RPA Technology Options

In its report ‘The Forrester Wave™: Robotic Process Automation, Q1 2017’, Forrester evaluated RPA 12 vendors:

Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism, Contextor, EdgeVerve Systems, Kofax, Kryon Systems, NICE, Pegasystems, Redwood Software, Softomotive, UiPath, and WorkFusion.



Vendors were evaluated against 28 criteria, grouped into three high-level buckets:

  1. Current offering: This covered robot development functions; control room, system management, and reporting; RPA analytics; architecture; use case breadth; and deployment flexibility, governance, and security.
  2. Strategy: This included each vendor’s vision, innovation approach, and planned enhancements, as well as its partnership approach, corporate strategy, and target markets.
  3. Market presence: The study looked at installed base of customers, revenue growth, services, number of employees, and technology partners.


The study made the following key observations:

  1. Forrester estimates that, by 2021, there will be over 4 million robots doing office, administrative, sales and related tasks. That’s a lot of robots running loose. Management of robots and their governance will be a growing issue. Most vendors are working on enhancing their central robot controllers. Key features being developed include central control of work queues, schedules, execution rules, and support to “spin up” and stop robots.
  2. Integration of AI capabilities into RPA platforms is the holy grail. Current RPA platforms are mainly capable of performing routine tasks, and don’t yet have cognitive capabilities that would enable them to recognize new and less-used patterns, memorize those patterns, and support them to handle complex exceptions. Most products today use text analytics, image processing, text search, or optical character recognition to meet RPA needs. AI capabilities are to a large extent limited to chatbot integration. However, vendors are actively trying to incorporate cognitive capabilities into their platforms. Some are developing their own AI algorithms and incorporating them into their products, while others are linking to established AI platforms such as Microsoft Azure ML or IBM Watson.


For detailed capabilities of the vendors and their strengths and weakness please refer to the full report:

The Forrester Wave™: Robotic Process Automation, Q1 2017

The Forrester report classified the 12 vendors as below:

Leaders

Strong Performers

Contenders

Key Findings

  1. Automation Anywhere is the leader in all the three dimensions (Current Offering, Strategy & Market Presence).
  2. The Top 4 in terms of Current Offering are Automation Anywhere (3.69), UIPath (3.53), NICE (3.51), Blue Prism (3.39).
  3. Within Current Offering, Automation Anywhere is the leader in the following areas: Bot development & core functions (3.70), RPA analytics (3.66), architecture (4.33), and breadth of use cases (4.10); whereas Blue Prism scored the highest in deployment, governance & security (4.00), and control room, system management, reporting and resilience (3.80).
  4. The Top 4 in terms of Strategy are Automation Anywhere (4.25), Blue Prism (4.25), UIPath (4.00) and WorkFusion (3.25).
  5. The Top 4 in terms Market Presence are Automation Anywhere (4.50), Blue Prism (4.0), NICE (3.50) and Edgeverve & Pegasystems (3.00). Automation Anywhere is well ahead of its competitors in Market Presence.