Robotic process automation software is gaining popularity, and with the increasing number of tools available, it is harder to choose the best solution for your company. In this article, we will compare two of the most popular tools - UiPath vs Automation Anywhere. Knowing what are the main differences between them and how they can be used to streamline your business processes should be helpful in deciding which one will be the best choice for your company.
As a certified partner of both, UiPath and Automation Anywhere we know that it is very hard to decide which one would be the best fit for your company, especially that both vendors constantly improve their software, and many features that were characteristic for one in past can be found now in other as well.
As we always advise our clients, this choice should be based on technical and business requirements, specific to each company. This makes it impossible to give a definitive answer on which software is the best - some companies would benefit from UiPath or Automation Anywhere more than others, depending on their readiness for digital transformation.
In this article we tried to analyze and, when possible, compare some of the most important factors and characteristics of both vendors, including:
The robotic process automation (RPA) market was growing rapidly in the last two decades, with many software providers trying to join the race. This trend was only accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, as more and more enterprises are looking for a way to reduce costs and increase efficiency.
UiPath and Automation Anywhere, together with Blue Prism (which we compare with UiPath in another article) are leading the way for innovation with RPA. According to International Data Corporation (IDC) studies in 2020 huge part of the global RPA market share was divided between those 3 vendors, with respectively:
The leading role of this trio was confirmed also in the “Robotic Process Automation (RPA) – Technology Vendor Landscape” report by Everest Group:
According to user ratings, UiPath is leading as preferred RPA software vendor, with Automation Anywhere in 2nd position, although differences in ratings are not too big.
One of the comparisons between UiPath and Automation Anywhere, based on real user reviews, was published by IT Central Station, giving UiPath rating of 9,0/10:
Similar ratings, with a small, but consistent advantage of UiPath over Automation Anywhere, were published by G2 Software and Services Review:
Starting our comparison we have also researched what was the search interest in both vendors over a period of the last 3 years. Data from Google Trends clearly shows that from a search point of view UiPath is leading the way, being more frequently researched over Automation Anywhere. It is important to note that it is not reflecting the total number of searches, only search interest over time for a specific topic, in this case, a company name:
Comparison of search trends shows that while interest in Automation Anywhere remains generally on a steady level since 2018, interest in UiPath is higher, and grows over time.
Now let’s dive in deeper and compare the functionality of both RPA tools.
When companies are looking for RPA software to implement one of the major criteria, especially when they are just starting their journey with automation, is the ease of use and an intuitive development environment.
When company team members do not have development or programming experience with RPA tools, a way in which software can be created and used, with a few developer skills to start with as possible.
Such an approach is understandable but can cause some problems during implementation, as a better understanding of software development steps can be beneficial on multiple levels. Not only does such expertise speed up automation initiative, but frequently allows us to find ways in which automated processes can be optimized.
Robotic process automation software vendors know that ease of use is important for their customers and they change tools having that in mind.
UiPath is known for being user-friendly and is considered to be one of the easiest RPA solutions to adopt, with an intuitive deployment environment. From the very beginning, one of the most important UiPath software features was a drag-and-drop model in which automation could be created, using pre-defined rules and actions built into UiPath tools.
Such an approach is now standard among automation leaders. Automation Anywhere in the past was described as more script-based than other RPA solutions, but newer versions benefit from the visual process design model as well, making it easy to use for beginners.
For users, the main benefit is that even more complicated automation can be designed and executed without programming skills. On a more advanced stage such skills would become really important and could heavily impact the effectiveness of implementation, but to start they are not necessary.
When it comes to data security, proper implementation of RPA software should also include security and risk management strategies. Robots often handle sensitive data, moving them across multiple systems from one process to another. While the software itself is highly secure, vulnerabilities can be found when an enterprise will not think about protecting against abuse and fraud.
Gartner outlined 4 steps to ensure RPA security in one of their publications:
Automation Anywhere is not different in this regard, using similar technologies to ensure data security:
It could not be different as a high level of security is one of the pass/fail criteria when it comes to each IT system, not only RPA products. Without strict measures in place vendors would not be able to build trust in the brand.
