We are using attended and unattended robots, Orchestrator, and Studio.
We are in the financial services industry. A lot of what we do is background data processing, and we use the unattended robots for a lot of it. We do have some attended robots as well, but most of our processes are unattended.
I am a developer, so I primarily use Studio. I write the instructions for our Orchestrator Application Manager to do everything we need in Orchestrator.
We are currently operating an on-premises deployment, but we're in the pilot group for Cloud, so as soon as we get a date on that we'll probably be migrating.
One of the primary processes that we've automated is reporting. Prior to automation, our users were only able to run a few of the reports, a few times a week. Now, we're running every single report that there is to run, which is probably four or five times what they were able to do, every single day. Every morning they receive a summary of that work, so they're able to just get on and look at it, rather than during the close of the day. In financial services, the close of the day is crunch time. We work really hard to make sure that everything is done within a set about of time because there is a domino effect. One person has to be done before the next person can finish, and they're not having to dig back and try to figure out when these issues happened. We're providing it to them upfront. We can say exactly what happened, which account they need to look at, and on what date. This means that we're ahead of the issues, rather than trying to backtrack and find them.
We are not currently running in a Citrix environment, but the only reason we're not is that our sister company hosts our Citrix environment, so we can't install any of the services that make those environments much easier to utilize. For example, we can't install the computer vision component because we don't own it, so they won't let us.
Our team is really small, there's only six of us on the actual RPA team. However, we work really hard with the business to get buy-in in every department. We're trying to roll out at least one automation in every single department. Our company's goals for the next year, I believe, every associate of the company is supposed to have proposed a task that they are doing, whether it's daily, monthly, yearly, whatever, that could be automated. Then our team will ingest that, prioritize that, and work through it. But, we're really trying really hard to get our whole company involved, and we're getting ready to kick off this campaign to try and get more attention to it and to try and get people using it. We want it to be more than just a buzzword. We want it to be something that everybody's talking about regularly, and using, and excited about.
When it comes to getting people interested, I think it's probably a combination of education and sharing the experience of those projects that we have rolled out. When people are really seeing that with the projects that we've rolled out, our close is shortening, they become interested. What we say is happening, or will happen when we're rolling these automations out, is happening. Getting that to be shared from process owner to their team, to the teams that they're working with, it acts like word of mouth for those that are affected. We don't like it to just all come from us, the technical team. We don't want to simply tell them that it's going to do something. We want others to talk about what it has done for them and suggest they should take advantage of that too.
With respect to how easy it is to automate our company's processes, on a scale of one to five, I would rate it a five. We don't struggle with it.
I took the UiPath academy training, and I love it. We are looking at an unrelated tool right now, and we found no comparison between their training and the UiPath Academy. We were spoiled with UiPath Academy, and we didn't really realize how good that training really is.
The thing that I love about the developer training; the level one, level two, level three... level one really does walk you through it. It gives you, literally the walkthrough, so when you don't understand, you can go back, you can look at, and see exactly how to do it. But by the time you're in level three, it's not doing that anymore. The requirements are a little bit looser, you have to figure out how to interpret the words or the requirements, and it becomes more challenging, but I think that that's important, because, by the time that you're actually working real projects, it's not a walkthrough anymore. You have to figure it out on your own.
From the point that we purchased our UiPath license until we had our first robot was approximately three months. It did take us a little while, but we knew that we purchased our licenses before we were really ready to hit the ground running. We function out of such a small team, and we were still working with UiPath trying to figure out which partner we wanted to bring in for consultants because we wanted somebody with experience. We didn't want someone who just finished the training just run in and try, and I think we learned a lot working with that consultant.
We did work with a second consulting group, Machina Automation, and we loved working with them. They're great. They're just so supportive, and they really want to make sure things are right. It's never just sending them the requirements and pounding it out to get it into production. We work with them really deeply to try and make sure that they understand the process, we understand the requirements, they express their concerns to us, we express our concerns to them, and we work together. It's not like we just send them the documents and they send it back as a project. The whole way through we touch base with them every single morning. They're always asking what more they can do and how they can help. They ask if we're happy with what we received.
We do time card reviews, so the time that they spend with us we're actually able to go back and validate, based on that, what they've said they did, that indeed it is what they did. We had received some scrum and sprint training from them. We've had actual developer consultants, we've had mentoring hours for our developers. So we've had a lot from them, and they've been able to help us with everything. Anything we ask, they try to accommodate us. For example, we asked if they had any experience with Kibana. They did not but said that they would find somebody who does.