they do more.
Allows any business in any industry to launch or shift products to subscription.
- Implement new pay-as-you-go pricing and packaging models.
- Ways to play:
- Packages model,
- Promotional strategies,
- Pay as you go,
- Overall strategy,
- Bundling strategy,
- Segmentation strategy.
- Gain new insights into subscriber behavior.
- Open new revenue streams.
- And disrupt market segments to gain competitive advantage.
- 100% integrated with SalesForce.
I find specially interest on the documentation shared in the Zuora academy, where aspects as the financial metrics for a subscription company are defined, measured and analyzed. I read the Metrics white paper and it’s a worthy read.
The main concepts are:
- Churn rate
: % of lost business, 10% churn is a healthy percentage. Small changes in your company’s churn rate can have a dramatic impact on growth over time.
- Recurring Profit Margins: the difference between your recurring revenues and your recurring costs.
- Cost of Goods Sold (COGS).
- General & Administrative (G&A).
- Research and Development (R&D)
- Growth Efficiency Index: How much new recurring revenue can you get out of a given investment in sales and marketing? If you spend $1 on sales and marketing, how many new recurring revenue dollars does that buy you?A healthy ratio for a b2b SaaS company with a direct sales force is 1:1. Invest $1 to book $1 in new recurring revenues.
To follow the competition:
- Strong competitors: AMDocs, CGI Group, Oracle, CSC,
- Prominent competitors: Aria Systems, Chargify, AWS, SAP
Things to be improved:
- VAT management,
- Revenue recognition,
- Multi-currency support outside of SalesForce,
- Integration with other vendors: Microsoft Dynamics and Oracle.