Robotic Process Automation (RPA) SAP Reviews
Showing reviews of the top ranking products in Robotic Process Automation (RPA), containing the term SAP
Automation Anywhere (AA): SAP
We have so many use cases. One of them is in finance and accounts. We have customer billing portals where there are invoices and purchase orders. The bot goes through these and gives a roll-up of the billing numbers. It goes through each customer portal. One example of a customer is IBM. It goes to the IBM portal, it logs in with bot credentials to SAP Ariba, opens an invoice and matches the purchase order items with that invoice, line by line. It then posts that invoice for billing purposes in that customer billing portal.
Automation Anywhere was easier to learn for the developers. It has a lot of out of box features when it comes to SAP, Excel, and others. However, on the other hand, I did not like one feature which is a built-in linear code that is a straight line and it does not have the modular functionality of UiPath so the code becomes one long code and if you need to make changes you need to look through the entire code and make changes. After the code is returned, even if there are some changes in the process, the support cycle is really difficult because, with UiPath, it's modular in structure. For example, one variable changes so it's declared as a variable and you can just change it and the code automatically reflects the change. It creates a nightmare to maintain. That was the one key drawback from Automation Anywhere. The good thing about Automation Anywhere was learning the best practices of it and using the development framework was easier so getting developers who knew AA was relatively easier than getting developers who knew UiPath or Blue Prism.
Our company is an implementation partner for Automation Anywhere, and XLNC Technologies is a consulting organization for whom I work. I am the head of delivery operations.
We are working with around 14 clients who are on Automation Anywhere. We have been able to recommend and further resell starter and enterprise packs. Implementations performed by us scale up from one bot to 10 bot runners
My primary use case for Automation Anywhere would be the one which yields higher ROI , has repetitive tasks to be performed and doesnt involve fuzzy logic for sure . Cases that we have achieved success are extraction of data from PDF's , SAP automation, AD Integration, Integration with CRM and Payment links, KYC documents and web scrapping. Listed are low hanging fruits and will boost confidence of the stakeholders in the RPA deployment , recommend to look at such use cases when looking at Automation Anywhere and its implementation.
In our company, if you look at the SAP security area, there are a lot of user requests. There's a confusion around the rules. With Automation Anywhere, we can increase the automation capabilities and automate all the user-provisioning in that area.
The flexibility: If there is anything the tool cannot do, we have the ability to make a MetaBot to achieve that functionality. The overall flexibility of the tool makes it very useful for us in our landscape.
We have integrated it with everything from standard off-the-shelf products, like SAP and Oracle, to custom apps that we built within our landscape. The integration to other applications is very good and easy.
When it comes to integrating the solution with other applications, there are some challenges. For some third-party solutions, there are no direct interconnections. For example, there were no direct connections with SAP systems. So, we had to create connectivity between Automation Anywhere and some third-party solutions. They have now improved that situation a lot and we can connect SAP and other systems as well.
If they want to sustain their position in the market, they have to be flexible, working on how we can integrate with third-parties, working on a machine-learning product. People are expecting that and it would be really helpful.
From the IQ Bot perspective, frankly speaking, they still have to improve a lot. I got IQ Bot training in San Jose. My expectation from a straight, technical, architectural point of view was that I would be able to create my own algorithm and integrate it. But with IQ Bot, I am not able to integrate anything. It is already well-defined, so I have to use that particular option only. I know I can not go with any other machine-learning platform. I hope they will be coming out with version 12 where we can integrate it with Python algorithms and other stuff. It might only be in the future, it might only be on the roadmap. But as of now, it is lacking a lot in that area. We are expecting, for most of the documentation, things like tags, that there would be a checkbox option. That's lacking in IQ Bot.
Give it a try. It lives up to what it says it can do, for the most part. It really does help free up stuff. Just make sure you pick the right processes. A lot of the issues that people have with it are with not selecting the right processes for what the tool can do.
We have had some success integrating this solution with other applications. We have also had some failures. We had some issues integrating it with SAP, but we started using MetaBots to do that, which seems to work really well. It does seem to work pretty well with most applications that we have integrated it with.
The bot creation process is good. It is pretty simple to understand. If anything, the Control Room is the most confusing part, but it is still pretty simple.
I have not taken courses on the Automation Anywhere University, but I have been using this solution for a long time. So, I would be the right clientele for the University.
We haven't really done anything with the cognitive document processing nor Citrix.
I would like more integration around main applications, e.g., SAP.
Automation Anywhere has to keep their RPA tool connected to everything to maintain it in the RPA market.
I would like to see integration better integration with Excel and SAP.
The MetaBot is a valuable feature.
We can integration with other APIs, which is a good thing. This helps us with our database integration. For example, we have done an SAP integration, which is great, since SAP has a lot of manual work.
IQ Bot is great for invoices. It helps a lot for retail and on the SAP side.
Ease of use:
- For developers, the Control Room components are very popular. They are easy to use, along with the Repository Manager, Schedule Manager, and maintenance of the bots.
