A true Digital Transformation requires two key elements—innovative technology and strategic leadership. While there’s no shortage of new tech in the marketplace, having a visionary solutions architect at the helm of your project can significantly impact the probability for a successful implementation and lasting benefits. Where one element alone is good, both are needed to optimize the value of your efforts.
To better understand the value and impact of custom business applications, we can examine core technologies that support all types of process automation: K2 and UiPath. After a brief explanation of each, we’ll review how they complement and enhance one another to truly transform your organization.
K2 – Process Digitization (Digital Process Automation Platform)
K2 is the technology platform of choice to rapidly build business applications; a key attribute of this software is that it can configured with little to no actual coding. It includes tools to define business entities (Smart Objects), design User Interfaces for display and capture of data (Smart Forms), and build process (workflows) that interconnect data, systems and people. Thanks to its ease of use, tech-savvy users can convert any email- or paper-based process to a fully digital process with structured data capture and defined sequences of functions to achieve business goals.
While K2 is a robust out-of-the-box solution, developers may enhance its capabilities to add further value for your organization and customize its functions for your unique business needs. We take into consideration each client’s existing infrastructure and create business applications to streamline processes with multiple steps and stakeholders. K2 can also be integrated with complementary solutions like UiPath, an automation technology we’ll discuss next.
UiPath – Robotic Process Automation
UiPath is a task automation technology. It allows you to create software bots that can direct websites or desktop applications to perform tasks instead of users driving them manually. This low-/no-code platform is lightweight and allows users to build bots that can read websites, complete online forms, and read & write data from backend systems using existing user interfaces, which saves developer resources from having to write costly, labor-intensive API’s.
How K2 Makes UiPath Better
K2 workflow technology can connect multiple bots and users together to execute a larger business process. While UiPath bots are optimized for short processing cycles, K2’s workflows can easily handle long-running processes that can span days or weeks. Additionally, if a bot requires information from multiple users via structured inputs, K2’s Smart Forms and workflow together can get the job done easily. If humans are not doing their jobs in timely fashion, the system can be customized to send reminders, escalate the issue to a supervisor, etc. Robots are honest & hardworking by design. J
UiPath can capture very basic information from users via simple dialog boxes. When it comes to presenting large amounts of information to users, or getting structured inputs that is beyond a couple of simple fields, K2 Smart Forms are essential. K2 Smart Forms can perform advance validation so the data you are feeding robots and your backend system is already sane.
While UiPath excels in UI Automation, when it comes to structured data handling, K2’s Smart Object layer can abstract a lot of raw details from designers. K2 also provides many prebuilt connectors to systems like Active Directory, SharePoint and others. It allows you to build structured data access via REST Based swagger files and supports OAuth.
Reporting and Other Benefits
UiPath provides reporting and audit information for tasks, but if you are looking for metrics for an entire business process that consists of multiple tasks and steps, K2 is your friend.
K2 can also enable mobile access to bots via K2 Workflows and Smart Forms.
How UiPath makes K2 Better
If you are already using K2, consider these benefits of UiPath:
Usually, K2 processes are started via events in SharePoint, scheduler or by users submitting request forms. When it comes to capturing other types of events, UiPath can help immensely as UiPath bots are deployed closer to the action. It is easy to program UiPath bots to monitor file changes, database changes or email arrivals and launch K2 workflows for responding to these events.
UiPath can also seamlessly record business decisions into backend line of business systems like CRM and ERP. Because of the UI Automation capabilities, UiPath can read and write data from enterprise systems through native User Interfaces without the need for building costly, time-consuming and complex APIs.
Desktop Applications (Information Processing)
UiPath bots can help K2 bring power of desktop applications to a process. Bots can use native Excel to run data calculations or launch Microsoft Word to build word documents.
UiPath makes it easily possible for K2 workflows and forms to consume data from data sources like Excel files, CSV files. Bots can also help pre-process and post process data.
Fully Standalone, Yet Better Together
While both UiPath and K2 can fully stand on their own, the combination of these two technologies with expert guidance can deliver impactful, lasting results for true Digital Transformation. Both K2 and UiPath can each solve a great number of use cases independently of the other, so organizations with neither may choose to implement one at a time to manage change more conservatively.
The power of these automation technologies is clearly a huge advantage to organizations that adopt them, but just as important, strategic vision and execution is essential for lasting transformation.