One of the important factors when considering which RPA software to choose would be for many companies and easy access to various courses and training materials, not only basic tutorials showing how to set up a simple bot, but most importantly to guidelines on how to proceed with more advanced automation.
From that point of view, UiPath shows a high level of engagement, by providing access to multiple materials, both through community engagement and created by the company. They are available through:
Source: Automation Anywhere University
While traditional robotic process automation software works the best on structured data, highly developed cognitive functions allow to automate processes that also include unstructured data sources (such as scanned documents, emails, letters and voice recordings). With such ability we can automate more complex, less rule-based tasks.
UiPath takes full advantage of cognitive capabilities of the software, with use of machine learning (ML), natural language processing (NLP), intelligent optical character recognition (OCR), and AI computer vision. Example elements and functions of cognitive pack build in UiPath software include:
Google Text Analysis and Google Text Translate,
UiPath invests intensively in developing cognitive functions of the UiPath Platform, including opening in 2018 first U.S. Development Center in Bellevue, Washington, which focuses on adding AI capabilities to the software.
When it comes to cognitive capabilities Automation Anywhere also tries to stay on path to leverage its full potential, also combining RPA software with AI technologies such as Computer Vision, Natural Language Processing (NLP), fuzzy logic and machine learning (ML) to automatically classify, extract and validate information from documents and emails.
Those capabilities are implemented in special kind of bot, called IQ Bot, that has following features:
Both automation platforms are able to work and interact with other systems through a user interface (UI), as well as Application Programming Interface (API). In the case of legacy systems, for which creating an API could be time-consuming and expensive, the only reasonable solution is to use UI, and both UiPath and Automation Anywhere guarantee that. But in the case of most popular platforms and SaaS solutions, it’s a common practice to natively build integrations in RPA software to interact with them on API level also.
UiPath natively integrates with applications that multiple enterprises use, including tools and platforms as AWS, Microsoft, Oracle, SalesForce, SAP, and many others, totaling to over 140 native build integrations (updated list available at the vendors site), including software such as:
UiPath seems to attempt to become a leader in flexibility when it comes to choosing options of UI or API-based automation. In March 2021 UiPath acquired Cloud Elements, a cloud API integration platform that enables developers to publish, integrate, aggregate, and manage all of their APIs through a unified platform. It was considered to be another step to assuring that UiPath customers would have access to a big database of native integrations and they would be able to choose if they prefer to use UI or API, or a mix of both.
Other important strategic collaborations of UiPath, showing how their software is evolving include:
List of Automation Anywhere technology partners includes over 154 companies, platforms, and Saas providers, in a large part overlapping with UiPath, with some smaller exceptions, like for example TeamViewer. All major integrations, such as with Google, Microsoft, SalesForce, AWS or SAP are built in. In June 2019 Automation Anywhere announced a strategic collaboration with Microsoft. As a result, bots can be accessed directly from Microsoft Azure and companies declare collaboration to leverage the integration between their software. Automation Anywhere has also selected Azure as its preferred cloud provider.
Both RPA vendors also have extensive partnership networks of companies such as GGS IT Consulting, which specializes in implementation, professional consulting services, and development.
Scalability in the context of RPA refers to strategies and technologies involved with:
UiPath offers a high degree of scalability. As described by users, “it’s modular, where you build a workflow and that can be reused across multiple robots or multiple processes”. Each automation that is created can be shared with other team members, used and modified by them with little to no programming experience, as the whole system can work on a drag-and-drop basis.
Scalability is encouraged and supported also by UiPath Marketplace, an open and free platform that offers to anyone in the UiPath community access to multiple reusable components, created by UiPath, their business, or technology partners, independent publisher as well as other users, called “community contributors”.
Some examples of the most popular bundles of automation, by supported software, or industry are shown below:
The only limit of scalability in the case of UiPath is the number of licenses that enterprise decides to purchase and infrastructure limitations - when planning RPA implementation it is crucial to plan ahead and think about how many robots can realistically work in the same infrastructure and the same network, to assure that scalability will be easily achievable.