- For people from nontechnical backgrounds, the product is simple from them to use. Everyone can learn it. It takes about two weeks on the tool.
The ease of visibility in the processes which are working is its most valuable feature. Take, for example, Control Room. This is one of the unique features of it, because at the end of the day, the business does not need to know whether it is a MetaBot, IQ Bot, or anything like that. How do you give the terms of business visually? Control Room is another big aspect of it, from the business point.
From the technology point of view, it's supposed to do activities that you do in your day-to-day life. It is also extendable. Of course, we cannot solve the whole world's problems, but we can extend it with additional coding, and things like that.
There are two things that it can provide you.
- Quicker in automating the task that you already have. Sometimes, the process is chaotic, but the business needs that way to perform some tasks. With automation, what we can do is accelerate the automation, then look into the process optimization that we engineer. That's where we help. Automation Anywhere helps us to accelerate the adoption of automation faster so the customer can realize the benefits.
- It allows us to look into processes for what can be optimized.
That is where it helps.
Last month, Automation Anywhere launched communications, which is a very good thing, because now you can actually get two things when you use it.
- Developer experience: The developer experience is essential for the product to go into the market very well. So, that helps it.
- You want to get back what is working and not working, what the developers wanted, etc.
What Automation Anywhere brings to the table is how do you actually connect these things together? The purpose of automation is automating the task that everybody is doing in their day-to-day lives or some of the cognitive side of it.
The availability of Automation Anywhere to integrate with various applications. whether it is SAP, web forms, Excel, or PDF, exposed quite a bit of integration opportunities within the organization. Definitely, this is one of the key assets, as well, for us to work better with the customers.
One of the biggest challenge that everyone is facing is in the format of the document. The document management processes that IQ Bot gives has very good functionality of how you can actually take unstructured data and make sense out of it, connecting inferences, then making the data available to the user. So, IQ Bot is one of the best tools that I can think of in that aspect. This solves the problem of various document structures, document formats, etc.
The Bot Insights is one of its big assets, because that's what they have given you the visibility.
The tool is used to automate any business process. Some examples are:
- If you want to download some data from a website or push some data onto a website.
- If you work with an Excel application and want to automate it, or any Windows-based application, you can automate it as long as you know what the business process is.
- If a person is doing a day-to-day activity and you want to automate that activity, you can use the Automation Anywhere tool to do it.
I have worked with the Windows, Excel, and web applications, along with some SAP automation and how to automate that SAP data. I use Automation Anywhere to determine automation for how to:
- Distribute the process.
- Schedule the process.
- Run the process.
- Design the process.
- Distribute the data for 1000 to 10,000 data points (in Excel).
We use it for back-office administrative business processes, within order-to-cash. We have an end-to-end process automation that supports customer billings. We also have task-based automations that process either customer credit memos, or credit and re-bills, working within SAP.
We started with the solution on-prem and we have shifted to an AWS cloud environment.
We primarily deal with a SAP business model. We use Automation Anywhere for logging into websites, entering data, moving information around, and sending emails to end users.
We are currently using a cloud deployment model.
We are working with our clients using this solution. Often, they are automating some of their retail and marketing processes, including the generation of bills and statements in finance.
Our clients are using a hybrid cloud, with their own VM environment.
One of the recent projects that I worked on was for a complex financial process in a bank. It involved automating several manual processes. The data had to be retrieved from SAP by means of a file and then imported into an Excel worksheet. My suggestion included implementing an SQL server and then automating the process using this solution. Instead of the series of manual tasks, they now only have to verify the final result, and it makes life much easier.
I have found some problems, but the support is very fast. However, sometimes I feel like I need more guidance. E.g., when providing the answer regarding the login for SAP automation, give an answer that I can explain to my customers.
I use automation for finance. For example, SAP, Oracle, and other applications. In the past nine months, I have automated approximately thirty-five hundred hours. Next year we expect to reach at least eighty-five hundred hours.
I work with clients who are in banking, the financial sector, and the accounting sector. It mostly involves work with Excel, SAP, and BI. A typical use case starts with downloading data from SAP, manipulating it in Excel, sending relevant emails, and then receiving the responses.
Our primary use of this product as a solution is developing bots to automate tasks and processing. For example, we have financial bots and we have IT bots. We have been involved in developing and monitoring the bots for about one and a half years, mostly for finance and IT. A majority of the tasks were done by other teams.
We have automated mainframe applications and integrated the tool with web-based applications and SAP. We have automated many SAP processes, including posting the entries and POs to SAP.
We are currently planning to migrate those bots into the current version (11.3.2) to make the bots more stable.
We are using the on-premise deployment model. We have multiple processes getting automated through this tool.
The most valuable feature is that we can automate data manipulations. We can save IP's, we can save time, we can use manual reports. The main benefit of this tool is that it is a robust solution.
