Worth USD 3.4 billion as of 2022, the global Robotic Process Automation (RPA) market is expected to be near USD 24 billion by 2030. The speed and scale of this expansion are astonishing but plausible, as the RPA ecosystem presents organizations across all major industries with the tools to optimize tedious-but-crucial processes. This fact has led more and more executives to hire RPA developers in recent years.
The growth in demand for process optimization tools has led to the emergence of RPA solutions that target different business segments, from healthcare to finances.
See what can be done in finance and banking industry with Robotic Process Automation here.
Currently, dozens of RPA systems exist, either covering specific niches or serving as large platforms encompassing several industries.
Two solutions stand out from the crowd: UiPath and Microsoft Power Automate (formerly known as Microsoft Flow). Just one look at the influential reports from Gartner, Everest Group, and Forrester helps understand the current role they play in the industry: UiPath is an RPA leader, while Power Automate is an aspiring contender.
This guide will take a deep dive into the UiPath vs. Microsoft Power Automate comparison. With our help, you’ll be able to make an informed decision and opt for the tool that will work best for your business.
UiPath — flexible and solid industry leader
According to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for RPA 2021, UiPath has solidified its top standing among other RPA providers, ranking #1. The provider has consistently competed head-to-head for the top spot with Automation Anywhere in the industry-guiding ranking since it was first published in 2019.
UiPath owes its success in large part to its versatility. It’s a general-use, one-size-fits-all RPA tool that can be employed in virtually any industry and integrated easily into various processes and solutions. UiPath is fully scalable and can be successfully used by small and large organizations.
Here are some of UiPath’s main strengths:
- Industry leader — UiPath is widely recognized as the best RPA tool currently on the market.
- Orchestrator — The platform is an intuitive, all-in-one RPA orchestration tool that allows users to provision, manage, and track bots from a single interface available in the cloud or on-premise.
- Robust ecosystem — With add-ons such as TaskCapture, Automation Hub, or Test Suite, UiPath facilitates daily operations such as process documentation, pipeline management, or testing.
- Embedded cognitive features — the use of AI-based tools allows UiPath to automate text processing (Document Understanding), build ML-powered workflows (AI Center), and deploy visual recognition bots (AI Computer Vision).
- Task mining — this powerful tool is well worth its price: it operates independently to identify the best automation candidates and provides you with extensive discovery reports.
Power Automate — contender on the rise
Power Automate’s case is a little different from UiPath’s. After being classified in the “Visionaire” category in 2020, it skyrocketed to the “Leaders” segment. This promotion is proof that Microsoft’s tool is gaining momentum and holds the promise of rapid growth soon.
Rather than a dedicated RPA solution, Power Automate is a general automation component within the Microsoft Power Platform that includes PowerBI, PowerApps, and Power Virtual Agents. In addition, it comes with a robust set of turnkey connectors that enable easy integration with other Microsoft tools such as SharePoint, Teams, or Outlook.
Power Automate’s key features are:
- Microsoft stack integration — Integration templates and full Microsoft environment support make Power Automate a good choice for companies that rely mostly on Microsoft tools.
- Ease of use — Thanks to its simplicity, all employers can use Power Automate to automate small, everyday tasks.
- Power Apps — This compact tool streamlines quick non-code automation of Microsoft 365-based processes, allowing non-technical users to bring up business tools they need for work quickly and without involving the IT team.
- Multi-platform support — Power Automate is available on the web, desktops, and mobile devices, allowing users to create, trigger, and manage automation flows anywhere.
- Built-in AI features — The platform has several pre-programmed and customizable AI modules that can handle text recognition, translation, category classification, and other tasks.
UiPath vs. Power Automate — key differences
When comparing two RPA platforms as different as UiPath and Power Automate, you need to consider many criteria. Here are eight factors we think most crucial.
UiPath is one of the most powerful RPA platforms out there, and its open-code nature makes it even more capable. The platform can automate even the most intricate, company-wide processes, and with support from experienced developers, you can adjust it to any purpose. With these features, it’s easy to understand why UiPath is the preferable RPA tool for mature enterprises.
In contrast, Power Automate is all about everyday tasks. Its architecture isn’t as open as UiPath’s, which hinders customizability but makes the tool more approachable for citizen developers. In addition, its ease of use and robust templates library match the needs of smaller companies that seek to streamline simple workflows. But there is one, particular scenario when Power Automate should be your pick – if your whole organization is based on Microsoft’s stack (Office 365, Azure, MS SQL, etc).
