Operating a successful software enterprise in 2020 was no easy task–not simply because the world experienced a crippling pandemic, but also because technology continued to move at lightning speed.
This year has been defined by how well people can pivot. We asked our employees to pivot from an energetic office culture to working at home, from robust perks and wellness options to on-demand benefits, and to find innovative solutions for customers who were in desperate need of automation. While the fatigue from the pandemic and Zoom calls is present, we also feel a deep sense of gratitude and astonishment for what our employees could accomplish. This article is one of our ways of acknowledging the hard work, the effort behind these projects, and to say thank you to each and everyone of you.
COVID-19. In the beginning of 2020, our People Team began heavily tracking the progression of the coronavirus and its movement throughout APAC and EMEA. We were able to get first-hand accounts from our employees in those regions and make quick and informed decisions to keep our employee base safe. By early March, we had shut down the majority of our offices globally and asked our employees to work from home. Many of our employees were used to having a blended schedule of working both from home and from an office so it wasn’t too much of a transition. We allotted up to $1,000 for employees to buy home office equipment.
Also, our perks and benefit programs had to adjust to accommodate the new remote work structure. Our benefits department provided our employees with corporate accounts to Headspace and Aaptiv, to support both our mental and physical health. We also strongly encourage all employees to implement “No Meeting Fridays” as a way to catch up from the week and have a break from Zoom meetings.
One of our biggest accomplishments related to the COVID-19 pandemic was our collaboration with the United States (U.S.) Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other medical facilities around the nation. One of the largest hospitals in the U.S. became one of the first Centers for Disease Control (CDC)-approved testing sites for COVID-19. Like many other sites, they experienced six-hour waiting lines to process patients while complying with social distance ordinances. In 48 hours, UiPath set up and deployed an attended robot that took patient data, checked if they were in the system, registered the patients and printed a label. This process would take a human two to three minutes to execute and the UiPath robot executed this in 14–16 seconds.
When the White House announced the travel ban, DHS only had a few days to notify tens of thousands of Americans. Our employees were able to build a solution within 36 hours, completing the task a few hours before the deadline. DHS estimated that it would have taken 170 officers to complete the same work that two robots completed. You can read more about our COVID automations here.
Technology. Our technology was able to grow and mature due to the dedication and determination of our employees. Our first product launch was in May with our 20.4 release, which added capabilities across every stage of the automation lifecycle. We launched UiPath Automation Hub which allows users to effectively manage the automation lifecycle with instant visibility, transparency, and control. Our UiPath Process Mining was improved by adding a comparison feature that makes it possible to compare changes, such as seeing the impact that implementing a new automation might have.
In November, we announced our 20.10 release that expanded our automation lifecycle and included more than 100 advances to the core platform. These advances give every company the ability to apply automation at an enterprise level. We launched UiPath Apps, which is a robot-powered low-code application builder. Our software robots turn existing UI’s into API’s and use them to extract and update data. Major enhancements in our Automation Cloud™ were made to give customers more delivery choices, as we bring SaaS capabilities to on-premises over time. This release also focused on customer-driven features to our automation platform. Object Repository allows customers to make UI automations in a more reusable and time saving way to make automations more consistent. UiPath Data Services lets customers manage and store automation data directly on the UiPath Platform. These innovations help us to get closer to our goal of ‘a robot for every person.’
Culture. Any success we have experienced at UiPath can largely be attributed to our culture. We see it as a compass, guiding us on the path to changing the way people work. We launched a lot of programs this year that continue to strengthen it.
After 18 months of continuous work and effort, we launched our employee value proposition or EVP. We set out on the quest to create our EVP with a daunting question: “How do we make talented candidates want to join UiPath and how do we get them to do their best work and stay?” We interviewed over a hundred employees in multiple countries to get a sense of what makes our company special and what needs to happen so employees stay. What resulted from those discussions were the three pillars of our EVP: Humble Game-Changer, United Purpose, Failing Forward.
These pillars help keep us grounded in our purpose as our culture continues to grow and evolve to make room for new employees.
The love of learning and the curiosity to discover something new also drives our culture. As a result, we launched a new robot called Athena which is powered by UiPath technology. It can be found only on Slack and even has its own workspace that is dedicated to learning and growing. Employees can choose to be a mentee, a mentor, or just join the overall learning community. We have 71 topics employees can learn about and there are already 30 learning communities that have started including Project Management, AI Fabric, Thought Leadership and many more. This space is dedicated to investing in our employees and helping them to advance their career and life.
Our Avokudos app was created to provide our employees with a fun new way of giving and receiving acknowledgments. With the help of UiPath RPA and Slack, we created a robot attended channel that allows employees to provide kudos to their colleagues. They can give kudos for a job well-done, finishing a project or for simply making a colleague smile. There is no wrong way to give kudos. And with 2020 being a tough year, this is a small step to spreading cheer and recognizing our amazing employees around the world.
To our employees, thank you for your passion, humor and perseverance throughout this year. You have shown us what it means to be Humble, Immersed, Fast and Bold. You have shown us what it means to be UiPath.