Robotic Process Automation is a new technology in the industry, and to implement RPA we need RPA Tools. You should have knowledge of at least one RPA tool & certifying in one such tool such as UiPath can land you as an RPA developer. In this blog of RPA Tools, the following topics will be covered:
- Introduction To RPA
- Core Functionalities Of RPA Tools
- Types Of RPA Tools
- Checklist For Selecting RPA Tools
- List Of RPA Tools
- RPA Tools Comparison : UiPath vs Blue Prism vs Automation Anywhere
Introduction To RPA
Robotic Process Automation is an intelligent way of working on tasks that can easily be categorized by the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Having said that, let me explain you each of these terms one by one.
Robotic: Machines which mimic human actions are called Robots.
Process: Sequence of steps which lead to a meaningful activity. For example:- the process of making tea or the process of making your favorite dish etc.
Automation: Any process which is done by a robot without human intervention.
To sum it up, mimicking human actions to perform a sequence of steps that lead to a meaningful activity, without any human intervention is known as Robotic Process Automation.
What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA) | RPA Training |
So, now, that you have a basic understanding of what RPA is, let’s look into the core functionalities of an RPA tool to implement RPA.
Core Functionalities of RPA Tools
Any RPA tool that you choose must perform the following three functionalities:
- Instructor-led Sessions
- Real-life Case Studies
- Lifetime Access
- A bot should be able to interact with various other systems either through screen scraping / API integrations.
- A bot should be able to make decisions and determine its actions based on inputs gathered from other systems.
- A bot should have an interface to program the bot.
Types Of RPA Tools
Each tool in the list can be segregated into 4 different types of tools which are built as the extension of the previous generation of bots. The following are the 4 types of robotic process automation tools on the market:
- Before the RPA generation came into the picture, small enterprises were automating the simple processes with simple hacks, excel automation, and macros. Neither were they salable or reliable but they increased the productivity of humans.
- After that, the programmable solution bots came into place. These interacted with other systems and required specific inputs.
- Then the self- learning tools were developed. These tools saw the humans in action, understood the process and then took over the platform to perform those same actions.
- Finally, cognitive or intelligent automation bots augment self-learning bots with advanced functionalities to handle unstructured information and make decisions based on complex, unstructured input.
After knowing the types of tools available, a question may come on to your mind on how to choose the tool?
You have to consider some parameters while selecting the tools. Refer the image below.
Checklist for Selecting RPA Tools
- Technology: Many organizations perform their day to day tasks outside the local desktop using Citrix or Virtual machines. So the tool must be platform independent and should support any type of application.
- Scalability: Selection of an RPA tool must include how quickly and easily the tool can respond to business requirements, changes, exceptions or increasing operations.
- Security: One of the important parameter to be considered is security. RPA tools are a piece of software, in which you need to measure the implementation of security controls.
- Total Cost of Ownership: This includes the initial setup cost of RPA system, ongoing vendor license fees, and maintenance cost. All these costs must be considered when you wish to select a tool for your job to be done.
- Ease of Use & Control: The RPA tool that you choose must be user-friendly to increase both efficiency and employee satisfaction. Also, easy to use solutions require less training and have better ease of control.
- Vendor Experience: Choose a vendor that serves a company similar to yours both in terms of size and industry. This kind of experience drastically improves the speed of implementation by reducing the work required to implement RPA software.
- Maintenance & Support: Vendor has to follow a support model to ensure you meet the required Service Level Agreements.
- Quick Deployment: The tool should be able to help as a real end-user by interacting with applications at the presentation layer, using the screens, validation, and business rules as they are presented via a virtual desktop.
Now that you know the parameters you have to look into while selecting the tool, you should know when to choose which tool. Refer to the image below to understand which tools are the best choice according to the needs.
But, all of these tools must be tested on certain parameters such as the pricing, usability, partners, etc. Refer to the table below to know the list of RPA tools with their parameters.
Robotic Process Automation Training
List of RPA Tools
|Vendor||Free Version Available/ Not||Pricing||Usability||Selected Partners||Global Coverage|
|Another Monday||–||–||–||KPMG, PwC||Europe|
|Automation Anywhere||–||Per Process||Drag & Drop, Macro Recording||Accenture, Capgemini
|BluePrism||–||Per Bot||Drag & Drop||Accenture, Capgemini
Deloitte, EY, IBM
|Contextor||–||–||–||Accenture, Capgemini, EY, IBM||EMEA & North America|
|NICE Systems||–||–||–||Accenture, IBM, Cognizant||Global|
|Pega||–||–||–||Accenture, Capgemini, Cognizant, EY||Global|
|Redwood Software||–||–||–||Accenture, Capgemini, Delloite||–|
|UiPath||UiPath Community Edition||per bot||Drag & Drop, Macro Recording||Accenture,Capgemini
|Visual Cron||45 day free trial||per server||Drag & Drop||–||–|
|WorkFusion||WorkFusion RPA Express||per process||Drag & Drop, Macro Recording||Capgemini,Cognizant
Well, as you can see above that each tool has its own plus points and the negative factors. But, if you talk about the market leaders, it is the famous trio (Blue Prism, UiPath & Automation Anywhere).
Let us compare these tools based on various parameters.
RPA Tools Comparison : UiPath vs Blue Prism vs Automation Anywhere
|Features||UiPath||Blue Prism||Automation Anywhere|
|How will I learn?||Has a community edition/ Free edition available||No trial version available||Trial version is available for 30 days|
|Learning Curve||Has a user-friendly visual designer||Has a user-friendly visual designer, easier than Automation Anywhere||Developers friendly but requires high programming skills|
|Google Trends Popularity||Most Popular tool||More popular than Automation Anywhere||Least popular tool in the trio|
So, as you can see in the above table Blue Prism doesn’t provide a trial version. If you have to practice something, then you need to buy the company’s product. Similar is the case with Automation Anywhere. Automation Anywhere does offer trial version but, it is only limited to 30 days.
Then comes UiPAth!!
UiPath is the savior in this case. UiPath offers a community edition/ trial version, but this trial version is limited to your personal use. So, if you want to learn UiPath and get familiar with its tools, then you can download the community edition.
Once you think you are acquainted with the tool and you want to use it on a professional level, you can go ahead and buy the Pro-edition.
Talking about the ease of learning in the trio, all of them offer user- friendly environment, but each of them has their own nitty-gritty. Automation Anywhere requires the high programming skills to work on the tool. So, any non–IT professional will find it tough to work on this tool. But, if you look into UiPath/ Blue Prism both offer visual designer environments. So, if you want a user- friendly experience with a visual designer and less coding, then UiPath must be your choice.
Source : Robotic Process Automation