The high cost of robotic process automation (RPA) platforms is a barrier for would-be developers and small businesses to enter the field. To address this issue, Automation Anywhere, a major RPA platform vendor, has released a free version of its platform for individuals and small businesses.
“To accelerate this [RPA] journey, we are providing free access to our industry-leading RPA platform,” said Mihir Shukla, CEO of Automation Anywhere. “This will especially help small businesses turbocharge their automation initiatives while empowering a whole new generation of RPA developers.”
Branded as “tailored for the developer,” the new Community Edition provides free access to the entire platform. Limitations include cloud-only delivery (enterprise users can opt for on-premises or hybrid delivery models) and no technical support. Training is provided through Automation Anywhere University.
Technology platform companies depend heavily on developers to grow and maintain their market share. This is especially important for RPA platforms, where there remains significant room to grow for all vendors, and organizations report a market-wide shortage of skilled RPA developers.
"Developers, developers, developers!" *mic drop*
Today, organizations deliver great RPA proof of concepts but struggle to scale. This is in part because there are not enough people capable of designing and developing bots. Vendors have been rushing lately to offer free online training, but we largely learn by doing. Success in scaling RPA will depend heavily on how much development effort businesses will engage, not IT, so this will be a huge boost in enabling tech-savvy businesses to gain some RPA skills. Compared to UiPath, Automation Anywhere is late to the free access party, but it could be worse: Blue Prism offers none.
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