2020 RPA gartner Magic Quadrant released

Sorry, I don’t have a link. I signed up for a, “private report” so I’ll just have to describe it for you all.

Blue prism remains a leader in basically the same position that it was in 2020. Ui Path improved in both vision and ability to execute (Moved up and to the right). Automation Anywhere improved its vision but not ability to execute. Work Fusion is new addition added to the leaders but barely based on its ability to execute but good vision. Microsoft has shot to the head of the pack in vision but still is low in its ability to execute so it is only in the visionary category, not the leaders.

Taken in isolation I found this report to the very favorable Microsoft. Moderately positive for Automation ANywhere and Work FUsion (. Neutral for UiPath and Blue Prism.

If you take into account growth rates, recent company moves and general market position I’d say this is favorable for Blue Prism as they have a new hot shot CEO, are focusing on R&D, and have made a good strong cloud acquisition. UiPath needs to kick it into gear and continue to innovate. I don’t know them as well since information is harder to come by but my impression is they have focused really hard on sales and marketing and maybe have taken their eye off the ball of innovation. Automation Anywhere seems to have stagnated a bit however this report seems to indicated they have recognized this and will be a force to recognize. Microsoft is the one to watch. They made a strong acquisition and have are making strong inroads into RPA on their own platform which is by far the largest. I think microsoft’s focus on only windows will hurt them in the long run as more workloads go cross platform.

RPA is an interesting industry for me in that as close to 100% sure it will be huge but it is in its infancy. Nothing is written in stone.

I really hope some of you that work in the industry can weigh in. I’ve found your input thus far to be invaluable

Best,
Ethan

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I did some more research and came to a different conclusion and sold my small position. It was surely not easy selling your position in the thinly traded OTC market which is another negative for US-based investors. Here are my concerns:

  1. During the last EC when the CEO was asked why worry about positive cash flow why not focus on growth he said they are balancing growth. Seems like they don’t see a way to grow too fast.
  2. He also said BP started RPA but no longer own it! This is worrisome. They think their RPA is effective, can be independent multi-task. Other RPAs are single task, need supervision, are BOTs, and use simple scripts. They may be correct but I am not sure if they are yet winning that messaging. Their competition started much later and is much bigger now - both UIPath and AA were valued at Mcap of $7B last year; UI Path was valued at $10B in June 2020!. Blue Prism is valued at only $1.4B.
  3. During my review of Gartner report and other articles, it seemed like RPA is a harder sell to comps. CEOs are not fully sure how to use it effectively. Of course, BP does talk of customer case studies showing great ROI. But I am unsure if they can scale and that is perhaps why the revenue is slowing. This is in contrast to things like endpoint security, monitoring, data analytics etc. which are in demand now.
  4. RPA is a business productivity tool and can help optimize headcount. So, it may be easier in a hot economy when companies have a lot of cash and find it hard to fill their staff as opposed to the current environment.
  5. Along the same lines of #2 the tech does not appear to be ready for hyper-growth, i.e has not crossed the chasm or has not started on steep part of the S curve yet. But the potential is not in doubt hence the acquisitions. Gartner says interesting space but points many challenges in getting ROI, seem to be saying RPA needs to grow to beyond point solutions which is what BP is also saying but the report seems to suggest no one knows exactly how to go about it.
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