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UiPath vs Automation Anywhere vs Microsoft Power Automate

Automation Anywhere, Microsoft Power Automate, and UiPath are trailblazers in the field of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) because they understand clients want products that are easy to implement, user-friendly, reliable, scalable, and readily supported and governed. Lower cost of ownership coupled with a prompt and quantifiable return-on-investment (ROI) gives a competitive advantage to top RPA software vendors as well.

Since it is predicted that the RPA market will continue to expand in the next few years, it’s helpful to research the reviews and reports published by industry experts, as well as software vendor websites.

The recently issued Forrester Wave™: Robotic Process Automation, Q1 2021 report, evaluated 14 major vendors on 25 criteria including bot design and development; bot deployment, management, and analytics; bot governance, platform model, and security; and supporting products and services. UiPath, Microsoft, and Automation Anywhere received top marks. Gartner also recognized Automation Anywhere, Microsoft, and UiPath as Leaders in its 2021 Magic Quadrant™ for Robotic Process Automation.

Automation Anywhere

Automation Anywhere Strengths:

According to the Automation Anywhere website, its RPA software provides Java-based microservices and a modern architecture that supports scalability. Thanks to a “zero footprint creator,” the maintenance effort following implementation is minor. Automation Anywhere also offers containerization, which IBM defines as “the packaging of software code with just the operating system (OS) libraries and dependencies required to run the code.” Through it, applications can run quickly and securely from one location to another reducing the cost of infrastructure.

Since Automation Anywhere presents a single integrated and wide-ranging automation platform built on cloud-native architecture, the startup is instantaneous and straightforward. The tools are responsive and user-friendly, thereby decreasing the time and effort needed for IT to train employees. As such, automation can be scaled rapidly—both vertically and horizontally with attended, unattended, or document processing bots—for numerous tasks. Additionally, Automation Anywhere claims to provide the best-in-class security standards. The ample security, governance, and compliance features are welcome for enterprises in industries that are highly regulated.

Automation Anywhere Weaknesses:

According to Lean Consulting, “Automation Anywhere is not able to use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) very effectively and has limited usability.” The platform does allow users to configure plug-ins for the OCR engine of their choice to capture images. Two are bundled with the product while another two are third-party components that require a separate installation. Though Automation Anywhere received high marks in The Forrester Wave™:RPA, Q1 2021 report, it did reveal that “customers would like greater ease of use and easier exporting to third-party reporting tools.”

Microsoft Power Automate

Microsoft Power Automate Strengths:

It’s no wonder Big Tech giant Microsoft also performs at the elite level with its Power Automate RPA software. Consequently, Microsoft was also named a Leader in the Forrester Wave™: Robotic Process Automation, Q1 2021 report, and in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant. The Power Automate website says the product is now built-in with Windows 11 and is comprised of “low-code, drag-and-drop tools and hundreds of pre-built connectors” that facilitate seamless automation of repetitive tasks. Forrester’s report reveals that Microsoft procured Softomotive in 2020 to formulate a “cloud-native, low-code automation platform that brings together user interface (UI)- and application programming interface (API)-based automation with AI.” Microsoft emphasizes its accessibility for anyone to deploy automation quickly and with ease. Additionally, the company offers a host of learning resources and training. Users can manage workflows and automate tasks from beyond the desktop as Power Automate’s capabilities extend to mobile, web, and Microsoft Teams apps. In addition to Power Automate Desktop (PAD), Gartner points out that the RPA product is “augmented by Microsoft’s SaaS-based automation platform on Azure.” Also noted is how this end-to-end platform supports diversified operations and full integration with Microsoft’s “ecosystem” of commonly used apps.

Microsoft Power Automate Weaknesses:

Forrester says that though the design experience is “rich, yet intuitive” for everyday employees and professional developers, “bot deployment and management capabilities are too technical for citizen developers.” Gartner indicates that the majority of Power Automate’s customers are large companies and small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs).

UiPath

UiPath Strengths:

According to a UiPath white paper, the goal of the company is to “unite technology into one end-to-end automation platform” with RPA at its core. This extensive open automation platform integrates easily with many enterprise applications, supports technology partners, and offers a full range of native cloud services. A proven frontrunner, Forrester named UiPath a Leader with the highest ranking in the current offering, strategy, and market presence categories in its RPA, Q1 2021 report. UiPath presents Automation Cloud for the community that is free for individuals and small teams wanting to automate tasks, but not requiring a far-reaching list of capabilities. The platform is designed to be easily scaled and grow with customers throughout their automation journey.  However, organizations that want enterprise-class SaaS (software as a Service) automation can purchase Automation Cloud for enterprises. This option does allow a 60-day free trial as a try-then-buy perk. Forrester noted that Automation Cloud manages both public cloud and on-site infrastructure and features an “Automation Hub” for an automation center of excellence (CoE). The idea is team members can share ideas and resolve process shortfalls in one place.

Another added benefit, in 2020 UiPath initiated a persona-based licensing model so all products an employee may need are bundled into a single package making it a more user-friendly environment. A drag-and-drop facet and template dashboards make it easy for anyone to build, scale, manage, and deploy smart automation. As such, UiPath received top marks in the Gartner Magic Quadrant™ for RPA for its ability to execute. UiPath asserts, “Because AI is built into every part of the UiPath Platform, you can automate and manage complex cognitive workflows, adding intelligence and reach new levels of productivity.” If the goal is an entirely automated enterprise with a bot set up as a virtual “digital assistant” for each employee in every business unit, coupled with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), this end-to-end solution enables it.

UiPath Weaknesses:

The Forrester Wave™ Q1 2021 report highlighted the lack of task mining in Automation Hub as a weakness despite its process mining capabilities, collaborative discovery, and assessment tools. The report also stressed the limited bot-activating capacities for workarounds. Gartner did point out that UiPath does not have a web-based RPA development environment yet, which could be a drawback for companies that prefer less hardware. Also conveyed as a “caution” in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant™ was UiPath’s more “complex” pricing model and changing packaging strategy in comparison to other products.

Since the RPA vendor landscape is thriving and technology is constantly evolving, it’s a good idea to check out RPA software vendor websites to evaluate each product’s or platform’s capabilities. Many list side-by-side comparisons between their product and competitors’ so you can determine which can deliver the right tools for your company’s culture, project objectives, and required support. Richard Murdoch, in his book Robotic Process Automation, goes even further when discussing how to navigate the competitive RPA marketplace, saying, “It’s best to get a demonstration of the RPA solution either in person or via a screencast from the vendor.” Some vendors also offer free trials and free web-based training for the initialization phase of your company’s RPA journey. For more information on how Tagence can collaborate with your team to decide which tools can fulfill the scope of your work, price range, and scalability needs for automated business processes across the enterprise, visit https://tagence.com/robotic-process-automation/.