Google Cloud and robotic process automation vendor Automation Anywhere revealed a new partnership on March 15 that will see the vendors jointly develop AI and RPA-powered products.
The deal comes after Microsoft's acquisition of RPA vendor Softomotive last year, which aimed to boost Microsoft's Power Automate platform with thousands of new features.
Google's partnership with Automation Anywhere makes sense, said Alan Pelz-Sharpe, founder and principal analyst at Deep Analysis.
One way to look at RPA is the reincarnation of macros, he said; it's the low-code, no-code ability to automate repetitive tasks.
For Google, the partnership with Automation Anywhere will lead to a focus on common back-office administrative tasks, before building out bots that can tackle similar tasks within specific industry verticals, he said.
Automation Anywhere is one of a group of leading automation vendors, alongside Blue Prism, UiPath, Pegasystems, WorkFusion and Softomotive.
Automation Anywhere "compares well with the other major RPA vendors, but, in fairness, they all do much the same thing," Pelz-Sharpe said.
RPA tools automate repetitive tasks, but the differences between vendors show up in how well their platforms manage and orchestrate bots at scale.
The partnership will also make Google Cloud the primary cloud provider for Automation 360, Automation Anywhere's cloud-native automation platform. In turn, Automation Anywhere will become Google Cloud's preferred RPA partner.
Together, the vendors will create automation-powered products and services geared towards industry-specific applications, primarily within financial services, healthcare, life sciences, supply chains, telecommunication, retail and the public sector.
Alan Pelz-SharpeFounder and principal analyst, Deep Analysis
While the core technology behind RPA has been around for decades, RPA adoption is still growing steadily among enterprises. Last year, Gartner predicted that by 2022, 90% of large organizations would be using some form of RPA.
Cloud competitors AWS and Microsoft also provide RPA tools, but "most RPA implementations are heavily reliant on subject matter experts and service teams," Pelz-Sharpe said.
The vendors provide the technology, but, ultimately, the success of an RPA project is dependent on partners and customers, he continued.
Google's plan to work in industry verticals could do well if it at least templates everyday tasks, Pelz-Sharpe said.
"All in all, if you are an [Microsoft] Azure or AWS customer, that wouldn't shift you to becoming a Google customer," he said. "But it might stop a Google customer moving to another stack."