Automation Anywhere (AA) Review

Reduces turnaround times. Exception and error handling could be much better.


What is our primary use case?

We are using it in all departments: management, sales, human resources, IT, and customer service.

How has it helped my organization?

These are some of the benefits that we have seen using RPA:

  • We saw a 70 percent decrease in manual steps. If something took 10 steps to do, we are doing it in three steps today. 
  • We see 100 percent accuracy in whatever we do, which wasn't something we could expect from a human worker. 
  • We see a reduction in turnaround times. Something that used to take two hours to do, today takes 20 minutes to do. There is a 40 to 50 percent reduction in whatever is being automated in comparison with a human doing it. 

What is most valuable?

Three features that came up when we chose the product:

  1. The user interface.
  2. The Bot Store.
  3. IQ Bot, which other RPA don't have.

What needs improvement?

We would like a better coding interface for developers. We would also like to have a user interface which reduces the time to learn the product so more people in the organization can use software, like Automation Anywhere, quickly automating processes.

As an organization, we feel the exception and error handling could be way better.

We would like the software not to change as often. Architectures were radically reinvented without informing the customer. This wasn't something we appreciated. 

Some of the stuff being used internally in the product, like Elasticsearch or open source, did not pass vulnerability ability assessment. This is another issue. 

We hope Automation Anywhere takes internal component security seriously as we are looking forward to the Automation Anyway A2019 launch. We hope it addresses some of these issues with error handling as well as component security.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability works fine. 

One of the key features that we chose, the bot as a service or the BotFarm, when they launched version 11.3, they decided not to have the BotFarm anymore. This put us in a situation because we expected to have bots on demand, just like our cloud software. This would have been cost efficient for us to use. We hope to see this again being realized with A2019. I hope the scalability from an on demand basis improves.

How are customer service and technical support?

A lot of the technical support is done by my teams. I do not have great visibility. As far as what my team has told me, it was a tedious process before. They have relaunched the entire support portal. It seems to be a lot more user-friendly to log tickets and reach out to people there.

Their customer success team are a great bunch of folks who try to support and get things done for you.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

I have personally used RPA before. It is just the buzzword now. 

At the time, we were looking at or looking at replacing our complex, legacy platform which had a lot of steps. Our multiple, previous software tools that had a lot of Python, Perl-based scripting, and Perl website scrapping plugins.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was extremely complex. Version 11.3 came with multi-forest Active Directory support and version 11.10 did not have that support. We had multi-forest Active Directory and it took us one month to resolve when we started implementing it. Again, this information wasn't communicated to us.

I hope going forward I see Automation Anywhere being faster, more transparent, and communicating more in advance than right now.

What about the implementation team?

We had a terrible experience with a local integrator. I don't think that they were ready for the integration/deployment process. We spoke to Automation Anywhere who has implemented more stringent partner qualification schemes to take care of this issues.

What was our ROI?

We have not seen ROI at the present moment.

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

Our costs are approximately between $5,000 to $10,000 per license.

They have a ridiculously expensive bot licensing structure, especially for the Asian region.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Currently, we use Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism, and UiPath in my organization.

What other advice do I have?

Start small. Conduct proof of concepts, then choose a process with a quick return on investment.

There are product issues. They have a reckless product roadmap. 

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