A reason why the adoption rate is low is RPA’s high implementation cost: RPA buy-in fees can be between $5,000-$15,000 annually.
The high cost is pushing adopters towards s free RPA solutions. We generally see two types of free RPA packages being offered:
- Those that are a full/limited version of the solution offered for a limited time
- Those that are a full/limited version of the solution offered for an unlimited time
In this article, we will explain the importance of free RPA solutions and showcase vendors who offer it.
Why is Free RPA important?
Free RPA is important because it gives RPA providers:
- Exposure to more developers: Developers are more likely to learn about, and improve on, the RPA solutions that they can download and interact with.
- Exposure to more companies: Freemium versions are especially attractive to smaller companies, with limited budgets, that want to automate simple tasks.
- Once these small companies develop their pilot workflows with freemium RPA, the vendor will be in a prime position to upgrade them to a paid package.
What’s a real-life benefit of free RPA to the vendor?
A real-life example of how a free RPA offering benefited a vendor is the rise of UiPath, which is the most popular RPA vendor on Google.
UiPath was the first vendor among initial RPA providers to offer a free edition:
- UiPath Community Edition – 2016
- Automation Anywhere Community Edition – 2019
- Blue Prism Learning Edition – 2019
As seen in Figure 1, UiPath’s rise in popularity is correlated with the release of their free RPA version:
Figure 1: UiPath distinguished itself from the pack of other RPA vendor rivals in 2016 after it released a free trial version. Source: Google Trends
List of vendors providing free RPA trials
The following RPA platforms provide users with free access to some or all RPA functionalities for a limited time:
IBM provides a 30-day trial to users enabling them to access a Virtual Desktop (windows) with IBM RPA Studio pre-configured and ready to go.
2. Automation Anywhere
Automation Anywhere offers a 30-day free trial of their low-code RPA software.
3. Microsoft Power Automate
Microsoft Power Automate offers a 30-day free trial.
UiPath offers a 60-day free trial.
VisualCron is an automation, integration, and task scheduling tool for Windows. Their trial version allows you to use the full functionality for 45 days.
List of Freemium RPA tools
Freemium model providers enable users to access some of their RPA solution functionalities for an unlimited time. These providers include:
1. AssistEdge Community Edition
AssistEdge Community Edition offers a free automation platform for students and independent developers.
AssistEdge integrates with Alexa, Google Home Mini, Microsoft Bot Framework, IFTTT, and cognitive APIs from Google or Microsoft.
Their community dashboard provides users with an aggregated, unified view of their process execution details, accessible from anywhere on the web.
2. UiPath Community Edition
For individual RPA developers and small teams, UiPath offers a freemium product.
The features of UiPath community edition include :
- Cloud accessibility
- 1 orchestrator
- 2 RPA development studios
- 3 bots in total (2 attended, 1 unattended)
3. Workfusion RPA Express
RPA Express Starter is a freemium edition of Workfusion’s product for automating desktop tasks.
RPA Express’ capabilities include:
- OCR functionality
- Unattended automation
- Cloud accessibility
- Legacy apps integration (SAP, Excel, Oracle, etc.)
- Screen recording
Workfusion has recently rolled out its RPA Express Pro, which allows for individual and business-wide automation.
List of Open Source RPA
Explore all open source RPA in our article on the topic.
For more on RPA
To understand different RPA offerings in the market, read our articles about:
- 7 Steps to Select the Best RPA Tool & Vendor
- In-Depth Guide Into 5 Ways RPA Tools Differ From Each Other
- RPA Pricing Models For the Top 6 Market Players
If you still have questions about RPA, read our in-depth whitepaper on the topic:
And if you believe your business will benefit from an RPA tool, explore our data-driven list of RPA solutions.
And we can guide you choose the right tool for your business:
This article was drafted by former AIMultiple industry analyst Alamira Jouman Hajjar.
Transparency Statement: AIMultiple works with multiple RPA companies including IBM mentioned in this article.
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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