Robotic process automation (RPA) in Asia/Pacific has gained much traction over the years as enterprises target seamless, efficient operations and greater levels of productivity.
In fact, IDC's 2018 Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) (APeJ) Business and IT Enterprise End-User Survey reveals that medium-sized and large enterprises now rank automation in workplace operations among the top three capabilities they expect from their digital workplace environments.
As competition in the market intensifies, the key differentiation between various platforms and offerings from RPA vendors will lie in the integration capabilities (with enterprise systems and third-party applications), delivery models, usability (UI/UX features, built in recorders etc.) and training and support.
With this in mind, IDC profiled the RPA offerings from Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism, Datamatics, Kofax, UiPath and WorkFusion.
This IDC vendor assessment of RPA offerings showed that:
Enterprises have realised that the true value of RPA is not in piecemeal automation but in integrated deployment at scale. This integrated requirement is addressed by key RPA technology vendors as they offer platforms with core capabilities to build, manage, and scale up bots for processes across business functions.
RPA vendors are trying to build credibility for their intelligent automation initiatives by showcasing proven uses cases, forging partnerships with cognitive application programming interface (API) providers and helping enterprises define clear roadmaps to identify processes in which they can meaningfully deploy the AI-enabled bots.
Based on our conversations with several RPA vendors on their go-to-market strategies and partner engagement models, we believe RPA vendors are prioritising the growth of their partner ecosystem, not only from a sales perspective but also to co-innovate solutions for their mutual customers.
Some RPA technology vendors are now beginning to lean towards a vertical-specific go-to-market (GTM) approach. Although most of the solutions they offer can be considered vertical-agnostic, a fair amount of customisation and business-specific context-building has helped these RPA vendors get the attention of key IT decision makers in specific industries.
"As RPA is now seen as a strategic enabler of the digital workforce, enterprises need to evaluate a range of criteria before considering an automation technology provider,” says IDC Asia/Pacific services and cloud research group senior market analyst Rijo Thomas.
“RPA vendors in the region are driving differentiation through their enterprise-grade bot building and management platforms, embedded analytics, native cognitive capabilities or third-party cognitive application programming interface (API) integrations, on-demand cloud delivery, and partner innovation programmes."
IDC Asia/Pacific cloud and IT services senior research manager Pushkaraksh Shanbhag adds, "Although the inherent value of RPA as a technology is now well proven and beyond any doubt, there is still a significant difference in the way different automation software vendors approach the market.
“Understanding these differences will be the key to enterprises choosing the right automation partners that can help them leverage robotic and intelligent automation as a driver of their enterprise digital transformation initiatives."