Automation Anywhere (AA) Review

Increased efficiency through reduced idle time and a cut in FTEs

What is our primary use case?

We are running the Control Room and the Bot Runners.

Currently, we have two processes in production, and another three are currently under development. Those in the development stage are running efficiently, but there are bugs here and there. Even for the processes that are in production, we have constant involvement, where we bring them back for more development and then return them to the production environment.

Our primary use case has to do with automating payment tasks. We process about thirty-five hundred invoices per month, which is a substantial amount. At the moment, we process about fifteen hundred, and our goal with automation is to reach thirty-five hundred.

At the moment, about twenty-five percent of the volume is covered by the RPS side of things. The rest of the work is done by hand, and our goal is to reach seventy-five percent by the end of this year.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution has allowed us to reduce our idle time by about thirty percent.

In terms of FTEs, we have cut approximately three, and hour goal is to cut fifteen by the end of this year.

What is most valuable?

The IQ Bot is very impressive to us. We have tried several tools in the industry, and we have not been able to automate to the same level as provided by this solution.

What needs improvement?

The stability of this solution depends on the processes, but I think that there is room for improvement in this regard. We are using Microsoft Dynamics, and it would help if they had a set of standard development specifications for each of these solutions. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We are having some challenges when it comes to stability. Things have kept stable for three to four months at the moment, but we are still working on stabilizing the bots. We are hoping to have everything stabilized within the next few months.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of this solution is very good. We have operations on the other side of the world, such as South East Asia, so we tend to have different languages. The IQ Bot is able to read these languages, which will help us to expand into other regions, as well.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have dealt with technical support for this solution and they are one of the best, I would say. Their response time is very fast and the knowledge that the tech team has is impeccable. All of the issues that we have raised were solved within a day and this has been very helpful for us.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of this solution was sort of complex for us. We are at the initial state of it, and it is quite challenging because we didn't know what the technology was all about. Each and every day we learn new things, where it is not the same thing that we had learned before and already implemented.

What about the implementation team?

We partnered with a consultant from a company in Sri Lanka and they are assisting us with the implementation. This includes development and scaling. We give them the strategic plan according to what we want, then they evaluate the process and let us know the architecture. We may also get involved with the architecture in cases where they might not have the in-depth knowledge of our systems.

Our long term plan is to have a COE where we will have our in-house developers. This will help in development, as well as post-production.

What was our ROI?

We have not yet seen ROI, but our estimation is that it will occur within three years. We have made a huge investment in this solution.

What other advice do I have?

The bugs that we have had are generally not because of the product. We have had one product bug, and it has already been taken care of, although it is not released yet. It will be included with the next release of the solution.

The bug is related to popups, where those commands are issued but we cannot give them in the development stage. It is a major drawback in our process. Because of this, certain processes have a two to three-minute delay, and that's a major impact on one of our processes. It does have something to do with a third-party application for which nobody has applied an automation tool. I wouldn't say that it is a major bug, but it should be rectified in the future.

We are now looking at the AI side of this solution, and have started using the IQ Bot.

My advice for anybody who is implementing this solution is to invest small and see, rather than going for a bigger investment all to once. See the ROI and then evaluate again. We had issues with the business users because they were not confident enough to use the Bots. At that time, they were much more comfortable using the hands-on, manual approach. Try one use case and then expand.

I have not evaluated all of the features so my rating might be higher when I do.

Compared to other products, I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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