RPA vendors comparisons: “Cars or Airplanes?” - Jidoka


RPA vendors comparisons: “Cars or Airplanes?”

29 June, 2018

Here in Spain comparing things is almost a national sport. We compare iPhones with Android phones, or whether Real Madrid is actually better than Liverpool F.C. and surprisingly enough, some even compare pears with pears and apples with apples.

And quite often we also compare a journey by car with a journey by airplane. Although it is a logical comparison in some scenarios, it is quite illogical in others.

The same thing happens with RPA tools when they are dissected in comparatives and reports, the comparison in itself is not bad for the RPA providers, the differences observed can help to improve the product or to meditate on what you need to do now, or maybe even what you should do in the future to make that product better.

The problem occurs when the comparison is made between products belonging to different groups or categories, or when these products are aimed at solving different “headaches” or “challenges” for customers.

Jidoka is a tool, no, not just a tool, but rather a very complete RPA platform, designed to be used by different types of users: business users, IT users, developers, etc., depending on their profile and the tasks they need to carry out:

  • Tasks related to the design and analysis of functional results should be carried out by business and operational profiles.
  • Optimization tasks should be performed by the developers of the robots*.
  • Tasks related to platform maintenance should be carried out by the manufacturer.

*But, who are the developers of the robots? What profile should they have? At Jidoka, the robot builders are Java developers. Business users participate in defining the process workflow, which is the visual description of the process to be automated. The developer’s work is implementing this workflow.

When we see studies comparing Jidoka with other RPA tools, sometimes there is a section highlighting the functionalities provided by the tools to facilitate the construction of robots. This section appears to be pre-defined with items such as:

  • The tool allows the use of drag & drop components
  • The tool includes a recorder for the construction of robots
  • The tool allows the construction of a robot with no need of coding skills

In Jidoka, we do not have these “advanced” functionality, the reason why is in line with the answer to the previous question: Jidoka robots are built by Java developers, also called programmers, and for developers there are much more interesting features.

And the problem is here, those evaluation/comparison charts and tables do not include those other points such as:

  1. The tool uses a standard programming language
  2. There is an extensive API that helps write fewer lines of code
  3. Any IDE can be used
  4. You can debug the execution of a robot
  5. Robot deployment includes version management
  6. Existing libraries can be used

For Jidoka, the answers are:

  1. Java
  2. Yes, there are many modules developed to save efforts in programming
  3. Yes, any IDE
  4. Yes, of course, we are in the 21st century
  5. Yes, of course, my TV is a flat and in color
  6. Yes, in Maven Central there are more than 10 million available artifacts

Jidoka, is a RPA tool that is comparable with other offerings in the market, however, when we make a comparison we must be sure of the purpose of the tool: automate processes as well as what type of users are going to perform what types of tasks.

If a developer uses Jidoka to build a simple robot, he can do it, if he uses Jidoka to build a complex robot, he can also do it although he needs more time.

With Jidoka simple tasks are simple and complex tasks are possible.

With some RPA tools oriented, or at least that’s what they say, to enable practically any user to build a robot, it is likely that a simple robot can be built, and even work, but it is very unlikely that a complex robot will even be completed.

Most of these tools are like cars, practical for short journeys of a few hundreds of kilometers, but Jidoka is like an airplane, the most suitable means for journeys of thousands of kilometers.

Does your company want to take advantage of automation to optimize a wide range of business processes (thousands of kilometers)? Processes that can be simple or complex, and processes that will probably change and evolve over time? Then choose Jidoka, it is the right tool.

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