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The 26 best RPA tools to optimize your business

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RPA (Robotic Process Automation) has become hugely popular due to its ease of implementation and the fact it can significantly boost ROI. Finding the best RPA tools for your small business can seem daunting, but we’ve got you covered.

An estimated 53% of businesses have already started their RPA journey, and in just five years it’s expected that nearly all companies will have adopted this kind of intelligent automation in one form or another.

Here’s what we’ll cover today:


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What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)? 

Robotic process automation (RPA) is a technology that makes it easy to build and manage ‘robots’ that mimic human interactions with digital systems and softwares. 

RPA helps companies eliminate tedious manual tasks through solutions like document processing automation, freeing up employees to focus on core processes. 

Some use an RPA solution as a stopgap on the way to incorporating intelligent automation (IA) and machine learning (ML). These tools are able to make judgments about future outputs, and some RPA solutions already incorporate these new technologies.

Just like people, these robots can understand how to read a screen, complete the appropriate keystrokes, identify and pull out data, navigate systems, and carry out a wide range of defined actions. The bonus is that they can do this far faster than humans can (and without having to take a coffee break). 

You can learn more from this Robotic Process Automation explainer and this RPA video.

What are the business benefits of RPA?

7 ways industries are benefiting from RPA tools in 2021

More and more companies are seeing the benefits of RPA, in industries ranging from manufacturing and healthcare to the finance and insurance sector. 

Benefits range from increased productivity and customer satisfaction to improved analytics and HR performance. From Walmart and Deutsche Bank to Ernst & Young and American Express, enterprises across the globe are rapidly adopting RPA. 

Here are some ways industries are seeing improvements:

1. Better business results

By enabling employees to focus on high value activities businesses are seeing improvements in their bottom line. 

By automating certain business activities, such as data entry, call center agents can spend more time on higher level tasks. Actually speaking to customers with complex issues, for instance. RPA automates lower value positions and allows humans to focus on value adding activities. 

2. Lower wage costs

In certain industries, such as banking, it’s likely that a lot of back-end processes will be replaced by RPA automation. With robotic processes making some positions redundant, companies can redeploy staff if relevant opportunities exist or upskill them to ensure they are a good fit for other types of jobs.  

Even when all staff are redeployed, automation will make for a leaner organizational structure and cost savings.

3. Reduced risk

When upgrading systems, companies sometimes go over budget without seeing any real results. Incorporating RPA is low risk and non-invasive, ensuring projects get completed more quickly—using both attended automation or unattended automation—without causing disturbance to existing systems. 

Here are a couple use cases of how RPA has helped companies mitigate risk:

4. Increased customer satisfaction 

Once RPA is implemented, companies can reduce or eliminate human error during the sales process and other crucial areas of business, and customers will reap the benefits. 

By reducing errors it will be easier, for instance, for a contact center agent to identify a customer’s issues more quickly and address their queries. 

Companies will also be able to offer better speed of service to customers. Rather than having to manually enter forms into the system or copy data between systems, RPA can do this at lightning speed. 

As an example, many credit approvals and card management processes are now automated, increasing the speed and efficiency for customers.

5. Improved data quality

A reduction of errors means that organizations will have access to better quality data, thereby leading to more reliable analyses. 

Robots can interact with legacy systems and uncover data that wasn’t previously available or was too labor intensive to extract. This means the analytics team can access more data and be able to carry out more in-depth analysis. 

6. Improvements in HR

RPA means employees no longer have to spend their days copying data from one system to another. By incorporating no code RPA companies can democratize the development of automation so that teams can build and maintain their own automated systems. 

This is not only empowering, but means they can then focus on more interesting and challenging tasks, leading to a better employee experience.

More and more companies are investing in RPA technology for their HR departments, reclaiming a big percentage of their time and increasing employee satisfaction levels. 

Staff can spend less time identifying and assessing candidates and more time meeting with suitable candidates, attending networking events, or investing in training. 

Here’s an example of RPA software evaluating resumes:

7. Increased compliance

Thanks to RPA, organizations can minimize their exposure to sensitive information because human interaction with this data is reduced. This results in a lower probability of fraud and non-compliance. The decision to implement RPA also enables companies to maintain detailed audit trails.

10 core factors of an effective RPA tool

There’s no shortage of vendors when it comes to the field of robotic process automation, so it can be difficult making a decision on who to opt for. 

RPA product features are many and diverse—so which should you have on your radar?

1. Ease of implementation

It’s important to opt for an RPA system that is easy to implement, that is non-invasive, and compatible with your existing software. Check how capable the RPA tool is in terms of integrating with existing systems to avoid downtime and allow for a smooth transition.

2. Ease of use

Choose a tool that’s easy to use so that employees require little training. A no-code RPA solution is ideal, as it’s appropriate for all levels of user, with or without a background in technology. That way, business analysts should be able to use the software even if they don’t have any programming knowledge. 

