Automation Anywhere (AA) Review

Minimizes a lot of time and brings in a higher level of security

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use for this solution is to use bots to automate our accounting reconciliations. So whatever reconciliation does not involve judgment or review and can be done by the bot using a series of steps. For those situations where it is possible, we are now using bots we created. This helps minimize a lot of the time as well as simplifying the reconciliation process.

We have a dedicated system for Automation Anywhere. We deploy it on-premise.

How has it helped my organization?

The way Automation Anywhere has helped our organization is that we've been able to evaluate our process of transaction reviews and identify tasks that subtract value from our efforts and automate them. We added automation to a lot of situations where human judgment and interpretation are not required. Our organization does not use as many resources in manual evaluation.

What is most valuable?

One of the best features of the product is that it eliminates a lot of unnecessary access to transactions. Secondly, it brings in a higher level of security. When the process is totally manual, there is more of a chance of inviting an element of human error. So using bots helps to eliminate these issues.

What needs improvement?

There are areas where the product can be improved and ways we can get Automation Anywhere to help us in other fields. For example, there are situations where legal interpretations are involved which have the potential for automation. We are not currently using the bots for these situations. So that's definitely one area where I would say there is room for growth for the product. 

Mostly, for my purposes, I'm looking for more support on reporting.

There is too much use of attended automation. I would like to move more toward unattended automation, where bots are capable to handle exceptions and give proper feedback to the users, e.g., how many exceptions we have that we can fix it, so we can make it more aligned.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have implemented the solution in the processes that Genpact does for us.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not yet encountered any operating instability. The stability is good. It runs smoothly.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The product is scalable. Obviously, scaling the solution requires some time for development. Whenever you identify something that can be automated or want to work on something that already exists which is similar but slightly different than what you need, it requires time. So there is time expenditure involved in scaling, but the solution is definitely scalable.

We have about 11 accountants working on it.

How are customer service and technical support?

We are fairly pleased in our experience with customer service. They are pretty good.

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

For the kind of company that we have, which predominantly relies on processing our revenue streams, it was a no brainer to move more and more towards AI and RPA (Robotic Process Automation) processing.

Genpact proposed Automation Anywhere and we found it to be suitable.

How was the initial setup?

Initially, the implementation was tough. When we started, we were trying to do too much at one time. When we started just playing with small, bite-size pieces, rather than working with big chunks, we started to make more progress. That change in scope kind of helped us to scale things up faster.

What about the implementation team?

We worked with Genpact predominantly to help us implement bots and automation. Our relationship with them has worked pretty well.

We implemented the solution for Genpact but are not users. We have seen the demo and how easy it works, but don't know what happens in the background.

What was our ROI?

We have definitely experienced an ROI in terms of saving. For example, the costs of service delivery contracts have come down because of our use of automation. 

ROI is determined by how much the account saves versus the cost of licensing that I have to pay to manage the bots. It saves me around $100,000 a year.

The extent of our usage is still quite limited. I think we can do a lot more. We had other priorities that took over and couldn't focus on getting the tool more widely used. In the coming year, we are focusing more on increasing the use of bots.

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

We are currently negotiating a contract. Depending upon that, we will definitely look at increasing usage.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Our goal in choosing a product was primarily due to an interest in advancing automation to speed processing of transactions. While the company probably evaluated other solutions, that decision did not involve me and was made at a higher level than mine.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to those considering Automation Anywhere would be to be bold and try it out. There is no point in remaining in the dinosaur age and not taking advantage of the possibilities of automation.

Ensure your processes are standardized and exceptions are kept to a minimum. The more standardized processes are, the easier it is to implement bots, then your ROI will go up. You can extend automation to a much larger scale, but the more exceptions in the process, the more changes and tweaks in the process that brings. That makes it more complicated to invest in the bot and you will have to keep checking the deliver of the results being produced.

On a scale of one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate Automation Anywhere as a seven or eight. In our case, it is closer to an eight. 

We use attended automation. There is some amount of human involvement in running the bots, but it's minimal just to ensure that exceptions are correctly captured, etc. The process works well.

The biggest lesson is to ensure that your processes are standardized, so you can increase the usage of bots. The more your processes aren't standardized, the more complicated it becomes to implement bots.

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