Automation Anywhere (AA) Review

Helpful support, has an impressive breadth of RPA commands, and a community edition is available

What is our primary use case?

I primarily use Automation Anywhere A2019 to professionally develop RPA bot solutions for our clients and our own internal uses.

I personally use the free community edition for personal practice and personal projects outside of a work environment. 

Our organization has A2019 Enterprise on an on-premise server, but for my home use, I simply log in to my community edition account from my own desktop computer. 

Our clients use a variety of on-premise and cloud-deployed installations for whatever their specific use case is. 

How has it helped my organization?

Automation Anywhere has presented us with a platform that is easily accessible from a web interface, enabling us to write code for RPA scripts without having to download a dedicated software application.

It has provided us with a robust set of RPA actions, making it both easier and quicker to develop functional scripts. AA has continually listened to our feature requests and customer insights and maintained a positive relationship with us on that front. 

It has also presented us with an active AA developer community and bot store, allowing us to learn from the best practices of others. 

What is most valuable?

The features I most appreciate are the built-in version control system, historical log, audit trail features, and the breadth of RPA action commands included out of the box. 

I also like the credential locker functionality and think that feature was developed in a logical, clear, and helpful manner.  

It is nice being able to develop and manage/schedule scripts from the same web browser interface, but there are times I wish that the bot developer screen was made more user friendly. Some of my recommendations for solutions of that nature are listed below. 

What needs improvement?

I would like to see a button on the bot developer web page that allows you to "expand all" and "close all" actions, folding them up into their respective "Steps".  

I would like to see a comment feature that allows you to embed comments/notes into an action sidebar, without having to actually take up a line of code in order to write such a statement. 

I would like to see a dedicated XPath web interaction drag and drop action that allows you to click/interact with websites via an XPath query. This way, you are not required to use the recorder action to gain this functionality. 

I would like to see an option allowing you to change the color scheme of the bot developer page, so you can use colors that are less harsh on the eyes when developing a script. A simple dark mode skin would be nice as well. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the A2019 Enterprise platform for several months now, but have been using the Automation Anywhere Community Edition for about one year. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is good, although as expected, there are periodic growing pains associated with the rapid development and rolling out of the A2019 platform.

In general, the platform has grown more robust with each release, and I expect its stability and functionality to only improve over time. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I believe it is scalable and valuable to any organization looking to implement an RPA solution within their organization. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I have only used customer support once, but the support team member I spoke with was very friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. 

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

I previously have used and experimented with several different RPA platforms, including but not limited to Workfusion, UiPath, Blue Prism, Microsoft Power Automate, WinAutomation, Robin, and somewhat similar to RPA - AutoHotkey. 

What was our ROI?

As an RPA developer, I do not personally have a number to share here that would reflect our organization's ROI. 

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

As an RPA developer, I do not personally have much to say about this topic. I find the license pricing to be competitive and reflective of the pricing models throughout the RPA space, and I believe there is a lot of value in continuing to maintain the free community edition platform. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

As I listed above, I have experimented/evaluated just about all of the market-leading options as well as the most popular options that are currently growing in recognition in the RPA space. 

What other advice do I have?

I have done my best to outline my thoughts about the Automation Anywhere platform here, and do not have anything else specific to share. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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