Automation Anywhere (AA) Review

It can tie a number of applications or processes together without having to do in-depth coding for automation


What is our primary use case?

As part of our retail banking group, we are using Automation Anywhere for various processes within it. In addition, we are using it for our risk and compliance teams for money laundering investigations and fraud investigations.

We are using it primarily to remove out the human element of various processes.

What is most valuable?

It gives us the capability of leveraging our investments in different applications. I can use Automation Anywhere to tie a number of applications or processes together, without having to do in-depth coding to automate something.

It's been pretty good at integrating with our other applications and tools that we're using.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We started out with three production bots last year. From the time that we were deploying them into production to being able to use them in a production mode, it took somewhere between four to six months.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty straightforward. 

One of the things that we did was purchase the solution originally through IBM, as they had an value-added layer on top of it. Once we had another group come on, they purchased additional bots directly from Automation Anywhere, and they wouldn't integrate well. We had to uninstall the solution that we had purchased from IBM and reinstall those bots to move forward. 

Now, we purchase our bots directly from Automation Anywhere, because this other layer from IBM put us behind, and I don't know if IBM has resolve this issue or not. It was a bit disturbing and surprising, that during the sales cycle, we were told by Automation Anywhere that this layer/enrichment was not seamless to the upgrade process.

What about the implementation team?

We did use an integrator, Cognizant, for the deployment. 

What was our ROI?

It frees individuals up from mundane tasks so they can concentrate on being more active and creative other things that they need to do. There are two use cases that we have around for this: 

  1. We receive benefit and reduce tying up of valued resources. 
  2. For processes which are executed less frequently. E.g., there may be monthly processes with one to two people, and instead of relying on those individuals to run those processes, I can automate them. Then, I can get more consistent results when relying on a process which is manually driven.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

  • Pega seems a lot more hands-on with technical capabilities. They also seemed like if I wanted a steak, I had to buy the entire cow, then eat it.
  • UiPath seems to be more of a recording type application, and if I want to change something, I have to do a rerecording.
  • With Blue Prism, it is like they wouldn't really engage except through a third-party partner, which was sort of a turnoff.
  • Automation Anywhere is in the middle ground. It allows me to easily drag and drop things into the development platform. I can also do recordings. However, if I'm having issues, I can dig down into the flow of the code, if necessary.

What other advice do I have?

Take a good long look at the processes that you are trying to automate. Look at the talent pool that you have to develop the bots. Do you want to become a development shop? Or, do you want some of the capability to be put in the hands of business users? In our case, we wanted that mix of technical and business users having capabilities around this application. Some of the other products didn't offer that. This was one of the things that we drew us to Automation Anywhere.

We have some of our developers taking courses around Automation Anywhere University.

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