RPA Tools - Automation Anywhere

Automation Anywhere and UiPath are battling for worldwide market leadership in the field of RPA tools and in terms of their respective market value. On the European and certainly the Benelux market, Automation Anywhere is in 3rd place. BluePrism and UiPath claiming the lion’s share of the still young market in this geography. This does not alter the fact that Automation Anywhere has already built up a solid track record, and has a firm footing in mainly very large organizations (Fortune 500).

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Strengths Automation Anywhere

RPA & AI Integration

With its “IQ Bot”, Automation Anywhere is strongly committed to embedding other components of artificial intelligence in its RPA solution. Machine Learning and natural language processing in particular are used to make unstructured data usable for processing by Automation Anywhere databots.

Bot Store 

The bot store can best be compared to an app store, but then for RPA modules. Pre-built, generic modules that can be downloaded for immediate use or as part of a larger automation. A successful idea, because UiPath did not take long to develop a similar initiative and also Blueprism jumped on the bandwagon.

Attended as well as unattended RPA

Attended and unattended RPA are common terms in the context of databots. This is simply about the distinction between an end user who interacts directly with the databot, as opposed to a bot that processes end-to-end processes invisibly behind the scenes. Both scenarios are supported by Automation Anywhere, which leads to a broad employability.

Excellent scalability

Because of its roots in large organizations, scalability is basically ingrained in Automation Anywhere. Both the technical infrastructure (including a “control room”) and the functionalities to easily reuse script components. In addition, the Automation Anywhere’s Botfarm offers an RPA cloud solution which adjusts capacity continuously to the actual needs.


Accessibility

It should be clear by now that the target audience of Automation Anywhere is more likely to be with large companies and organizations. Inspired by UiPath, Automation Anywhere is lowering its threshold by providing a free community RPA license and a university that provides online training for free or at very limited costs. This will increase the number of available resources and modules in the bot store in the future.

Weaknesses Automation Anywhere

Price

As the focus on larger customers suggests, Automation Anywhere comes with a hefty price tag. Although this is still below that of Blue Prism, it is clearly above the RPA offer of UiPath. The license formulas offer various options and prices are coming down fast, but organizations that strive for a fairly complete set-up easily exceed the € 50,000 threshold.

Installation

Installation and technical set-up are far from easy. A lot of fine-tuning is required to get the databots up and running in a more complex IT architecture. This unfortunately cancels out some of the basic benefits of databots: The RPA installation takes longer and more support is needed from your IT department. Having said that, compared to traditional automation and system integrations, Automation Anywhere remains a lot easier to get started.


User Friendliness

Automation Anywhere is considered the less user-friendly among the Big Three (Blue Prism, UiPath & Automation Anywhere). This is largely due to the fact that the workflows, in contrast to the other providers, are presented in a less graphical way. The development environment is more code-driven, which means that people without or with a limited background in programming have a little more trouble getting to grips with the RPA scripting. On the other hand, Automation Anywhere does have a recorder functionality which, by recording human actions, automatically triggers a ready-to-use script. Similar to the other 2, previously built RPA modules can be re-used via a simple drag and drop, similar to the other tools.

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Conclusion Automation Anywhere

All major RPA players are eager to appeal to the largest customers. That is no different for Automation Anywhere. The tool is scalable, robust and has a large market penetration; elements that inspire confidence. All elements for a robust ecosystem are also present: bot-store, AI integration, community version and university. On the other hand, an upfront investment in RPA licenses & training and – to a lesser degree – infrastructure is required.

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