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The 5 Best RPA Tools for Making Work Easier

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Automation has evolved beyond a nice-to-have and is now an essential part of running a business successfully. No matter what industry or field you’re in, automation—and robotic process automation (RPA) tools in particular—can help reduce costs, improve efficiency, and free team members up from repetitive, mundane work. 

Thanks to automation’s potential, RPA tools have gained a lot of traction. RPA software is versatile, customizable, and doesn’t require costly integrations through APIs, making it a great option for both small and large businesses. 

In this article, we’ll explore what RPA tools are, what to look for in an RPA provider, and what the five best RPA tools for making work easier are. 

What is an RPA tool?

What is an RPA tool

An RPA tool is a piece of software that emulates repetitive, rules-based human interactions, such as navigating systems, completing keystrokes, extracting and inputting data, or performing other defined actions. One of the biggest draws of RPA tools is that they don’t require integrations to automate workflows. 

This technology uses RPA bots, which aren’t physical robots—they’re pieces of software code. Unlike human beings, they don’t get tired or need rest. But they can break down. 👀

Most mature RPA providers combine RPA tools with artificial intelligence (AI), and the result is called intelligent automation (also known as hyperautomation). Why do they combine the two? Well, because RPA bots aren’t very smart by design. For example, they can’t interpret scanned documents or understand their context. And even the smallest user interface change (like if a certain button is moved) can break their workflow.

So, many RPA vendors combine RPA tools with AI such as:

  • Optical character recognition (OCR) technology. This helps RPA bots perform text analysis and understand scanned documents, which is super useful for paper-intensive industries. (Think of the finance and healthcare sectors.)

  • Computer vision, which helps RPA bots view every element of an interface, helping them “see” interfaces just like a human being does. Computer vision helps the bots perform well and reduces the chances of them breaking down when UI changes occur.

If you’re interested in learning more about intelligent automation, IBM has a great article discussing the combination of RPA with AI. (And if this is the kind of stuff you’re interested in reading for fun, you’re our kind of people. 😉)

The software we review below are RPA tools, but they all use some form of AI as well. So technically that makes them intelligent automation tools—but let's not get hung up on semantics here.

What considerations are important for choosing an RPA tool?

If you’re planning to invest in an RPA tool, it’s important to keep these five considerations in mind.

1. Low code vs. no code

No code RPA tools rely on visual builders to design automation workflows. This is great for users who aren’t tech-savvy—they only need to learn to use the builders. However, developers and IT teams tend to prefer low-code software. These tools are easier for developers to customize. 

2. Customer support

RPA isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it activity. RPA bots get stuck and break down, some automation initiatives turn out to be failures, and bugs show up from time to time. So be sure to look for an RPA provider that offers good customer support—it’s important to choose a partner that’s committed to helping you succeed. 

3. Use cases

Automation use cases vary a lot, especially depending on your industry. If your industry involves a lot of paperwork, for example, it’s important to choose an RPA provider with intelligent document processing features. (When choosing an RPA tool, be sure to check out the vendor’s reviews and case studies. See if they’re experienced in deploying RPA in your industry.)

4. Pricing

RPA tools don’t just have different prices, they’re also priced differently. Some RPA providers charge an all-inclusive fee to use a certain amount of RPA bots with full access to the platform’s features, while others charge separately for certain features. Before you decide, take a look at the different pricing plans available and calculate exactly how much you’ll end up paying. 

5. Attended vs. unattended RPA

Attended automation involves both humans and RPA bots working together. Think of an RPA bot assisting a customer service agent. The bot pulls up the customer’s information on the human agent’s screen, saving the customer support person time and hassle. In contrast, unattended RPA runs on its own, without the need for any human intervention.  

Some RPA tools offer attended automation under a different pricing plan from unattended, so check the plans out and consider your use cases before signing up.

The 5 best RPA tools to empower your team

1. UIPath

best RPA tools - UIPath

Free plan/trial: Yes. UIPath offers a 60-day free trial on the Pro plan.
G2 Score:
4.6.
Top industries:
Information technology and services, computer software, financial services. 

UIPath is the largest provider of RPA software (by market share) and was named a Gartner® Magic Quadrant Leader. As an established RPA platform, UIPath has all the core RPA capabilities you might be looking for, including attended and unattended bots, AI (computer vision, natural language processing, and OCR), cloud and on-premise deployment, and support for all major operating systems. 

UIPath is a great choice for medium-to-large enterprises—it’s a mature platform with an experienced team behind it, and proven results. While the enterprise plan is too expensive for most smaller businesses (it can cost several thousand dollars a month), UIPath offers a free Community Edition, with limited features, to make automation more accessible.

