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Zapier Alternative 2022: These 4 Tools Can Keep Up

January 2022
Zapier Alternative: These 4 Tools Can Keep Up

You have reached the depths of cloud automation and are completely overwhelmed by the different terms, tools and application possibilities? You only read the names Zapier, Zaps, Workflows and Integrations everywhere and don't know what to think anymore? Feel you.

TL;TR Zapier alternative: Make

We would like to introduce you to Zapier alternatives here and give you an overview of some common cloud automation tools that are worth mentioning in our eyes. Of course, we will briefly discuss Zapier beforehand, but then we will also start with the Zapier alternatives and what seems worthwhile and useful.

What is Zapier anyway?

Zapier is a powerful automation tool that makes it possible to connect countless applications (over 2,000 in number) without in-depth programming knowledge and thus create fully automated workflows. This saves time, increases productivity and relieves you of tedious, repetitive workflows. As Zapier experts in Germany, we do the whole thing with in-depth programming knowledge to exploit Zapier's full potential.

That was too fast?

So, Zapier offers automations of apps that you connect in the (admittedly very visually appealing) Zapier interface. Think of it as a process that you define from start to finish, with lots of "if..., then..." decisions. decisions. This is then a workflow. Zapier is characterised by the numerous apps (as of now: over 2,000) that can be integrated. The simple user interface makes it easy to enter the world of automation and saves time and effort.  

With so-called Zaps, i.e. individual process steps in automation, different apps can be connected and thus allow workflows to run individually and efficiently. The whole thing simply saves an enormous amount of time and effort and often takes away precisely those tasks that admittedly no one likes to do.  

But: Zapier is not alone on the automation market and that is why we would like to introduce you to some alternatives and weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of the individual tools. There are some (free) Zapier alternatives that are not as well known but still offer a number of impressive functions. Here we go.   

These Zapier alternatives are what it's all about:

MAKE

Automate.io

IFTTT

POWER AUTOMATE

Before we start with Zapier alternatives...

First of all, if you want to delve deeper into Zapier, we already have a more detailed blog post about it here . Zapier is available in both free and premium versions.  

Here are some of the most important features (although not all are free):

Connect over 2,000 apps (free and premium)

User-friendly workflow editor for creating workflows / zaps (free of charge)

Integrated Zapier apps (free of charge)

Multi-level workflows and conditional logic (Premium)

Collaboration tools for organisations and teams (Premium)

Extensive support (free of charge)

Pricing

Zapier-Alternative-Preise

Zapier offers five plans for individuals and companies, professionals and beginners, large and small teams. You can get started with the "free" version, but as you may realise, you won't get very far with it. A maximum of 5 zaps (i.e. process steps) are included. That is extremely little and the limit is quickly reached.  

In our experience, the Professional Plan is necessary for most clients. There are also so-called Zapier Paths, which are enormously important for high-performance and sustainable automation. Think of these Zapier Paths as "If..., Then..." functions. functions that also exist in Excel. This function is indispensable, especially for automations that contain conditions.  

The Professional Plan also offers 2,000 zaps per month. What does that tell us? We calculate it like this:  

Per Zap, customers (according to experience) have a time saving of approx. 16 cents per minute. This means that the Professional Plan saves you about 520€ in employee costs and time, which corresponds to an hourly wage of 20€ gross from the employer's point of view. And that is only the cost side.

The time thus gained can be used for other, hopefully more valuable, tasks.  

Sure, even with 2,000 zaps, it's realistic that you'll reach the limit at some point. But you can add more zaps (for 2 cents flat per tap). Sometimes the individual zaps can also be reduced through more intelligent automation.  

Advantages and disadvantages

Zapier Pros

Code Execution - Hell Yeah! You know Python or .js? Then automate your tools even better with some code

Error tracking - The error tracking and the examples help immensely. You get "dummies", data to create zaps and can thus immediately see whether the integration will work.

UX and design - It's a matter of taste, as we know, but we think Zapier is sexy

Replay - if something didn't work, just start again.  

Premium Apps

Number of apps - over 2,000 plus many hidden beta apps

Zapier Cons

Hupsi, I would like to select another app as a trigger - unfortunately it is not possible. Once you have created your zaps, you can't change anything without deleting everything. That is really time-consuming and annoying. Simply "swapping" an app is not possible.

API connection - here, integration is often half-hearted and a lot of attention is paid to marketing. We often see that an "APP" is on Zapier, but on closer inspection 90% of the functions are missing.

