The year is 2019. Gartner has just released its first-ever Magic Quadrant for RPA Software to reveal who’s who in the RPA industry. Two companies come out on top: UiPath and Automation Anywhere.
Fast forward to 2022, and… little has changed. The only major difference for the duo is the widening gap between them and the RPA peloton. As a result, the two tools dominate the industry more than ever, at least according to the newest edition of Gartner’s report.
To say that their rule is indivisible would be an overstatement. There’s no shortage of competitors like Power Automate who breathe down on their necks in the RPA race. Still, UiPath and Automation Anywhere remain unbeatable, and for some good reasons. So what are they, and which of the two is “better”? These are just the questions we’ll answer in this post.
UiPath — flexible and robust
UiPath is the pizza of the automation world—most people love it, and you can’t go wrong with it. The tool shares over 25% of the RPA market, which makes it the most popular RPA vendor. The platform mainly targets bigger enterprises but is flexible enough to be used by small companies, too.
UiPath owes this acclaim to its versatility, security, native integrations with dozens of applications, and ease of use in virtually any industry. All that wouldn’t be possible without powerful features, some of which include:
- Orchestrator — Automation is all about coordination, especially as the number of processes increases. As an all-purpose RPA interface, Orchestrator is UiPath’s answer to the challenges of provisioning, managing, and monitoring your bots from a single control center.
- Toolkit — UiPath has the right tool for all your RPA needs. Process recording? Boot TaskCapture. Automation opportunity discovery? Automation Hub is coming up. Issue fixing? Test Suite got you covered.
- AI and cognitive features — UiPath leverages the power of AI and recognition technologies to facilitate everyday tasks. For example, document Understanding can interpret and extract text (think invoices or hand-written receipts). AI Computer Vision enables bots to recognize on-screen elements, which may be useful, for instance, fraud detection in finance or health monitoring and diagnostics enhancement in medicine). And AI Center allows for a flawless deployment of AI and ML automation solutions.
- Task Mining — This autonomous tool identifies and captures tasks fit for automation to streamline project workflows and unleash efficiencies. Task Mining doesn’t come cheap, but in the longer term, it’s more than to help you find room for savings.
All that considered, it’s easy to see why UiPath is the best in RPA. And not just in terms of popularity; the Gartner above’s report and other influential studies from Everest Group and Forrester unanimously name UiPath as the RPA leader.
From the software development’s perspective, it’s also worth considering the following pros and cons when evaluating UiPath:
UiPath is not only based on C#, but it also allows developers to use the language to implement a great number of features. Thus, for programmers familiar with C#, the platform makes their work streamlined, efficient, and much easier.
On the other hand, for developers with a background in classical programming only (frontend/backend), UiPath allows only a block-based view, which can sometimes get frustrating (as opposed to the list-based view that provides more information useful when coding – see the developer’s pros for Automation Anywhere).
Automation Anywhere — scalable and secure
If UiPath is the pizza, Automation Anywhere is also pizza, but from another joint. So whether you get one or the other is frequently a matter of one’s subjective taste.
Just like UiPath, Automation Anywhere supports numerous integrations; it is secure and can be successfully used by organizations from various sectors. It also comes with its own set of solid, Java-based functionalities. Additionally, modern and legacy systems compatibility allows Automation Anywhere to run on the existing software. Here are some of the other AA’s highlight features:
- IQ Bot — This bot is just as intelligent as it sounds. It uses AI technologies to extract unstructured data from documents and process it, a task normally performed by human employees. As a result, IQ Bot can facilitate and speed up working with CVs, invoices, contracts, spreadsheets, emails, purchase orders, and other files.
- Strong security standards — Automation Anywhere boasts high-security measures, such as multi-layer control, incident response, centralized credential vault, and stringent identity checks, all topped off with some of the highest security standards. Additionally, all communications are secured in transit via SSL and TLS.
- Bot Store — Looking for a digital workforce to perform custom tasks? Bot Store is the right place. It’s an App Store for AA, full of free bots ready-made for working with specific applications and workflows. In addition, each bot comes with documentation and an installation guide for smooth implementation.
- AARI digital assistant — AARI (short for Automation Anywhere Robotic Interface) is your digital assistant. Actually, it’s everyone’s assistant—AARI enables front- and back-office employees to discover and adopt established automated processes in their day-to-day workflows.
Thanks to these features, Automation Anywhere is considered a close runner-up for the title of the best RPA vendor.