3. Speed of automation tools

The aim of an RPA tool is to improve the speed of business processes, so this is one of the most important criteria to consider. Make sure your selected tool increases speed by ensuring it can carry out all the tasks you need quickly—and that it has rapid mapping processes. 

4. Technical specs

Ensure your RPA system has the requisite technical features including: 

5. Cost of ownership

The total ownership cost is another factor to consider before purchasing an RPA tool. This will depend on various factors including vendor fees, cost of implementation, license fee, and ongoing maintenance. 

6. Scalability

An important aspect of scalability is how and where an RPA solution is used in a company, and how that may expand in future. 

It’s important to choose a tool that is easy to integrate with other technologies, and that has expanded accessibility. 

7. Exception handling

Your RPA tool should have a well-designed exception handling function so it can detect errors automatically, faster than via human detection. 

Sometimes errors will need manual attention. In these cases, your RPA system should be able to direct these exceptions to the right person with the relevant expertise. If no attention is required, errors are handled by the robot. If your system is prone to errors, choose a tool with robust exception handling abilities. 

8. Customer support and tutorials

Your RPA provider should be able to support you with reliable, consistent service so you can experience a smooth deployment and make use of any upcoming technical innovations.

9. Architecture

A good RPA tool needs to be adaptable and able to perform various previously time-consuming tasks within an organization. 

Make sure employees have the right skills and experience to make the most of your tool, and ensure you have an understanding of where not to use the robots. If the selected RPA system suits your needs correctly, all complex designs and processes can be automated so they become more efficient. 

10. Governance

Your chosen business process automation tool should be able to provide good visibility to all stakeholders, and everyone involved in all the processes. With notifications, pending actions, ROI dashboards, and other control and monitoring systems. 

26 best RPA tools to automate and optimize your business

There are various RPA vendors on the market, each with their own specific features, some of which are better suited to certain types of organizations. 

While we’re undoubtedly biased (you’ll find as at number one below), we’re going to be entirely fair. The following list contains only genuine features and legitimate analyses of each tool:

1. Automation Anywhere: RPA software for financial services, healthcare and insurance companies

automation anywhere

This is a cloud-native and web based AI platform with a large expanse of business operations capabilities. Automation Anywhere helps organizations create and maintain a digital workforce of software bots that complete end-to-end business processes. 

Drag and drop features are easy to implement, and the solution has a reasonable pricing structure. The software comes with hands-on tutorials and webinars, as well as extensive modular training. 

Automation Anywhere offers a host of benefits:

2. Eggplant: RPA of choice for leading organizations

Eggplant Software empowers organizations to develop superior digital experience for customers. The RPA provider helps businesses to monitor and analyze end-to-end customer experience in order to achieve better business outcomes. 

Pros

Cons

3. OutSystems: good for mobile platforms

OutSystems is a low-code rapid application development software trusted by thousands of companies worldwide. It’s a solution that combines the power of low-code development with advanced mobile capabilities. 

Pros

Cons

4. HelpSystems: for automation that scales 

HelpSystems is a solution that helps businesses automate routine tasks with easy to configure robots for full-scale enterprise automation. 

Features include intelligent document processing and data scraping, and the extraction of web browser tasks to integrate with critical business apps. 

Pros

Cons

5. Kofax: reliable end-to-end solution 

Kofax Insight delivers analytics and process intelligence functionalities to help businesses monitor and optimize operational processes. 

Pros

Cons

6. Agenty: Best for data scraping

Agenty is a scalable, cloud-based SaaS RPA solution that has a host of features including data scraping, web automation, text extraction, OCR, and change detection. The software is easy to use with no coding requirements. 

Pros

Cons

7. Microsoft Power Automate RPA: for automation with less code

Power Automate (previously Microsoft Flow) automates manual paper-based processes and can create new automations and processes within different departments. Capabilities range from sending emails to big functionalities such as getting multi-chain approvals. 

Pros

Cons

8. Zoho: best for CRM

Zoho is a cloud-based integrated Customer Relationship Management platform that has extended support for phone, email, live chat, and social media. 

Zoho’s AI-powered sales assistant, Zia, can provide advanced interpretations and solutions for the sales team so reps can spend more time selling and less entering data. 

Pros

Cons

9. Pega: Automation software for sales, marketing, service, and operations

Pega is a reliable RPA platform for companies looking to accelerate strategic change. The solution can be deployed across several departments, enabling companies to fill gaps and provide infrastructure to evolve a business. 

Pros

Cons

10. Contextor: an industrial approach to process automation 

Contextor is an innovative software solution that’s based on the performance of real-time interactions. The system interacts with all a workstation’s applications simultaneously. Contextor is designed to help companies elevate their customers’ experience.

Pros

Cons

11. Kryon: for accelerating time to production

Kryon is an automation solution that features full-cycle automation and encompasses task and process mining, process discovery, and automation. Kyron can be easily scaled into partner platforms including Software AG and Verint. 