2. Automation Anywhere

best RPA tools - Automation Anywhere

Free plan/trial: Yes. Automation Anywhere offers a free 30-day trial.
G2 Score:
4.5.
Top industries:
Information technology and services, computer software, financial services. 

Automation Anywhere is one of the most popular RPA tools, and like UIPath, is recognized by Gartner as a Magic Quadrant Leader. Automation Anywhere has all the core RPA capabilities, including AI, machine learning (ML), process mining, natural language processing (NLP), and more. Like UIPath, Automation Anywhere provides a suite of tools to design, deploy, and manage your RPA bots.

One of the biggest differences between Automation Anywhere and UIPath lies in their reliance on third-party integrations. Automation Anywhere provides all its core tools in one central platform, whereas UIPath relies on third-party tools to deliver similar functionality.

3. SS&C BluePrism

best RPA tools - SS&C BluePrism

Free plan/trial: Yes. BluePrism offers a free 30-day trial.
G2 Score:
4.5.
Top industries:
Information technology and services, financial services, computer software. 

BluePrism is a major UK-based RPA vendor known for its resilient, scalable RPA platform. Like UIPath and Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism includes all core RPA capabilities, including AI and ML, process mining, and a suite of tools for managing deployment. But UIPath and Automation Anywhere have more learning resources than BluePrism. 

The main differences between platforms like Blue Prism and UIPath are highly technical—so, developers may prefer using one over the other. Some users find UIPath’s cognitive capabilities to be superior, and UIPath offers integrated AI while BluePrism relies on integrations with IBM Watson. However, some reviewers have found that Blue Prism scales better and is more reliable for larger RPA projects.

4. ElectroNeek

best RPA tools - ElectroNeek

Free plan/trial: Some reviews mention that ElectroNeek had a free trial, but they no longer seem to offer one. You can schedule a free demo with their team.  

G2 Score: 4.5.
Top industries:
Information technology and services, computer software, banking. 

ElectroNeek isn’t as big as some of the other RPA vendors on our list, but it has a very interesting focus on managed service providers (MSPs) and IT departments. As the RPA tool says on its home page, they’re “by developers, for developers”. This means that, unlike RPA providers that are focused on no-code, ElectroNeek prioritizes low-code.

Developers generally prefer low-code platforms because they’re easier to set up. In contrast, no-code RPA environments mean developers first have to learn to use the no-code builders before they can deploy RPA. 

ElectroNeek is a great option for small-to-medium sized businesses, MSPs, and modest-sized IT teams. But as some reviewers have pointed out, it’s not the best choice for enterprise needs and may struggle to scale reliably.

5. Microsoft Power Automate

best RPA tools - Microsofr Power Automate

Free plan/trial: Yes. Microsoft Power Automate comes with a free 30-day trial.
G2 Score:
4.6.
Top industries:
Information technology and services, automotive, education management. 

Power Automate is Microsoft’s RPA tool, and it’s a lot younger than competing tools like BluePrism, UIPath, and Automation Anywhere. Power Automate stemmed from Microsoft Flow, a SaaS released in 2016 to help Microsoft 365 users automate business processes. In 2019, Microsoft added AI features and connectors, and Flow became an RPA platform, which is now called Power Automate.

There used to be a substantial difference between Power Automate and competitors like UIPath. At one point, Microsoft’s RPA platform was quite far behind. But as it stands, Power Automate has caught up nicely in core RPA capabilities and was recognized as a Magic Quadrant Leader by Gartner. Power Automate is generally priced more competitively than UIPath, and the software works really well with other Microsoft products. 

Microsoft also offers Power Automate Desktop free with Windows 10 and 11, but the features are limited. The free version is a great option for small businesses looking to use RPA. 

Which RPA tool should you choose?

Leading RPA tools, like the ones we’ve featured, all offer core RPA capabilities. They have some nuanced, technical differences, such as relying on different frameworks or programming languages, and some have superior cognitive capabilities (like OCR) compared to others.

When choosing an RPA provider, consider your specific use cases, budget, and the team that will own your RPA. They might have specific wants and needs.

RPA is a powerful tool used by businesses of all sizes—it’s versatile, scalable, and has lots of opportunities for customization. But sometimes, small businesses prefer workflow automation tools that are easier to set up and cheaper to implement. A tool like Magical can be a great fit in these instances—you get all of the benefits of automation, without the hassle of cost and upkeep.

