Factors such as:
- Ease of use
- Quality of support
- User ratings, and more, can all affect your data-driven decision-making vis-a-vis RPA tool selection.
For instance, we’ve already discussed that Automation Anywhere is not the easiest of RPA tools to set up. Or that Microsoft’s Power Automate does not integrate well with applications outside the Office suite.
Choosing an RPA tool that does not meet your needs is an “RPA pitfall” to avoid. Appian, for instance, is a good RPA tool but users claim that it’s not scalable. If you’re a large enterprise, choosing an RPA tool that isn’t scalable will hinder your automation levels.
To help you avoid such scenarios, we have prepared this article to discuss Appian’s shortcomings (based on users’ reviews) and explore how Appian alternatives are filling in the gap.
Why are we looking at Appian alternatives?
Appian’s small size is reflected in the small number of reviews it’s received on G2. But if we look at the reviews regardless of the number of users which have left them, Appian is behind the competition in almost every category.
Appian has some positives going for it. It:
- Seems to be reasonably priced (although getting a quote is not straightforward, read why)
- Has an easy-to-configure, no-code capability
- Is customizable for different workflow purposes
- Has an easy-to-configure interface
- Doesn’t have advanced AI/ML functionalities
- For instance, users claim that its chatbot integration is behind the competition.
- Doesn’t offer a free trial
- And most importantly for our purposes, has a rules engine that can’t handle too many rules and/or decisions at once, which perhaps hints at scalability issues
These shortcomings are the main reason why we are looking at other competitors in the market.
What categories are we using to compare Appian alternatives?
We are comparing Appian’s alternatives to each other across 5 dimensions:
- Main features: These are the flagship features of each tool
- Pricing: The pricing model of each tool
- Descriptive words: The most common words that users use to describe each tool, aggregated from websites such as G2
- User ratings: The rating each tool has received on different peer-to-peer review websites
- Other positives/negatives: These are other miscellaneous features
IBM has a low-code/no-code programmability that makes it easy for citizen developers to create bots. G2 claims that IBM’s “ease of bot creation” factor is 9% above average.
Moreover, IBM’s RPA is scalable and suitable for various industries and processes.
IBM’s pricing model is straightforward:
- $908/month (SaaS)
- $926/month (on-premises)
Users describe IBM’s RPA as (Figure 1):
- Easy to use
- Having a wide range of features
- This is perhaps why it’s used across a wide range of industries.
- Drag and drop functionality for quick script-writing
- And a friendly user interface
Figure 1: Most common descriptive words customers have used vis-a-vis IBM RPA.
- IBM’s AI-enabled chatbot is now equipped with IVA (intelligent virtual agent) that personalizes messages to users based on past interactions.
- It’s not cheap. Users believe it’s not economical for small enterprises.
UiPath has a friendly UI that allows for quick bot creation. A sales marketing manager of a 3-10B dollar manufacturing company, for instance, claims that with UiPath, they were able to create a functioning bot within days.
UiPath’s RPA for “large” enterprises comes in three different packages:
- 1 attended bot + 1 action center: $420/month
- 1 attended bot + 1 unattended bot + 1 action center: $1380/month
- 1 attended bot + 4 unattended bot + 4 action centers: $1930/month
But SMEs, with lower-scaled needs, have to contact UiPath’s sales department for personalized quotes.
Users commonly describe UiPath’s RPA solution as:
- Easy to use
- Easy to learn
- UiPath offers an academy where users can become Certified UiPath Professionals.
- Users mostly claim that UiPath’s response time is slow which slows down debugging in return.
3. Automation Anywhere
Automation Anywhere prices its RPA product concerning the number of bots and bot creator licenses:
- 1 unattended bot runner, 1 control room, 1 bot creator: $750/month
- Each additional unattended bot: $500/month
- Each additional attended bot: $125/month
Users associate Automation Anywhere as one with multiple features, user friendly, and easy to use (Figure 2) – although we’ve discussed that Automation Anywhere is not as easy to use as its competitors.
Figure 2. Common descriptive words users associate Automation Anywhere’s RPA solution.
- Some users have found Automation Anywhere’s licensing strategy confusing and expensive.
- Automation Anywhere’s RPA seems to integrate well with third-party applications, especially Gmail and other email services.
For more on RPA
To learn more about RPA, read:
- Top 100+ RPA Use Cases/ Projects/Applications/ Examples
- RPA Benefits: 20 Ways Bots Improve Businesses For The Better
- Top 53 RPA Tools / Vendors & Their Features
Download our RPA whitepaper to learn more about the topic:
We didn’t cover all of Appian’s competitors in this article. If you want to look at the rest of the competition and invest in RPA, we have a data-driven list of vendors prepared.
We will help you throughout the selection process:
Cem has been the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per similarWeb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.
Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.
Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised businesses on their enterprise software, automation, cloud, AI / ML and other technology related decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.
He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.
Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.
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