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Bot stores open opportunities in robotic process automation market

Automation Anywhere in March 2018 launched its online Bot Store in the robotic process automation market. Now, the RPA vendor, based in San Jose, Calif., is encouraging ISVs and systems integrators to develop a new generation of bots that deliver significantly more value for customers.

The Bot Store currently offers more than 500 software bots and digital workers. Automation Anywhere defines bots as automating particular tasks and workflows and defines digital workers as automating “segments of defined job roles.” Customers have downloaded more than 50,000 bots and digital workers since the marketplace opened last year, according to Max Mancini, executive vice president, digital worker ecosystem, at Automation Anywhere.

Automation Anywhere said it is expanding opportunities for developers and integrators to generate recurring revenue through its Bot Store. The company’s bot-monetization plan initially will focus on the annual recurring revenue subscription model, but will eventually cover monthly recurring revenue and consumption-based models as well.

The monetization program aims to spark interest in building broader, more capable bots for the robotic process automation market. But the bot-makers also need assurance that their investments will be safeguarded. To that end, Bot Store vendors will be able to protect the intellectual property components of the bots and digital workers they sell, Mancini said. In addition, developers and integrators will be able to access Automation Anywhere’s global sales channel to reach a broader audience and tap the RPA vendor for invoicing.

The various additions to the bot marketplace will debut in early summer.

In the meantime, a couple of vendors are participating in an “early-adopter phase of building digital workers in anticipation of monetization kicking in,” Mancini said.

For example, TransformAI, a Hollywood, Calif., enterprise RPA provider, offers a number of Workday-related bots, including a Digital Workday Recruiting Assistant. HighIQ Robotics, based in San Jose, Calif, provides digital workers around Oracle — a Digital Oracle General Ledger Administrator, for instance.

The arrival of bot boutiques in the robotic process automation market creates new opportunities for integrators. Mancini said companies will be able to cultivate business beyond professional services and consulting work, noting that building software bots scales more effectively than services. Integrators working with multiple customers can uncover common pain points and create digital workers, as repeatable solutions, to address them.

“Systems integrators are in an interesting position,” Mancini said. “They see the use cases. Some of the more progressive SIs are thinking this [bot development] is a great way to expand the business.”

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