Five industry experts discuss how feasible the growing marketplace for pre-built robotic process automation (RPA) models are for businesses
Demand has been rising for RPA models that are pre-built for companies to use alongside other technologies and employee skills. However, the feasibility of this practice remains to be up for debate.
“Many RPA vendors have what they call a ‘bot store’, or a marketplace, where you can buy prebuilt RPA components,” explained Porter. “As a general rule, those RPA components might deliver a small activity within an end to end business process. But it will need to be configured to that customer, to that business process, to their systems.
“These bot stores are often free, and there’s a reason for that – it doesn’t deliver significant value to the customer and is still focused on RPA. As a result, it’s not very flexible or scalable. It delivers benefit to the developer, but it doesn’t deliver much benefit in terms of business value.
“What many businesses are looking for is pre-built solutions for end-to-end business processes. These don’t focus on technology, but on outcomes. For example, we have the capability to automate all your invoices, all your email classification, all your payroll processing or customer onboarding. That’s significantly valuable for the business. Why? Because it’s difficult to adopt recent technology and build out point solutions for specific problems.
“With this use case-based approach, customers can sign up to a more flexible licencing model. For example, we offer Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or pay-as-you-go – transactional or consumption-based licencing. The traditional RPA vendors can’t do that when they’re selling bots, because they’re selling unit or resource-based licensing models – effectively bots as a resource with fixed processing time. A more flexible model offers significant value without having to invest in upfront licensing to embark on your first automation project.”