From the development’s standpoint, one big advantage of Automation Anywhere is the list view. It shows activities in a code-like arrangement, one by one, enabling programmers to see more of them at once. This feels more intuitive and organized for most developers, which facilitates work.
Despite the fact that AA is trying to be an entity of its own and somewhat a programming language, it still lacks many features essential for developers that would make it so. To give an example, it doesn’t include an option to sort a list of elements or to find the min/max item, which are basic features in object-oriented programming.
UiPath vs. AA — head-to-head comparison
Ratings and rankings look great on paper, but the top-down image is not enough when the competition gets tight. So let’s take UiPath and Automation Anywhere apart to compare them part by part.
Hands down, UiPath and Automation Anywhere both have the best offering of all RPA vendors, and the differences between them lie in details.
Regarding cognitive functions, UiPath knocks the ball out of the park. It leverages the power of AI, OCR, ML, NLP, and other technologies throughout the automation cycle. Scheduling, integrations, debugging, analysis, and discovery—UiPath has it all. There’s deployment flexibility, too, with both on-premise and cloud options.
Automation Anywhere has its own counterparts for many of UiPath’s features, but they aren’t as efficient. However, one thing that makes Automation Anywhere shine is its ease of scalability. AA dynamically adjusts bot capacity to the current needs and has excellent script reuse functionalities. Still, remember that Automation Anywhere is not capable of working with on-premise deployments.
Training and talent pool
Automation reduces human effort, but it needs to be implemented by the right people. Thus, one of the crucial factors when choosing the solution vendor is the RPA Developers’ availability.
UiPath goes the extra mile to ensure there’s no shortage of experienced devs with its platform. Between free Community Edition, UiPath Academy, and certifications, it’s easy to find and hire UiPath developers.
Automation Anywhere University and instructor-led classes give budding devs a great opportunity to become AA-savvy. Still, the platform is bound to have fewer developers available simply due to being only the second-most popular RPA tool.
Ease of use
No matter how powerful the tool is, it won’t succeed if you fail to get your employees on board. And that’s so much easier if the solution is intuitive and easy to use.
The number of work non-programmers need to put into getting started with UiPath and AA is comparable. As UiPath is built around a visual, drag-and-drop interface, it may initially seem easier to use—choose a process, put its steps on your visual workspace, hook them up together with pre-defined connectors, et voila—you’ve just automated your workflow. However, it also relies on C#, and in most cases, it will ultimately require some understanding of the language’s basics.
On the other hand, AA is making efforts to improve its accessibility for non-technical users, but it is organized in a more code-like manner. All in all, both platforms require similar effort on the part of citizen developers.
Last but not least, let’s talk about money. As the top dogs of the RPA industry that offer the best automation solutions, both vendors can afford to put a high price tag on their services.
The most basic UiPath business plan comes at $420 per month. Mind that the price can vary if you opt for additional features such as Task Mining. Unfortunately, AA doesn’t openly disclose its price. Some press releases mention plans starting at $750 with extra payments for additional users.
This lack of pricing clarity means Automation Anywhere, and UiPath draw in this round. In the end, the cost will come down to your needs. The best thing to do is find experienced RPA consultants who’ll help you assess the scale and cost of the implementation.
UiPath vs. AA — the verdict
So, to wrap up, which one should you go for? UiPath or Automation Anywhere?
And the answer is… take the one that better matches your needs.
Choose UiPath if:
- You’re planning a large-scale, long-term automation adoption.
- Your organization is looking for a versatile, multi-purpose RPA tool, regardless of the company size.
- You’re interested in using some of UiPath’s advanced features.
To sum up, UiPath is regarded as the GOAT of RPA for many reasons: from accessibility and flexibility to powerful capabilities and integrations.
Go for Automation Anywhere if:
- You’re automating less sophisticated workflows.
- Scalability is the top priority of your enterprise.
AA comes second, yet in some respects, it is better than UiPath. However, you need to consider if these few benefits of Automation Anywhere are worth the overall lower potential for a similar (or higher) price.
Our UiPath vs. AA showdown is over. It was a close one, but in the end, UiPath came out as the winner. That’s why at Flobotics, we use UiPath as our main RPA tool while still giving the green light to Automation Anywhere and other RPA tools if we deem a project will be better off with them.
Selecting the right platform is the key first step if you’re looking to automate your processes. Still not sure which one to pick? Tell us about your organization, and we’ll suggest the best tool for you.
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