The feature I think that helps most is the ability to integrate. There is SAP integrations, SAP application integration, web application integrations, and email integrations. We have multiple features — there are a lot of features. They are also very good features which enable us to do many things.
We use this solution primarily for transporting data from Excel to SAP.
While I am happy with the stability, it could use improvement.
We have found that the passwords are not very stable in terms of their accuracy. We could only get 70 percent accuracy in these cases. Our clients require more accurate results. We are working toward this.
We are looking into other applications and how they can be integrated, e.g., Google Analytics and Azure AI. Instead of developing from scratch within Automation Anywhere, we want to bring out these advanced capabilities from other platforms and integrate them into our platform requirements.
Integration with a lot of existing platforms is going to be a game changer. We already see Automation Anywhere tied up with SAP, Oracle, Salesforce, and Microsoft. We expect that it will be tied up Google Cloud going forward. These type of improvements will increase the adoption rate of the tool and we can have a lot more use cases because a lot of companies they have already invested in ERP.
In the beginning, it was a little bit complex and difficult for us to understand how to get things running. We reached out to technical support for help.
Initially, we had planned on going simple. Then, we wanted to be centralized and have a cloud-based environment, which is where we were facing a lot of challenges. One of the challenges was DB connectivity for accessing SAP, which was a security issue. We also had some trouble automating web pages.
I would rate the solution as a six out of 10 due to the resolution issue. It is a major issue that we are facing with the tool.
Get the approvals done before investing. We wasted the license for six months. The licenses were unused because we didn't have the approvals for the application. We procured it and kept it for six months. Therefore, before investing, get the approvals internally, then go for it.
We have integrated Automation Anywhere with SAP (ERP system) and BlackLine (reconciliation tool). For integrating, we are using web scaping tools and object cloning.
I am certified Automation Anywhere RPA professional with Automation Anywhere University. I am looking for courses on solution architecture and would like to have something for this in the University.
We don't use Citrix automation.
Our company's main application is the SAP application, so we are trying to automate SAP and associated manual work processes.
We mostly use it on engineering processes. We also use it for finances in SAP — uploading, invoice creation, etc. But we have mostly focused on our engineering processes.
An example from the finance area is when we need to invoice a customer. We open our SAP account and upload all the data into SAP, create an invoice, and send a notice to the finance team that the process has been completed. They then move the process further along. It's a daily type of operation, whenever such requests come.
We are using the on-premise version because the cloud version (A2019) is not out yet.
The primary use case would be to do automated processing using Excel with an application, even SAP. We use it for extracting data tables, clicking on data, recording records, and extracting the records table. We use it for all the Excel operations.
We updated Automation Anywhere already to version A2019 with all the Excel operations.
We want them to have a clear roadmap on what they want to do and follow it. If they are moving to version 11, we want them to stay with that version. Now, I hear that they have a new version out there. I have to plan out every upgrade or movement from one landscape to another. This is a cost for us. I have to get buy-in from my leadership. That becomes a challenge for me. I need assurances that wherever you are going, you are clear on what you want to do. You don't end up with doing multiple upgrades every now and then. It's not a sustainable solution for us.
One of the things that I see in the forums is they are planning to build an ML platform on it soon, whereby we can use RPA as a starting point and have leverage on all the machine learning services available across multiple vendors: Azure, Google, and Amazon. I'm really interested to see how that works because we are already using those entities but in a different manner. We want to see how all of them work together as a platform. That's one of the requirements we are looking for.
I would like them to have more collaboration with SAP and Oracle, as those are our key products. This would provide more value for us.
I have automated HR, hotel, and some IT processes. I have also automated processes in SAP.
On a daily basis, we had to update a few things on SAP where we had slight challenges. With the help of scripts and DLL, we could solve these problems.
Currently, we are focusing more on finance, shared services, and interpretive related ideas. For accounting and finance statistic, we have reconciliation specific processes, such as rates uploads into systems. The majority of our development is on SAP and Excel. We are focusing on the financial services area, so our use cases are more related to finance and accounting. These are the use cases developed by the development team.
We are using an on-premise deployment model.
Technical support has been a great asset. We have been encountering migration issues associated with database activities due to computer database back-end. We have contacted the technical support with database issues due to object cloning and SAP Objects. They have been helpful.
Their response time is within one to two hours. In some cases, it has dragged on up to six hours. I haven't found it dragging on for one to two days.
The most valuable feature of this solution is that the code can be made as complex as necessary because our processes are not simple.
This solution can be moved easily between platforms. We work on SAP as well as many other internal platforms, and this solution can very easily be moved between them.
I have done a lot of use cases. Recently, I have done SAP automation. I worked with MS Excel, a web application, a Windows application, and a mainframe application. We automated three to four applications at once. We automated them in a row where one application's output would be input for another application.
I have done development and production support. I have helped organizations with integration.
