There has been a lot of interest in Robotic Process Automation (RPA), especially in the last couple of years. It is also important to note that the vendors have bootstrapped the trend and have limited operating histories and track records.
The reason for RPA creating so much of traction is owing to the fact that traditionally, Software developers have focused mostly in automating the tasks using back-end interface of the systems using APIs or dedicated scripting languages. In contrast RPA development model is based on directly interacting with the GUI elements and perform automation on them.
This therefore begs the burning question — which is the latest and greatest RPA tool in the market right now?
Different folks are likely to have their own opinions and preferences, and it is hard to identify a clear winner. But, there are certain parameters to judge and decide what is best for you.
This is somewhat analogous to buying a bike. If your main objective is to travel from point A to B safely, a Honda Shine will do just fine. On the other hand, if you like to drive with speed and finesse, then a Ducati Panigale might appeal strongly to you.
Evaluation Criteria of RPA tools?
Commercial Model: Vendor’s pricing structure and licensing model has a direct impact on your return on investment.
Deployment Options: We are looking to see if the vendor can support both attended and unattended automation on the same platform. Find the difference between them here.
Exception handling: No rocket science here, it is important that the RPA tool can handle any exceptions gracefully and robustly. The more granular the exception handling mechanism is, the better control you have over your robotic operations.
Maintenance & support
Ease of use: RPA that is so easy, every employee can use it — this is one of the major attractions of RPA. Tools that are code-free, and have a modern GUI and drag-and-drop functionalities are desirable.
Developer Community: Classic example of this would IBM Watson which pioneered AI and cognitive systems which never got open-source model of developer support, which gave chances to the likes of Facebook, Google and others to make up their own gig.
Source: Google trends
Before start of 2018, the global trend was inclined towards Automation Anywhere. You can derive it from Forrestor’s 2017 Q1 survey as below:
But since then things are changing, North America has been inclined towards Blue Prism, while Asia-Pacific and Japan are more interested in Ui Path. My findings are backed by these global trends. Middle east is still and opportunity and an area to be tapped yet..!!
Source: Google trends
UiPath is clearly winning all the challenges that are being thrown at it by the market and is garnering more interest due openness in their tool licensing which includes free full fledged community version and free certified accreditation which has been received well by the audience and market. Workfusion too is getting a lot of interest among the developer community due same model as adopted by UiPath.
As a developer I feel, AA and BP are lacking that openness of empowering their developers and are remaining confined within traditional vendors which might give the right opportunity to UiPath to steal the game.
However, it doesn’t matter which tool you use from organization’s prospective until the client needs are being satisfied.