RPA, as we explain in detail, is possibly the most flexible automation platform and as a result, rolling out RPA solutions require significant programming and customizations. Since RPA companies can not possibly build a custom solution for every process or task that will be automated, they rely on vendors to provide customized reusable solutions. Benefits of reusability include:
- Reduction in implementation time
- Reduction in RPA programming effort
- Process improvement: These plugins/bots are built for common, well optimized processes. Modifying your process to match these templates can simplify and increase the efficiency of your processes.
- Reduced maintenance cost: Though most bots do not offer this option, the future of bot stores will likely include maintained bots. Regulatory changes like GDPR impact all companies in similar ways and necessary changes could be rolled out to many companies automatically via bot updates. This would reduce maintenance costs and process disruptions. A single bot codebase would be prepared by an RPA implementation company in case of a regulatory change. This code base would be used by numerous other companies which report bugs, reducing programming errors for all.
These reusable solutions are provided in marketplaces built by leading RPA companies:Comprehensive list of RPA marketplaces. Disclaimer: The number of apps is not an apple-to-apple comparison as companies list applications at different levels of granularity (from snippets to full processes) in their marketplaces
|RPA marketplace||Launched on||Programming language for marketplace submissions||Number of apps as of 18/Dec/2018||Developer categorization||Ratings||Reviews|
|Argos Labs||To be launched on mid 2019||Python|
|Automation Anywhere||05/2018||Automation Anywhere Enterprise||1200+||Available||Available|
|BluePrism||11/2018||Blue Prism Digital Workforce Platform||77|
|UiPath||10/2018||UiPath Studio||207||Available (6 categories provided from UiPath to community contributor)||Available||Available|
Short history of RPA marketplaces
Automation Anywhere rolled out the first bot store which included ~200 bots as of July/2018 covering business processes in major business functions such as finance & accounting, HR, IT, inventory management, manufacturing, sales, distribution, supply chain management, support, business applications by major tech vendors such as Adobe, Atlasssian, CyberArk, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, SAP, ServiceNow, Twitter, Zendesk, Zoho, categories such as artificial intelligence, collaboration, insights, productivity, security and utility.
When we initially wrote this in 2017, we wrote that we expected other leading companies in the field to follow suit. By then, UiPath team already mentioned that they are working on a marketplace on their Community forum. UiPath bot marketplace is live now.
RPA marketplace owners are still developing a lot of the typical marketplace functionality such as:
- Developer categorization: By categorizing apps developed by RPA companies themselves, those developed by certified solution providers and those developed by 3rd party developers, RPA marketplaces give users a quick but crude assessment of the developer
- Ratings: For most categories of RPA apps (e.g. OCR), there are multiple solutions to choose from and ratings help users rank solutions.
- Reviews: It’s far easier to improve products with feedback. Users leaving public comments to apps helps apps improve their functionality
Read our article on reusable RPA plugins to understand the different types of software offered in RPA marketplaces.
To benefit from this growing market you can submit your code to RPA marketplaces as a company or as a developer. Read our article on Python in RPA to learn more on how to build software for RPA marketplaces as a Python developer. The process is a bit different for .Net developers and we will cover that in the coming weeks.
Hope you enjoyed this overview of RPA marketplaces. Feel free to read more on RPA or get in touch with us with your RPA related questions: