Higher efficiency, lower operational costs—it’s hard to think of a better way to pique any business owner’s interest in just five words. This phrase also happens to be a pretty accurate description of the benefits of Robotic Process Automation (RPA).
The promise of handling the manual and repetitive but essential tasks speak to the imagination, convincing more and more organizations to hire RPA developers. To no one’s surprise, massive demand has led to the industry’s rapid growth, projected at over 38% per year, and to the emergence of new tools.
Blue Prism, Automation Anywhere, UiPath, Power Automate… These are just three of dozens of major RPA platforms out there. And that’s a good thing—competition spurs improvement, forcing each RPA provider to go the extra mile with their product.
All that sounds great, but there’s one major headache: with so many different RPA vendors out there, which one should you choose?
Today, we’ll investigate UiPath and Blue Prism, two of the leading RPA solutions. We’ll go through their respective strengths and weaknesses and see how they fare from the perspective of businesspeople and tech folks. The goal is to answer the ultimate question: should you choose Blue Prism or UiPath?
UiPath is an RPA tool from a Romanian company specializing in process automation. The first version of the platform launched in 2013, and since then, the tool has occupied the top position in the RPA market. Designed to automate manual and repetitive back-office tasks, UiPath offers users access to pre-built automation components that can be leveraged and enhanced to streamline routine processes. Agile, modern, and user-oriented, it is especially popular with business users (it ranks #1 in Gartner’s RPA Peer Insights ratings).
By now, the platform has expanded into a broad ecosystem of products and services that span low-code application development software, AI orchestration, document management automation, chatbot builder, and lots of other useful tools. Over the years, UiPath has built a name for itself and garnered a large and active user community. There are a couple of reasons for that:
You may have dozens of automation ideas from all kinds of people within your organization. That’s a good thing, but it all can start going downhill if you don’t prioritize and control how these ideas are implemented.
Designed to serve as a cornerstone of all automation pipelines, Automation Hub was created to prevent that. It’s a tracking and management panel that allows you to take the front seat during RPA implementation and prioritize opportunities and ongoing automation tasks.
While some companies struggle with catching up with the plethora of automation ideas, others have difficulty identifying them. Process Mining helps you discover automation opportunities by looking into current processes and turning that knowledge into improvement insights. But, it doesn’t stop there—once a process is optimized, Process Mining monitors it to see how impactful the automation was.
Everyone loves good tools, especially when they can handle your most mundane tasks! UiPath has thousands of devoted and involved users thanks to its popularity and quality. As a result, there’s always someone to ask for help, and it’s easier to hire UiPath developers than specialists proficient with other RPA platforms.
The company realizes that its user base is a massive asset and puts a lot of effort into engaging with customers through its community. Hence, the community forum, free, time-limited Community license, regular updates, self-learning resources, and insider previews show that UiPath gets its users.
Process documentation is just as crucial as it is difficult—and boring—to create. To serve its purpose, it needs to be consistent, understandable, and not too detailed.
With Task Capture, you can easily create and edit workflow diagrams or record the entire process step-by-step. You can then save documentation in one of many formats available or upload it directly to Automation Hub. Neat!UiPath—disadvantages
The perfect RPA tool doesn’t exist, and even though UiPath gets pretty close to it, it has one significant disadvantage: pricing.
The initial license price is very attractive but does not include all modules. As a result, the costs can quickly increase if you decide to get them all. To reach ROI, smaller companies may need to be more careful about extra functionalities or hire RPA consultants to help them choose the most beneficial ones.
Blue Prism: overview
Founded in 2001 in Great Britain, Blue Prism is the oldest RPA tool on the market, and a de facto pioneer in automating large, complex business processes. Coming from a corporate background, it is more enterprise-focused than its contestant, and it’s strongly embedded in the concept of supplying the digital workforce to businesses. BluePrism supports any platform including Java, web, Windows, and can automate virtually any task and application.
With more than 20 years in the automation industry, the company constantly leverages its experience to improve its mature and widely used platform. One of its biggest assets is high reliability and scalability, essential for a tool widely used in an enterprise setting. It is also worth noting that Blue Prism can be deployed in any environment (including staging and testing). Let’s see what else makes it an RPA tool of choice for brands like EY, Accenture, Microsoft, IBM, Google, Jaguar, Siemens, and hundreds more:
For Blue Prism, medium and large enterprises are the main target due to the platform’s scalability and reliability features.
Blue Prism is well suited to accommodate a large number of bots running at the same time without any impact on their performance or stability. Process modules can also be easily reused, enabling fast automation adoption within a department.