Overview when it gets complex - In Zapier, a maximum of 3 paths go in one path, in simpler terms, you can nest your if-then function a maximum of two times. And you have to look into the "box" each time, which quickly becomes confusing.

Have Zapier implemented by a professional: We are happy to advise you on your individual automation with Zapier. Whether it's business processes or customer journeys, we can help you in a free 30-minute consultation.

Make an appointment for Zapier counselling quickly

Zapier Alternative numero uno: Make

Ah, our old friend Make. What would a blogpost about Zapier alternatives be without Make? So, here are the facts:

At first glance, Make is certainly very similar to Zapier. Make also lets you link applications in a simple interface and thus build entire processes. Using the JSON or HTTP/SOAP modules, it is also possible to link to other web services and open up even more automation.

We have already made a detailed comparison between Zapier and Make here, also with pictures. So if you are currently weighing up whether Zapier or Make is right for you, feel free to take a look.  

Here, therefore, is just the short version of Make:

Pricing

Zapier-Alternative-Integromat

At first glance, the picture is very similar to that of Zapier. Make also offers a free version and other premium versions with different monthly costs.

But then it becomes more different:  

With Make you get more for your money: the free version allows 1,000 process steps (Make calls this operations), remember: with Zapier you get 100 process steps (zaps) for 0€. In addition, there is no limit on applications, so you can automate even your 28-step process directly for testing. In this respect, Make is ahead of the game.  

What we find at least as impressive: If you reach your limit at Make, you can simply update by 10,000 operations for 9$. Someone has thought this through.

Advantages and disadvantages

Make Pros

Modularity - push your process together and build your processes more intuitively. Simply rearrange a process, it's possible.

Execution - you can really see what's happening under the bonnet, what data goes where

DSGVO - GDPR Make - European company that attaches great importance to security and data protection. Why this is so important, you can read here.

Possibilities - you have many more technical possibilities to format data and map complex business processes.

Data storage - save results and data for further processes

Make Cons

No code execution - How would we like to extend a list .append() well. We can't. Too bad! Only with the tools, text parsers and flow controls can lists be created, but real for-loops (as in Python) are not possible.

Complexity and documentation - Make can do a lot, but at first glance it is too complex, even worse: the documentation is atrocious. This becomes visible under the documentation, where Make asks, was the post helpful? Unfortunately, it often looks like this:

Users rate Make as poorly documented.

Time spent - we put more time into client projects with Make as they require more testing and more bug fixes than Zapier.

Surprise: As an Make partner, we also offer the full range of cloud automation services for this Zapier alternative. We will be happy to advise you on your individual automation and clarify whether Zapier or Make is a better fit. Make an appointment now for a free 30-minute consultation.

Automate.io as the next Zapier alternative

Automate.io advertises with the slogan "Automate like Fortune 500" and thus sets a high standard for its own service. Here, too, everything revolves around the integration of cloud applications. Automate.io calls the resulting workflows "bots" and from marketing sales to e-commerce to business processes, a lot can be automated with this Zapier alternative.

If you search through the list of supported apps, you will quickly notice that some apps still say "coming soon", for example Wrike, Salesforce, Instagram or OneDrive. In our eyes, these are very important and frequently used applications, which directly contributes to the disadvantages account. But first to the pricing

Pricing

Zapier-Alternative-Automate.io_

Automate.io also presents the same picture: a free version and five different premium versions. With 5 single-action bots, a similar problem opens up as with Zapier: the free version reaches its limit enormously quickly and thus makes little sense. The next step, Startup, is significantly more expensive than the Free version at $49 per month (for comparison: Make offers entry-level packages for $9 and Zapier for $19.99). But the most expensive package is comparatively cheap again. The question remains, however, how many customers will actually make use of it.  

Since we do not offer Automate.io to our customers, we unfortunately do not have any empirical values on this and cannot make a recommendation as to which package seems sensible. However, the business package for $199 with 100,000 actions per month seems sufficient for many projects. What gives us a stomach ache, however, are the 200 bots, which could be scarce for some customers.

Advantages and disadvantages

Automate.io Pros

Ease of use - Automate.io is extremely quick to set up with a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface. No programming knowledge is required

Across all plans, Automate.io offers more actions (called tasks in Zapier) per month. If Zapier only performs 100 tasks per month in the free plan, Automate.io already performs 500.