If you are unsure how well your infrastructure is prepared for robotic process automation implementation, contact us and book free, 30 minutes consultation with one of our experts, so we can advise you what solution would be the best for your company.
Automation Anywhere offers also multiple solutions for RPA scalability. Customers appreciate that they can start with only even 1 bot and quickly scale up to 10 or 100 with a handful of clicks. In theory Control Room (a web-based centralized server that enables monitoring, deploying, and scheduling bots) can handle up to “1000 concurrent bot deployments and executions across the Control Room cluster”. In the end, it all comes down to the number of licenses that enterprises will decide to purchase.
When it comes to speeding up automation with ready-to-use solutions created earlier, Automation Anywhere launched BotStore where users can purchase single bots and bundles created by professional developers, to implement them in their companies.
One example can be the Salesforce Mass Transfer Records Bot that supports Salesforce admins in transferring ownership of records:
Each implementation process requires experienced professionals or use of vendor support to increase chances of success. In the case of automation endorsed by companies that do not have any experience with such initiatives access to experts can be crucial.
UiPath has an extensive knowledge base for users to learn from, but provides also direct support to all customers, with 3 packages options:
Support model in case of Automation Anywhere is similar, also dividing support plans into 3 options:
If you are not using the support of professional consulting companies such as GGS IT Consulting for RPA implementation, you would need to rely on publicly available resources and additional, paid support from vendors. Both companies offer support quotations on demand, for enterprises that need more personalized help than they can access with basic plans.
Price is a very important factor for each enterprise, and with RPA software it can be hard to see at first glance how expensive implementation would be. That is because pricing models are usually complicated and it’s never a simple answer “how much does a robot cost?”.
When our customers are asking about pricing and costs of RPA software we have to refer to the total cost of ownership (TCO), in which for example, according to HFS Research estimate licensing costs represent only 25-30%, and the remaining 70-75% represents the cost of support, personnel, development, and deployment.
Here is an example of how components cost proportion looks in the case of Automation Anywhere:
Source: Automation Anywhere blog
With upfront costs (such as licensing, training, infrastructure setup) and ongoing, annually-recurring costs (license renewal, maintenance, third-party integration license when applicable) it is extremely important to have a deep understanding of the pricing model of the vendor that the enterprise will choose.
To simplify the concept of TCO, we’ll divide it into two categories - the cost of technology and the cost of support. Within each category are one-time, upfront costs and ongoing, annually-recurring costs. One of the tactics used by sales partners could be offering discounts for first-year customers, while the focus should be on a lower TCO in the long run.
With multiple variables affecting the final TCO, it could be a good idea to consult with experts. If you would need help in understanding which solution would be the best for your company, contact us to book free, 30 minutes consultation. With our expertise, we can suggest how to approach the automation of business processes in your specific case.
UiPath and Automation Anywhere are RPA market leaders, with competitors such as Microsoft or BluePrism. When we add other, smaller vendors to this picture, it could be difficult to decide which software would be the best for your business.
To resume, there are some differences that we mentioned in our article, that could help you to know more about vendors offer:
The choice should be based on specific and technical and business requirements, which makes it impossible to give a definitive answer on which software is the best - some companies would benefit from UiPath or Automation Anywhere more than others, depending on their readiness for digital transformation.
That is the main reason why it is advised to use the services of a professional partner such as GGS IT Consulting to implement robotic process automation in your enterprise. With the implementation partner, you will identify processes for automation much faster and better, set KPIs for activities related to RPA. We will help you also to build an internal culture of automation in your company, and over time, we can also transfer the necessary knowledge and competencies to allow you to develop robots internally.
If you would like to know more about how we can help you to find out which solution would be the best for your company, contact us to book free, 30 minutes consultation.
After completing the form, we will arrange a call at a time convenient for you. During the call, our consultant will suggest how to approach the automation of business processes. Thanks to this, you will assess which technologies will bring the greatest benefits in the area of automation in your Company.