Different estimates of the size of RPA, the software robot market, have been presented. According to some estimates, in 2019, the market for commercial RPA tools would be around $ 2.3 billion, up $ 4.3 billion by 2022 . Other estimates predict that the market will be worth $ 8.75 billion in 2024 . According to forecasts, the market is, therefore, growing and full of business opportunities, at least in the light of the figures, and it seems to believe investors.
According to Forrester’s 2017 survey, these markets are dominated by three tools: Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism and UiPath . Automation Anywhere is currently the most widely used RPA tool, popular in the US, but less well known in Europe. Blue Prism has the second-largest market share, with a slightly smaller market share, and grabs UiPath, which has grown enormously. At the end of 2018, UiPath secured additional funding of $ 225 million and was estimated to be worth $ 3 billion  . Also in November, Automation Anywhere raised a $ 300 million investment from Softbank and was estimated to be worth $ 2.6 billion .
Blue Prism and UiPath – Differences and Similarities
How then do these RPA tools differ? Take two of the three, Blue Prism and UiPath. Both tools can automate the operation of the Windows interface, web browser, and Citrix environment. UiPath has the ability to record Record & Replay but Blue Prism does not have this feature. Because software bots handle important client data, both software provide 256-bit encryption and do not store customer data.
Some differences arise from the licensing models of the tools. UiPath’s idea is to sell different licenses to customers in different development areas: the user needs to buy their own UiPath Studio license for automation development, the UiPath Robot license to run processes, and the UiPath Orchestrator license for automation management . For robots, you can choose an attended or unattended license, depending on whether or not it requires employee attention. The pricing of Blue Prism also starts with the number of robots. In practice, the more you want active robots, the more you pay. And these charges can be remarkably high, even tens of thousands of dollars a year. Of course, if the robot is able to replace the full-time employee’s contribution, the investment is likely to be profitable. But is there any open source tool,
New to Robot Framework
One new question mark on the RPA market is the Robot Framework, which officially received RPA support last year. Or rather, it still sees the RPA market aside, when the established gangs fight against each other. As an open source tool, it does not compete with commercial tools, even though it and some Python libraries make it possible to implement almost all the features that commercial tools offer. On the test automation side, the Robot Framework already has a strong foothold (especially in Finland) and a user base that would be easy to switch to doing software robotics.
- Antti Karjalainen, “The start of the open source RPA movement”, 17.01.2019, presentation in RoboCon 2019
- Mildain Trainings, “Blue Prism vs. Automation Anywhere vs Ui Path”, 01.08.2018. Available at: https://medium.com/@NehaC/blue-prism-vs-automation-anywhere-vs-ui-path-bdfe04f13cee
- Oskar Ylönen, “Comparison of Blue Prism and UiPath in Software Robotics”, 02.05.2018. Available at: https://www.theseus.fi/handle/10024/146100
- Ron Miller, TechCrunch, “UiPath lands $ 225M Series C is a $ 3 billion casting as robotic process Automation soars,” 18.09.2018. Available at: https://techcrunch.com/2018/09/18/uipath-lands-225m-series-c-on-3-billion-valuation-as-robotics-process-automation-soars/
- Ingrid Lunden, TechCrunch, “RPA Startup Automation Anywhere $ 300M from SoftBank at a $ 2.6B valuation”, November 15, 2018. Available at: https://techcrunch.com/2018/11/15/rpa-startup-automation-anywhere-nabs-300m-from-softbank-at-a-2-6b-valuation/
About Tuukka Virtanen
Test automation consultant with technical experience in test automation and quality assurance. TMap Next certified Test Engineer with knowledge in test planning and execution and test design techniques. Master of Science in Information Management. Indie game development as a side project. Creative and visual thinker. The latest assignment included web and mobile game test automation with Appium and Robot Framework in an Agile customer project and regression test automation for websites.
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