The past year has ushered in unprecedented digital transformation, with robotic process automation (RPA) in particular growing with rapid pace. RPA software utilizes bots to automate tasks traditionally done by humans, saving businesses huge amounts of time and money, and relieving staff of tedious, repetitive, low-value tasks.
But not all RPA software is made equal. With so many new tools on the market, it can be difficult for agencies to know which will ones make their working day easier and more profitable – and which are actually enjoyable to use. To shine a light on the kinds of solutions available right now, we’ve broken down some of the most popular RPA software solutions for running a more efficient agency – whether you’re looking to invest in an all-in-one solution, or want a focused, task-specific RPA software.
Agencies looking for heavyweight RPA software are spoilt for choice. There’s a diverse range of all-in-one solutions currently on the market which can help agencies apply automation across internal and customer-facing workflows – driving new efficiencies and improving the employee experience. Covering almost every facet of agency management, such RPA software tends to come with quite a hefty price tag and, consequently, appeals mainly to large, established agencies.
As we enter into what some are calling the “automation-first era”, UiPath are widely considered the market leader within the RPA sector – and around one half of the Fortune 500 companies have already used UiPath to automate those pesky, repetitive tasks that just can't be avoided. According to UiPath’s website, they “make software robots, so people don’t have to be robots”, and by backing a bot for each employee – a bot that’s able to learn new skills through AI – they’re helping agencies boost productivity and efficiency as well as employee engagement and happiness.
Because UiPath streamlines processes, reveals efficiencies and offers insights, it doesn’t only allow agencies to save time and effort; it also makes the often challenging path to digital transformation quicker, cost-effective and significantly less stressful. Ultimately, this is a high-level platform that makes it easy to build intelligent workflows – and because this is done “codelessly”, using drag-and-drop systems, UiPath is accessible enough that employees without much technical ability are still able to build necessary processes. Just from doing this, agencies can elevate employee experience, ensure compliance, save significant overhead, and improve client experience.
Founded in 2001, Blue Prism is a highly established RPA software used by more than 2,000 businesses in over 170 countries. One reason that Blue Prism is so popular with agencies is that it understands that different sectors have very different RPA needs – and whether an agency wants to manage a complex infrastructure, improve security and compliance, bring more products to market, or increase operation speed, Blue Prism provides the necessary flexibility and features.
While it does offer a free trial, Blue Prism is best suited to agencies with deeper pockets – but its features are among the very best, allowing agencies to pinpoint efficiencies, generate value with new working processes, and free up millions of hours for teams to work on meaningful tasks. Drawing upon its years of experience, Blue Prism can help agencies accelerate digital strategy, improve the lives of employees and customers, and ultimately take automation to the next level.
Automation Anywhere is another global leader in the RPA sector, offering the world’s only cloud-native, web-based, and SaaS-enabled automation platform that combines RPA, AI, machine learning and analytics. Known for its swift implementation, Automation Anywhere is inexpensive enough to be popular with small to medium businesses, but its powerful range of products and complex automation roadmap means it's also popular with large agencies.
Head to the Bot Store, the world's first and largest bot marketplace, where you can browse more than 1,200 pre-built, intelligent automation solutions that allow customers to automate repetitive or time-consuming tasks, thus boosting productivity and engagement and enhancing both employee and customer experience. The drag-and-drop interface is designed to support users with varying levels of technical ability – useful for large agencies with diverse employees – and as of 2021, Automation Anywhere has already deployed nearly three million bots in over 90 countries.
Another world leader in terms of business process automation is Laserfiche, an RPA software company that helps companies eliminate repetitive manual processes via workflow automation, RPA, e-forms, and process analytics. Known for pioneering the paperless office more than 30 years ago, today Laserfiche employs cloud, machine learning and AI to: enable agencies to accelerate how business gets done; streamline and improve any type of content management and strategy; and enhance the overall experience for employees, as well as clients and customers.
Using powerful workflows, electronic forms, document management and analytics, Laserfiche can help agencies eliminate spreadsheets, cut down hours spent on email and shallow work, and remove the need to rely on paper forms and manual approvals too. By identifying any inefficient processes and capitalizing on unexploited opportunities, Laserfiche can help agencies optimize operations, and its wealth of features mean it’s popular within many industries – from healthcare to education, insurance to justice and public safety.
For smaller agencies in the process of scaling their business – or larger ones just getting to grips with RPA – there’s a ton of more specialized RPA software on the market to choose from. These solutions pride themselves in “doing one thing very well” instead of trying to touch every agency business function. Consequently, the investment risk and onboarding effort is a lot lower. Here are just a few examples of popular task-specific RPA software designed for the agency workflow.
From invoicing transparently and optimizing project rates, to understanding team capacity and utilization, accurate time tracking is essential to every agency. With automatic time tracking software like Timely, agencies can do the whole thing with minimal effort. Relieved of start/stop timers, teams can focus 100% on their work and access a completely objective record of their work day. With users reporting 75% savings on timesheet overhead, automating agency time tracking is a no-brainer for more efficient, accurate agency reporting.
As highly repetitive processes, accounting and billing are ripe for automation. Thanks to QuickBooks Online, agencies can streamline a huge chunk of it. Highlights include recurring invoices, recurring credit card payments, automated overdue payment reminders and automated reporting insights. In four steps, finance teams can set up a process for automating payroll, too. Integrating with thousands of tools – including CRMs, ERPs and the above-mentioned automatic time tracker Timely – QuickBooks Online makes an extremely versatile and powerful addition to any agency tech stack.
Specialist task management tools can build welcome efficiencies into cumbersome CRM and agency management software – removing low-value admin associated with updating the status of work, or creating new tasks. Nifty and Asana are two particularly agency favorites, allowing teams to automate parts of everyday project task management. The latter actually lets you build custom integrations across your teams, customizing automations tailored to your exact requirements and existing processes.
If you’re looking for cloud workflow automation – particularly for knowledge and document management – check out Flokzu. It helps agencies quickly create automated processes that combine tasks, deadlines, business rules and notifications. From managing employee vacation requests and centralizing scattered digital communication, to finding and storing documents, Flokzu helps agencies create smarter workflows and processes without writing a single line of code.