We are working with one of the bots where we send claims through WhatsApp. Any user could take a photo in WhatsApp, then send that data to the organization. Now, whenever a photo is takes, different phones have different primary resolutions, and the data being captured is not clear data. At that moment, the data is automated to a very power system which centralizes the process to one point. This is what we are using for the insurance provider. They fill out the claims form and send this information to the organization, then we use automation tools to automate the process and come to a conclusion.
My day-to-day activity was to take data from invoices and put it into an Oracle DB. I have already automated banking uses, which deal with some of the invoices. The second case solution which I had worked with was multi-bot architecture.
We have certain kinds of applications spread across our organization and the data coming into that organization is common. We made a solution as a multiBot: one Bot is working on one application and we have hundreds of applications. So a hundred Bots work together on the same set of data to integrate it.
The applications are different. Say one is Oracle, one is SAP (System Analysis and Program Development) and one is Salesforce. In the way we implemented this, we segregated the workload into parts: part as a master Bot, part as a worker Bot and part as the closure Bot. The master Bot will work on the input part of the data set, the worker Bot will work with the individual (designated) applications, and the closure Bot will consolidate all the data and feed it back to the designated user. This was the plan for our architecture.
Our primary use case is working with different applications, like Excel and SAP. We get the data and reports, then produce results with Automation Anywhere. For IQ Bots, we're still working on it for data extraction.
I think version 11.3 is good, but I am looking forward to working with version A2019.
We are just using it as one of the automation technologies. The major automation has already happened over SAP on the backend since the whole company globally runs on a single ERP. However, where conventional methods or basic solutions don't work, it definitely helps to use AA software.
We generally do stuff to automate websites and SAP that we have in our company.
I sound like a promoter A2019 with the attended bots and some of the new features coming in with the partnership of Microsoft will be a game changer. We work predominantly within an Office 365 environment. I think there are some real opportunities there for us to do things differently.
One area where I think there's an opportunity to do things a lot better is in the analytics function. They do have a concept or product called Bot Insights. It hasn't worked for us. It isn't as plug and play as we were led to believe, which is unfortunate. I can absolutely understand the value, and the demonstrations that I've seen of Bot Insights are sensational. But, we just haven't been able to make it work. We've invested a lot of time and effort trying to make it work to no avail. So, for us, that's one side of it that has been a bit of a disappointment, but not enough to detract from the overall success story of using Automation Anywhere.
We normally use automation to interact with SAP applications. Our platform is entirely built on SAP. We are mainly a manufacturing company. We interact with SAP and do a lot of things, like invoicing, entering the value in SAP, and so on and so forth.
In an organization that you join, there are so many things. Today, you have different type of requests for laptops or any type of service that you want from the team. There are different sort of things. We have created a bot (use case) where your bot will do everything for you.
Once you join our company, you can ask your bot to create different types of tickets, whatever you require. Also, in our organization, you have to fill out timesheets on a daily basis. For that, we have also created a used case, where you have to order your bot to fill out your timesheet. So, it will automatically fill it out. You don't need to do it manually.
The automation does the basic things needed in our day-to-day work. We have implemented Automation Anywhere, and our bots are doing all this work.
For your daily work, if you are investing three to four hours doing your repetitive work, e.g., you are taking data from SAP and some warehouse, analyzing all the data, then manually doing all the formulas of Excel and checking the output. It takes three to four hours on a daily basis. With automation, you can reduce that effort to half an hour or an hour. So, it will improve your efficiency and save you a lot of time, so you can improve your time in other work. Therefore, you can be faster than the previous way.
I'm in the banking sector, so there will be some data to be extracted from web applications that I have worked on and SAP automation suite too. There was an interim process where we extracted the data using Automation Anywhere. It is quite easy. Before, there was about four to five resources to extract it. Now, with automation, this has helped us reduce the time to two to three minutes, then the work will be done. That is one thing. The SAP automation suite is a very good platform to automate the things.
There are a lot of features that are valuable from Automation Anywhere. If I want to automate something in a browser or some other applications today, then it is done in Windows or the web. I don’t want to bother with anything else. I can do whatever I want. This is what the most valuable feature in my point of view.
Automation Anywhere is a valuable tool. As a developer, I can do whatever I want. If I want to do automation with the web, Windows, etc., e.g., mainframe or SAP applications, we can do whatever we want with automations using Automation Anywhere. If I’m going to automate a web-based application, I can use object cloning. There are multiple options available to do the automation. Each and every point’s valuable for me.
The problem statement is to automate data reconciliation between three systems, namely SAP, Ariba, and manually-updated Excel. Supplier and Purchase data flows in from different systems and separately, which sometimes results in data inconsistency.
In the current scenario, two people spend two days per week to verify and reconcile this data and then save it. This is a big cost and investment for the client. The ask from Automation Anywhere is to automate this process, including a re-upload of the data back to the systems with results of reconciliation. This way, there is no manual effort spent.
Blue Prism: SAP
I would like to see wider integration with other products. That way, while we work on other core systems like SAP or Salesforce, there are ready-made connectors that can get the data. It would make it easier for people to work with Blue Prism.