Pros

Cons

12. WinAutomation by Softomotive: Best for Windows apps

WinAutomation by Softomotive is a world class desktop automation tool that provides a powerful Windows-based platform for building software robots.  It brings the benefits of RPA and helps companies reduce costs and improve productivity and accuracy of processes. 

Pros

Cons

13. Antworks: best for research and consulting

Antworks has an integrated platform, ANTstein, which uses Cognitive Machine Reading (CMR) technology. It processes various types of data including printed, handwritten, stamps, and signatures, and enables humans and bots to work together on one machine.

Pros

Cons

14. Blue Prism: for project managers

Blue Prism is a market leading tool that automates tasks, from HR processes to accounting and finance functionalities, without requiring human intervention. The software is easy to scale and designed as a platform to fit wider enterprise systems.

Pros

Cons

15. EdgeVerve: value for money solution 

EdgeVerve is attractive for businesses, big and small, and comes equipped with various specialist features including call center automation, testing, and legal contract analysis. Has a useful set of tools allowing for convenient scaling, version updates, and data migration. 

Pros

Cons

16. Citrix: RPA for reviewing consumer behavior

An intuitive analytics service that enables users to monitor and identify inconsistencies and suspicious activities on networks. Using machine learning and advanced algorithms it provides valuable insights into user behavior, based on indicators including endpoints and network traffic. 

Pros

Cons

17. Jacada: self-service automation

Jacada RPA applies end-to-end customer service automation across self and assisted-service. The software uses RPA and intelligent guidance together in technology that helps agents and customers work smarter. 

Jacada features product scorecards that provide data about features, capabilities, net promoter scores, and satisfaction levels. 

Pros

Cons

18. NICE: for contact centers

NICE is a Gartner magic quadrant leading company, recognized for delivering a solution that’s dedicated, but not limited, to contact center automation. 

Its new AI features include real-time speech analytics and real-time inventory checks. NICE also offers next-best offer recommendations for contact center representatives so they can improve a customer’s experience at all parts of their journey

Pros

Cons

19. NTT Data: for startups and SMEs

NTT-AT’s RPA offers document and performance management, analytics, task management, and UI security. The elastic and scalable software supports both web and Windows. 

Pros

Cons

20. G1ANT:  fast-developing RPA software

G1Ant is one of the fastest growing RPA softwares out there, and is a solution that can be implemented in-house or with the help of the G1ANT software team. 

The process automation software is based on scripts with a new language designed purely for the robotization of processes. G1ANT is open source and welcomes developers to share ideas.

Pros

Cons

21. VisualCron: for high quality customer support

VisualCron is an automation, integration, and task scheduling tool for Windows users. No programming skills are required and it features a user-friendly interface that uses drag and drop features. The software provides over a hundred custom tasks for different technologies. 

Pros

Cons

22. Samsung SDS: big data analytics solution for process automation

Samsung SDS enables companies to gain business insights from big data. The cloud-based platform connects devices and processes data efficiently, shortening the development time for services. The solution is optimized for enterprise-level companies with high scalability, advanced security, and high processing speeds. 

Pros

Cons

23. SAP RPA: easy way to create intelligent bots

SAP makes it easy to build intelligent robots in order to hyper-automate tasks. SAP technology enables manual tasks to be automated so that resources can be redirected to higher value activities and processes. 

Pros

Cons

24. Servicetrace: application performance management platform

Servicetrace is a longstanding robotic solutions provider and leader in synthetic user experience monitoring for app performance and test automation. Servicetrace holds a number of patents, and the technology is trusted by global enterprises in all industries. 

Pros

Cons

25. WorkFusion: best RPA for large volumes of processes and high handling times

WorkFusion works best with processes that are rule-based, and is a good tool for processes which involve high documentation processing—e.g., in banks and other financial institutions.

The software can automate all types of repetitive tasks that have been mapped, and requires little downtime to learn. Workfusion enables automation of the likes of mass email services and reading Excel spreadsheets, etc. Users recommend using an external API to read OCR.

Pros

Cons

26. UiPath RPA: for large, global enterprises

UiPath software enables robots to learn new skills via AI and machine learning. UiPath enables users to build robust robots and measure automation performance. This on-premises solution offers a free 60-day trial. 

UiPath enables organizations to manage, deploy, and optimize automation at scale and run robots that are attended or unattended—as well as test them. 

The software also provides the ability to automatically capture and document processes as you work. 

Pros

Cons

Choosing an RPA tool

Becoming an agile enterprise means having to operate a seamless mix of digital workers, human workers, and dynamically automated systems—from the back office to front office customer service. Robotic process automation enables you to create new transformative ways to work, empowering people to focus on the issues that matter most to a business. 

Adopting robust RPA software also allows you to gain better insights and control over the way work is carried out, and make better decisions around improvement. When it comes to selecting an RPA provider, make sure to do your research. They all come with a different set of capabilities, along with a lower or higher price tag. 

Originally published Jun 28, 2021, updated Jul 25, 2021

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