Automation Anywhere (AA) Review

We have integrated it with everything from standard off-the-shelf products to custom apps

What is our primary use case?

We use it for every aspect of our company: Financials, purchasing, HR, etc. 

How has it helped my organization?

It has taken a lot of manual Excel manipulation that we have previously did, and removed that work away from people who did that for ten hours a day, five days a week. We now have a robot doing this manual work, allowing us to refocus those our resources into more value-add activities, simplifying our landscape.

What is most valuable?

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.

What needs improvement?

I would like more integration into the entire Microsoft Suite of products, not just Excel. Companies use all of Microsoft products at the same time, and being good at just one Microsoft tool is a limiting factor. Being able to use Microsoft Excel, Access, and Outlook together and have them integrated (as standard) into the tool would be very useful, especially when you go into attended automation.

They keep rolling out more features in selected areas. They should broaden their scope.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We intentionally took a long time to scale up to our current number of bots because we focused on using large processes, instead of small ones. For us to grow to scale, it took us about a year and a half. However, we have been focusing on processes with tens of FTEs per year, instead of about processes that are one to two hours per day.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is good. Whenever we have issues with the product, the support team gets back to us normally within half a day, or sometimes even sooner, with direct answers of how we can solve our issues. If they don't have documentation for it, they have somebody call us, and we have the issue resolved in a day or two.

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

We did not have a previous solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was in-house.

What about the implementation team?

We did the deployment in-house.

What other advice do I have?

Do your homework on your use cases. Knowing which use cases are really good for RPA is crucial in getting the program started. If you don't have your use cases identified, or have your functional processes identified, that want to automate, then it makes the scaling aspects more challenging.

I am RPA professionally certified through Automation Anywhere and have taken multiple classes through the Automation Anywhere University. The courses are good. They are just like any other online training courses, which I have taken through other vendors, like Microsoft or SAP. It is on par with those vendors who have been doing this for a long time.

As long as a person has a semi-technical mindset, the product is very simple to use. Even for the traditional business user, with just a little training, we are able to bring them up to speed on how to use the tool fairly easily. The tool is very good, as far as ease of use.

As long as you have a technical mindset or are able to think in a certain manner, the creation of a bot is very intuitive, especially since the tool is drag and drop. For example, I am able to take any of the commands that I need and put them in the right sequence of orders. This makes it very intuitive to create a bot from start to finish.

We are evaluating the cognitive document processing as something to use in the future, but are not currently using it.

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