Automation Anywhere (AA) Review

Enables us to integrate with and trigger third-party tools, but OCR needs improvement


What is our primary use case?

Generally, it is used in the banking and financial domains for Oracle and Java-based systems. We also use Automation Anywhere for integration where a third-party tool has to be triggered.

What is most valuable?

The are many features and we can do many things with it. They've now included the code so we can add some additional code. That's good.

What needs improvement?

I'd like to see the OCR feature be perfected. Today we get an accuracy ratio from OCR of around 40 percent to 50 percent only. Better OCR would be very useful in the industry because most of the documents in the banking sector are scanned and hand-written and they want to compare them with other documents.

I would also like to see them provide more support: profile documents and guidance. It would also help to have use-case demos available publicly, not on the Automation Anywhere website. Overall, better promotion of the solution would be good for Automation Anywhere.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability depends on the local system. It is good. But when we switch the system, when we go to Citrix or we jump to RDP, the modern stuff, it breaks sometimes.

Comparing Blue Prism and Automation Anywhere, I would go for Blue Prism's stability. It is very stable. Once the coding is done, meaning all the flowcharts are designed, it will work, it will not break. But sometimes, Automation Anywhere fails. It doesn't take the values from the input at times.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is good.

How are customer service and technical support?

Automation Anywhere's technical support is good. They provide it via email. There are no issues with it. They have opened their offices for technical support in India. Usually, within 24 hours, we get a resolution via a reply to our email: "This is the issue, and this is the solution," or, "This is the way to do it." It usually doesn't take longer than that.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is usually straightforward, not complex. If you're doing a basic installation, it takes around one hour. If you're installing MetaBots or any plugins, it will take some more time.

The team we work on develops on the weekend. We have Control Room access so we deploy from there. It doesn't require a team though, an individual person who is working on a given project can also install it.

What was our ROI?

We don't see ROI immediately. It takes from six or seven months to one year to get the ROI from what we develop. The client needs to trust the RPA solution. Once they trust it, the process, etc., they have more confidence and say, "Okay, you can do automate these other things as well." Build a client's confidence takes time.

But at the end of the day or, really, the end of the year, we can see that the ROI is there. There are benefits and they can see the benefits.

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

Licensing is not done by us but by the server team. They provide the infra and they manage the installation and licensing because licensing is very costly. It's a very confidential thing. They cannot share the license with everyone.

If I compare it with Blue Prism, Automation Anywhere is cheaper. Blue Prism is very costly. Automation Anywhere's pricing follows the market, not less and not more.

What other advice do I have?

It's important that all processes are documented properly.

In terms of maintenance, our policy is that we do two weeks of hyper-care. After two weeks it's over to the client and they maintain it from there on. But for those two weeks initially, if there are any errors we will change the code and deliver it. But the maintenance is good. We don't need to modify many things.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller.
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