Automate.io Cons

In principle, Automate.io has one major disadvantage and this is also the reason why we do not offer the tool to our customers: The limited number of apps. If fundamental applications like OneDrive or Salesforce are missing, automate.io is unattractive for almost all customers, and both Zapier and Make offer exactly that.

In addition, the jumps between the individual packages are very large. If we at Zapier activate the Professional Plan for $49 (billed annually) for clients in good conscience, we don't get nearly as far with the startup version of Automate.io for the same price (billed monthly).

IFTTT - if this then that as a Zapier alternative for private use

IFTTT is the free way to personalise technical experiences by connecting and communicating with all your devices and apps. Amazon Alexa, Philipps Hue, Instagram, voice assistants, the advertised applications are versatile and with Smart Home, IFTTT focuses on a field that none of the other tools presented do. In addition, IFTTT focuses on fintech customers, which is also a unique selling point in this list.  

Pricing

Don't be confused by the $199 Developers Plan: this is the price if you want to offer your app or service via IFTTT and not the amount you pay as a user. Because the pricing for IFTTT is very simple at first glance: it's free. Full stop.  

Well, almost. For private users, the Zapier alternative is free. But for commercial customers, there is no slim price overview like with the other tools. This is because the tool is currently still mainly aimed at private users.  

Advantages and disadvantages

IFTTT Pros

Unlimited applets - What Zapier calls Zaps, IFTTT calls applets, and they are indeed unlimited. In the free Zapier version there are five...  

Smart home is, as I said, a field that is hardly covered by any automation platform and is comprehensively covered by IFTTT: Refrigerators, dishwashers, tumble dryers and other household appliances can be connected and controlled centrally.

Over 600 services, including apps, business tools, cloud platforms and email providers, as well as the physical devices just mentioned, can be controlled and connected with IFTTT

IFTTT Cons

The dashboard is not very intuitive, creating new applets takes some getting used to  

If you cannot find a suitable applet, you can create one yourself. However, this is not such an easy task, especially compared to Zapier.

If you change your access data, password, e-mail, user name, etc., errors can indeed occur during execution. The same can happen if one of the linked services changes its API access or even stops it completely. An unpleasant surprise

Power Automate as a Zapier alternative in the Microsoft environment

Power Autom ate is the cloud automation software by and for Microsoft applications. What used to be called Microsoft Flow is now Power Automate with a clear focus on all Office365 applications. However, since many companies use precisely these applications day in, day out, Power Automate deserves a place in this comparison. The complexity of the possible automations is also remarkable. With conditions such as "For-Each" and "Do-While" or "If-then-else", complex automations are possible without code.

Pricing

Zapier-Alternative-Power-Automate

In contrast to the price tables of the previous tools, with Power Automate you pay per user. For this person, however, unlimited active flows (i.e. workflows) are available. It also becomes clear that users can create their own flows, depending on their individual wishes and requirements. Of course, this presupposes that the users also have the technical understanding for this. Alternatively, service providers such as ourselves set up the corresponding integrations for the clients.

Power Automate is the only one in this list to also offer (as they so nicely call it: supervised) RPA. This is significantly more expensive than the plan without RPA and again reinforces why cloud automation is preferable to RPA in any case .

Finally, there is also the option of paying $500 for five flows per month. This also provides for unlimited users, which of course makes sense especially for companies with large staff.

All in all, the pricing of Power Automate is different from Zapier and the other Zapier alternatives, which is why the prices cannot be compared directly. However, with Zapier, Automate.io or Make for $500 per month, you are already much more comprehensively positioned and hardly limited in the number of workflows, users or actions, which certainly makes Power Automate one of the most expensive tools on this list.

Advantages and disadvantages

Power Automate Pros

Power Automate offers thousands of templates with which you can start right in. Of course, applications outside the Microsoft environment, such as Facebook, are also integrated.

Power Automate has a really useful mobile app for iOS and Android that allows you to monitor your automations anywhere.

If you use the per-user licence, you can immediately create an unlimited number of flows, which is certainly a good deal for one or less people for $15 a month and a lot of flows.

Power Automate Cons

Although Power Automate focuses on users without technical knowledge, it quickly becomes very complex in complex scenarios. Depending on the level of technical knowledge, not all users will be happy.

Similar to Automate.io, Power Automate is no match for Zapier's sheer number of apps

Conclusion: Which Zapier alternatives are worthwhile?

