Workplace Automation

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Workplace Automation

Introduction

Our research team could identify the market landscape for workplace automation in the UK and EU, after a thorough and exhaustive search on credible avenues of information. We could establish that some major applications of workplace automation include marketing automation, data analysis, software testing, and deployment. We have identified that Force24 and Communigator are key players in marketing automation. According to PwC, 30% of the jobs in the United Kingdom are automatable by the early 2030s.

Findings

some of the key players

Force24

  • Founded in 2010, Force24 is a Yorkshire, Leeds-based B2B company that provides marketing automation and related services.
  • Directors Adam Oldfield and Nick Washbourne represent the merging of the two worlds of data and marketing agency that create marketing automation.
  • The company has raised total funding of £250K over one round on March 19, 2019.
  • This was a debt financing round.
  • The company is funded by NPIF–Mercia Debt Finance.
  • Force24 has an estimated $1 million annual revenue.

Communigator

  • Founded in 2005 and based out of Guildford, Surrey, Communigator has successfully moved upstream and repositioned itself as a marketing automation platform from an ESP (email services provider).
  • The company has raised total funding of £8.2 million over one round on July 4, 2018.
  • This was a private equity round.
  • The company has an estimated $8.5 million annual revenue.

datasine

  • Founded in 2015 in London, DataSine is an AI-enabled marketing technology startup. The company enables its customers to personalize their marketing communication in a scalable manner.
  • DataSine employs ML or machine learning to gain a better understanding of the customers. The company thereby helps in delivering ad content that is much more targeted.
  • The clients of this company include BNP Paribas, Hello bank! Belgium, and Tinkoff Bank.
  • The company had secured £4 million in series A funding in February 2019.

How the market is changing

  • According to PwC, 30% of jobs in the United Kingdom and 35% of jobs in Germany are automatable by the early 2030s.
  • According to McKinsey, in Europe, nearly 54 million FTEs and over $1.7 trillion in wages are associated with automatable jobs in the five biggest economies namely, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
  • On a global front, another PwC survey reported that 37% of workers are afraid of losing their jobs due to automation.
  • The major factors driving the growth of workplace automation are the advancement in AI or artificial intelligence and robotics.
  • According to the latest report released by the International Federation of Robotics, the average robot density in the manufacturing industries around the world is 74 units per 10,000 employees.
  • With 71 units per 10,000 employees, the average robot density of United Kingdom is below the world average and ranks 22nd globally.
  • With 309 units per 10,0000 employees, Germany is the most automated country in Europe and ranks third globally.
  • France has an average robot density of 132 units and ranks 18th globally.
  • EU member countries such as Sweden (223 units), Denmark (211 units), Italy (185 units) and Spain (160 units) possess a higher degree of automation as compared to France because their manufacturing sectors use industrial robots.
  • By regions, Europe has the highest average robot density of 99 units followed by the Americas with 84 units and Asia, 63 units.

If competitors would find it easy to enter the space

  • Workplace automation can be employed in various areas such as software testing, software deployments, data analysis, creating data backups, marketing automation, onboarding new employees, leave log management, live chat widgets, etc.
  • It can be gauged from the above statement that the workplace automation space is highly diversified and would require specialized technology such as AI, and ML in addition to process know-how.
  • According to an analysis done by the Marketing AI Institute using Crunchbase data, the range of funding for the top 10 highest funded AI-powered sales and marketing companies ranged from between $78.7 million to $251.2 million in 2018. Most of these companies were providers of sales and marketing automation tools.
  • Therefore, it can be inferred from the above findings that entering the workplace automation market will not be easy for competitors without specialized technology, process know-how and a funding in the range of $78.7 million to $251.2 million.

