On the Zapier website there is a section about RPA (Robotic Process Automation) functionality. The reason the information is on the site is to recognise the overlap and the differences.
The simple answer is No, but in some circumstances, it could be a Yes.
Confused? While both Zapier and RPA are about automation of tasks in workflows, the approaches are different.
WHAT IS ZAPIER?
Zapier uses the “When” something, “Do” something concept in what it calls a “Zap”.
Zapier is a user-friendly, cloud-based automation tool designed for businesses and individuals looking to integrate various web applications. It allows users to create “Zaps,” which are automated workflows connecting different apps to perform specific tasks based on predefined triggers and actions.
Zapier is known for its intuitive interface, so that users, without extensive technical knowledge can easily create Zaps.
Zaps are set up using a graphical user interface and it does not require coding skills.
Zapier supports a vast library of apps (6,000+), making it versatile for automating a wide range of tasks, from email marketing to data sharing between platforms.
WHAT DOES RPA DELIVER?
There are many different RPA tools recognised on the industry analyst charts Gartner and Everest.
As Ether Solutions we are specialists with UiPath the market leader as determined by the analysts.
RPA focuses on automating rule-based, repetitive tasks by using software robots.
RPA software robots mimic human actions by interacting with various systems and applications just like a human user would. The robots can simulate “Reading” from a screen, simulate typing on a keyboard and simulate mouse movements & clicks. In the case of UiPath it is also capable of utilising API integrations to applications where they are available so that the “Changing” nature of user interfaces can be avoid in many cases even though the same functionality is replicated.
UiPath’s software robots are capable of scaling to the demands of the large enterprise in terms of processing volume, security and complexity of automation process.
UiPath is able to interface with web applications, desktop applications, mainframe systems as well Citrix / VDI presented solutions.
UiPath includes functionality such as OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and AI (Artificial Intelligence), plus integrations to an array of business applications.
SO WHERE IS THE OVERLAP?
At the smaller business which is mainly concerned with web based applications which have data alignment / synchronisation challenges, Zapier is the market leader. It delivers an effective solution for an affordable price
For medium size businesses where the range of technology that could be subject to automation increases, Zapier and RPA tools like UiPath could overlap.
Once the scenario is about large businesses, the variety of potential needs generally means that RPA products such as UiPath are the appropriate choice.