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The 5 Best RPA Tools for Making Work Easier

Automation has evolved beyond a nice-to-have and is now an essential part of running a business successfully. No matter what industry or field you’re in, automation—and robotic process automation (RPA) tools in particular—can help reduce costs, improve efficiency, and free team members up from repetitive, mundane work. 

Thanks to automation’s potential, RPA tools have gained a lot of traction. RPA software is versatile, customizable, and doesn’t require costly integrations through APIs, making it a great option for both small and large businesses. 

In this article, we’ll explore what RPA tools are, what to look for in an RPA provider, and what the five best RPA tools for making work easier are. 

What is an RPA tool?

What is an RPA tool

An RPA tool is a piece of software that emulates repetitive, rules-based human interactions, such as navigating systems, completing keystrokes, extracting and inputting data, or performing other defined actions. One of the biggest draws of RPA tools is that they don’t require integrations to automate workflows. 

This technology uses RPA bots, which aren’t physical robots—they’re pieces of software code. Unlike human beings, they don’t get tired or need rest. But they can break down. 👀

Most mature RPA providers combine RPA tools with artificial intelligence (AI), and the result is called intelligent automation (also known as hyperautomation). Why do they combine the two? Well, because RPA bots aren’t very smart by design. For example, they can’t interpret scanned documents or understand their context. And even the smallest user interface change (like if a certain button is moved) can break their workflow.

So, many RPA vendors combine RPA tools with AI such as:

  • Optical character recognition (OCR) technology. This helps RPA bots perform text analysis and understand scanned documents, which is super useful for paper-intensive industries. (Think of the finance and healthcare sectors.)

  • Computer vision, which helps RPA bots view every element of an interface, helping them “see” interfaces just like a human being does. Computer vision helps the bots perform well and reduces the chances of them breaking down when UI changes occur.

If you’re interested in learning more about intelligent automation, IBM has a great article discussing the combination of RPA with AI. (And if this is the kind of stuff you’re interested in reading for fun, you’re our kind of people. 😉)

The software we review below are RPA tools, but they all use some form of AI as well. So technically that makes them intelligent automation tools—but let's not get hung up on semantics here.

What considerations are important for choosing an RPA tool?

If you’re planning to invest in an RPA tool, it’s important to keep these five considerations in mind.

1. Low code vs. no code

No code RPA tools rely on visual builders to design automation workflows. This is great for users who aren’t tech-savvy—they only need to learn to use the builders. However, developers and IT teams tend to prefer low-code software. These tools are easier for developers to customize. 

2. Customer support

RPA isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it activity. RPA bots get stuck and break down, some automation initiatives turn out to be failures, and bugs show up from time to time. So be sure to look for an RPA provider that offers good customer support—it’s important to choose a partner that’s committed to helping you succeed. 

3. Use cases

Automation use cases vary a lot, especially depending on your industry. If your industry involves a lot of paperwork, for example, it’s important to choose an RPA provider with intelligent document processing features. (When choosing an RPA tool, be sure to check out the vendor’s reviews and case studies. See if they’re experienced in deploying RPA in your industry.)

4. Pricing

RPA tools don’t just have different prices, they’re also priced differently. Some RPA providers charge an all-inclusive fee to use a certain amount of RPA bots with full access to the platform’s features, while others charge separately for certain features. Before you decide, take a look at the different pricing plans available and calculate exactly how much you’ll end up paying. 

5. Attended vs. unattended RPA

Attended automation involves both humans and RPA bots working together. Think of an RPA bot assisting a customer service agent. The bot pulls up the customer’s information on the human agent’s screen, saving the customer support person time and hassle. In contrast, unattended RPA runs on its own, without the need for any human intervention.  

Some RPA tools offer attended automation under a different pricing plan from unattended, so check the plans out and consider your use cases before signing up.

The 5 best RPA tools to empower your team

1. UIPath

best RPA tools - UIPath

Free plan/trial: Yes. UIPath offers a 60-day free trial on the Pro plan.
G2 Score:
4.6.
Top industries:
Information technology and services, computer software, financial services. 

UIPath is the largest provider of RPA software (by market share) and was named a Gartner® Magic Quadrant Leader. As an established RPA platform, UIPath has all the core RPA capabilities you might be looking for, including attended and unattended bots, AI (computer vision, natural language processing, and OCR), cloud and on-premise deployment, and support for all major operating systems. 

UIPath is a great choice for medium-to-large enterprises—it’s a mature platform with an experienced team behind it, and proven results. While the enterprise plan is too expensive for most smaller businesses (it can cost several thousand dollars a month), UIPath offers a free Community Edition, with limited features, to make automation more accessible.

