The best RPA and integration platforms using big data analytics and citizen integration on the market for the enterprise in 2021: reviews
The history of technology in the workplace is full of interesting repetitions – concepts that we thought were long dead and buried are emerging again, albeit in different guises. Take the mainframe-plus-thin-client model, for example. In the 1950s and 60s, a gigantic central computing and storage system took over tasks, and users entered data and triggered jobs from very simple devices located away from the central mainframe.
Sixty years later, we are all using relatively cheap “thin terminals” in the form of web interfaces or simple mobile apps that interact with cloud-based powerhouses that process computational data and spit out results.
The course of the theory and method of business application is similarly circular. If we take the UNIX philosophy as a starting point, an application does one thing, but it does it very well. A few years later, the companies took over large ERP suites from there that did almost everything in the business: from business operations to logistics, finances, inventory to reminding the VP of Marketing that his wife’s birthday was on the weekend. However, over the past decade, large ERPs that matter to all users have lost popularity and have been at least partially replaced by so-called dot products: smaller software instances of software that – you guessed it – do one thing, but do it a lot Well.
The big difference between today’s Point products and the early UNIX applications (aside from size and overall performance) is that we have far greater expectations of how technology should make our lives easier these days. In many ways we were spoiled by the wide reach of “typical” ERPs. An application that did (almost) everything (if only part of it well) still seems like the ideal. The best way to realize this idea now seems to be to automate and interface between specific software applications and services.
Enter the RPA robot
When Robotic Process Automation (RPA) first began to bring discrete applications together, its initial use was to copy and paste the repetitive daily workload of many human “computer operators” back when such a job title existed .
Over time, the robots became more sophisticated and were able to make some simple decisions autonomously. usually based on basic boolean logic (IF this AND THEN DO this (OR this)). In business terms, workflows could be reduced to such decision points and left to the automated systems: IF there is an invoice AND it has to be paid AND we recognize the sender, THEN inform John about it.
The next generation
In the past few years, there have been three major development areas for RPA, each increasing automation performance in business environments. At Tech Wire Asia, we’re looking at four next-generation automation platform vendors that have taken steps in any or all of the following areas. Below you will find a brief overview of the individual areas of further development as well as the providers that we recognize as market leaders in this competitive environment.
The first area is DATA PROCESSING. This broad area in which software and hardware systems have advanced may include handwriting recognition, OCR and intelligent parsing, and data cleansing from a variety of sources. To return to the earlier example, systems can now interpret handwritten invoices and intelligently retrieve relevant information from documents: amounts, address, payee, bank details, etc.
In the past few years, most software has evolved into more OPEN AND INTEGRATED (or rather integrable). Applications or services that are truly stand-alone, closed, or interact in difficult or proprietary ways with other systems are mostly ignored. APIs, published standards, system or platform agnosticism, and even open source code bases are now at stake for software developers.
The final – and possibly most controversial – area is in COGNITIVE DECISION. However, the debates in this area are not so much about the dangers of AI-powered robots taking over the world, but rather whether the vendors’ claims about machine learning are real.
AI claims abound in marketing hyperbole these days, so potential buyers of next-generation RPA could be wary of flimsy claims. However, be aware that the vendors listed below have been shown to provide a number of business benefits that derive from their products. Claims about artificial intelligence at work under the hood are therefore justified!
What sets Workato apart is the way different technologies – a next-generation iPaaS, API-driven RPA, low-code API management and chatbots – are combined on a single platform. A true low-code / no-code platform, Workato enables experienced developers in technology teams as well as non-developers in other business functions to manage and own the automation of their workflows for faster business transformation.
Workato’s founders, with backgrounds in companies like Oracle, Skype, and Splunk, know technology needs to get simpler so that more people can use it. For this reason, Workato works with simple English and drag and drop. The result? Workato users (almost half of them in non-IT roles) love the platform.
As an industry standard bearer, Workato is also the only company featured here that has appeared as a leader in integration platforms in both the Gartner Magic Quadrant and Forrester Wave. In fact, Gartner named Workato a leader in the three years it participated in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise iPaaS.
The company recently announced it would raise an additional $ 110 million on a post-money valuation of $ 1.7 billion. So, Workato is clearly a name to watch.
Click here to learn how automation can successfully transform your business.
Zapier initially presents itself as an IFTTT variant (if-this-then-that) that encompasses several levels: Despite the ease of use, even for beginners, its true performance is waiting for users to gain experience.
In Zapier slang, data exchanges are called “zaps”, which include a trigger and then an action: for example, when a new email arrives in an Outlook account, you send a message. This is what Zapier calls a “task”. As much as an IFTTT deployment so far, albeit one with 1000+ app instances taken from a number of popular and simple models.
Paid plans (starting at $ 20 per user per month) allow integration with premium apps that include nearly enterprise or business applications and services under the sun: Salesforce, NetSuite, and most SQL flavors, as well as task apps and databases , Online services, HRM, ERP and any other kind of acronym soup. Paid plans also allow multi-level zaps, so the metaphor IFTTT and T as well as T and T can be continued.
Users can also get a playback function. So if a zap fails (for example, if an API is temporarily unavailable), it will run again until it succeeds. Part of Zapier’s accomplishment is to recover when connections are brittle. When an automation consists of half a dozen interdependent applications, all it takes is a stumbling internet connection or a small upgrade to break a workflow.
Zapier’s approach is very citizen-oriented. Here at Tech Wire Asia, we envision users starting to automate everyday tasks and then passing plans on to their colleagues, teams and departments. In this way, pressure is put on the decision-makers from the coal.
For these larger deployments, there is Zapier for Teams, with which you can share and collaborate on Zaps, but without having to aggregate the logins of individual people to the various services. There is also a free trial version available for testing.
The Tableau offerings are designed for different types of users. Whether your C-suite wants to address a problem from a macroeconomic perspective, or whether a single business-minded manager or talented employee wants to write bespoke automation routines for streaming live data from multiple sources, the platform has it all.
This is achieved by defining different roles in a company: spectator, explorer and creator. This set of roles can be on a single team or spread across business functions.
The viewer has the visualization and overview they need. Explorers are more confident to dig deeper into the levels of information to uncover the underlying business logic. Creators are those people who have a flair for seeing the big picture and solving problems quickly.
Tableau can be deployed on a large scale in cloud-based clusters or private data centers. The company has split the availability of its platform into four apps: Desktop, Prep, Online, and Tableau Server. Learn more about the gold standard tableau here.
There are several aspects to the Alteryx platform that make it quite unique in this area. Data analysis professionals will be interested in the depth of the insights available from the information gathered under the hood of the platform. Much thought has been given to integrating with the tools and platforms that are already available and in daily use. For the more business-minded professionals, this integrative approach extends to the rest of the technology stack that is normally at play at the enterprise level, including the numerous services offered by cloud providers via APIs (application programming interfaces) as well as standard tools that are widely available on the Available in the world Various business functions, including large ERPs, are still very common in Australasia and APAC throughout the business world.
The platform is heavily collaborative, which makes searching for data analysis and automation based on empirical information faster. This open, community-centric base means there is little chance that different teams will replicate each other’s work.
Routines can be created by hand in “traditional” code, or more business-minded (ie, non-technical) workers can use the intuitive interfaces to create powerful integrations, automations, and even data science routines. The collaborative approach to big data in Alteryx fits the corporate environment very well: This is a data-driven business for large companies, not for isolated teams working in ivory towers! You can read more here – click the link.
* Some of the companies featured in this article are commercial partners of Tech Wire Asia