Organizations that are on the RPA implementation journey face a common challenge i.e how to decide which RPA software product to choose. The challenge is compounded by the fast growth RPA products that are now there in the market.
Searching on the internet would easily produce over 20 RPA Software product companies in the market today
· Automation 360
· Blue Prism
· Automation Edge
· Power Automate
· Appian RPA
· Workfusion Intelligent Automation Cloud
· IBM Robotic Process Automation
· Nintex RPA
· Pega Robotic Automation
· SAP Process Automation
· Rocket BOT
· Cyclone RPA
· Nice Robotic Automation
· Laiye RPA
These product companies have different capabilities and levels of maturity, so while publications such as Gartner, Forrester and others provide useful information on them, that is not comprehensive enough to make decisions.
We recommend that organizations refer to these reports for an overarching understanding of the ratings of the software companies. These reports can also be used to create the first filter list of 4 to 6 product vendors.
As per the below report by Gartner we can see that UiPath and Automation Anywhere both have ratings of 4.4 and have over 200 reviews.
While these generic reports will help in filtering the mature players from the upcoming and growing players, these comparisons may not be helpful to ascertain if a certain player is the ‘best fit’ for the organization’s specific automation requirements.
Hence it’s important to do a second level of analysis and filtering to select the ‘best-fit’ RPA software. The second level of analysis should be done to finally select the vendor on whose platform the solution will be developed.
Since we are partners to multiple players such as UiPath, Automation Anywhere, SAP and have implemented projects on these platforms we are able to advise clients on why they should go for the product.
The RPA software analysis that our team does is not an academic exercise but instead based on a structured 6-Step framework
1. Functional Fitment Vs Product Capability
2. BOT Deployment, Control & Monitoring
3. Product Support
4. Security Assessment
5. Product Roadmap
Organizations that have selected RPA Software products without due diligence have failed implementations and lost opportunities to benefit from RPA.
The failed implementations are not due to the RPA products per se but rather the products not being the ‘right fit’. For example, the customer use case may require implementation of AI whereas the product’s strengths may only be rule based AI.
Additionally, the reason could be the product maybe strong on cloud implementations whereas the customer may be deploying the solution on the desktop. It could also be that the product’s RPA features were incompatible with a legacy application that the customer wanted to automate.
There could be a plethora of reasons why the implementations failed. These failed implementations lead to negative project ROI in terms of loss of costly investment and time as invariably these projects have to start all over again with a new vendor.
Secure your project investment with our 6 Step RPA Vendor Evaluation Framework
Using a structured process we ensure organizations get the expected return from their RPA investment both in terms automation and financials.
Here’s an overview of the framework
RPA Software Capability against Functional Requirements
Functional requirements for BOT can be varied hence it is important to understand if they can be met by the RPA Software Product.
Leading RPA Software companies have capabilities to read emails, extract data from PDFs, compute numbers however it’s the handling of exceptional scenarios and complex functionalities such as process mapping that require detailed analysis.
BOT Deployment, Control & Monitoring
BOTs automate processes but they too need to be controlled and monitored. To derive maximum benefit from automation it is important to monitor the BOTs. Each RPA product has a different set of monitoring and logging capabilities. In few products there may not detailed logs so if there are failures to IT infrastructure they may not be easily detected.
One of the common misconceptions about RPA projects is the limited need for support. Despite the best of testing RPA BOTs can fail. In such cases, the failures may be due to adhoc changes to products, bugs etc. In such cases, the RPA product team’s ability to quickly resolve issues becomes critical.
Hence, one needs to evaluate the support capability of the product team.
It’s important to access the security of BOTs and comply with the security policies of the organization. Hence it is essential to evaluate BOTs from the perspective of
· Data Encryption
· Data Logging and Auditing
· Use of HTTPS to secure UI paths
· BOT execution privileges
· RPA Control system
RPA Product Roadmap
RPA products have originated at different time frames hence their evolution is also different. RPA product have also mostly evolved around their strengths based around initial implementations. For example, RPA products that were implemented for Healthcare organization or BPO organizations have capabilities suited around those industries. Assessing the roadmap of RPA products allows organization to analyze the product from the perspective of future readiness.
Last but certainly not the least, it’s important to understand the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the product over a 3 to 5-year time horizon. If the cost is not accurately understood organizations will get their ROI calculations wrong. Then managers get into conflicts with the vendor citing higher cost whereas the issue could be with the cost and ROI calculation. To avoid such issues, it’s imperative that is a clear understanding of the cost and use the correct ROI model.