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Unit4 unveils Smart Automation Services for business efficiency boost
Thu, 28th Mar 2024

Enterprise cloud applications provider, Unit4, announced the launch of Smart Automation Services this month. The services aim to improve efficiency and productivity in businesses through the adroit use of artificial intelligence and context awareness. They are designed to seamlessly integrate with Unit4's enterprise resource planning (ERP) suite, ERPx, thereby significantly automating a host of tasks and delivering a light-touch user experience, the company states.

Smart Automation Services employ several tools developed by Unit4 to support its agile, microservices-enabled ERP Suite. It bridges AppStudio, a tool designed for the seamless development and automation of new application functionality in ERPx, with Extension Kit Flows and Apps, a low-code platform for customising and connecting business apps to ERPx. The services also comprise Industry Mesh, designed to foster agile integration of cloud applications with ERPx and Unit4’s next-generation virtual assistant, thereby streamlining the development of user interfaces (UI) and empowering ERP users.

Claus Jepsen, CPTO at Unit4, explicated, "Our goal is to dramatically reduce the amount of time that users need to spend interacting with ERP systems by automating processes and making tasks more intuitive and intelligent.” Jepsen talks about leveraging user experiences and smart automation to transform the traditional view of ERP. He added, "If we can empower users to focus on more rewarding tasks, we will extend the value of our technology to businesses.”

Unit4's Smart Automation Services aim to enhance the user experience by combining automation and intelligence. The services personalise experiences and improve user efficiency by integrating AI with context awareness. Unit4 has validated this approach through its internal use of AppStudio for developing new capabilities and through extensive ethnographic research of user behaviours and habits. In an initial pilot for employee self-service, Unit4 successfully reduced time spent on task completion and interaction.

Mickey North Rizza, Group Vice President, Enterprise Software, IDC, noted the increased reliance of organizations on automation for productivity enhancement. "With the right tool set, and with more information at their fingertips, organizations can also enhance employee effectiveness and efficiency, creating better and informed decisions while improving the velocity of decision making,” said Rizza. He emphasised that enhanced decision-making will enable organizations to become more competitive.

Beyond the Smart Automation Services launch, Unit4 plans to develop additional functionalities including Payroll Navigator, Procurement Invoice Approval, Contextual Help, and Integration Widgets throughout 2024 and 2025. The long-term goals for Unit4's Smart Automation Services include reducing the time to process bank statements, decreasing payroll mistakes, increasing the accuracy in recognizing receipts, and reducing manual processing time for invoices.

Unit4's next-generation enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions power many of the world's mid-market organisations, bringing together the capabilities of Financials, Procurement, Project Management, HR, and FP&A to share real-time information, and deliver greater insights to help organisations become more effective, according to the company.