Of course, it's best to decide for yourself. This blog post should give you new food for thought and experience. The alternative to Zapier is called MAKE and recommend it to you as an alternative. Both tools have different advantages for different projects and clients. We usually decide from job to job which tool is more suitable after we know the exact requirements.

Power Automate is extremely mature and powerful for the Microsoft environment. But this is precisely when the limits of this Zapier alternative usually open up for our clients: since both Zapier and Make support Office365 as individual applications, but also many others, the choice is usually made in their favour. Sorry for that.

As already said, automate.io simply does not offer enough applications to support at this stage. The same applies to Power Automate. Here, both Zapier and Make are already much further along, so that the tools do not really represent a Zapier alternative for us.

IFTTT is a really great gadget for private use and technology geeks. This is exactly where the focus of the application lies. The business model is not yet fully developed, which is why it is not a viable alternative at the moment. However, we are curious to see what else the developers will come up with in the near future. We will keep an eye on it.

If after reading this post you have decided to have Zapier or a Zapier alternative such as Make or Power Automate implemented by professionals, we are happy to help. Together we will find individual solutions that are flexible and scalable. Simply make a free appointment for automation & IT consulting today. Or send us a message.

Zapier Alternative: These 4 Tools Can Keep Up

Zapier Alternative: These 4 Tools Can Keep Up

Cloud Integration, iPaaS, SaaS, BPA… Ough, hard to keep track of all these terms. They are currently used frequently (and increasingly) in the context of automation, and it is sometimes difficult to make a clear distinction and distinction. We have already written blog posts on the terms iPaaS, SaaS and BPA, but we’ll take them up again here to make the difference.

But let’s start with cloud integration, because that’s the central umbrella term in which we embed all the other technologies in this blog post.

Arrange a free cloud integration consultation now

What does Cloud Integration mean?

What does Cloud Integration mean?

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  • Is available in real time
  • Can be accessed from almost anywhere
  • Reduce potential sources of error by entering the same data multiple times
  • Require less installation and maintenance
  • Can optimize business processes

Arrange a free cloud integration consultation now

To illustrate these advantages, an example is suitable that we know well from our everyday work as an automation agency:

The central data to be used here is the data of a major customer. This can be the simplest information, such as the address. This address is required in numerous but completely different processes in the company: on the one hand, for correct invoicing in accounting. On the other hand, in the CRM system, where all the data of the large customer is also stored. But the address is also important in sales, for example, when employees go to the sales meeting on site.

Now the customer announces that the address of the company has changed after a move. This information will reach you by e-mail. There are now two options:

01. The e-mail is forwarded to all affected departments, accounting, sales, customer service, marketing… All persons open their corresponding program, CRM, accounting software, marketing tools (such as newsletter marketing) and change the data already stored there of the customer. This means that in multiple applications, different people do exactly the same thing: change one address.

02. But there is also an alternative: By connecting your applications, thus by integrizing them, the customer’s e-mail, or rather the information it contains about the address change, is automatically passed on to all affected applications: CRM, accounting, marketing, ERP. This does not require any clicks, because the cloud integration detects a trigger, i.e. address change, and thus automatically starts the process.

What sounds unimpressive in a single process becomes more effective when such a process occurs several times a day or weekly. Because there is a lot of data that is available in different applications and should always be correct. If these applications are cloud applications they are suitable for cloud integration.

But cloud integration doesn’t just happen. There are now a variety of applications that enable and implement this. Such tools usually allow us to link the relevant cloud applications on a central platform and define clear rules on when, how, where, how much data should be passed on and what happens to them.

IPaaS, SaaS, BPA, ABC – who can still see through it?

To realize cloud integration, there are various applications and technologies that are sometimes used interchangeably.

We have made a first distinction between iPaaS and BPA here.

We explain the term SaaS in more detail here.

Here the short version, again:
table icon

Cloud integration cannot be done without SaaS, iPaaS and BPA

Cloud integration is rather an umbrella term that includes numerous technologies, such as SaaS, iPaaS and BPA, and this is also absolutely necessary. Cloud integration is a concept that is made possible by appropriate technologies.

However, all terms share the commonality that they are cloud-based and thus offer enormous potential for growth and scaling. In addition, they are often cheaper to implement and maintain because changed requirements are easy to implement.

As an independent automation agency, we implement cloud integration according to your requirements. We use a variety of SaaS tools and iPaas (strictly speaking BPA) software. Together we find individual solutions that are flexible and scalable.

Arrange a free cloud integration consultation now

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We advise you independently and offer our expertise.
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