The next release would benefit from integration with artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. For example, the OCR can populate fields in variables and proceed with a workflow. But adding intelligence to this, or integrating with a service such as AWS, would be useful.
This is a good RPA product and definitely one that I recommend. When I want to automate stuff with the web site, perform web scraping, or interacting with Excel and SAP, it is quite stable. The bot does not just fail. Once you capture the underlying application control, it's there and will not just break.
I've seen other RPA tools wherein you do the automation, do the recording, and once you replay it, it doesn't work because of some random lag in the timing of the application. Similarly, if something changes then it may not work. In Blue Prism, you have complete control over that.
Overall, I would say that this tool is very good. It is one of the best in the market.
I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.
We started with a very small team and small projects. As the project started getting success with Blue Prism we have a large number of teams now just for automating all the business procedures. Larger time was saved after automating the processes.
The business was very much satisfied with the results. Many projects involving Java, Mainframe SAP, Web browsers, and Windows were made. We did also use PDF automation using OCR and Surface automation which helped tremendously as our company is payroll-based and involves lots of file processing in which the toughest is interacting with PDFs.
- Developed a project for invoice issuance in SAP: Using UiPath, we could finish the project very fast.
- Save costs from my company and for our clients.
Process automation in a global business center of a global mining and manufacturing company. We are mainly focusing on financial processes (e.g., reporting, fixed assets creation, invoice management) and HR processes (personal data sync between SAP and local payroll systems, automatic administration of external consultants).
Automating various processes in systems such as SAP, Windows automation, and Excel. By making generic components, we are able to reuse them for various projects and clients.
- PMO processes
- SAP automation
- Tickets organization
- HR system management
For example: In SAP, the chain needs to be monitored, and when it fails, it should be restarted. So continuous monitoring was a difficult task. Automating this process saves lots of manual hours.
Reading non-PO invoice details from SharePoint form, validating it, sending it for manager approval, and on receiving manager approval mail, entering the invoice details with invoice and approval attachments to SAP.
Getting forecast values of demand management processes in an Excel attachment and mail body from customers directly, analyzing it, processing it, and inserting it into the database so that the demand forecast team can get data easily without human effort.
Typically, the best improvement of Microsoft tools embedded (as for Excel), and SAP could be very useful (but in 2018.4 there is an improvement on SAP BAPI).
The training platform of UiPath is very good. It helps the business user without prior experience in programming to automize the process by themselves. This is a good approach because they are the ones with a great overview of the process and know how to control the quality of the results as well as foresee what the potential issues could be.
Also, it can work on everything. UiPath is like a VBA for Excel but can work on all applications (MS Office, SAP, web browser, etc.). So the potential for automation is nearly limitless.
- Financial domain
- Excel automation
- SAP automation
- Citrix automation
- Usage of Orchestrator queues
- RE framework
- Automating password resets
- Security and governance
- Highly elastic scalability
- Work queues
- Rules-based exception handling
- Large group deployment
- Rapid development support
- Centralized repository for version control
- Execution logs and credentials.
The software, in general, is very well done, as there are many add-ins for different use cases/environments to implement robots. Especially Excel and SAP activities are working very well.
Integration with PDF reading OCR, Excel/CSV, SAP, Outlook/Gmail, as they are primary functions in the day-to-day operations of a company.
Certainly, the integrations with Windows and Google OCR, PDF, Excel, Outlook and SAP are the most valuable within our area of performance.
The main request of our clients is the integration with the SAP system and specific tasks of email, like sending and downloading of NFS.
Our primary use case is to create a proof of concept using UiPath. Here we automated the business process, and it's a repetitive task. So we used UiPath and automated our internal project, and we also automated the client process as well. We automated SAP application, and we also automated mainframes. UiPath also has the Orchestrator which very flexible.
The platform is open, and we can connect it to other technologies. We connect it to SAP using the SAP Connector. We are also using intelligent OCR technology to read receipts.
We use it to automate administrative functions, like finance and HR tasks. We are also automating a lot of things in our SAP systems, e.g. updating prices.
We use it for a lot of small tasks, like downloading something from an particular internal website (e.g., SharePoint in Office 365) and uploading it back, or for doing modifications, then loading them back.
We would like more API integrations, especially more API connections to SAP. While this is on the roadmap already, activities and packages with more automated API connections to other software or platforms would really help us.
Documentation-wise, UiPath could get a little better.
In the next release, they need enterprise connect. That's something we were wondering about.
The solution could maybe use more artificial intelligence components or stuff we can start to use in the AI field.
It could use an easy integration with SAP. Most of the processes of our company are in SAP. Sometimes it's kind of tricky to automate it.
Prior to choosing UiPath, we evaluated Automation Anywhere and Blue Prism. There may have been one more, as well. We are a very large SAP shop, and UiPath was the only one that touted that it was integrated well with SAP. For the most part, it did.
