What is our primary use case?
The primary use case for bringing in Automation Anywhere was to make sure that we take away the work which our resources don't want to do, they don't like to do, or they find that there is something more meaningful and useful they can use their time for. That was our primary factor.
What is most valuable?
The most valuable feature of Automation Anywhere is the unattended mode bots, because we don't need to go and look at what they're doing. They just go by themselves. That's the state we need to get to, but we are currently attended. Based on the projects or PoCs that we have done, we've got a last transmission program coming in, which is exciting.
What needs improvement?
The bot insides should come in the same package versus having it as a different bundle by itself. If we could have this product come with all the inside solutions altogether, that would help.
I was talking the other day in a session that when we go into this, how do we ensure that the right security policies are in place? Because now, we are talking about people accessing these bots from anywhere outside of the restricted access zone. So, that is where we should put focus on, because it takes only somebody to snatch the phone and start breaching. Therefore, that is where we should put the focus on.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
We started off with the 10.5 version, where we didn't find any major hiccups. Then, we upgraded to version 11.3, which we find more useful. I think version 11.3 is the way to go.
As with every solution or a product, it goes through that journey. I think the RPA for Automation Anywhere is going through that journey. I can see the stability improvements from 10.3 to 10.5 to 11.3. From this conference, I could see the end-to-end governance coming into play. So, stability-wise, they are getting there. I'm not saying that it's fully stabilized. But, it's working for us, and the path is on the right track.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We started off with this showcase piece. Now, we are going into details regarding how we can scale. Can we scale it horizontally? Can we just start putting VMs on it? So, these are the factors that we are assessing right now, but we feel that it is scalable.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We wanted to be able to kick-start this journey, so we brought in an automation team, as this is where the whole industry is moving with our clients. From here, we will have success stories year after year.
We did not use a previous solution. We were trying to shop around and see what was best for us. Automation Anywhere was always promising and the use cases that we saw were interesting. So, we said, "We'll start with that." It works well so far.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup wasn't complex, but it wasn't straightforward. It was somewhere in the middle.
What was our ROI?
We didn't go Big Bang on thinking how much money that we were going to save. I wanted to make sure that could we show improvements in the efficiency, in terms of headcount. Ultimately, it comes boiled down to cost, but then if I can get one headcount reduced from the team, and be able to utilize that to somebody else, that would be a winning situation for my client and me.
We measure the ROI through FTE. Of course, there is a dollar value associated with it.
We have started to see the ROI. We are starting to see the following:
- Activities in which resources in my team would have taken four to five hours are now done in 30 minutes.
- Some of the weekend monitoring
- Some of the weekend missing report generations
- Monday monitoring of a heavy load system.
These are things that we are already starting to see where the time taken to do a task has been drastically reduced. So, we are seeing the performance improvement as a result.
What other advice do I have?
I have nothing specific regarding the Automation Anywhere University. But, we have taken some of the online courses available and done a few sessions, which has been a wonderful deal.
I am putting it somewhere between a seven and eight (out of ten). That is what I'll rate it, because as I said, the stability and governance are on that path. As we get there, I'm sure it'll make it to a ten. So far. the journey is on the right track.
For somebody searching for a solution, it primarily concerns the use case. But if this is what they are looking for, I will definitely advise.
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.