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Which is Better – Blue Prism, Automation Anywhere or UiPath? A Look at the Leading Robotic Process A

You might also be interested in the following article Which is the best Robotic Process Automation tool in the market now? where we discuss the key evaluation criteria for a RPA tool.

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According to Forrester Wave: Robotic Process Automation, Q1 ’17, Blue Prism, Automation Anywhere and UiPath are recognized as the leading providers of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software.

Forrester Wave: Robotic Process Automation, Q1 ’17

Forrester WaveTM: Robotic Process Automation, Q1 ’17

(For those who are interested, click on the Forrester link above to download the entire 19-pages report.)

The astute readers among you might have noted that this report is somewhat dated. Which is true given the fast-moving and hyped-up nature of the RPA market.

Nevertheless, our interactions with clients and prospects seem to confirm the fact that these three musketeers garner the most mind share currently.

Data from Mindfields appear to support this as well. Based on their published RPA use cases, these three companies make up three of the four most popular RPA tools deployed globally.

Breakdown of RPA Tool Used

Source: Mindsfield data and CFB Bots' analysis

For those who are wondering, OpenSpan (which was acquired by Pegasystems) is the other popular choice.

Hence, this article provides an overview of and comparison among these three software companies.

For easy remembrance, I will collectively refer to them using the acronym BAU. Not Business As Usual – with the disruption sowed by RPA, there’s nothing as such – but Blue Prism, Automation Anywhere and UiPath.

Just a disclaimer. We will not delve into technical features and differences among the BAU tools. If that is what you are after, please stop reading now.

To be sure, our belief here at CFB Bots is that there is no single best tool in the market right now. Rather, it is important to choose the ‘right’ RPA tool that is ‘fit for your purpose’.

So let’s get going.

Blue Prism

Arguably the most well known of the trio, Blue Prism is listed on the London Stock Exchange since March 2016. A cursory glance at the share price chart below confirms the bullishness around RPA in general, and Blue Prism in particular.

Blue Prism Share Price

Source: Google Finance

Below is a TEDx talking given by Dave Moss, CTO and Co-founder of Blue Prism, on RPA. Here, he introduces the now ubiquitous concept of the Virtual Workforce.

Unlike many of its peer, Blue Prism differs in not offering a desktop recorder that watches the actions performed by a user and automatically generates the script.

Currently, RPA is being marketed as a code-free/code-lite tool that caters for users with all levels of IT proficiency including users whom have little to no programming background. A process recording tool is no doubt a major component of this marketing spiel.

However, according to Dave, such an approach increases the Total Cost of Ownership over time, and reduces the longevity and resilience of the automation developed.

Another thing of note is that Blue Prism only supports unattended automation, while Automation Anywhere and UiPath provides both front office (i.e. attended) and back office (i.e. unattended) robots.

Automation Anywhere

With a reported customer base of 26,000+ across 3,000 enterprise clients in more 90 countries (apologies if the figures are outdated), Automation Anywhere can certainly lay claim to be the largest and fastest growing technology company in the RPA field.

According to Mihir Sukla, its CEO, Automation Anywhere has deployed 450,000 bots to date and is aiming to have 3 million placed by 2020.

This seems like a lofty target, but the recently announced strategic partnership between the company and IBM might just move the needle in the right direction. After all, the combination of the execution finesse of the RPA bots with the orchestration provided by Business Process Management software is one potent mix.


A Romanian company founded way back in 2005, UiPath is perhaps most famous within the industry for its Community Edition. Free, fully featured and extensible, the Community Edition is lending support to UiPath’s drive to democratize RPA (before alternatives like WorkFusion’s RPA Express became available).

UiPath Community Edition

UiPath Community Edition

UiPath is also one of the pioneers to launch an open online RPA academy where users can attend training and get certified. Again, this significantly reduces the barriers to adoption. Perhaps more importantly, this helps to churn out a steady stream of UiPath certified developers in an industry where demand is far out stripping supply.

Not surprisingly, the market is taking notice. In April 2017, UiPath announced that it is raising $30 million in Series A funding led by Accel. Armed with this sizable war chest, UiPath is expected to continue pushing the boundaries of this admittedly nascent RPA market.

One potential area to watch out is the strategic partnership between UiPath and Celonis. The latter provides a process mining software that enables customers to automatically visualize and analyse their processes for areas with good automation potential.

Celonis Process Mining

Celonis Process Mining

Many organizations are still struggling with identifying the right processes for RPA, and the ability to use data science to resolve this challenge is a very exciting prospect indeed.

So which is the better tool? As mentioned previously, there is no “one size fits all” solution out there in the market.

However, looking at the Google Trends data for the past 12 months, it appears that UiPath is generating the most search interest, followed closely by Blue Prism.

On a regional basis, Blue Prism seems to be fairly popular in North America, Australia and parts of Europe, in particular United Kingdom where it is domiciled. UiPath, on the other hand, seems to have good traction in Asia, Latin America, and many European countries.

On a side note, Middle East and Africa look to be up for grabs. Anyone interested?

Regardless of which tools you do choose, do bear in mind that technology is nothing but a means to an end. To make RPA work, it is equally important to choose the right process and have the right people in place as well.

Good automating.

You might also be interested in the following article Which is the best Robotic Process Automation tool in the market now? where we discuss the key evaluation criteria for a RPA tool.


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