In the Spotlight: RPA Vendor Kryon
von Fassih Fariwar
Partner | Advisory
27/05/2018 | Frankfurt am Main
In light of all the innovations and creative minds behind Robotic Process Automation, it’s not surprising that the RPA vendor market is currently one of the most vivid, existing markets. In order to not get lost between the number of vendors around the world and keep an eye out for new ideas of RPA and its provided software, we have taken a deeper look into what the market is offering. Besides comparing known and established vendors such as Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism or UiPath, we decided to focus on the offering of Kryon, who recently opened offices in Europe. To provide a better idea on selected functionalities that Kryon offers, we compared those with the RPA provider UiPath.
To make our analysis as user-friendly as possible, we structured our evaluation along the typical RPA value chain ranging from Discovery, Definition, Development, Deployment to Governance. While the first steps focused on the overall identification of eligible processes for RPA and creating the respective business case, we put the main focus on the latter stages – namely Development, Deployment and Governance. And, without pre-empting the outcome of the review, we were surprised about new and uncommon features that this RPA player from Tel Aviv, Kryon, is bringing to the table. Let’s start by digging into the details.
The development step describes the main task of building or developing the RPA-Bot. The differences between the RPA-Tools carry weight in this part of the RPA value chain due to their increased use. And: Starting with the development interface, Kryon is showing a quite different approach than UiPath.
UiPath’s Flow Panel allows to design and display the automated process in single steps, paths and decisions, whereas at Kryon the features of designing the processes manually are slightly hidden. And there is a reason for this: Kryon offers a powerful recorder that allows the recording of whatever is to be automated with a click of a button. At this point, the recorded steps are presented as separate tasks in the different views (normal, diagram, storyboard and advanced commands view). The diagram view comes in handy when the automated workflows that are being embedded are used within the robot. The storyboard view shows an overview of all screenshots taken while recording the process. For maintaining and editing the recorded steps, one needs to switch to the normal view, where for each step, objects can be identified and edited on the screenshots.The advanced command view is used to edit the tasks with advanced commands. If you decide to change a task or the properties of an activity, you will discover, at this point, that Kryon is offering a feature of applying changes to similar tasks, in comparision to UiPath where we did not find an option to change all similar activities at once.
Overall, the four views in Kryon do not offer a structured process view like UiPath and it might get confusing when big and complicated processes are being automated. That is why switching between the views is common when working and modelling with Kryon. So, building a robot with Kryon is usually done by using the recorder to track the steps of your process – which is pretty convenient. Kryon’s recorder recognizes and saves relevant objects and elements precisely which almost completely eliminates one of the biggest issues while recording a process with UiPath: Finding and targeting specific elements on the screen correctly – Kryon combines different attributes like the selector, picture and inner/outer texts of the chosen element to recognize it. Plus, the integrated AI improves the precision with every run making it less liable to mistakes when the selector contains variable parts. But unlike UiPath, Kryon’s recorder doesn’t work immediately for every application on the computer. The required applications to be automated have to initially be defined to enable automation with the recorder. Once the application is recognized though, the recorder does its job.
Getting an overview of Kryon’s provided software, activities like “Mathematics” or “Remove blank spaces” at first sight are remarkable. This is based on the fact that Kryon is not using any coding language to convert or edit variables, making the software more user-friendly for non-technical users, but on the other hand, more complicated when it comes to easily changing data structures or working with variable formats. Therefore, using arithmetic operators or the trim function, for instance, are making UiPath’s approach probably more appealing to technical users at that point, since its integrated code, methods and functions or importable packages cover the full scope of C#.
Following its idea of a business-user friendly RPA, Kryon is using custom error messages specified on their incidence, which cannot replace the wide range of Windows error messages UiPath is using but are covering the activity Try-Catch and a little bit more than the common error messages while developing the Robot.
The different focuses and origins of these two competitors are also easily noticed when taking a look at how tasks are automated in order to be organized and introduced to operations.
Kryon offers the opportunity to embed and reuse automated workflows from the catalogue or from your earlier development, coming in very handy while remodeling a long process with different tasks. Compared with UiPath, it is obvious that Kryon aims to provide ease of use for non-technical users, i.e. when developing and deploying attended and also hybrid bots (a combination of unattended and attended bots) – as this is considerably simple.
What Kryon offers with its servers is to provide a better overview of developed robots and their analysis, simplifying the management and controlling of the deployed robots including a versioning and a change history. In combination with the Kryon Console (the equivalent to UiPath Orchestrator) and its built-in analytics features, it’s not only possible to schedule the used Robots like in UiPath but also to prioritize the jobs in the queue. With this feature, high-prioritized jobs are executed first by available robots to prevent delays in the daily business.
The downside on the effective use of its servers for Kryon is the necessity of setting up these servers before using the software and to stay connected to them at any time. So, if you try to start Kryon on your computer while working offline or you’re experiencing a bad connection, the loading screen just won’t disappear. UiPath, in comparison, is working well without any internet connection once it has been installed. You might need to be online for downloading additional packages or updates but it’s not a prerequisite to start a robot or continue the development with your software. It should be noted though, that it Is possible to work offline with Kryon if the studio and server component are installed.
Overall, the analysis of Kryon and its comparison with UiPath shows many new and innovative features that are justified by Kryon’s different focus.
Kryon is giving ordinary business users the opportunity to build their own attended, unattended or hybrid bots with a well-functioning recorder and the ability to launch automated workflows. For now, it is missing a large and supportive community and additional offerings just as the free community edition or the RPA-Academy UiPath is offering. But considering its business approach, Kryon’s qualities do wet one’s appetite for more.
Bottom Line: The outcome of the vendor analysis shows that the applicability of an RPA solution really depends on the individual use case and application model of a company. So, apart from the obvious decision points such as price and usability, the maintenance, scale and security should always be taken into consideration. In light of the overall progress in the RPA sector and several thrilling upcoming innovations, we are really looking forward to the news to be heard from UiPath, Kryon or the other vendors in the course of this year.
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