UiPath co-CEO Rob Enslin
Photo: UiPath

Finding the path for UiPath

Protocol Enterprise

Hello and welcome to Protocol Enterprise! Today: how UiPath co-CEO Rob Enslin thinks process automation will evolve inside the enterprise, how Suse’s Melissa Di Donato decided to leave the U.S. and build a career in Europe, and new steps toward securing open-source software start to emerge.

Automation for the people

UiPath has had a shaky history. The company, which helps companies automate business processes, went public in 2021 at a valuation of more than $30 billion, but now the company’s market capitalization is only around $7 billion.

Now UiPath is hoping the addition of Rob Enslin as co-CEO can turn things around through financial discipline and an increased focus on global expansion. I recently spoke with Enslin about why he joined UiPath, the untapped potential of automation, and how he plans to lead alongside founder Daniel Dines.

  • On why he joined UiPath: “I have always had a passion to help companies compete and operate at speed. I saw it in the very early days of SAP and how ERP could help globalize, help support global supply chains, figure out how to do it at highly efficient processes, integrate solutions, and I think that's pretty unique. I saw it at Google when it came to data and AI … And when I looked at applications, I knew that UiPath was in a unique position to define enterprise automation.”
  • On enterprise automation: “We are working on sub-processes, not processes, because the processes are managed by the Salesforces, the SAPs, the Workdays, the Oracles, and so on. That’s where we actually really scale. That’s why I say RPA is one thing, process mining is another thing, low-code/no-code is another thing, but putting it all together defines an enterprise automation category. I think we are at the beginning of that journey. And I think as we scale, we will see that this will become one of the biggest levers companies can use to deliver speed and accuracy.”
  • On sharing the CEO role: “I’ve run go-to-market and sales for a long time. I focus on the operation of the company, how to run the company, how to operate the company, how to make it more efficient, how to scale it, how to get to multibillion, and Daniel is focused on innovation and culture. That's what his passion is, he wants to think about the next things. Daniel focuses on people, he really wants to focus on people, making sure the culture of the company continues as we grow the company.”

Read the full Q&A here.

— Aisha Counts (email | twitter)


Digital is an ongoing process, not a destination. West Monroe knows that becoming a digital organization requires a mindset shift that will impact processes and employees at all levels, and that success can be achieved if the organization is aligned toward a clear vision.

Learn more

Head east, young tech leader

A native New Yorker, Melissa Di Donato made a life-changing decision back in 2005 when she packed up for Europe to further her career in technology. Then with IBM, she made London her new home base.

Today, Di Donato is CEO of Germany’s Suse, now a 30-year-old, open-source enterprise software company that specializes in Linux operating systems, container management, storage, and edge computing. As the company’s first female leader, she has led Suse through the coronavirus pandemic, a 2021 IPO on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, and the acquisitions of Kubernetes management startup Rancher Labs and container security company NeuVector.

“Being an American in Europe is unique,” Di Donato said. “Being an American leading a tech company that’s listed in Germany is unique. Being a female American running a German tech company on the SDAX is even more unique at the size of our company.”

Read the full collection of Di Donato’s comments on building a business and a career in Europe here.

— Donna Goodison (email | twitter)

Securing the enterprise

In today’s global landscape, cybersecurity threats are something that every business operating on the internet must face, not just enormous tech companies. In this Protocol virtual event on Oct. 4 at 10 a.m. PT, we’ll examine the current best practices for securing both large and small to medium-sized businesses, providing viewers with a true threat landscape and information they can use to make decisions about the strategy that best supports their business goals.

Protocol Enterprise’s Kyle Alspach will be joined by a great panel of speakers: Andrew Rubin, co-founder and CEO, Illumio; Alex Weinert, vice president and director of identity security, Microsoft; Jameeka Green Aaron, chief information security officer, Auth0; and Devdatta Akhawe, head of security, Figma.

RSVP here.

Secure all the things

As any DevOps team knows, when creating an application, there's a lot more involved than just writing some code. And that means there's a lot more to secure, too.

So, yes, addressing the various challenges around code security are important; the latest effort along these lines, a bill aimed at securing the use of open-source software in the federal government and critical infrastructure, just cleared the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee today, in fact.

But as necessary as it is, this covers just one piece of what's known as the "software supply chain." And as supply chains are known to be, it's pretty complicated: Even a small software development environment can have five to seven different tools, with a number of different phases required to create a piece of software, Aqua Security's Eilon Elhadad told me. "You need to secure the process, you need to secure the tools themselves," Elhadad said. "You need to secure a lot of things."

Aqua is among the vendors aiming to help with that: Last week, the company debuted what it's calling an "end-to-end software supply chain security solution" covering the multiple software development phases that need to be protected against attacks. Elhadad pointed to the most infamous software supply chain attack in the U.S., the SolarWinds breach in 2020, as supporting evidence for this type of approach.

Investigators believe the initial compromise of SolarWinds happened after the code was written, during what's known as the build phase; at that point, the code was already in the process of being converted into an executable program. In other words, efforts to use only secure open-source code, or to employ a standard software bill of materials to check for vulnerable components, are great — but they're not going to help with that particular type of attack.

— Kyle Alspach (email | twitter)

Around the enterprise

Docusign announced plans to lay off 9% of its staff, another sign that the increased demand for enterprise SaaS brought on by the pandemic will not be permanent.

Billtrust was acquired by private-equity firm EQT for $1.7 billion as the opportunity to solve enterprise billing challenges remains up for grabs.


Digital is an ongoing process, not a destination. West Monroe knows that becoming a digital organization requires a mindset shift that will impact processes and employees at all levels, and that success can be achieved if the organization is aligned toward a clear vision.

Learn more

Thanks for reading — see you tomorrow!

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