Enterprises want to improve their operational efficiency – but how? Quite often, they look for a one-size-fits-all solution for the challenge. But it’s a common error in thinking that purchasing automation technology from a single vendor can deliver the best results. In reality, the benefits of a multi-vendor strategy far outweigh its limitations. This article aims to provide an overview of multi-vendor strategies and discuss a few of the most common tactics used to ensure its success.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has become a hot topic in the business world, and for a good reason. RPA allows companies to automate repetitive tasks, freeing employees to focus on more value-added work. This can lead to increased efficiency, productivity, and cost savings. Let’s first understand what a multi-vendor RPA strategy is.

But with so many RPA tools and technologies available, you may wonder which is best for your company. That’s where a multi-vendor RPA strategy comes in.

Simply put, an organisation’s IT strategy that leverages the capabilities of multiple RPA tools and technologies is referred to as a multi-vendor RPA strategy. Instead of being constrained by the capabilities of a single tool, this strategy enables businesses to select the appropriate tool for each unique task.

There are several reasons why a multi-vendor RPA strategy is becoming more popular among CXOs. The “two vendor strategy” has proven to offer higher chances of success with optimal results.

Single-vendor RPA strategies can limit automation efficiency

When a company relies on a single vendor for its RPA needs, it can limit the efficiency of its automation efforts in several ways. Analysts estimate that 30-50% of all automation projects fail. Why?

  • The capabilities of a single vendor’s tool may need to be better suited to take the divergent directions of the company’s specific needs. For example, if a company needs to leverage AI models like ChatGPT to automate its processes and the tool does not provide this as a simple plugin, the organization will lack the latest tools available in the market. This can lead to inefficiencies and added costs as the company works around the tool’s limitations.
  • Being reliant on a single vendor can limit a company’s ability to scale its automation efforts. For example – an RPA tool that is good in unattended automation may not be good at task mining or intelligent document processing, which is what the company will need to identify the next set of automation use cases. . And any replacement projects can run up from a few weeks to a few months leading to escalated costs and subpar results.
  • Vendor lock-in can limit a company’s bargaining power. If the company becomes too reliant on a single vendor’s tool, it may be at the mercy of that vendor regarding pricing and other terms. This can result in higher costs and less favourable terms for the company.
By contrast, a multi-vendor RPA strategy allows a company to choose the best tool for each specific task, providing more flexibility and scalability. It also helps the company avoid vendor lock-in, giving it more bargaining power and reducing the risk of being at the mercy of a single vendor.

A well-structured multi-vendor RPA strategy helped a global building products distributor in North America restart its automation journey after facing issues due to frequent bot breakdowns and errors and insufficient support services offered. Post the execution of the multi-vendor RPA strategy; the company was able to identify broken air booking processes with several variations, which in turn resulted in US$ 184K potential annual savings identified through process improvements

5 reasons organizations are adopting a multi-vendor RPA strategy

A multi-vendor RPA strategy, which involves using multiple RPA tools and technologies from different vendors, can be the best approach for companies in certain situations. This approach allows companies to choose the best tool for each specific task rather than being limited to the capabilities of a single tool.

There are several benefits to a multi-vendor RPA strategy:

  • Tailored to specific needs: Different RPA tools have different capabilities and may be better suited for specific tasks. Using a multi-vendor approach, companies can select the tools that best fit their needs rather than trying to make a single tool work for all functions.
  • Greater flexibility and scalability: If a company’s automation needs change over time, it can easily add or remove tools to meet those needs. This is especially important for companies looking to scale their automation efforts rapidly.
  • Avoid vendor lock-in: By using multiple tools from different vendors, companies are independent of a single provider for their automation needs. This can give them more bargaining power and reduce the risk of being at the mercy of a single vendor. You get a clear advantage over vendor resistance to renegotiation at renewal time.
  • Access to a broader range of expertise: A multi-vendor RPA strategy allows a company to tap into the expertise of multiple vendors rather than being limited to the knowledge of a single provider.
  • Increased efficiency and productivity: By using the best tool for each specific task, companies can achieve higher levels of efficiency and productivity. This can lead to cost savings and an overall competitive advantage.

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Getting started on adopting a multi-vendor RPA strategy

A multi-vendor RPA strategy is trending among organizations because it allows a company to take advantage of the strengths of multiple RPA tools and vendors, handle the complexity of modern business processes, reduce risk, and increase flexibility.

As RPA continues to gain popularity, more and more companies will likely adopt a multi-vendor RPA strategy to stay ahead of the curve.

Companies can gain vastly from a mature RPA services provider who can assess their automation maturity levels and recommend the right multi-vendor strategy to adopt.

Disclaimer Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the respective institutions or funding agencies