Automation Anywhere (AA) Review

The automation tool is user-friendly and has an easy deployment process

What is our primary use case?

The tool is used to automate any business process. Some examples are:

  • If you want to download some data from a website or push some data onto a website.
  • If you work with an Excel application and want to automate it, or any Windows-based application, you can automate it as long as you know what the business process is.
  • If a person is doing a day-to-day activity and you want to automate that activity, you can use the Automation Anywhere tool to do it.

I have worked with the Windows, Excel, and web applications, along with some SAP automation and how to automate that SAP data. I use Automation Anywhere to determine automation for how to:

  • Distribute the process. 
  • Schedule the process. 
  • Run the process. 
  • Design the process.
  • Distribute the data for 1000 to 10,000 data points (in Excel).

How has it helped my organization?

I have automated the invoicing in a finance department, where the finance department wanted to automate the invoicing process. They wanted to do the following:

  • Invoice the data.
  • Create the invoice.
  • Mail the invoice.
  • Download the invoice data.

If you have 10 operators currently performing these activities everyday, then you automate the process, by removing the 10 operators and having only one operator required, this will decrease costs. It will also increase the efficiency of your company.

In the automatic invoicing system, we created a file which pushes onto a shared folder. The bot will pick up the file automatically from the shared folder and process the invoice. Therefore, if tomorrow, another bot were to be created, we could just create a file and copy it to the shared folder, then it would pick up the file and process the invoice.

What is most valuable?

I utilize all the commands provided by Automation Anywhere, such as all the recorders. I use these commands to develop my processes and bots.

Automation Anywhere has a drag and drop process.

What needs improvement?

Automation Anywhere needs to improve Excel and its commands. In Excel, if you want to add a sheet, you cannot add a sheet. There is no command for adding a sheet. Also, if you want to rename something in Excel, you cannot rename it. You always must keep a list that you can rename through your keyboard, but there is no specific command in Automation Anywhere. 

The email automation command also needs to be improved. The email automation command sometimes is not working properly. When you connect the mail server, it is not being done properly.

The OCR feature is not that reliable.

With the PDF command, you can only read structured data. If your data is in an unstructured format, there is no command for it in Automation Anywhere. Then, people need to use Python coding if their data is in unstructured format. Therefore, Automation Anywhere needs to improve in the PDF area.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the product for the last two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I didn't have any stability issues. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I haven't found any scalability issues with it. If the volume increases tomorrow, another bot can be added from the Control Room.

I worked with a single deployment model, which didn't have a load balancer requirement. Higher availability deployments require load balancers.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't dealt with Automation Anywhere's technical support.

How was the initial setup?

For the implementation, you just follow the proper process on how to deploy the proper hardware configuration on the production environment. The process does not take that much time as you push files to the Control Room, then from the Control Room, you can download the client. It does depend on how many bots you are implementing and how you are scheduling them.

Automation Anywhere is deployed from a deployment guideline in a step-by-step process. Automation Anywhere provides some deployment guidelines, which can be referred to.

What about the implementation team?

Only one person is required for deployment: the Control Room administrator.

The number of people required for monitoring the solution depends on the amount of bots deployed.

What was our ROI?

It saves time and money. If a bot does the same work as nine out of 10 people, then you are saving money through wages. Also, a bot will work all hours without interruption, whereas FTEs may need time off or vacation. 

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

I believe it is $10,000 for Bot Creator. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The Automation Anywhere automation tool is user-friendly, especially compared to UiPath and Blue Prism. Automation Anywhere's deployment is also easy compared to other RPA tools.

What other advice do I have?

The solution is good for people who want to do their job quickly without any delay or problems. 

The future of IT will require every organization to need automation.

The Control Room is good in version 11, as compared to the previous versions of the Control Room.

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