We primarily use the Studio, which is for developing the robots, and we deploy to Orchestrator.
We went through a large SAP transformation and we had a lot of issues getting the users to accept the new systems. They were issues related to the adoption of new systems. We decided to build these attended bots in order to guide the users through the system. Essentially, it is navigation or guidance assistance. By helping the users with proper data entry and design, flowing in a logical sequence that is easy for the user to follow, it minimizes end-user training.
Running our automations in a virtual environment is something that we had tried during our PoC. Currently, we have attended bots deployed in more than twenty thousand laptops, and eventually, we're planning to have more than eighty thousand deployments. Because of the large scale, initially, we were having a lot of challenges because of things that go on with the users' machines. We wanted to explore Citrix because there is just one virtual environment that every user logs on to, and then run the processes from there. Unfortunately, it did not work for us. We were seeing a lot of issues and felt that it was much more stable deploying individually to each laptop, instead of using Citrix.
With respect to how easy it is to automate our company's processes, on a scale of one to five, I would rate this solution a four. There is always room for improvement.
On a scale of one to five, judging how beneficial it is, I would rate the training a five. The material is very sequential and logical. You don't get lost because you just follow the modules from beginner to intermediate to advanced. You cover everything from end-to-end, and it is very structured.
From the point that we purchased our UiPath license until we had our first robot was approximately one year. This included our pilot project, then the development and the UAT. When we went live in production there were three thousand users.
We are using Studio, Orchestrator, attended and unattended robots.
Our primary use for this solution started with automating processes in finance, procurement, and HR. Now, we are researching various directions in logistics.
We do not run our automations in a virtual environment. This is something that we are trying to avoid.
With respect to how easy it is to automate our company's processes, on a scale of one to five, I would rate this solution a four. I'm an IT-based person, and for IT people it is easy to learn. UiPath claims that it is easy to learn and it's for everybody, but it's not true. For business people, it is hard to learn and hard to understand how to code to make things work. They need a lot of help with things like exception handling. If somebody lacks technical or programming skills then it makes it much more difficult to use. Although UiPath is getting closer to business users, there are still some basic skills that they need to have to make it work.
On a scale of one to five, judging how beneficial it is, I would rate the training a five. When I get new hires it doesn't matter whether they have previous experience in RPA or development, they have to go through all of the basic training from the Academy. This includes the Orchestrator and I've been recommending SAP training because we are experiencing growth in the use of SAP. Going to my team, this is the base, and then we have created our internal framework and standards that also require training. Some people may already have experience with UiPath or Blue Prism, but they still need to take the training from the Academy.
Before I arrived at the company, there were already some automations running. However, fifteen months ago we shut down a couple of robots because they were failing terribly. From that time, it took us five months to create the first robot.
Our client's companies have extensive issues with SAP and getting information out of it. They have another technical ERP system with an in-memory database where they don't get the information out of it, then have to add it manually to SAP. That will be probably the first big use case for automation. So, we will get a bot reading it on the database from the Citrix environment and probably moving it to SAP.
The client will probably have it on-premise. They tend to be really risk adverse in terms of Cloud solutions. We have tried to get them to use the cloud more because it's just easier.
We are using Studio Orchestrator, and unattended bots. I have programmed attended bots before.
The ability that this solution has to work with Excel is really good.
The SAP feature looks helpful and we are going to explore that functionality in our next project.
There are a few areas where the product can be improved for our use. Invoice processing, for us, is a major use case. I saw some examples in our research that mentioned machine learning models and how to implement that in the new, upcoming version. It seems that the machine learning would solve some of our current issues in processing. That is one feature that I would like to see and experiment with when it is released. I want to explore that to see not only what it can do, but how efficient it is and how it affects the performance of invoice processing models. The other feature we are interested in that is promised to be in the next release is the VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) desktop.
Those two features, for us, are critical. But we also need them to be fast and efficient for us to be able to use it in practice. Otherwise, we are going to continue struggling with the solutions we already have. The solutions are kind of already there in UiPath, and I think they need to work hard on the performance of anything they release. This is especially true for those two solutions. For us to have a good business case for deploying them for use, we need them to be efficient.
A feature that we tried to use that clearly has room for improvement is the UiPath Computer Vision component. We have tried to use that but it was not efficient enough for our planned applications. It was a little disappointing. It needs to be improved in performance and in the design of the machine learning models. It is pretty easy to use for people considering the technology. I just don't think it is quite to the point where it should be.
I have been using UiPath to develop automations for my company. We are a manufacturing company that uses SAP as our primary enterprise application. We are currently meeting with many different business areas and hearing about all of the different processes that they would like us to automate for them. Since UiPath works within SAP, it should help us get some easy wins!
One use is in our corporate tax accounting group. Our environment includes systems such as SAP, Vertex, several homegrown, and of course Excel. Other use cases include automating a timekeeping system and performing cell phone bill analysis. Environmentally, all use cases involve different systems.