Research strategy

We commenced our search by scouring for industry reports by leading consulting firms such as PwC, Deloitte, McKinsey, among others. This research strategy was successful in terms of providing statistical information pertaining to the percentage of overall automatable jobs in the United Kingdom and the EU and how the market is changing. We dug deeper into blogs, articles and other such publications by workflow management software providers such as Integrify to understand the processes where workplace automation can be done. We unearthed that workplace automation can be done in finance, HR, IT, marketing, facilities, sales, purchasing, and legal processes. This strategy was instrumental in a way that it helped us to decide the research path further. Taking a cue from the above-mentioned strategy, we ventured into finding companies that provide automation tools in domains such as finance, HR, IT, marketing, etc. This research strategy was helpful in providing us with information for the key players. We combed through third-party databases such as Crunchbase to find funding information for these companies. In addition to these research strategies, we also referred to CIO, Raconteur, TechWorld, among others to conclude if entering the workplace automation space would be easy or not for competitors.

Part
02
of two
Part
02

Deployed Overview

Deployed is a technology startup working in the field of workplace automation. The company came onto the market in early 2018 and is testing its workplace automation product currently with its pilot clients.

Company overview

Product overview

  • Its product is centered around automating two crucial business processes, which include practical and efficient management of external workforce and simplified engagement between service providers and their clients.
  • The product has completed its beta testing process and is currently under development. It is being developed with "a range of greenfield micro products."
  • The company has collaborated with Microsoft; most of the development stage for the product is being conducted on Asp.Net and Azure.
  • "The front-end for the company's greenfield micro products is currently being run on server-side Asp.Net Razor."
  • The product aims at providing automated statements of work for corporate companies. Statement of work refers to a "contract between a consultancy firm and the company buying the service." In simpler terms, it is a document which contains details about the project deliverables, the timeline, project-specific descriptions, and several other important project management specifications.
  • This process currently does not include any technology automation. However, the Deployed product will introduce workplace automation for statements of work.
  • The product has a significant advantage over other similar products in the industry. The benefit is centered around the unique blueprint created by the company, which considers both the historical and the current statements of work.

Business model

  • The business model of the company is structured effectively to provide data-led automation services to the project management companies that send and receive statements of work on a daily basis. With this business model, the company aims to generate multiple projects within a client company, which are likely to generate more revenue than its competitors.
  • The company is providing automation services for a very crucial component of the project management sector: the industry seconds that need to have an automated tool for statements of work, rather than manually copy-pasted statements involving an externally paid workforce.
  • Deployed achieved client savings amounting to 11-16% per project, which is an impressive figure for a developing startup.