2. Automation Anywhere

best RPA tools - Automation Anywhere

Free plan/trial: Yes. Automation Anywhere offers a free 30-day trial.
G2 Score:
4.5.
Top industries:
Information technology and services, computer software, financial services. 

Automation Anywhere is one of the most popular RPA tools, and like UIPath, is recognized by Gartner as a Magic Quadrant Leader. Automation Anywhere has all the core RPA capabilities, including AI, machine learning (ML), process mining, natural language processing (NLP), and more. Like UIPath, Automation Anywhere provides a suite of tools to design, deploy, and manage your RPA bots.

One of the biggest differences between Automation Anywhere and UIPath lies in their reliance on third-party integrations. Automation Anywhere provides all its core tools in one central platform, whereas UIPath relies on third-party tools to deliver similar functionality.

3. SS&C BluePrism

best RPA tools - SS&C BluePrism

Free plan/trial: Yes. BluePrism offers a free 30-day trial.
G2 Score:
4.5.
Top industries:
Information technology and services, financial services, computer software. 

BluePrism is a major UK-based RPA vendor known for its resilient, scalable RPA platform. Like UIPath and Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism includes all core RPA capabilities, including AI and ML, process mining, and a suite of tools for managing deployment. But UIPath and Automation Anywhere have more learning resources than BluePrism. 

The main differences between platforms like Blue Prism and UIPath are highly technical—so, developers may prefer using one over the other. Some users find UIPath’s cognitive capabilities to be superior, and UIPath offers integrated AI while BluePrism relies on integrations with IBM Watson. However, some reviewers have found that Blue Prism scales better and is more reliable for larger RPA projects.

4. ElectroNeek

best RPA tools - ElectroNeek

Free plan/trial: Some reviews mention that ElectroNeek had a free trial, but they no longer seem to offer one. You can schedule a free demo with their team.  

G2 Score: 4.5.
Top industries:
Information technology and services, computer software, banking. 

ElectroNeek isn’t as big as some of the other RPA vendors on our list, but it has a very interesting focus on managed service providers (MSPs) and IT departments. As the RPA tool says on its home page, they’re “by developers, for developers”. This means that, unlike RPA providers that are focused on no-code, ElectroNeek prioritizes low-code.

Developers generally prefer low-code platforms because they’re easier to set up. In contrast, no-code RPA environments mean developers first have to learn to use the no-code builders before they can deploy RPA. 

ElectroNeek is a great option for small-to-medium sized businesses, MSPs, and modest-sized IT teams. But as some reviewers have pointed out, it’s not the best choice for enterprise needs and may struggle to scale reliably.

5. Microsoft Power Automate

best RPA tools - Microsofr Power Automate

Free plan/trial: Yes. Microsoft Power Automate comes with a free 30-day trial.
G2 Score:
4.6.
Top industries:
Information technology and services, automotive, education management. 

Power Automate is Microsoft’s RPA tool, and it’s a lot younger than competing tools like BluePrism, UIPath, and Automation Anywhere. Power Automate stemmed from Microsoft Flow, a SaaS released in 2016 to help Microsoft 365 users automate business processes. In 2019, Microsoft added AI features and connectors, and Flow became an RPA platform, which is now called Power Automate.

There used to be a substantial difference between Power Automate and competitors like UIPath. At one point, Microsoft’s RPA platform was quite far behind. But as it stands, Power Automate has caught up nicely in core RPA capabilities and was recognized as a Magic Quadrant Leader by Gartner. Power Automate is generally priced more competitively than UIPath, and the software works really well with other Microsoft products. 

Microsoft also offers Power Automate Desktop free with Windows 10 and 11, but the features are limited. The free version is a great option for small businesses looking to use RPA. 

Which RPA tool should you choose?

Leading RPA tools, like the ones we’ve featured, all offer core RPA capabilities. They have some nuanced, technical differences, such as relying on different frameworks or programming languages, and some have superior cognitive capabilities (like OCR) compared to others.

When choosing an RPA provider, consider your specific use cases, budget, and the team that will own your RPA. They might have specific wants and needs.

RPA is a powerful tool used by businesses of all sizes—it’s versatile, scalable, and has lots of opportunities for customization. But sometimes, small businesses prefer workflow automation tools that are easier to set up and cheaper to implement. A tool like Magical can be a great fit in these instances—you get all of the benefits of automation, without the hassle of cost and upkeep.

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