We use UiPath for:
- Financial domain
- Excel automation
- SAP automation
- Citrix automation
- Usage of Orchestrator queues
- RE framework
- Automating password resets
- Security and governance
- Rule-based exception handling
- Large group deployment
- Centralized repository for version control
- Execution logs and credentials
I have several examples where UiPath has improved our organization. For example, our organisation was supporting a Japanese customer for handling tickets. Resolving those tickets manually usually took them 10 to 15 minutes but the bot was able to complete the task in four seconds. This is the great achievement.
There are many cases where UiPath reduces our work time and effort.
In our organisation, we have integrated with SAP HANA tools, which makes handling various situations easier.
My primary use case of this solution was to automate BMC Remedy and SAP use cases. I used UiPath to automate various tasks in SAP. I developed several bots in client virtual machines using UiPath and then connected the virtual machine to the UiPath Orchestrator. Once connected, I scheduled the Bot.
I have worked in many industries and domains like healthcare and finance. I have automated web-based applications and Email automation.
Automated an end-to-end process that starts with the user raising a request in BMC Remedy. It handles requests for respective Roles in the GRC System of SAP. This process includes identifying the Request number from the BMC remedy Ticket. The BOT identifies respective control owners for requested roles and requests the controlling owner for their approval. Then BOT performs the Approval/Rejection process accordingly.
Following are the most valuable features of UiPath:
- Every month, there are new features released. These are all next-level and can disrupt the automation industry.
- Vision for RPA and ML work together including ML skills, ML extractor, and Python activities.
- UiPath is easy to use with very simple drag and drop functionality that allows you to automate processes without knowledge of coding.
- Covering automation in all possible applications including SAP, G Suite, Salesforce, etc.
The most valuable features are the UiPath studio tools with the recording feature to capture the navigation of the process on the screen.
The Excel data, which takes a lot of time to upload in software like Oracle and SAP, can be done through the screen instead of the back end.
I personally use the features of uploading the massive records from the front end through the UiPath studio instead of uploading them through the interface table, which sometimes gives an error resulting in having to troubleshoot and check the logs of the application. It has benefits of its own but sometimes in such cases, UiPath is very handy.
- RPA AI capabilities - UiPath is leading in this area.
- UiPath should focus more on recommendations of process automation based on ERP Applications like Oracle, SAP etc. They should also provide a list of possible RPA cases as per departments, processes and based on various industry domains.
- More on RPA Governance features to be provided out of the box.
- RPA Capabilities with IVR Channels to address voice commands will be a game changer for Customer call center cases.
Everything has room for improvement, and the product continues to evolve. One area of improvement would be the ability to run headless on their Express product. This would allow one to run the automation on their local machine, but still be able to work in other applications using mouse and keyboard while the automation runs headless in a minimized window in the background.
A single-server version of the product that will work for a mid-range mid-size company would also be good to see.
Finally, working in partnership with software companies like SAP to improve their interface interactions would be a good advantage.
NICE Robotic Automation: SAP
The technical setup of the solution was actually really straightforward. The part that's more complex, is the way that we at Thomas Cook set up our projects around it. We have multiple competing projects all wanting to use a shared infrastructure in slightly different ways. So the NICE tool setup was probably the easiest part. It's more our management and governance at the start, where we were quite immature and didn't have much experience for automation and that's how the CoE was born in Thomas Cook, to overcome those hurdles and provide a better service.
There was a learning curve about how to manage business automation. Take IT, for example. The change management processes, which we have in place to protect the business from itself, don't fit with automation that can be turned around in a couple of weeks. Traditionally the processes have been more archaic. A change request form would be submitted and then, three weeks later, you'd sit and present it to the board, and then your change would be approved or disapproved. If it was approved, you would go ahead the following week. So that timeline for implementation, traditionally, was four or five weeks. It would take less than that to build an automation and make it live. We had challenges around those ingrained processes from day one. So the CoE was brought in to make sure that the people within IT, and out in the business, who were not confident or were worried that we'd be impacting business applications or processes adversely, were brought along on that journey and that helped them overcome those issues quite well.
Those challenges are still there. There are still a few. It's more a case of reassurance. We've hit our target and it's starting to prove to the business that automation it works, that it does what it says on the tin. It makes everyone's life easier. We're just creating automations that replicate what a human is doing rather than building something new.
For example, and here I come back to change management, they were really worried that if we put a robot onto an application that the application would suffer because the robot was going too fast. Bringing them on that journey and showing them that we can actually speed the robot up or slow it down, that we can put more robots on or fewer, and that helps to make sure that we're not breaking anything. It wasn't a way of working that they'd previously seen or agreed to. But by showing them it is that easy, that we could just turn the thing off if we started to see something break or started to feel there's a problem. By showing them and bringing them along with us, we managed to turn it. They have all bought into what we're doing.
To get the first robot live took a lot longer than it should have. Again, not because of the NICE toolset, but because of the way we structured our projects. It took us the best part of six months to get the first robot live.