It’s also worth noting that Blue Prism only offers unattended automation. So while it excels at logic-based back-office tasks, it won’t aid individual employees in their everyday work. That is one more proof that Blue Prism tries to focus on corporate clients.
Designed primarily with enterprises in mind, Blue Prism offers a comprehensive product portfolio to meet every automation goal. It can be used to facilitate and streamline all workforce activities, no matter how complex they are. The platform covers all intelligent automation capabilities, from data gathering, aggregation, and analysis, through visual analytics and machine learning, to automated collaboration and enhanced problem-solving. The number of processes to be executed by the tool is also unlimited.
Finding the source of a problem is the first step to fixing it. Therefore, efficient debugging features are extremely useful in RPA, especially in complex, multi-stage workflows.
Blue Prism is equipped with one of the best debuggers out there. The main advantage lies in its dynamic capabilities—developers can interact with the process and alter variables while the debugging is executed. It makes it much faster and more convenient to test various scenarios, ultimately leading to better overall stability.
We’ve just told you that UiPath’s biggest flaw is its price, but Blue Prism isn’t exactly a cheaper option. On the contrary, its implementation can be more expensive in the short run, even more so if you don’t plan to use UiPath’s advanced functionalities.
Another disadvantage is low engagement with the community. Despite its long-time market presence, Blue Prism acts very slowly when implementing features requested by its users.
Blue Prism or UiPath: which one’s better?
Now that we know the two tools’ main strengths and weaknesses, let’s check how they fare compared to one another, tech- and business-wise.
The tech perspective
First, the tech stuff.
- App integration — although both platforms can be integrated with popular desktop apps like Word, Excel, and internet browsers, Blue Prism only supports back-office automation and hence lacks the most crucial front-office apps.
- Debugging — while UiPath also has its own debug tools, they lack the dynamic adjustment capabilities of Blue Prism.
- Education — we’ve already mentioned how UiPath encourages its users to get involved with the platform. One of the ways it does it is by giving them access to a rich collection of learning resources and certifications through a dedicated UiPath Academy portal. It is a hub for all skills RPA where anyone can learn how to build automation workflows and dig into the subject. Additionally, UiPath offers a free Community Edition that new learners can use to practice. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about Blue Prism, which offers certification programs but doesn’t get near the scope of UiPath’s educational efforts. Which also affects…
- Talent pool — since UiPath does so much more to teach its users how to use their RPA tool, more certified UiPath developers are available for hire than in Blue Prism’s case.
- Task recording — Recording is an optional feature in UiPath Studio that lets the algorithm capture users’ on-screen actions and recreate them into automated sequences. Blue Prism doesn’t offer any similar functionality.
- Coding knowledge — Both tools are equally user-friendly for citizen developers as they don’t require coding knowledge to operate (although familiarity with HTML/CSS helps). Still, professional developers add a whole different dimension to what can be done with the platforms (more complex use cases, faster app delivery, smoother operation of the developed automation). One difference is that UiPath is very transparent about its code and allows professional programmers to use C# expressions everywhere, while Blue Prism uses its own, very accessible, language.
The business perspective
Of course, successful RPA implementation isn’t just about the technicalities. You should definitely understand how RPA development process looks like. Business needs are just as important.
- Costs — UiPath requires a lower upfront investment than Blue Prism, making it a preferable option for startups and smaller companies. Additional features can be added as the company grows.
- Accessibility — UiPath can be accessed from both a mobile and desktop app, as well as through a browser. Blue Prism is only available as a desktop application.
- Tasks — unlike UiPath, Blue Prism is limited to unattended bots. These are great for back-office jobs and reducing operating costs but won’t do much for assisting your specialists on-demand. For instance, accounting can make use of both types of bots.
- Enterprises — Blue Prism makes more sense for corporations and large organizations due to its enterprise focus and good scalability features.
- Industry — over the years, both vendors have built an impressive track record across different industries. But, in the end, it boils down to the scale. For example, hospitals and clinics may prefer to go for UiPath, but Blue Prism may be a better choice for international healthcare providers
As you can see, there’s no clear winner in this contest; and there doesn’t need to be—every company has different needs and requires various tools.
At Flobotics, we understand that and always consider the specificities of our clients. Therefore, even though UiPath is our number 1 RPA platform, we believe every solution, including Blue Prism, has advantages.
If you’re looking to automate your processes but aren’t sure whether Blue Prism or UiPath will work best for you, you’ve found the right people for the job. Get in touch and tell us about your organization—we’ll handle the rest.
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