Intelligent Platforms Changing the Automation Landscape

October, 2020

The robotic process automation (RPA) industry has shifted toward hyperautomation, which leverages AI, ML, and NLP to enable end-to-end automation. Tool vendors have evolved their solutions into enterprise-class suites covering the entire automation lifecycle by bundling process discovery, workflow orchestration, prediction and recommendation, document processing, analytics, and unified dashboards. Software vendors such as SAP, Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle have also entered the AI-led automation marketplace by embedding automation in their applications and platforms, organically or inorganically.

This trend is examined in Avasant’s new report, Intelligent Automation Tools 2020 RadarView™ a comprehensive study on the intelligent automation tools marketplace, featuring industry-first insights, analysis, and a close look at the leaders, disruptors, innovators, and challengers in this market.

This report is designed to help enterprises identify the right tool vendor for implementing and scaling their automation engagements. It assesses the vendors based on their hyperautomation capabilities across the automation toolkit, flexibility in pricing models, efforts to reduce TCO, maturity and scale of operations, and initiatives to increase citizen development and democratize RPA. It also highlights the top trends in the intelligent automation space.

Avasant evaluated 25 intelligent automation vendors through a rigorous methodology across three dimensions (product maturity, enterprise adaptability, and innovation roadmap). The report recognizes 14 vendors that brought the most value to the market over the last 12 months.

The report recognizes tool vendors in four categories:

    • Leaders: Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism, EdgeVerve, UiPath
    • Innovators: Microsoft, NICE, Pegasystems, WorkFusion
    • Disruptors: Kofax, Kryon Systems, Verint
    • Challengers: Appian, Automation Edge, Jacada

Figure 1 from the full report illustrates these categories:

MoneyShot IA Tools2020 1030x687 - Intelligent Platforms Changing the Automation Landscape

“The pandemic has led to an increased focus on automation tools that optimize operations and reimagine business models,” Avasant’s Principal Analyst Chandrika Dutt said. “To gain a competitive advantage, enterprises should invest in intelligent platforms and applications embedded with automation, prediction, and recommendation. Such platforms will create automated workflows that break down siloes, cut across functions, and connect processes end-to-end.”

The report also highlights other trends, including the following trends:

  1. Low-code platforms and self-service capabilities are driving “citizen development” and platform maturity:
    • Automation platforms are morphing into low-code platforms enabling point-and-click implementation. The emergence of private bot stores and an increasing number of marketplaces for pre-built bots, connectors, templates, workflows, scripts, and AI skills are further fueling citizen development.
    • Emerging self-service capabilities such as self-healing, self-scaling, self-installation, and self-learned workflows will become more mainstream and enable ease of platform implementation.
  1. Flexible pricing, TCO reduction, and a lower entry point are accelerating scalability and flexibility:
    • Flexible pricing options such as per-process/bot and outcome-based costing have been in vogue since the inception of RPA. Tool vendors are now increasing their focus on lowering TCO and lowering barriers to entry and scaling. Increased partnerships with software vendors and platforms such as MS Azure, Google, AWS are enabling solution bundling.
    • SaaS models, bring-your-own-license (BYOL), and unlimited automation packages are further affecting pricing dynamics and making these solutions more scalable.
  1. Intelligent automation is emerging as a “digital vaccine” by enabling business continuity during the pandemic:
    • To help enterprises meet the surge in customer demand, tool vendors are offering free bots, specialized solutions such as Payroll Protection Program (PPP) bots, free RPA training programs, and conducting hackathons to identify new application areas.
    • Use of “attended automation” in a remote environment can enable contact center agents to work from home and ensure service consistency, compliance, productivity, and employee engagement.


The full report features RadarView profiles of the top 14 tool vendors and their intelligent automation solutions. It shows how the vendor landscape has evolved, not only in terms of categorization but also in the way they are investing in hyperautomation capabilities, democratizing RPA, developing reusable and off-the-shelf assets, and strengthening their partner networks.

This Research Byte is a brief overview of the full Intelligent Automation Tools 2020 RadarView™ report. The full report is available at no charge for Avasant Research subscribers, or it may be purchased by non-subscribers directly from our website (click for pricing).