Automation Anywhere (AA) Review

Reasonably-priced, easy to use and maintain, but it needs to be more developer-friendly


What is our primary use case?

I start using automation anywhere for my first project to automate HR process. For HR, one of my customers uses a lot of manual processes in their company. They manually update reports in Excel and have a lot of use cases that trigger emails to staff.  Examples of emails are applications for training or requests to top management for approval.

By using Automation Anywhere, we can help our customer manage their data by connecting the Bot to the database and automate emails that are sent between staff and the top management.

How has it helped my organization?

When implementing RPA with AA for an organization, we can figure out the spaghetti processes and align the business process so that they become linear. This is possible because RPA uses rule-based automation. Ultimately, it means that the organization will be more structured.

Having AA also helps to improve time-savings, as it is able to complete the whole process faster. The accuracy of the data posted in the system also increases.

In terms of cost, AA reduces the cost of hiring workers because the number of workers can be fixed after implementing RPA.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are object cloning, image recognition, assignment value, and automation for databases, OCR, PDF, Excel, and email.

Excel automation is especially helpful because a lot of small companies are still using Excel as their data storage.

Database automation is really important for executing report queries.

PDF automation is useful because a lot of companies still use PDFs as fillable forms. To automate a PDF, it uses the OCR function to extract data, from either a soft copy or handwritten-scan form.

Last but not least, the assignment value command is really needed to help with the manipulation of variable datatypes. Without this, it is quite hard to manipulate the data.

What needs improvement?

The assign value function is not there in the A2019 Community edition, which makes it hard for a developer to manipulate the data. For example, using a data table record, when I want to assign a value to a record variable, I am not able to assign it properly. I am only able to define a hardcoded value inside that variable, whereas the requirement is to put the value inside that variable dynamically using another variable. 

In the next release, I am hoping to have a feature where the developer can use a programming method like ".Double/.toString" to make programming faster. As it is now, one has to pull commands one by one for assignment.

Next, I am hoping that AA can have an explanation and directions for each command and how it is to be used by developers. For example, with the OCR function, it would be helpful to know what data is compulsory for the developer to enter, and what data is optional. By having guide like this, it would be more developer-friendly. This would be better for beginners who are using AA for the first time. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Automation Anywhere for less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

the stability of the studio is ok and some features is easy to use. but sometimes i feel to automate excel is quite hard and developer need to make many repetitive steps just to insert dynamic data into each cell in excel.Hopes in version 11.3 will have read range and write range function instead need to loop many times and set the cell one by one.btw, i like dictionary data type and impress with AA because no need to read file and just put the path it can already work. but i hope for dictionary variable data type also can support .xlsx file to save as dictionary and able to add dictionary key and value that outside from the file by able to add keypair value by assigning them  as temporary value during process.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Quickly scale to thousands of bots in the front and back office, no matter the type—attended, unattended, or intelligent automation.

The modern microservices architecture enables the platform to scale both vertically and horizontally, delivering fast ROI.

How are customer service and technical support?

We do not yet have experience with customer support. We have been using AA for less than one year.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

In another company, I previously used a different RPA solution. I have switched because I have changed companies, to one that is using AA.

How was the initial setup?

To install the application is easy, but you need to prepare a few accounts during the initial setup. These include a Creator account for developers, a Bot Runner, a server, and a database.

What about the implementation team?

We deployed with the assistance of a vendor team and we are satisfied.

What was our ROI?

Some of the factors that contribute to ROI are the low cost, ease of maintenance, and automatic updates.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    This is a comprehensive automation offering with a scalable architecture and flexible pricing models. This keeps the RPA TCO low and you can automate with confidence.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We evaluated UiPath before choosing Automation Anywhere.

    What other advice do I have?

    Overall, this is a great tool because it's easy to maintain and it can reduce hiring costs, leading to reduced overall costs in the future.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Private Cloud

    If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

    Other

    Which version of this solution are you currently using?

    A 2019 AND 11.3
    **Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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