Automation Anywhere (AA) Review

Doesn't require coding knowledge. Screen resolution changes when unattended bots are run in the background.


What is our primary use case?

We are using it for finance and logistics-related tasks in departments that we are automating. E.g., for finance, we are using it for cash and bank reconciliation. For logistics, we automated eBay billing for the government portal before any goods can come out of the airport or get inside the airport for any package. We are using Automation Anywhere to create the transits IDs for this.

The product is deployed via internal cloud.

How has it helped my organization?

For the cash and bank reconciliation, we brought down amount of days it takes to do the reconciling and announcing the results. Previously, it took 10 to 15 days. Now, it takes two days.

What is most valuable?

It runs in the background.

It doesn't require any coding knowledge. Any business person can automate this process.

What needs improvement?

We started with attended bots and are in the process of migrating to unattended bots. We are facing a lot of issues with unattended bots as Automation Anywhere is not supporting this. When we run unattended bots in the background, the screen resolution changes. That needs to be improved because it might cause our IR operations or objects to fail.

Attended automation is fine but it is not the favorable because we are looking for an unattended bots. If we want to trigger bots manually, then we need a resource for that. Therefore, there is no point in hiring a resource only to run the bot. They need to improve the scheduler.

There are a couple of issues which needs to be rectified. Otherwise, Automation Anywhere is like using the Windows Scheduler. Aside from the Control Room, it's normal automation, and you can use other tools for that.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using it for almost two and a half years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Sometimes, the ESX services will stop. We are working with IT to resolve this, as it's not our fault. Automation Anywhere is stopping the service, and during that time, the bot will be stopped. Right now, we are logging into the client machine and restarting/rebooting them, then restarting the services. As some of our processes run at night, we won't know that the service is down since our processes run 24/7. This issue is then escalated to the manager. This is the current challenge that we are facing, and we would like them to improve this.

Automation with bots runs fine only if it is an attended bot. With unattended bots, the bots run only 25 to 30 percent of the time.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are not using it to its full scale. We have deployed only nine bots in production and two in development. We are only using three or four bots completely. Rest are going unused, so we are not looking to scale out anytime soon.

How are customer service and technical support?

We hardly get a solution out of the technical support. I would rate them as a five out of 10. There is a lack of ownership.

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

In Juniper, we had automation for different tools, like dashboards and visualizations. We used Tableau. Therefore, we upgraded some of the manual gap, then we began to explore other tools at that time. That is how we came to know about Automation Anywhere.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward.

Approvals are taking us more time than development. For the bigger products, it takes four to six months to scale. If it is a smaller product, then it can take 45 days.

What about the implementation team?

We are using consultants who are developing our bots for us.

We receive help from customer support.

What was our ROI?

We have not seen ROI in the last year. We should see ROI on the platform in two or three years.

If we use attended bots, there is no ROI in the product.

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

Our annual licensing costs for the entire company are $100,000.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did a PoC with UiPath as well. We felt Automation Anywhere was better than UiPath because of its features, like its Control Room.

UiPath is better for development because its workflow feature.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate the solution as a six out of 10 due to the resolution issue. It is a major issue that we are facing with the tool.

Get the approvals done before investing. We wasted the license for six months. The licenses were unused because we didn't have the approvals for the application. We procured it and kept it for six months. Therefore, before investing, get the approvals internally, then go for it.

We have integrated Automation Anywhere with SAP (ERP system) and BlackLine (reconciliation tool). For integrating, we are using web scaping tools and object cloning.

I am certified Automation Anywhere RPA professional with Automation Anywhere University. I am looking for courses on solution architecture and would like to have something for this in the University.

We don't use Citrix automation.

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