Funding and Grants

  • Deployed has received two grants from the UK government; the first grant was given for the innovative research and the design potential showcased by the startup, the other one was awarded for emerging and enabling technologies in the industry. The company has been using these grants for the development of its product and for building a user-friendly platform with high-end cloud-based technology.
  • The company has won two Innovate UK grants, one in February 2018 and other in November 2018.
  • The company has undergone two accelerated funding rounds. Deployed completed its first seed funding round in December 2018 and it was oversubscribed at the time of closing.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01
Quotes
  • "Our (PwC) analysis suggests that up to 30% of UK jobs could potentially be at high risk of automation by the early 2030s, lower than the US (38%) or Germany (35%), but higher than Japan (21%)."
  • "The risks appear highest in sectors such as transportation and storage (56%), manufacturing (46%) and wholesale and retail (44%), but lower in sectors like health and social work (17%)."
  • "For individual workers, the key differentiating factor is education. For those with just GCSE-level education or lower, the estimated potential risk of automation is as high as 46% in the UK, but this falls to only around 12% for those with undergraduate degrees or higher."
Quotes
  • "Artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and other forms of ‘smart automation’ are advancing at a rapid pace and have the potential to bring great benefits to the economy, by boosting productivity and creating new and better products and services. In an earlier study1 , we estimated that these technologies could contribute up to 14% to global GDP by 2030, equivalent to around $15 trillion at today’s values. For advanced economies like the US, the EU and Japan, these technologies could hold the key to reversing the slump in productivity growth seen since the global financial crisis. But they could also produce a lot of disruption, not least to the jobs market. Indeed a recent global PwC survey2 found that 37% of workers were worried about the possibility of losing their jobs due to automation."
Quotes
  • "As the only G7 country – the UK has a robot density below the world average of 74 units with 71 units, ranking 22nd. The general industry is highly in need of necessary investment in order to modernize and increase productivity. The low robot density rate is indicative of this fact. Despite the decision to leave the EU, there are currently many suggested investment plans for capacity expansion and modernization of foreign and local automotive companies. It is not evident though whether companies will hold back investments due to uncertainties concerning customs duties."
  • "Europe´s most automated country is Germany - ranking 3rd worldwide with 309 units. The annual supply and the operational stock of industrial robots in 2016 had a share of 36 percent and 41 percent respectively of total robot sales in Europe. Between 2018 and 2020, the annual supply in Germany will continue to grow by at least 5 percent on average per year due to the increasing demand for robots in the general industry and in the automotive industry."
  • "France has a robot density of 132 units (ranking 18th in the world), which is well above the global average of 74 robots – but relatively weak compared to other EU countries. EU members like Sweden (223 units), Denmark (211 units), Italy (185 units) and Spain (160 units) enjoy a much higher degree of automation using industrial robots in the manufacturing segment. But under the new government, France is in the process of regaining competitiveness in its manufacturing sectors. This may, to a certain extent, promote installations of new robots in the next few years. In 2017, the number of robot installations in France is expected to increase by about 10 percent. Between 2018 and 2020, an average annual growth rate between 5 and 10 percent is likely."
  • "The eastern European countries Slovenia (137 units, ranking 16th in the world) and Slovakia (135 units, ranking 17th worldwide), both have a robot density that is above Switzerland’s (128 units, ranking 19th in the world). The Czech Republic is ranking 20th on the global scale with 101 units. Robot supplies in the Czech Republic and Slovakia mainly depend on the automotive industry’s demand. Slovenia is the most successful among the Balkan countries with 60 percent of the total robot supply used mainly for the automotive industry (387 units, 33 percent more than in 2015)."
  • "The automation of production is accelerating around the world: 74 robot units per 10,000 employees is the new average of global robot density in the manufacturing industries (2015: 66 units). By regions, the average robot density in Europe is 99 units, in the Americas 84 and in Asia 63 units."
Quotes
  • "At a global level, technically automatable activities touch the equivalent of 1.1 billion employees and $15.8 trillion in wages (Exhibit E5). The potential is also large in Europe: according to our analysis, 54 million full-time employee equivalents and more than $1.7 trillion in wages are associated with technically automatable activities in the five largest economies—France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom."
From Part 02
Quotes
  • "Deployed is a tech start-up changing the way companies engage and manage their external workforce, and how organizations sell repeatable people-based services. "
  • "Deployed is a data analytics platform that uses machine learning to write better, and more transparent, statements of work for the flexible knowledge economy."
Quotes
  • "We are creating a platform to simplify the engagement between service providers and their clients. We believe in changing the future of work. A year into our journey, we have already achieved early investment and pilot clients, plus two Innovate UK grants; for Machine Learning and for Design. You will be a founding employee of the company."
  • "We’re creating a comprehensive, cloud-based B2B enterprise product for SME, corporates and the public sector. After successful pilots last year, we have now begun the development on a range of greenfield micro products."
Quotes
  • "Emma is on a mission to bring transparency and efficiency to statements of work. So, what exactly are statements of work? Basically, it’s a contract between a consultancy firm and the company buying the service. The problem at the moment is that this is a manual process. It’s not digital and, most of the time, statements are not even defined until people are on site and delivering the work. In other words, there’s a massive risk to the company and a lack of transparency throughout the whole process."
  • "She launched a data-led platform called Deployed, which looks at both live and historical statements of work to create a blueprint. There are multiple benefits to this approach: it reduces risk, saves money and provides much better satisfaction for everyone involved. By using data, Deployed can empower the company to understand the work that is delivered. They also identified that around 20% of statements of work don’t need to go ahead in the first place, or the order of projects is inefficient – so the platform takes a more linear approach to projects within a company."