Automation Anywhere (AA) Review

Our bots have automated time consuming tasks, but the migration is very complicated

What is our primary use case?

Primary use case is automating data entry functions for accounting and general entry. That has been our primary use case. Since we've started, we have create about five bots (of which three work).

How has it helped my organization?

We're too new. We haven't really begun to invest in the option of having automation. I'm hoping at least in the accounting area, people are inquiring about the tool now that they are seeing results.

What is most valuable?

Of the bots which work, they have automated three of the most time consuming tasks and completely freed up one person to do real work.

What needs improvement?

Anything that can be done to simplify the solution. I would love to see it where anybody who can run Excel will be able to create bots. Right now, I am watching everyone around me struggle with the tool. I do think the tool is getting there.

From an IT perspective, we had too many issues and headaches.

From an IT perspective, the migration is still very complicated, getting everything set up and running. Security was an issue for us, as well. Developers had to come through our firewalls to develop bots, internally. However, they were coming through a Citrix platform, so there were breakpoints in things they were trying to automate, file servers they were trying to get to, and FTPs that they couldn't get through. 

I understand the next version will have support for Citrix, which might solve some of our problems.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

So far, the stability has not been great. We had a lot of migration issues before we got up and running. We will wait and see if this continues with the next version that is being installed. However, once something is up and running, the issues do not persist.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are only running three bots, so we haven't had to worry about scalability yet. We built the tool to handle about 30 bots. So far, we haven't had any problems with scalability.

It took about six months to scale from the pilot to the number of bots that we are currently using, but the majority of those months were wasted on our upgrade issue.

How are customer service and technical support?

We went through an Automation Anywhere partner, who handled all the technical support. So, we didn't go the Automation Anywhere technical support directly, except on occasion. We got through all our issues, eventually.

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

We were not previously automated in any way.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was complex.

The IT team wasn't involved directly at the start, so the business sort of started it on their own. Then, the product over came to IT, and we were blindsided by the requests. That was when it became complicated.

What about the implementation team?

We used consultants to build our bots. We are still in the learning process.

We used KPMG for the deployment. They obviously knew the product very well and were also surprised about the migration issues, but they got us through the deployment.

What was our ROI?

We are measuring our ROI in terms of power saved.

What other advice do I have?

Start simple. There is no reason to jump in with complicated bots. Find simple, small processes that need automating.

The software is there, and it does what it needs to do. The tool can grow and become huge, if it is not already. I hope that we got on early enough that we can keep building on our success.

We have gotten around to looking at the Bot Store yet.

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