At the moment, we have a pipeline of work that's coming in from all over the group, around the world. That includes a contact center, a finance shared service center, human resources, IT, e-commerce, and our yield department. Pretty much everyone's seen the success that we have delivered over the past year and are keen to come on board. They have each assigned someone to be a project manager for automation and to manage their own pipeline of work within their own transformation programs. Each of the automation managers send through their roadmap to me. We then assign a business analyst to work with them to track some metrics, to find out what the benefits will be from automating.
Once we've got all that information together, the business analyst goes through in fine detail to understand what that process actually is. The process is then translated it into a technical document that we hand over to our developers who then build the solution within the NICE toolset. We go through a very small change management process within the center of excellence to make sure the documentation is up to date, that it can be supported, and to make sure there's capacity available on the servers. Then we put the automation live and monitor it for two or three weeks, depending on what the business wants. Once they've signed off on it — after two or three weeks of it being successful — it moves into our run team which then looks after the automation and any ongoing improvements going forward.
It took us a while to get there, but it's quite robust and we've got a lot of checkpoints in there to make sure that all our stakeholders are fully up to date and that it's all signed off and everyone has approved and is happy.
Kryon RPA: SAP
Automating a process involving SAP and Excel operations. Such operations require access to SAP TRX, export in Excel file, and running Excel macros.
I think our version is two versions behind. I just had a talk about it last week with our account manager at Kryon and we planned together to upgrade the environment once per year. In my opinion, today, if possible, it would be better to have it done automatically, like an application on your smartphone. Or even if done manually, the upgrade should just be "next, next, next," and it's upgraded, rather than making it a project to upgrade. In the digital era, that is one of the expectations, that it would be easier.
Besides that, it's all about functionality: What you can do and what you cannot do. I'm not very familiar with the competitors' solutions, so I'm living in the world or Kryon functionality. Sometimes I'm looking to automate something and it's not there. That doesn't mean that it's not possible.
This need for improvement deals with the Office APIs in it. There have been some times when dealing with the macro interactions that we have had to build our own way of executing those macros rather than using the inbuilt tools provided by Kryon to execute them. I would like to see some improvement there.
We have also run into instances with some of the Office integration commands that are available, where we have had occasional troubles. They read the data once, hold a file open, or do something in the background. It would be nice to see the handling of this improved. This should probably be relatively minor improvements.
I would like the pool of advanced commands to increase. It does have a very solid base with a wide range of commands ranging from date manipulations through to SAP integrations. It needs to shore up those commands, harden them up a little bit, and maybe expand upon them. This would be something that would be nice.
IBM Robotic Process Automation (RPA): SAP
In my experience, we've done IBM RPA implementations for payment processes and intercompany processes for our customers. Basically, the process is as follows: it interacts with the banking website and collects the necessary data for validation and approval in SAP.
They recently released the newest version that has a good program flow, quality, and blueprints that are all good improvements to the automation. They also have good integration with SAP.
It's also easy to run scripts from the EBS.
HelpSystems AutoMate: SAP
The most valuable feature is the drag-and-drop interface, which is very Windows-like.
Technical support and marketing support is terrific.
The documentation is online and it's very good.
The integration is excellent. For example, it will integrate with SAP very easily. It's API
(application programming interface) is easy to use when and where where required.
SAP Contextor: SAP
A few companies in France use Contextor. For example, the Engie gas company is large in France, another company is EDF electrical company, and there are other companies as well. This tool is installed in a few companies in France because Contextor has been in existence for more than ten years. It's known.
In the new economic model, it's good for small use cases. The SAP Contextor provides a volume of transaction operations.
SAP uses Contextor as a tool to increase automation capacity.
Microsoft Power Automate: SAP
I think scalability is kind of limited by its features. If you're doing lots of little bits and pieces then it's fine. However, if you want to scale it to engage external suppliers or vendors then you can't really do that.
The security aspects and lack of user accounts in the interface are challenges for scalability. For what it can do is fine, but if you want to scale out across a business then I think it will struggle to have that breadth of features that enable you to scale it properly.
We have fewer than ten people who use Power Automate in the company, and they are all SAP HANA developers.
The solution lacks certain items.
I'm not really qualified for judging the solution. A developer could give better pros and cons.
We would not miss Microsoft Power Automation that much. As still has a long way to cover tasks when it comes to the ease of use like UiPath, which is pretty user-centric.
The solution needs to improve its integration with SAP and Oracle models.
The solution's automation is still evolving and still has a way to go.
The solution could benefit from mirroring Oracle's use of videos and community forums to help users get acquainted with the product. It could use better online training and/or documentation.
It's scalable because almost everything which is available within the Microsoft environment can be connected. But when you go outside the Microsoft environment, with respect to legacy systems and with third-party applications, the scalability is a somewhat limited right now. You can't connect very easily to Oracle or SAP or even third-party standalone custom applications. We don't have plans to increase usage for the time being.