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Hot startup Automation Anywhere is laying off workers as the pandemic causes demand to sharply shift away from its traditional products and towards the cloud

Mihir Shukla CEO of Automation Anywhere
  • Automation Anywhere said it is cutting jobs due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis. The cuts could affect more than 10% of the startup's 2,600 employees, Axios previously reported.
  • The Silicon Valley startup, which helps automate repetitive and common computer tasks, said the sudden pivot to remote work led to a spike in demand for cloud based services.
  • The restructuring is geared to responding to that need, as demand flattens for its more traditional products, which are installed locally on a customer's own servers rather than in the cloud.
  • "We're allocating resources to new skill sets in key growth markets like cloud and hybrid cloud, areas our customers are asking for right now," Dayna Fried, the startup's senior communications director, told Business Insider.  
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Automation Anywhere is cutting jobs as it reels from the COVID-19 crisis, which has forced the company to restructure to adjust to stronger demand for its newer lineup of cloud-based services.
Automation Anywhere did not disclose the scope of the reductions. Axios, which first reported the layoffs, said the cuts could be more than 10% of the company's 2,600 employees.
The layoffs, which were announced Monday, underscore the heightened demand for cloud-based services which became even more pronounced with the sudden pivot to a remote workforce.
Automation Anywhere is a leading player in robotic process automation, or RPA, which helps businesses automate common repetitive computer tasks. The Silicon Valley startup offers cloud-based products, but many of its customers still have its software installed on their own servers, in their own offices. Many of those customers are now looking to shift to purely cloud-based products, said Dayna Fried, the startup's senior communications director.
"We're allocating resources to new skill sets in key growth markets like cloud and hybrid cloud, areas our customers are asking for right now," she told Business Insider. 
"Many of them are leaning toward our cloud and hybrid cloud options to manage the variability in their business as well as to respond to future crises faster or even prevent them from occurring at all."
The layoffs are striking given Automation Anywhere's statements on the impact of the crisis on its business. CEO Mihir Shukla recently told Business Insider that "interest from customers has increased significantly overall" since the start of the pandemic.
"In certain industries, the interest is up many, many folds," he said. The pandemic "is making it very evident to businesses that how manual, and sometimes inefficient, our processes are and how vulnerable that makes all of us."
The startup says it has played in role in fighting the pandemic, pointing to hospitals that are using Automation Anywhere tools to help manage the supply chain of critical equipment like ventilators. Financial institutions like KeyBank are employing RPA to help distribute federal small business loans.
Automation Anywhere had been pushing to expand its cloud offerings, and recently rolled out a purely web-based platform in October.
"The fact that our solutions are accessible from a web URL from every device is a big differentiator," Shukla said. "Because it is a cloud-native platform, it scales elastically."
The company, which has raised $840 million from investors including Salesforce Ventures and is valued at roughly $7 billion, still expects to post double-digit revenue growth this year, she added.
Got a tip about Automation Anywhere or another tech company? Contact this reporter via email at bpimentel@businessinsider.com, message him on Twitter @benpimentel or send him a secure message through Signal at (510) 731-8429. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.
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