Automation Anywhere (AA) Review

Decreased the workload and tickets on our service desk

What is our primary use case?

We have an ITMS Service Desk that has a lot of tickets coming to it. As an enterprise, there are too many applications there, which are being used by employees. This service desk enables them to address all the issues which they are facing, whether it is on the application, infrastructure, etc. There is a group who manages all these tickets coming through ServiceNow. These numbers are huge. To manage these services or change requests, we use Automation Anywhere when it is not possible to use either an API or do scripting.

My company is using the latest version.

How has it helped my organization?

I have one application that does not publish any APIs. However, there is one activity where every employee needs to be registered in that particular application. Now, we use Automation Anywhere for this. So, we get the data from the source data using the front-end of that application through the Automation Anywhere script. Then, we do registration of the employees into that application. Previously, this was being done by people on our service desk. Now, we are using Automation Anywhere to do this activity. This has saved a lot of time. 

Just for this use case, we had around 300 tickets coming in every month. We went live last month and the tickets went down to around 80 as of August 20th. While it might touch around 100, over a period of around six months it will become zero because we have not removed all the legacy data. We are just doing it from the go date of when we went live. The target is that it will be zero after three months. So, it's working well.

A work in progress is a request which came in from employees using ServiceNow to create a VPN account for them. Today, this is a manual process where the service desk people have to raise a ticket to another team who create the VPN account for the employees. This is why we are currently automating this process.

What is most valuable?

I like that it can login to any system as a robot and do the work that humans can.

What needs improvement?

Automation Anywhere is unable to connect to the database directly. What we are doing now is directly writing the PL/SQL scripts and trying to push the data from the database into Automation Anywhere. This feature is available in UiPath, but not in Automation Anywhere.

I am unaware if Automation Anywhere is able to read unstructured data, build some intelligence around it, and then push it into the application. We do have some requirements in our organization where invoices are scanned, and based on the data, hard copies of the data are fed into some applications. Today, we are using different tools for these features, but if it is available in the tool, then that would be good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are a midsize company in the Indian market running one or two bots. 

From a scalability perspective, I don't think there will be any issues. It is pretty good.

How are customer service and technical support?

Support-wise, it is great. 

How was the initial setup?

We installed this on a cloud infrastructure and had a lot of challenges. However, there was a dedicated support person who was helping us to do the installation.

The initial setup was definitely complex. Layman people cannot do it. People with a bit of knowledge need some help from Automation Anywhere.

It took a month and a half to do the basic installation of this software along with some internal processes related to our firewalls.

What about the implementation team?

We had a dedicated person from Automation Anywhere who was supporting us at the time of the initial installation.

What was our ROI?

While our Automation Anywhere's implementation is in a premature stage, it has really decrease the workload on our service desk. We are looking to decrease the ticket counts too. I definitely see this solution helping us in the future.

Our tickets have decreased. We have more than 40 uses cases. We definitely see some ROI in the future from this product.

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

In the Indian market, I feel that for mid-size companies, such as ourselves, that having multiple bots costs a lot. If Automation Anywhere wants to expand in the Indian market, they will need to look at their pricing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

One of the major reasons that we went for Automation Anywhere was a global MSA, which our company has with Automation Anywhere. They wanted us to use this particular tool for our end customers too. 

I am part of an internal CIO team, where our customers are our employees. However, as an organization, we had a global agreement with Automation Anywhere where they wanted to deliver this tool to the end customer as part of their solutions. Because of that agreement, we went with Automation Anywhere.

My team (who uses both Automation Anywhere and UiPath) says that UiPath has better modules and functionality than Automation Anywhere.

What other advice do I have?

I'm seeing some results in the use case for whatever we are trying to automate. So, it has been really helpful.

Don't use an RPA tool for any problem statement. I've seen people use any RPA tool available for their problem statement just to say that they are using some type of RPA. E.g., We had a use case where we had to read information from an Excel table and generate a report, so people started using Automation Anywhere. However, it would have been better in this scenario to use Power BI by creating scripts.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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