UiPath hires former cloud executive to head APAC business

Former Google and AWS executive Rick Harshman will lead UiPath’s business in Asia-Pacific, where adoption of robotic process automation is growing

Google Cloud’s former Asia-Pacific managing director Rick Harshman has joined robotic process automation (RPA) specialist UiPath as its senior vice-president and managing director for Asia-Pacific and Japan.

At Google, Harshman led all revenue and go-to-market operations for Google Cloud, including Google Cloud Platform and Google Workspace in the Asia-Pacific region.

In a statement, UiPath said Harshman is a seasoned executive with over 20 years’ experience in leadership and senior management roles in the technology industry across all of Asia, with a track record in leading hyper-growth sales, go-to-market operations, and developing new markets.

“Rick’s appointment will help UiPath expand our presence in Asia-Pacific and Japan,” said UiPath chief revenue officer Thomas Hansen. “His experience in leading hyper-growth companies will be vital, and he is well placed to develop deep relationships with existing and new partners and customers, in addition to articulating our vision for the fully automated enterprise.”

Harshman said Asia-Pacific and Japan is a diverse market, with each country presenting new, and often untapped opportunities. “With growing economies and increasing technological maturity, UiPath is positioning itself at the heart of regional digital transformation and innovation.”

Prior to joining Google, Harshman was the head of ASEAN for Amazon Web Services (AWS) following his previous stint in India where he established AWS’s business in India.

During his more than six years at AWS, Harshman was also part of the senior leadership team and was critical in driving revenue growth. Prior to AWS, he also held management positions at Akamai Technologies in the US, Australia and Singapore.

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According to Gartner, global RPA software revenue is projected to reach $1.89bn in 2021, an increase of 19.5% from 2020.

In Australia, RPA revenue is expected to reach $90.4m in 2021, an increase of 20.8% from 2020. In New Zealand, RPA revenue is forecast to pass NZ$7.5m in 2021, a growth rate of 15.8%.

“The key driver for RPA projects is their ability to improve process quality, speed and productivity, each of which is increasingly important as organisations try to meet the demands of cost reduction during Covid-19,” said Fabrizio Biscotti, research vice-president at Gartner.

“Enterprises can quickly make headway on their digital optimisation initiatives by investing in RPA software, and the trend isn’t going away anytime soon.”

By the end of 2024, Gartner expects large organisations to triple the capacity of their existing RPA portfolios. Much of the spending will come from large organisations that are purchasing new add-on capacity from their original vendor or partners within the ecosystem.

“As organisations grow, they will need to add licences to run RPA software on additional servers and add additional cores to handle the load,” said Biscotti. “This trend is a natural reflection of the increasing demands being placed on an organisation’s ‘everywhere’ infrastructure.”

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