It’s worth noting that just because UiPath and Power Automate target businesses of different scopes, it doesn’t mean that they are limited to them. With some tweaking, you can use both platforms regardless of how big—or small—your organization is.
Power Automate has several plans billed monthly that start as low as $15 per month, making it an affordable automation platform. However, note that the price depends on the number of users or flows, so the total cost can grow significantly as you scale up your automation scope.
The power of UiPath comes at a cost. Sure, the monthly license price will vary depending on the project, but by choosing UiPath, you need to be ready to pay more. Remember, though, that automation is an investment; therefore, one should always weigh up the price against the long-term gains of RPA implementation.
UiPath was founded in 2005 and has steadily built since. Over the years, UiPath has proven to be effective regardless of industry and organization size. Time and accumulated experience have allowed the UiPath team to develop a coherent vision for the platform’s future—and RPA at large.
Being relatively new, Power Automate lacks that maturity. What it has instead is the backing of Microsoft and its worldwide presence. These two factors will stimulate Power Automate’s growth in the years to come.
Community and developer pool
As a more mature tool, UiPath has gathered a staunch base of users over the years. Publicity aside, this popularity has very tangible benefits. Thanks to the large community, new user-made UiPath flows roll out daily. This also means that it’s easier to hire UiPath developers simply because there are more of them out there.
Although Power Automate has been catching up to its competitors in many fields, it doesn’t have the same user base as UiPath. Due to that, there aren’t nearly as many Power Automate developers for hire and user-made flows available, although it is getting traction, especially when it comes to internal citizen developers.
UiPath is a sophisticated tool requiring RPA expertise to leverage its versatility and capabilities fully. Studio X—UiPath’s no-code automation platform—addresses this issue to a certain extent, with no development skills needed. In more complex cases, business users will most likely rely on developers – working with skilled programmers gives broader control, facilitating customization and troubleshooting.
Conversely, the ease of use for citizen developers is among the biggest advantages of Power Automate. Same as with UiPath, no programming skills are required to automate simple daily tasks due to pre-built code blocks, native integration with Microsoft 365, and a drag-and-drop interface. However, the reliance on templates shows Power Automate’s limits when building more complex flows.
Education is one of the cornerstones of UiPath’s efforts to build an image of experts on everything RPA. Its UiPath Academy is full of resources covering both the tool itself and the basics of RPA. It’s the perfect place to get started with the topic from complete zero—and completely free.
Although you can find Power Automate documentation on Microsoft’s Docs website, it’s limited to manual-like instructions for the platform without getting into too much detail about RPA. There are also third-party courses available on e-learning portals.
UiPath vs. Power Automate — what to choose?
Now, the time has come to give you the answer you’re here for. And the verdict is… it depends, as both tools have their uses in different scenarios and projects. That being said, there are some general rules of thumb.
Go for UiPath if:
- You need to automate complicated processes that encompass the entire company. UiPath’s adaptable architecture can help your company streamline tasks many other tools can’t.
- You plan to scale up the automation of your workflows. Even if you start small, UiPath is a great Power Automate alternative since the latter may not be enough for long-term RPA expansion.
- You’re going to use any of its advanced features. Orchestrator and Task Mining make UiPath stand out, and they’re just two modules in its arsenal.
Choose Power Automate when:
- Your tech stack is built mostly on Microsoft applications. Integrations with the MS ecosystem are one of Power Automate’s main strengths, so not using them would be a huge waste.
- You’re looking for an affordable but solid RPA tool. Power Automate brings a lot of value for its cost—given that you’re using Microsoft apps.
- You want to focus on citizen developers and simple tasks. Automation of everyday flows is the main purpose of Power Automate, and it’s just the tool for that.
Our UiPath vs. Power Automate comparison shows that no two RPA tools are the same. That’s a good thing—these differences allow every business to find a solution that’s perfectly cut for its needs. That’s why, even though UiPath is the tool of choice at Flobotics, we can’t deny the potential of Power Automate.
No matter if you want to hire RPA consultants or need professional assistance to decide what and how to automate, let’s get in touch. We’re sure that together we’ll come up with an RPA solution that saves you time, money, and effort.